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Epomaker TH80 Review 75% Hot Swappable Keyboard With Gateron Pro Black Switches

Wednesday, May 25, 2022



The Epomaker TH80 is a retro style mechanical keyboard with a distinctive look similar to an old school Amstrad keyboard. The TH80 features MDA profile keycaps made of high quality PBT plastic with dye-sublimated legends so, the legends won't wear off. Being MDA profile, the TH80 stock keycaps have a nice sculptured (concave) top surface, which makes them ideal for typing. 


Functionality wise, you get three connectivity modes: 2.4Ghz, Bluetooth 5.0 and wired so, you can connect to a device via cable. The TH80 keyboard is the bigger brother of the Epomaker TH66, which is a smaller 65% keyboard without dedicated arrow keys.  


On the top right corner of the TH80 keyboard, there is a large red aluminum volume knob sitting on top of a silent rotary encoder, which can be rotated  infinitely clockwise and anticlockwise. The volume knob has a strong resistance, which allows you to adjust volume gradually. The volume knob integrates a clicky centre button for mute.
 
 On the bottom of the TH80 keyboard, there are thick rubber pads, as well as rubberized feet risers, which let you elevate the front of the keyboard at two different heights. On the bottom of the keyboard, there is also a small toggle switch for changing modes (BT and 2.4Ghz) and the 2.4Ghz USB dongle, which is hidden snugly inside a small cutout.
 
 The 2.4Ghz dongle slides in and out easily from the cutout and doesn't fall out but the cutout isn't magnetized, which would have been more ideal to prevent the dongle from falling out accidentally over time. The 2.4Ghz dongle is unbranded.
 

The TH80 keyboard can also be used comfortably without feet risers, thanks to the angled slope of the keyboard casing. The TH80 keyboard measures 32.3cm long and 13.7cm wide and weighs 1 kg. The height of the top row is 4cm high, while the height of the bottom row is 3cm high. The tall feet risers elevate the top row to 5cm high, while the short feet risers elevate the top row to 4.5cm high. The feet risers have very grippy rubber, which keeps the keyboard sturdy on the desk without sliding off.


The USB-C charging port is recessed  and located on the front left side of the keyboard. The TH80 has a large 3800 mAh battery with a charging time of around 90 minutes from 0% to 100%. Battery life is around 4 weeks with RGBs turned off and normal daily use (5 hrs per day 5 days a week) and RGBs turned off. With RGBs turned on, the battery life is around 5 days (in bluetooth mode) and 7 days (in 2.4Ghz). In bluetooth mode, the TH80 keyboard goes to sleep after a couple of minutes, turning off the RGB lighting  to preserve battery life.


The Epomaker TH80 bluetooth 5.0 chip supports bluetooth multipoint for up to 3 devices, meaning you can connect the keyboard to a maximum of 3 devices (e.g. computer and laptop) at the same time, making productivity work a lot easier as you are able to switch quickly from one machine to another without having to re-connect.
 

There are several controls on-board the Epomaker TH80 that you can use to access various settings, including 16 different dynamic effects, lighting speed and brightness adjustment, layout switching (Windows/Mac). You can turn off the RGB lighting too but there is no custom mode, so you cannot customize the RGB lighting. There is no no solid color lighting option available either, which seems strange. You can access a white light mode, using the following command: Ctrl+Backspace
 
The TH80 has a steel metal top plate sitting on top of the 5 pin socket PCB with 75% layout and 80 hot swappable switches with south facing RGB leds. The stock Gateron Pro black switches are 3 pin but you can also use 3 pin and 5 pin switches from other manufacturers such as Cherry MX, Kailh and even Epomaker's own AKKO CS switches are compatible with the TH80 board.
 
The Epomaker TH80 is built like a tank. The entire keyboard, including the keybed feels solid and makes no rattling noise, even when shaking the keyboard vigorously. The dummy switch stabilizers have been lubed from factory and the feet risers are sturdy, thanks to a strong hinge that prevents the feet risers from wobbling. The USB-C charging port is embedded inside the case, which is nice as this reinforces the charging port so, it won't break easily. 
 
The TH80 keyboard supports Windows and MacOS computers, as well as a total of 15 shortcut keys, which you can access via the Fn key function. Shortcut keys include F1-F12 function keys, multimedia (e.g. volume, play/pause) keys and many more, which you can refer from the user guide. Accessories include a 2-in-1 metal tool for removing keycaps and switches, three spare switches (3-pin) and 1.2 meters long stiff fabric cable with velcro strap. The cable is unbranded but looks and feels premium. You can buy the TH80 mechanical keyboard from Epomaker and amazon with different Gateron Pro switches: blue, brown, red and yellow.

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