Epomaker Shadow-X Keyboard Review 70% Gasket Mount Hot Swappable

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Alright, buckle up for a journey into the keyboard wonderland with the EPOMAKER Shadow-X – not your run-of-the-mill keyboard, but a 70% gasket mount hot swappable maestro with some serious swagger in the features department. It's like the James Bond of keyboards, minus the spy gadgets!

Let's talk looks and construction. The Shadow-X rocks a cool 70% size, sporting a gasket-mounted design that hugs a Poron PCB foam layer and a snug silicone pad underneath the top plate. This combo serves up a typing vibe that's smooth, plush, and downright satisfying. 

Typing feels like a breeze on this bad boy, and if you're all about that customizable life, tweak the height with the built-in feet risers – they're like the cherry on top. These risers, with their sturdy hinge and rubbery goodness, give you that extra lift.

Sizing-wise, we're talking 37cm long and 13cm deep, and height varies from 3cm at the bottom row to 3.5cm at the top row (without the feet risers). Pop those risers in, and you've got an extra 0.5cm/1cm of height to play with. Oh, and the knob? It's this cool dude sticking up 1cm above the top row, bringing the grand total height to a chill 4.5cm. And hey, it's not a heavyweight champ, tipping the scales at a breezy 800 grams.

The Shadow-X keyboard boasts sleek linear switches and durable double-shot PBT keycaps. It's a connectivity marvel with Bluetooth 5.0, wired, and 2.4GHz wireless options. What sets it apart is the inclusion of a built-in color screen, reminiscent of the RT100 keyboard, and a premium aluminum metal rotary knob. 

While the knob isn't clickable, it offers four distinct notches, allowing users to navigate through four states, including the OFF state. The handy screen makes viewing setting changes, like brightness levels and RGB lighting effects, a breeze. It's all about keeping you in control and elevating your typing experience.

The Shadow-X keyboard rocks a south-facing LED setup, and it's kind of a big deal when you're playing around with third-party switches and keycaps. Picture this: the light from those LEDs is all directed your way, giving a serious boost to how clear those key legends look. But here's the scoop – the keycaps on the Shadow-X don't let light through, and that puts a dent in the RGB show. 

So, compared to the Epomaker heavy hitters like the Epomaker HS84 and Epomaker TH66, the RGBs here are a bit more chill – not as vibrant and vivid. Now, talking battery life, you've got a solid 72 hours without the RGB disco and a still respectable 7.2 hours when the lights are on. So, it's all about finding that sweet spot between visibility and RGB party time.

The gasket-mount setup, teaming up with the Poron PCB foam layer, plastic top plate, and silicone pad, amps up the typing game in a bunch of cool ways. First off, you're in for a seriously upgraded and softer typing feel, perfect for those marathon typing sessions that can get a bit grueling. And guess what? The noise level drops down, making this baby ideal for hush-hush environments. That silicone pad in the bottom layer? It's there for stability – no unexpected keyboard dance moves.

Stability is the name of the game, creating a trusty typing platform. Plus, that Poron PCB foam layer? It's like the ninja of the keyboard world, quietly damping vibrations from those keypresses. So, you're looking at a stable and refined typing experience. Now, here's the lowdown – the gasket mount structure adds a touch of keyboard flex. Heads up for all you gamers or folks vibing with more rigid keyboards – just something to keep on your radar.

Selling points
  • Available in four 4 different colorways
  • 2.4Ghz wireless connectivity
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • USB-C wired connectivity
  • No rattling noises
  • south-facing LED configuration
  • Dual height feet risers
  • Built-in color screen
  • Gasket mount
  • 70% form factor
  • Compatible with 3-pin/5-pin switches
  • Plastic top plate
  • Compatible with Cherry MX switches
  • Hot-swappable switches
  • Double-shot PBT keycaps
  • Metal rotary knob
  • Pre-lubed stabilizers
  • Minimized typing noise
  • Perfect size - not too small, not too big
  • Long battery life
  • Compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS

Potential deal breakers
  • Not available with tactile switches (only linear switches)
  • Non magnetized 2.4Ghz dongle
  • No numpad
  • Non transparent keycap fonts

Accessories included are a dual sided metal switch/keycap puller, braided USB-C cable (1.8 meters), 2.4GHz wireless dongle receiver and extra keycaps. You can buy the Shadow-X keyboard from Epomaker website or amazon.

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