The Epomaker EP84 is a budget-friendly 75% keyboard that doesn’t trade functionality for desk space and portability.
75% keyboards are compact yet all-encompassing, and with two sophisticated colorways, 19 different RGB lighting effects, and hot-swappable capabilities, the Epomaker EP84 is surely one to impress.
Let’s get into what makes this keyboard so functional and versatile.
The Epomaker EP84 is through and through an incredible 75% keyboard option. The depth of customization potential with this keyboard is impressive; you have the ability to change the switches and feel, or you can play with the lighting options to get the exact aesthetic you are looking for.
Aside from the minimal flex of the board and slight rattling of stabilizers, this keyboard is extremely well-made.
Incorporating hot-swappable capability, PBT keycaps, smooth Gateron switches, and a multitude of lighting effects, the Epomaker EP84 exudes quality.
With 84 keys, the Epomaker EP84 would be great for gaming or someone who uses the arrow and function keys often. The additional keys don’t make the keyboard look clunky; it still appears compact and leaves a lot of open desk space.
In The Box
The Epomaker EP84 comes with a couple of additional pieces to get you started on using and making changes to your keyboard right away.
It is always nice to buy a keyboard and have it come with the tools needed for customization.
In the box with the keyboard you’ll find:
- Detachable USB-C Cable: The USB-C power cable included is simply black and rubber-coated. The plug and cable routers on the bottom of the keyboard are helpful for keeping the cable in place (but may not work for a custom cable). The detachable feature allows easy pack up and transport of the keyboard.
- Keycap Puller: A wire keycap puller comes with the keyboard to simplify the process of changing keycaps. It is much easier to pull off keycaps with a puller tool than just using your fingers, so they are always appreciated!
- Switch Puller: Since the Epomaker EP84 is hot-swappable, it is helpful that a switch puller is included to make easy switch changes and replacements.
Sturdy with Angled Design
The Epomaker EP84 is largely solid and sturdy, but it does have a little bit of flex.
The angled case design makes for comfortable typing, and there are kickstands to change the typing angle. Overall this keyboard provides an excellent ergonomic experience.
Two Different Colorways
There are two color options for the Epomaker EP84: a black base with black and grey keycaps and a white base with white and grey keycaps.
Both colorways are attractive and uncomplicated, with no branding or details aside from the legends. I prefer keyboards with this tidy look because it will look great sitting on any desktop.
The keycaps sit into the base slightly, which hides the switches and stabilizers for a simple, clean-looking aesthetic.
Lots of RGB Lighting Effects
Though the keyboard looks really great with its monochrome colorways, the true personality of the Epomaker EP84 comes out with the lighting effects. There are 19 different effects and 9 single colors to choose from.
The RGB lighting effects of the Epomaker EP84 are enhanced by the shine-through legends on the keycaps. The white backplate further animates the RGB effects by making the colors pop.
84 Key Advantage and NKRO
What makes 75% keyboards so unique is that they have arrow keys, a full number set, and all the function keys in a space-saving design that is efficient and attractive.
Another great aspect of the Epomaker EP84 is that it is a NKRO keyboard, which means that every key pressed will be registered no matter how many are pressed simultaneously.
USB-C Plug and Management
The USB-C plug is found on the back of the case, in a little square divot.
With routing features in place to manage the cable, the fuss of dealing with unruly cables on your desktop can be eliminated. However, you will want to consider that this format might not work if you prefer to use a custom cable.
The keycaps on the Epomaker EP84 are made of dye-sublimated PBT plastic.
I prefer the higher quality PBT material over the typical ABS plastic because of its durability- PBT keycaps will stay in ideal condition (due to their resistance to heat, oils, and abrasion) for much longer.
I appreciate when companies choose to use higher quality PBT plastic because it makes a huge difference in the long run.
Preventing a lot of future maintenance, PBT keycaps are less likely to gather dust and change appearance from use.
The Gateron switches available for the Epomaker EP84 are: Black, Brown, Blue, and Red.
One caveat of Gateron switches is their durability of only 50 million keystrokes, compared to the 100 million keystroke durability of Cherry MX switches.
However, with the hot-swappable capabilities and the included switch puller, you can conveniently change the switches to a different type if you want.
Gateron Switch Characteristics
The Gateron Black switches are linear, silent, and have a little bit of weight to them.
Gateron Brown switches are tactile and would be good for gaming. There is a small tactile bump but still minimal noise when pressed.
Gateron Blue switches tend to be loud and clicky. They have a tactile bump and a click jacket mechanism that contribute to the high noise level. Keep in mind that these might not be the best option if you are working around other people!
The Gateron Red switches are linear and often preferred for gaming because they don’t have a tactile bump. They are light and quick at registering the keys pressed.
The stabilizers on the Epomaker EP84 are Cherry style, which feel nice and are compatible with most keycaps.
There is a little bit of a rattle to the spacebar, but since the Epomaker EP84 is hot-swappable, the stabilizers would be easy to modify since there is no soldering required.
The modification capacity of the Epomaker EP84 is exceptional, so even if you find the switches or stabilizers unsuitable, you can easily change things around.
Detachable USB-C Cable
The USB-C cable that the Epomaker EP84 comes with works perfectly with the cable routings and plug design on the back of the case. However, this configuration makes it difficult to swap in a custom cable due to the recessed area being designed for the cable included.
If you plan to use the cable included, the plug and cable management build works seamlessly. If you would like to use a USB-C cable with a different design (braided or thicker), you must account for the fact that it may be harder to fit into the plug area.
Alternatives to the Product
While I think the Epomaker EP84 a phenomenal 75% option, Epomaker has a couple of other models with different features that may align with your specific needs.
Epomaker NIZ Plum
If you are looking for a similar 75% build, the Epomaker NIZ Plum keyboard is a fun alternative to the Epomaker EP84.
The NIZ Plum has a pleasing white and gray design, but the stand-out feature is the electro-capacitive switch design. These switches have a unique sound and tactile feel.
The keyboard also has 6-key rollover, anti-ghosting technology, and is fully programmable.
Coming in at a higher price point than the Epomaker EP84, the NIZ Plum offers more advanced features and a new switch design that is perfect for people who want to change things up.
A 60%, more affordable alternative that shares the desired hot-swappable and RGB features of the EP84, the Epomaker SK61 has optical switches and a few other features that may be attractive to gamers.
Optical switches offer lower latency than mechanical switches, so combined with the full N-key rollover, 100% anti-ghosting, and three programmable layers, this is a great budget keyboard option for a gamer.
The three color options and the fancy braided USB-C cable included make this keyboard really fun and a good fit for any preference.
Whether you are looking to downsize or upgrade to a keyboard with more keys, this 75% keyboard meets you in the middle.
The ability to change the switches and modify the stabilizers on the Epomaker EP84 is what makes it stand out.
Though the Gateron switch options when purchasing this board are more than sufficient, the ability to make easy adjustments without soldering is highly valuable for those of us who want to be able to change the switches to fit your needs.
If you have been eyeing the 75% keyboard build for a while, I recommend trying out the Epomaker EP84.
Its features are straightforward and highly customizable, suitable for those entering the mechanical keyboard world and aficionados alike.
Remember to check out the Epomaker EP84 on Amazon for a really good price.