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Epomaker RT100 Keyboard Review: A retro looking keyboard with modern and unique features

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PC Hardcore users, and the subset of PC Hardcore gamers, know that keyboards are not the same. A niche company called Epomaker has created a family of mechanical keyboards with some nice features for regular use as well as playing Starfield or Sense of mission games

We recently received the Epomaker RT100 keyboard for review. On the surface, it doesn’t look very flashy like the keyboards offered by Razer or SteelSeries. However, there’s a lot going on inside and out that makes this keyboard a premium keyboard for just about anyone who wants a quality product to type with on their PC.

The quality even extends to the packaging we received. The box the keyboard came in has a nice design and is good. Besides the Epomaker RT100 itself, you also get a very nice USB cable that has some nice metal connections on both ends. One end is a standard USB design for connecting to a computer or hub, and the other is USB-C that connects to one of the two USB-C ports on the back of the keyboard.

You also get a key removal tool, along with a quick paper guide to the keyboard’s features, and a special sheet of paper on how to use the optional smart screen (more on that later)

Here’s a quick look at the Epomaker RT100’s basic stats:

  • Keyboard 95% – 97 keys + 1 button
  • Hot-swappable Kailh switch sockets
  • Key material – PBT
  • Key profile – MDA
  • Connectivity -USB-C/Bluetooth 5.0/2.4G wireless
  • Battery capacity – 5000mAh
  • Direction L – facing south
  • Ghost Keys – NKRO/anti-ghost
  • Size 397 x 147 x 30 mm
  • Weight 1.35 kg

The first thing you might notice right away is the retro look of the keyboard. It definitely looks like a keyboard that old people like me bought for PCs in the late 80’s or 90’s. Again, the look isn’t flashy but it brings up some nostalgic feelings.

Epomaker says the RT100 is a “gasket-mount mechanical keyboard” that features a “poron sandwich layer” along with a “slow-rebound bottom foam.” This is promoted by the company as a way to provide a smooth experience while pressing the keys. In practice, I found this to be a true statement. The keys are very easy to press for things like simple typing or playing games. While they may not have the tactile feel of other mechanical keyboards, I found the experience very nice once you got used to it, which didn’t take long.

The keyboard’s 97-key layout might not be a true full-size keyboard (it doesn’t have a PrntScrn button, for example), and that might be a deal-breaker for some people who might insist on holding every key. For me, the slightly more compact design of the Epomaker RT100 was very nice, as it didn’t take up much space, and I still had all the keys I wanted.

For those of you who want a lot of customizable features in a keyboard, the Epomaker RT100 does include a tool where you can remove the keycaps and replace the switches. The Kailh jacks on the keyboard allow for this kind of function, although this is obviously for hardcore keyboard owners who want this kind of functionality.

epomaker rt100

The keycaps on the keyboard are made of “durable and non-greasy” PBT according to Epomaker, and feel smooth to press. The company says the lettering and other tests printed on the keys use dye sublimation, and should last a long time, but obviously I wasn’t able to really review that particular feature in the short time I’ve been using the keyboard. However, this feature is there if you want it on your keyboard.

Using the keyboard in games, I was able to take advantage of the RT100’s support for N-key rolling. This meant the keyboard could respond to more than one key being pressed at the same time, which meant I could switch guns while playing the new one Quake II Restart while pressing another to run around enemies.

While the Epomaker 100 may look like a keyboard from the 90s when it’s unplugged, that’s not the case when you plug it in with the USB cable. The RGB backlighting comes into play and it’s actually pretty cool to see this combination of an old generation keyboard with a modern backlight. The software you can download for the keyboard allows you to customize the lighting with 16 pre-made patterns or you can make your own. The light effects are also designed to face south, so the person actually using the keyboard will get the best effect.

One thing that many gamers may not like about the RT100 is that while there is a backlight, the letter keys on this keyboard are not illuminated as well. This is something I’ve enjoyed with my main Logitech mechanical keyboard late at night while working or playing.

There are some special physical features in the Epomaker RT100. There are some special switches in the upper left corner of the keyboard. One changes it to work on a Windows or Mac PC. The other switches between wired and wireless mode.

Speaking of which, there are two wireless hardware modes. There is a Bluetooth 5.0 connection embedded in the keyboard. You can also connect an included 2.4GHz wireless receiver to the rear USB port. The keyboard has a 5,000 mAh battery for those of you who really want to use it wirelessly, but I suspect most people, including hardcore gamers, will prefer to use the USB cable for lower latency. If you do use the battery, it should last a few days of normal use with the RGB lighting on.

epomaker rt100

There is also a special button in the right corner of the keyboard that is illuminated with RGB lighting. Designed primarily as a media controller, by default it’s set up so you can turn the knob to increase or decrease the volume of your speakers or headphones. You can also press it to pause or play any audio or video media. However, you can make it do all sorts of other things with the keyboard’s software tools.

epomaker rt100

The software allows Epomaker RT100 owners to go deep into customization mode. It can be used to adjust the sensitivity of the keys, or change the color or lighting pattern in the RGB backlight, create special macro commands for the keys, and more. You can even share your settings with other keyboard users with the software, or use settings made by others.

epomaker rt100

Then there’s the 1.25-inch mini display. You simply connect to the rear USB port and configure it in the utility. You can use it as a clock to show you the current day and time, local temperature, keyboard battery level and more. The software even comes with an art tool that allows you to create your own art images that you can insert into the display/

Is it a gimmick? Yes. Is it fun to look at? Definitely. Will it be a conversation starter at your next LAN gaming event? you bet

Overall the Epomaker RT100 has a lot going for it. It’s a smooth experience, has some nice lighting features, can go wired or wireless, has a lot of customization options, and its mini display, while gimmicky, is still good. It’s also not as expensive as many mechanical keyboards that have similar features. You can Purchase the version I got to review on Amazon now for $119.99. There are also other versions with different colors on the outside and different color switches on the inside.

As an Amazon Associate wWhen you purchase through links on our site, we profit from qualifying purchases.

advantages

Smooth typing feel on the keys Nice retro look Advanced customizable features Mini-Display is a nice conversation piece

Disadvantages

RGB lighting does not extend to key letters. Some people may miss some keys. The Mini-Display is still a gimmick

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