Epomaker EK68 review: wireless mechanical keyboard with hot-swappable switches

By: Alex Chub | 26.05.2023, 16:39

Epomaker EK68 is an interesting mechanical wireless keyboard that can be of interest to both fans of similar compact models and gamers. It is well-made, has a very successful Gasket-mount design with a backing and sound-absorbing foam, and is equipped with very pleasant to use Gateron Pro 2.0 Yellow mechanical switches, and supports hot-swapping. This adds to its durability and opens up the possibility of customisation. The keyboard is universal, supporting three types of connection: cable, 2.4 GHz and Bluetooth. It works perfectly with PC, Mac, and Android. A nice bonus is the RGB backlight with a large number of modes and additional settings. Among the complaints, we can note the limited functionality of the rotary encoder with the lack of customisation, as well as the not very user-friendly software. The keyboard costs $90 on the official website.

Epomaker EK68
Epomaker EK68
Compact wireless mechanical keyboard with Gasket-mount design, Gateron mechanical switches and hot-swappable switches. Supports cable, 2.4 GHz and Bluetooth connectivity and has RGB lighting

Current price on Amazon

5 reasons to buy Epomaker EK68:

  • High build quality and materials, as well as Gasket-mount design
  • Nice mechanical switches Gateron Pro 2.0 Yellow with the possibility of hot-swapping
  • Support for cable connection, 2.4 GHz and Bluetooth
  • Replaceable Type-C cable
  • RGB backlighting

2 reasons not to buy Epomaker EK68:

  • You need a full-size keyboard with a standard layout and an additional number pad
  • Limited functionality of the rotary encoder and not the most convenient software

Quick transition

  1. What is the Epomaker EK68 keyboard and who might be interested in it?
  2. What is included in the package?
  3. What does Epomaker EK68 look like?
  4. How convenient is it to use?
  5. What can the keyboard do?
  6. In a nutshell

What is the Epomaker EK68 keyboard and who might be interested in it?

Mechanical keyboards are popular not only with gamers. There is a class of users who use mechanical models for work and typing large texts. For the most part, such users pay attention not to popular gaming brands, but to manufacturers such as Varmilo, Keychron, Leopold, Ducky, Vortex, Filco, which produce very high-quality mechanical models. And the most demanding connoisseurs also appreciate models that can be fully customised, including switches and keycaps. Epomaker EK68 is one such mechanical keyboard. It has a backing with sound-absorbing foam, supports hot-swappable switches, and three connection options. It is worth noting that mechanical keyboards are also divided by size as a percentage of a standard full-size keyboard. The Epomaker EK68 is a 65% keyboard, so it doesn't have an additional number pad and has a few other layout features that we'll talk about later.

What's in the box:

The Epomaker EK68 comes in a blue cardboard box with a schematic image and basic technical information. The package turned out to be quite interesting. In addition to the keyboard itself, the box contains a Type-C cable for charging and wired connection, a miniature USB transmitter, additional Esc, Space, Enter, and Backspace keycaps, a tool for removing keycaps and switches, three spare switches, and an English manual. You shouldn't neglect it: the vast majority of keyboard settings are made using keyboard shortcuts.

What does Epomaker EK68 look like?

Epomaker EK68 has a classic design with a common cover, so mechanical switches are not visible. The keyboard is very compact and does not take up much space, but the layout is very unusual, so it will take some getting used to. The model is available in several colour variants: calm black and grey, black and purple, and black and grey with yellow, as we have on review. It looks quite original and unusual. Whether you like it or not is an individual matter. All design elements are matte, so the keyboard will not collect fingerprints.

At first glance it may seem that the keyboard cover is metal. In fact, it is a matte grey plastic with a texture that looks very good. A similar keyboard with a metal case would cost significantly more. But the keyboard does have metal elements. These are the rotary encoder in the upper right corner and the plate inside.

The keycaps are made of PBT plastic using Double-shot technology. This means that during the manufacturing process, the plastic is injected into two different moulds. In this case, the symbols are moulded into the lower mould, which makes them more clear and does not fade over time. Unlike ABS plastic, which is commonly used in most mass-produced keyboards, PBT is more durable and tough. Keycaps have a pleasant rough structure and do not start to shine over time. The downside of PBT is that it's thick and not translucent. Therefore, the characters will not glow in the dark, and the backlighting has a purely decorative function.

All additional functional elements are located on the left side of the keyboard. There is a Type-C connector for charging and wired connection, a layout switch (PC and Mac), a connection type switch (wired, 2.4 GHz, and Bluetooth), and a USB receiver.

On the bottom of the Epomaker EK68 there is a small plate with the model name and technical information. There are four rubber strips around the perimeter to prevent slipping on the table. Also, closer to the back, there are double folding legs for placing the keyboard at an angle. The legs also have rubber inserts.

Three possible angles of inclination relative to the table surface:

The Type-C cable is 2 metres long, so it will be enough for the vast majority of stationary sets. The cable is quite thick, with high-quality braid and gold-plated connectors.

Despite the plastic case, Epomaker EK68 proved to be quite strong in terms of torsion and bending. It is well assembled and does not snap or crackle anywhere. It weighs about 800 g and has dimensions of 325x117x41 mm, so it's smaller in width than 15+ inch laptops.

How comfortable is it to use?

The Epomaker EK68 is a 65% keyboard with 66 keys and a rotary encoder in the upper right corner, which is responsible for adjusting the volume when scrolling and mute when pressed. It has clear and pleasant scrolling cuts. In addition to the lack of an additional number pad, the keyboard has several other important features. It does not have the F row, as well as the PrtScr, Scroll Lock, Pause, Home, End, ~, Insert buttons. All of them are available through combinations with Fn. For example, the buttons F - Fn + row from 1 to +. The navigation block is not separated from the other buttons, which is why the right Shift key is slightly shorter. And the Del, PgUp, and PgDn buttons are located vertically above the right arrow. And there are two LEDs between the left arrow and Fn. There is no separate CapsLock indicator, but the indication is implemented by the backlight of the button: it changes colour. So it takes some time to get used to this layout. Although connoisseurs of such compact models generally know what they are getting into. There should be no problems with games: all the necessary buttons are present.

It is because of these features that it is worth looking at the manual. It contains all the necessary keyboard shortcuts, PC, Mac, as well as for setting the backlight and switching the connection:

One of the important features of the keyboard is its Gasket-Mounted design. That is, it has a damper layer between the switches and the PCB, as well as additional sound-absorbing foam inserts to reduce parasitic echoes, vibrations, additional echo and other undesirable effects. Previously, such a design was found mainly in expensive mechanical models. Epomaker EK68 also supports hot-swappable switches. It is compatible with most 3- and 5-pin mechanical switches, such as Cherry, Gateron, Otemu, Kailh. This allows you to extend the life of the keyboard and gives you room to experiment with different switches.

Long buttons have stabilisers, so they are pressed evenly and do not wobble. The backlight LEDs are located closer to the user, in front of the switches.

The Epomaker EK68 is available with several switch options. There are Epomaker's own Flamingo, Budgerigar, Bluebird, and Gateron Pro 2.0 Yellow. It was the latter option that we had on review. Gateron Pro 2.0 Yellow is considered one of the most successful budget mechanical shifters. These are linear switches with a lifespan of 50 million clicks, a full travel of 4 mm, a travel to actuation of 2 mm, and a pressing force of 50 g. They have a transparent body and a lens for the LED on the front. The manufacturer does not specify in the specifications, but it looks like the switches are additionally lubricated at the factory. The stroke is very smooth, even, and sand-free. The click is extremely pleasant and informative. Typing and playing on the keyboard is very comfortable.

The sound of the keyboard is also very pleasant. Unfortunately, there was no high-quality microphone at hand. The smartphone slightly distorted the sound of the keyboard and in real conditions it sounds softer.

What can the keyboard do?

Epomaker EK68 supports N-key roll over (NKRO), which means that any number of simultaneously pressed buttons is triggered. The keyboard is universal, able to work with PCs, Macs, as well as smartphones and tablets. For this purpose, a wired connection, 2.4 GHz with a bundled USB receiver and Bluetooth are provided. Moreover, the keyboard is able to remember up to three Bluetooth devices and quickly switch between them. The top LED is a connection indicator. Red, green and blue are Bluetooth devices. White is the radio channel.

A 3000 mAh battery is responsible for the battery life. The manufacturer promises up to 2 weeks of operation. But this will depend on the type of connection, usage activity, and backlighting. Epomaker EK68 has RGB backlighting with 20 different effects (including modes for FPS and MMO games with backlighting of the corresponding keys) and 15 brightness levels.

There is proprietary software available for more detailed configuration and updates, but it works only with a wired connection. It allows you to reconfigure the actions of both the main and Fn-layer buttons, record macros, and has very extensive backlight settings. Including a music visualisation mode. The only thing missing is the ability to configure various actions on the rotary encoder, which would be convenient for zooming or resizing the brush in different applications. So it can only be used to adjust the volume and mute the sound. The software is hardly very user-friendly, although it performs all the necessary functions. Perhaps it will become more interesting with updates. For those who like customisation, it is worth noting that the keyboard does not support QMK/VIA settings.

Epomaker EK68
Epomaker EK68
  • High build quality and materials, as well as Gasket-mount design
  • Nice mechanical switches Gateron Pro 2.0 Yellow with the possibility of hot-swapping
  • Support for cable connection, 2.4 GHz and Bluetooth
  • Replaceable Type-C cable
  • RGB backlighting

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To sum up: three things you need to know about Epomaker EK68.

  • Epomaker EK68 is a compact wireless mechanical keyboard with Gateron Pro 2.0 Yellow switches
  • It supports cable connection, 2.4 GHz and Bluetooth
  • It has RGB backlighting
Technical specifications of the Epomaker EK68 keyboard
Number of buttons 66 + rotary encoder
Switches Mechanical: Gateron Pro 2.0 Yellow (also available Epomaker Flamingo, Budgerigar, Bluebird)
Type of switches Linear
Service life 50 million clicks (Gateron Pro 2.0 Yellow)
Stroke to trigger point 2 mm (Gateron Pro 2.0 Yellow)
Full stroke 4 mm (Gateron Pro 2.0 Yellow)
Pressing force 50 g (Gateron Pro 2.0 Yellow)
Backlighting RGB
Connection wired, 2.4 GHz, Bluetooth
Battery 3000 mAh, up to 2 weeks of operation
Cable replaceable 2 m, Type-C
Dimensions 325x117x41 mm
Weight 800 г
Epomaker EK68
Compact wireless mechanical keyboard with hot-swappable keys

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