Enthusiast keyboards saw a shift towards smaller form factors, of those 65% and 75% keyboards in particular were the popular choice. But, that does not mean that full-sized keyboards have no place in the scene.
Table of Contents
Epomaker RT100 – Specifications
97 Keys + 1 knob
|Epomaker Sea Salt (Silent)
Epomaker Wisteria (Linear)
Epomaker Budgerigar (Tactile)
Epomaker Flamingo (Linear)
Gateron Pro Yellow
|3-pin / 5-pin
|PBT MDA profile
|Dimensions & Weight
|397 x 147 x 30 mm
What’s in the Box?
- Epomaker RT100
- User guide
- Retro style USB cable
- Keycap & switch remover
- 2.4G dongle
- Mini TV display
The Epomaker RT100 comes in a 95% form factor, which omits the Home, End, and PrtSC keys, and is squished slightly to make a full-sized keyboard more compact. In terms of customisation options, you get to choose between 5 different colours (Retro White, Pink, Deep Grey, Green, and Purple) along with 5 switch offerings. By pre-built keyboard standards, Epomaker offers a lot of options for users to personalise to their liking.
Our review unit came in retro white, which has an off-white/cream colour reminiscent of buckling spring keyboards circa 1980s. Our keycaps came in a tasteful tri-tone finish, with cream and grey keycaps mixing with brown accents.
At the top right, you will find the wireless on/off switch, Mac/Win switch, and an ARGB backlit volume knob. I do find the volume knob design to mess up the retro styling with its plastic construction and ARGB effects. The graphics also don’t seem to fit the overall typography, as if it was taken straight from budget gaming keyboards.
On the left, you get a hidden compartment that stows the 2.4G wireless dongle. There is also a hidden USB-C port that connects to the mini TV display. Upon connection, you are greeted by a CRT TV-like screen that shows you the date and time, connectivity mode, battery status, temperature, and CPU info. You can also upload your own GIF to the display. My only gripe with this design is that once you connected the Mini TV display, there is no way for you to store your wireless dongle and the cover.
Although the Epomaker RT100 uses gasket mount, it feels a tad stiff while bottoming out. Unlike the Shadow-X however, it is not as stiff and offers slightly more cushioning.
I find the 95% form factor to be a decent compromise, especially if you need a numpad, but does not want to sacrifice too much space for your right hand and mouse. While it is not my favourite layout, I do understand the appeal of having a numpad at work.
Our review sample came with Epomaker Wisteria switches, and they feel very light to type on. Thanks to a POM + PTFE stem construction, combined with the factory lubing, the switches felt smooth and consistent with every keystroke. The keyboard produces a satisfying ‘clacky’ sound rather than thocc. Although, there are some key wobble at the Shift and Enter keys. The spacebar, while dampened is a tad rattly and could use some additional lubing, or a heavier switch.
As the Epomaker RT100 is quite tall, I think getting a palm rest is essential for long hours of typing. Fortunately, the legs offer three levels of tilt adjustment to improve the ergonomics.
The Epomaker RT100 uses the Epomaker Driver software for customisation. It is quite comprehensive, offering lots of customisations for the ARGB, display and macro inputs.
That being said, it does have some bugs. While the keyboard can display CPU usage and temperature, I had to sync it manually every time I turn on my PC. To my dismay, the temperature reading is more like weather report, displaying my city’s temperature. I would have to key in my city name every time I turn on my PC for it to work properly too.
The Epomaker RT100 has some potential, but in some ways my daily experience was marred by the software quirks. That being said, it does score some style points, and should appeal to users who prioritise aesthetics and are willing to put in the extra work to modify the keyboard.