CIDOO ABM098 Keyboard Review Gasket Mount 1800 form Factor

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

If you're searching for a gaming keyboard that offers both high performance, extensive customization options, and a stylish design, the EPOMAKER CIDOO ABM098 is the perfect choice for you. This compact 1800 mechanical gaming keyboard excels in delivering top-tier features, such as media control, dynamic RGB effects, and versatile connectivity options. It's a standout option that caters to both gaming enthusiasts and productivity-focused users.

The CIDOO ABM098 immediately draws attention with its generously sized metal rotary knob, meticulously crafted for controlling volume and managing media functions. This knob employs a rotary encoder potentiometer, allowing smooth and endless rotation without any stops. Additionally, the knob is clickable and features a silent notched rotating mechanism, providing tactile and gradual adjustment. Importantly, it aligns perfectly with the top row of keys, ensuring it doesn't protrude above the keyboard's surface. Positioned just below the knob, on the left side, is a plastic switch for effortlessly switching between connection modes. On the right side, you'll find the USB-C port, which benefits from reinforcement with a metal alloy plate, complete with an integrated RGB light bar on top.

On the underside of the keyboard, you'll discover two substantial rubber strips and a thick rubber ring that encircles the keyboard's adjustable feet. These feet come in both short and long versions, offering two distinct height options. Notably, the keyboard feet are equipped with a grippy rubber surface and feature a robust hinge mechanism, ensuring they remain stable without any wobbling.

Speaking of the feet, the storage compartment for the 2.4GHz dongle is neatly concealed next to the right-side foot riser, and the dongle securely fits into its slot thanks to magnetic attachment. When the short feet are engaged, they elevate the top row of keys to a height of 4.5cm. On the other hand, the long feet provide an elevation of 5cm for the top row. With the feet retracted, the top row of keys maintains a height of 4cm, while the bottom row of keys remains consistently positioned at 3cm.
In terms of dimensions, the keyboard measures 38cm in length and 14.5cm in depth, with a weight of 1.42kg. The CIDOO ABM098's board construction features a diffused, slightly tinted finish and utilizes a gasket-mounted design, enhancing the keyboard's overall durability and providing a robust typing experience. To further minimize noise, it incorporates Poron PCB foam and an IXPE Switch Sheet, complementing the default linear switches.

However, it's worth noting that the spacebar produces a noticeably louder sound compared to the other keys, primarily due to its different construction compared to the rest of the keycaps. The stock keycaps on the ABM098, excluding the spacebar, are made of doubleshot ABS plastic and can be swapped out with aftermarket keycaps, provided that the shift key size is 1.75u and the 0 key size is 1u.
The keycaps feature non-transparent font legends, which means they don't illuminate. Nevertheless, the south-facing LEDs are exceptionally bright and vibrant, casting a strong glow under the keycaps, thanks to the integrated light diffusers within the switches. This results in a visually stunning light display. You have a range of RGB lighting effects to choose from, including dynamic multi-color patterns and static single-color effects. Additionally, you can customize the speed and brightness of these lighting effects to suit your preferences.

The CIDOO ABM098 offers a diverse set of specifications that significantly enhance its overall performance and user-friendliness. Its compact 1800-style layout incorporates 97 keys and a rotary knob, providing a fine balance between functionality and space-saving design. Crafted from durable ABS Plastic, the keyboard's case material ensures long-lasting reliability. Its gasket-mounted construction, combined with Poron PCB foam, contributes to a quieter typing experience.

The CIDOO ABM098 seamlessly integrates with VIA keyboard software, empowering you to craft macros, reassign keys, and tailor the keyboard precisely to your preferences. These customized profiles and remapped keys are stored within the keyboard's internal memory, ensuring you can access your personalized setups anywhere without the need to keep the VIA software running in the background.

The default switches on the CIDOO ABM098 arrive pre-lubricated from the factory and can be easily replaced with 3-pin or 5-pin switches for customization. When it comes to connectivity, this keyboard offers a hassle-free experience, supporting Bluetooth 5.0, 2.4GHz wireless, and Type-C wired connections, allowing you to effortlessly connect to up to three devices. The keyboard is equipped with a robust 3000mAh battery, delivering 11 hours of usage with RGB lighting off and 10 hours with RGB lighting activated.

Selling points
  • Available in 3 different colors
  • 1800 compact style
  • Compact and elegant design
  • Customizable switches and hot-swappability
  • Advanced VIA programmability
  • Multiple connectivity options: Wired/2.4Ghz/Bluetooth
  • Quiet and satisfying typing experience
  • Magnetic 2.4Ghz dongle slot
  • Arrow keys and numpad
  • No rattling noise from switches 
  • Variety of RGB light effects
  • Premium look and feel

Potential deal breakers
  • Only available with linear switches
  • Slightly heavier than typical mechanical keyboards
  • Premium price point
  • Loud sounding spacebar
  • Limited keycap compatibility with aftermarket keycaps
The CIDOO ABM098 keyboard is available in 3 different colors: black (seen pictured), grey and green with their respective CIDOO switches: Matte Switch, Mint Switch and Blue-trough Switch (black color). You cannot pick and choose which switches you want, although it doesn't matter much since all these 3 switch types are all linear switches with same travel distance and similar actuation force.
Accessories include a keycap/switch puller, extra keycap, 1.8 meter long braided cable. You can buy the CIDOO ABM098 from the CIDOOTech or amazon. If you're a fan of metal keyboards, the CIDOO V65 will be of interest. Check out of the review of Epomaker KiiBOOM Phantom 68 keyboard.

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