Compact keyboards come in a variety of shapes and form factors. While form factors such as 65%, 75%, and TKL are quite common these days, Epomaker has introduced the Shadow-X keyboard, a 70% keyboard with gasket mount and hot-swappable switches with a retail price of US$85.99 (~RM394.50).
Table of Contents
Epomaker Shadow-X Specifications
|Model Name||Epomaker Shadow-X|
70 Keys + 1 knob
|Keyboard Switch||Epomaker Flamingo (Linear)|
Epomaker Budgerigar (Tactile)
Epomaker Bluebird (linear)
Gateron Pro Yellow
|Switch Compatibility||3-pin / 5-pin|
|Keycaps||PBT double shot|
|Dimensions & Weight||370.4 x 129.8 x 47.8mm|
What’s in the Box?
- Epomaker Shadow-X
- Keycap puller
- Wireless dongle
- User guide
- Spare keycaps
- Spare switches
The Epomaker Shadow-X has a rather peculiar form factor. While Epomaker calls it a 70% keyboard, it resembles a TKL keyboard minus the F-row. The entire case is made of plastic, with the top cover being a matte grey, while the bottom half comes in black.
At the top right, you will find a knob that works as a mode switch betweeen wired and wireless connectivity modes. Beside the arrow keys is an LCD display that displays the time and your selected connectivity mode. You can also upload your own GIFs instead.
The feet offers three levels of tilt adjustment and are rubberized to help stay in place. The wireless dongle can be stowed away in a slow underneath the USB-C port. You get south-facing LEDs, which is a nice touch. Do keep in mind that the keycaps are not see-through so it won’t “bling” like gaming keyboards.
It comes with double shot PBT keycaps that feel high quality and contain sharp legends. You also get a set of spare keycaps in bright yellow to add a touch of colour to an otherwise subdued two-tone black/grey stock keycaps.
While the Shadow-X uses a gasket mount for the plate and PCB, the typing feel is not as cushioned as one would expect. It does offer a little bit of cushioning when bottoming out, but it is quite stiff overall.
The bottom layer uses a silicon pad, while the sandwich layer received a poron foam + IXPE switch pad treatment. Topping it off is a PC plate, with all working in tandem to offer a solid and satisfying “thock”.
For this keyboard, we have opted for the Epomaker Budgerigar tactile switch. Like the TH80 Pro, the switches and stabilisers are factory lubed. The switches feel smooth and has a pleasant bump to it while being reasonably quiet. Key wobble and stabiliser rattle are kept to a minimum as well.
In terms of out of the box experience, the Shadow-X delivers all the essentials that keyboard hobbyists will look for. Granted, you may get better results with some additional mods from your end, but that is not necessary.
Like most keyboards nowadays, the Epomaker Shadow-X has tri-mode connectivity – wired, 2.4G wireless and Bluetooth. In Bluetooth mode, you can pair with up to 3 different devices and switch between them via the knob.
Latency, although noticeable is decent for Bluetooth standards. 2.4G wireless mode does improve the latency to the point it is unnoticeable for casual games. But for competitive games, I would still recommend sticking to wired mode.
Software and Customisation
Just like other Epomaker keyboards, you can download the Epomaker Driver software from their official website. Wonky localisation aside, the amount of customisation is quite extensive, including RGB effects, macros, and the aforementioned screen customisation.
You can upload your own GIF files to play animations, or draw your own via the Sketchpad option, though this completely replaces your info screen. You can also create an account and upload/download the images shared by other users. So yeah, there’s lots of opportunities for shenanigans here.
Beneath the novelty form factor and design is a well constructed pre-built keyboard. The majority of users, enthusiasts included will be satisfied by what it can do, although those who expect soft cushioning feel from gasket mounts might want to consider something else.
For more information about the Epomaker Shadow-X, please visit the official product page here.