This article is about Epomaker GK108S Wireless Mechanical Keyboard Kit Review. Barebones keyboards kits give a simple method to people to fabricate their own clackers, without sourcing a variety of parts or even fundamentally set up them. All you need to bring are your number one switches and keycaps. In any case, with such countless devotees zeroed in on more modest structure factors, we infrequently see standard size, 104-key or bigger barebones keyboards, and barebones kits at any size can be expensive.
Enter Epomaker’s GK108S. This $90 kit (there’s likewise the less expensive, wired GK108) has space for an entire 108 keys while giving inherent Bluetooth availability, RGB lighting and a tough inclination steel plate, large numbers of similar attributes found among the best wireless keyboards sold prebuilt. The GK108S couldn’t be a lot simpler to set up, as it comes pre-gathered and utilizes hot-swappable attachments that help either 3 or 5-pin switches.
That implies positively no patching when you need to change your mechanical keyboard switches. Be that as it may, this financial plan, barebones kit is a long way from amazing in light of the fact that it experiences two or three baffling plan downsides and unusable programming.
The Epomaker GK108S has a straightforward, stripped-down plan with a dark or white body made of ABS plastic with a white plate under and RGB backdrop illumination for each key. The case is a bit empty, which truly influences the keyboard’s acoustics.
Contrasted with the Epomaker GK61 I had available, the GK108S has all the more a rubber treated completion like we see frequently on gaming mice. It gets fingerprints actually effectively, though the GK61 feels more like it’s recently out of the plastic shape. Epomaker might have utilized a metal case, yet that would have absolutely raised the cost. For instance, the Drop CTRL High-Profile, which utilizes a CNC aluminum case, costs a full $200 and has a more modest, tenkeyless structure factor.
The GK108S measures 15.7 x 5.5 inches (400 x 140mm) and weighs a little more than 2 pounds completely gathered, which is a decent size and weight on the off chance that you intend to push it into a sack and take it with you. Taking into account that this is a Bluetooth gadget, you may likewise need to utilize it on your lap or out traveling.
In contrast to some DIY keyboards, the GK108S has go crazy feet, an element I wind up missing when dismissed. The feet on the GK108S crease outward and fit properly, guaranteeing you that they will not clasp. Notwithstanding, I wish that the feet were a bit more stature flexible. You’re restricted to one setting here.
Regardless of whether you get the GK108S in dark or white, its plate will be white. And keeping in mind that the keycaps will typically cover the plate, I might want to see some fluctuation since white doesn’t generally coordinate. Assuming that pesters you, you’ll wind up in a bit of an air pocket since tracking down an alternate plate that works with the GK108S’ plate mount configuration isn’t pretty much as simple as discovering one for keyboards that include a top-mount plan.
Luckily, the keyboard’s plate is made out of steel and holds the switches and stabilizers set up, however I do trust that Epomaker switches things around later on and perhaps offer separate plates on its site, since it as of now has various cases for several its different keyboards.
While the measure of lube on the stabilizers didn’t dazzle me, likewise with every one of Epomaker’s keyboards that I’ve tried, everything necessary is a bit of permatex dielectric oil to diminish the clatter (see: How to Lube Switches on Your Mechanical Keyboard). Eliminating every one of the stabilizers was sufficiently simple (favoring that in the Assembly and Disassembly segment beneath). Notwithstanding, I anticipated that the stabilizers should currently come adequately lubed, particularly on a barebones kit.
RGB and Software
Epomaker’s GK6X programming is excessively buggy such that your smartest choice is to not introduce it and imagine like the keyboard, similar to some others, has no related application. At whatever point I attempted straightforward errands, such as changing RGB to my ideal shading plan, the keyboard would quit reacting. Exactly the same thing happened when I attempted to change the general format of the board, making me wipe the slate clean with the way that this product is simply not helpful in its present status.
There are additionally large scale capacities accessible in the application, yet your smartest option is simply to utilize an outsider program, like AutoHotkey. Then, at that point, you could in any case reconstruct keys for accommodating undertakings like, making your numpad into a macropad, media player or mouse.
Fortunately you can empower some RGB modes, just by utilizing some Fn key mixes. As of this composition, Epomaker doesn’t have a composed manual for the GK108S, yet, adhering to the guidelines for the comparative Epomaker GK96, I sorted out some way to flip among nine preset lighting modes, including strong shading, breathing, rainbow swell and to and fro pong-style.
Different impacts incorporate illuminating a key or whole column when a key is squeezed. You can change a portion of these modes in a restricted manner sans programming yet can’t redo the shade of each key without the product.
The RGB colors look quite decent, taking everything into account. I tried teh GK108S wiith Epomaker’s Olivia PBT keycaps, which aren’t radiate through, however there was as yet a lot of dynamic quality. I can barely comprehend how it would look with pudding or different sorts of clear keycaps.
Assembly and Disassembly
Assembling the GK108S was incredibly simple. I didn’t run into any issues where the switches didn’t fit or keycap similarity was an issue. Since this is a hot-swappable keyboard, there’s no requirement for welding. Assuming you need to change your switches or covers, all you need are a few pullers.
Nonetheless, when I needed to eliminate the stabilizers for lubing – something not every person will need to do – I ran into certain difficulties. Ordinarily when you’re managing plate-mounted stabilizers, you can simply pry them off of the plate in the wake of eliminating the change from the keyboard. This was the situation with the GK108S until it came time to lube the spacebar stabilizer.
Dismantling was needed to lube the spacebar’s stabilizer on the grounds that Epomaker puts a segment of froth on top of the PCB. The froth should hose the stabilizer clatter, however what it truly does is keep you from eliminating the wire from the stabilizer lodging for oil. This constrained me to dismantle the entire keyboard, only for one stabilizer. In any case, subsequent to going the extra mile with lubing, every one of the stabilizers sounded extraordinary.
Epomaker GK108S Box
The Epomaker GK108S accompanies all that you need to begin, including a PCB that upholds 3-pin and 5-pin switches, plate-mount stabilizers from the brand Gateron, a steel plate and an ABS plastic case that is by all accounts of fair quality. This all comes gathered, so there’s no compelling reason to stress over beginning starting from the earliest stage.
Likewise included are a wire keycap, switch puller instrument and a USB Type-C to Type-A connector. The switch and keycap puller instrument included aren’t acceptable quality, so I suggest that you get an appropriate switch puller, which you can discover for under $5.
Despite the fact that this isn’t a prebuilt keyboard, it can be utilized for rock solid gaming. RGB as of now conveys a gaming-prepared energy, and the lighting is even adaptable. There are no large scale keys, however Epomaker’s GK6X application permits full scale programming as well.
In any case, in contrast to probably the best gaming keyboards, the GK108S needs finetuned programming that makes it simple to make your own RGB impacts. It additionally needs reward, yet unnecessary, potential outcomes, similar to the capacity for RGB to change when you play a particular game or to change RGB dependent on what’s happening in-game.
At the end of the day, since you can pick your own keycaps and switches, the gaming feel is whatever you make it. Obviously, you’ll need to account for your best gaming mouse, since this is a regular keyboard. What’s more, remember that in case you’re forceful with your incitations you’ll need to manage the pinging clamor issue.
I filled the GK108S Akko Matcha switches and the previously mentioned Epomaker Olivia keycaps. Composing felt fine, yet the emptiness of the case made the experience extra boisterous.
A few keyboards can be pardoned for a particularly empty suspension, however since the GK108S is a regular keyboard, there is a ton of space for a great deal of case ping. The main put on the keyboard where clamor hosing froth is available is simply underneath the spacebar, instead of under the PCB. That is neither normal, nor do we think that it is reasonable, and this arrangement didn’t help the sound issue. Regardless, froth in the spacebar itself would be more gainful.
Getting adjusted with the Epomaker GK108S for long composing meetings wasn’t really awful, yet it required a few hours since it had been so long since I utilized a standard keyboard. My every day driver is a 75-percent format, so taking the jump toward a 25% increment wasn’t hard concerning composing; it was tied in with becoming familiar with the numpad once more.
The Epomaker GK108S has inherent Bluetooth 5.1 network with the capacity to interface with up to three distinct gadgets and switch between them by squeezing Fn + Shift + 1. Strangely, this recorded in the directions on the item page as FN +1!.
Availability worked without issue, which is the thing that I’ve generally expected from Epomaker, particularly after the Bluetooth capacity I saw from the Epomaker NT68 wireless mechanical keyboard. The GK108S even worked with my iPhone XR, so I had the option to send an iMessage test.
In the event that you need to utilize the GK108S in wired mode, the keyboard associates in the back by means of USB Type-C and is joined by two patterns on the rear of the case, taking into account simpler link the board. In the event that you couldn’t care less with regards to Bluetooth the slightest bit, you can purchase the GK108 (non-S) for $10 less and just associate by wire.
I was frustrated that the GK108S does exclude any kind of battery sign installed or on/off switch like the NT68 does. Furthermore, since this is a standard RGB keyboard, battery life is a programmed concern.
The GK108S comes furnished with a 1600mAH battery, which Epomaker claims is enormous, but on the other hand it’s a similar size battery that we found in the NT68, which doesn’t have RGB. To give some viewpoint, the NT68’s item page asserts a 20-80 hour battery existence with RGB consistently on, yet that is a more modest, 65% keyboard.
Since there is no off switch for this keyboard, I did not know how long until it would be until it passed on. In any case, in the wake of utilizing it for about seven days in wireless mode with RGB on, I timed around 23-24 hours, and the keyboard was all the while going.
The Epomaker GK108S is modest for a barebones kit, particularly for a regular design. Its $90 sticker price leaves you without a guidance manual, essentially on my end, however with a very decent measure of room in your pocket to make this keyboard special. Standard size, barebones wireless, mechanical keyboard kits resemble a unicorn; they’re rare and with that, we ought to be thankful that we have the GK108S accessible for a particularly good cost.
However, epomaker’s GK108S isn’t awesome. Compromises incorporate strikingly feeble programming, a boisterous case and stabilizers (in the event that you don’t lube them) and a not exactly premium ABS undercarriage. Notwithstanding, taking into account that you get Bluetooth network, RGB lights, flexible feet and the capacity to hot-trade in any switches you need, this is an incredible worth.