iQunix A80 Explorer Wireless Mechanical Keyboard Review
The iQunix A80 Explorer is an oldie but a goodie with present day sensibilities and extraordinary quality.
The iQunix A80 Explorer is a retro-enlivened 80% console that weds a vintage plan with present day highlights. Following the organization’s last enormous console, the F96, the A80 has a great deal to satisfy.
It conveys fan most loved components, for example, excellent, beautiful PBT keycaps and calm stabilizers, and adds to them with a smaller structure factor and the alternative to utilize a 2.4 GHz remote dongle or Bluetooth association.
The A80 comes to showcase with a value that reaches from $169 right to $199, contingent upon your selection of switches and if you might want RGB. Our unit was valued at $189 and accompanies full RGB and Cherry MX Red switches.
iQunix likewise offers the board in L80 and M80 variants. The L80 variation is accessible in three extra colorways and has some minor changes to the capacity column and marker light. The M80 is a greater takeoff and magnificently feline themed, directly down to the state of the keycaps and a couple of sharp ears along the highest point of the console.
I was sent the A80 and L80 renditions to look at for this survey however will zero in on the A80 as it is the more interesting of the two. We should check whether it has the stuff to become a standout amongst other remote consoles.
Specifications of iQunix A80 Explorer
|Switches||Cherry MX Red (tested), Blue, Brown, Silver, Silent Red; Gateron Red, Blue, Brown|
|Media Keys||With Fn|
|Connectivity||USB Type-A cable, 2.4 GHz USB Type-A dongle, Bluetooth 5.0|
|Cable||5.3 feet (1.6m), braided|
|Keycaps||PBT plastic, dye-sublimated|
|Dimensions (LxWxH)||12.6 x 6.3 x 2.1 inches (321 x 159 x 52mm)|
|Weight||3.5 pounds (1.6kg)|
iQunix A80 Explorer Design
The iQunix A80 Explorer is an oldie but a goodie. It’s conservative in size, estimating 12.6 x 6.3 inches, making it more modest than your normal tenkeyless mechanical console, while as yet including the entirety of the most significant keys. It includes a white, yellow and greenish blue shading plan that gets a handle on straight of the ’80s without straightforwardly replicating any single motivation.
The stylish goes past the keycaps. The case, which is made of ABS plastic, is generally a similar dull blue-green as a considerable lot of the keycaps, yet has a yellow base that folds over the back to coordinate with the highlight keys. There’s likewise a yellow strip simply over the capacity column that is adorned with a variety of minuscule spots.
It accompanies a coordinating with link that is twisted in similar greenish blue tone and uses yellow warmth psychologist to finish the look. The equivalent, exceptionally themed configuration applies to each of the x80 models in their diverse shading plans, basically transforming each into its own work area ice breaker.
The A80 looks significantly more vintage than its L80 partners. Maybe than lay totally level, the capacity line is calculated vertical, somewhat like the old IBM Model M. It’s a little change that I initially accepted that was uniquely for looks, however I immediately found that it makes the capacity line more agreeable to utilize (and quicker to access for gaming).
Between the Esc and F1 keys is an enormous marker light encased in iced plastic. It’s a similar length as a keycap and feels significantly more like a light than the minuscule LEDs normal to consoles today. It pulls twofold obligation as a Caps Lock and battery life marker and will likewise change tones and glimmer, in the event that you’re endeavoring to associate over Bluetooth or the included remote dongle. On the L80 models, this light is a basic plastic piece, and the marker light is moved to a minuscule LED in the focal point of the console.
A vintage topic alone isn’t sufficient to make an extraordinary console, so I was glad to discover high-focuses all through the A80’s plan, (notwithstanding a couple of disillusionments). Accepting the console all in all, it absolutely appears to be that iQunix has focused on what lover networks like r/mechanicalkeyboards commotion for.
The keycaps, as well as being themed, are made of thick PBT plastic with color sublimated legends. Composing on them felt strong and fulfilling, and there’s an unobtrusive surface to their surface that felt decent under the finger.
All the more significantly, they’re impervious to sparkling and corrupting over the long run, dissimilar to the standard ABS plastic keycaps found on most pre-assembled consoles. Doubleshot keycaps, which utilize a second piece of plastic for the legends, would have been surprisingly better to build the freshness of the legends, however these are very much done and look incredible.
You can get the console with RGB or, for $20 less, with no backdrop illumination. The RGB form utilizes per-key lighting, so lighting movements stream without a hitch, and receptive composing reacts to each key press. There are seven lighting modes: static, wave, per-key receptive composing, undulating, range cycling, breathing and a for each key rainbow that helps me a piece to remember a container of jam beans.
You can handle each impact’s brightnes and speed, and most are shading adjustable across nine distinct tones. There’s no per-key customization, in any case, so you’re left with these presets. Since the switches aren’t illuminated, the lighting produces on an underglow results and isn’t extremely splendid. It glances extraordinary in a faint room however doesn’t stand apart much in sunshine.
Mechanical Switches in the iQunix A80 Explorer
The A80 Explorer comes your decision of Cherry MX or Gateron key switches. From Team Cherry, you can look over Red (straight), Blue (clicky), Brown (material), Silver (speed) or Silent Red ($10 upcharge). From Team Gateron is the standard Red, Blue or Brown. It’s an ample cluster and a gesture to the fan local area that regularly lean towards Gateron changes to Cherries, because of their expanded apparent perfection.
On the off chance that you’d prefer utilize various switches, you can do that as well, because of the A80’s hot-trade usefulness. Maybe than switches fastened to the console, you can essentially turn off every one of the A80’s switches, utilizing the included switch-puller device. This is an astounding component, particularly for rookies searching for an approach to change their mechanical console switches and attempt new ones without expecting to put resources into another console. It likewise implies broken switches would now be able to be pulled and supplanted in case of a spill. The A80 upholds both 3-pin and 5-pin switches, so is viable with both PCB-mounted and plate-mounted sorts of switches.
Hauling the changes out, I was astonished to find that iQunix ventured to such an extreme as to add sound hosing froth under the switch plate. This is a typical practice with custom consoles to decrease the emptiness in the frame and undesirable switch commotion yet isn’t regularly found on creation consoles. This upgraded the composing experience and diminished the general volume of the console.
Beneath the bigger keys, the Explorer utilizes Costar-style stabilizers. Rather than utilizing sham switches, as most consoles, the A80 utilizes plastic embeds that connect straightforwardly to the wire under every more extended keycap. This sort of stabilizer is more earnestly to eliminate however shy of lubing the switches or evolving keycaps, there’s no motivation to. The stabilizers are all around greased up out of the case and have basically no clatter. They are, without embellishment, the absolute best stabilizers I’ve found on a pre-assembled console and made the composing experience glorious.
Typing Experience on the iQunix A80 Explorer
The A80 is accessible with both Cherry and Gateron switches. Contingent upon your decision, the specs of each will differ. My unit accompanied Cherry MX Red switches, which highlight a lightweight 45g incitation power and smooth, direct travel. They incite at 2mm and have a complete travel distance of 4mm, the two of which are extremely standard and should feel recognizable to any individual who has utilized a mechanical console previously.
Composing on both the A80 and L80 was a delight, however I give the edge to the A80, because of the further developed ergonomics of its capacity column. Cherry switches tend to produce spring commotion, yet the consoles’ damping froth decreased this incredibly while additionally adding a sensation of strength.
The slight surface to the keycaps felt pleasant under my fingers, and their thickness brought about a satisfyingly thick solid when reaching as far down as possible. The balanced out keys, similar to Backspace and Spacebar, offered positively no clatter and caused composing on the two consoles very decent in to feel and sound profile.
The A80 was agreeable to utilize and felt normal to me, even without a palm rest, yet it very well may be excessively tall for a few . The base jaw on the A80 stands simply over 0.5 inch tall, and the L80 expands that to very nearly 1 inch. The two consoles are worked with a delicate point to the keyset, even without the slant feet drew in, yet you can build this further by going crazy either to one of two points.
My normal composing speed floats around 110 words each moment (wpm) with 95% exactness. Utilizing the A80, I arrived at the midpoint of 113 wpm with 98% exactness across 10 Monkeytype tests. This is an improvement yet close sufficient that it better reflects how simple the console is to adjust to versus any benefit in the responsiveness of its switches.
One little, however significant, thought is the point of the console. The case is planned with a delicate grade to further develop composing ergonomics, in any event, when laying level. This can be expanded further with two arrangements of slant feet on the lower part of the console, little and huge. I discovered the regular point to be sufficient, however the additional customization is a welcome option.
Wireless Experience on the iQunix A80 Explorer
Notwithstanding its vintage look, the A80 is very current with its network alternatives. You can associate by means of the USB link (the console utilizes USB Type-C to USB Type-A) or remotely with Bluetooth 5.0 or a 2.4 GHz USB-A dongle.
For work or gaming at the PC, the 2.4 GHz dongle performed impeccably and was similarly pretty much as responsive as the wired association, in any event, when gaming.
Utilizing Bluetooth, the A80 associated dependably to my telephone or PC. In contrast to the F96, which upheld three Bluetooth gadgets, the A80 just backings one; (despite the fact that, you could remotely match it with 2 gadgets in the event that you utilize the dongle). You’ll be stuck clearing the last association and re-matching without fail in the event that you intend to utilize it with different Bluetooth gadgets. There’s additionally no spot to store the USB dongle on the actual console, so you’ll have to take care not to lose it on the way.
On the in addition to side, the A80 upholds an enormous 4,000 mAh battery that iQunix claims is useful for 200 days over Bluetooth and 60 days over 2.4 GHz with no backdrop illumination. I left my backdrop illumination on the rainbow wave setting for an entire seven day stretch of testing and just figured out how to deplete 30% of its battery, on account of a fast acting rest mode that turns off the lights following a few minutes of inactive.
There’s no product to see a battery read-out, however holding the Function catch and squeezing “B” will make the pointer streak in 10% stretches to show remaining battery life. At the point when you’re beneath 10%, the pointer light will become red, provoking you to connect.
Gaming Experience on the iQunix A80 Explorer
The iQunix A80 and L80 consoles aren’t gaming consoles yet you can unquestionably utilize them to mess around. The greatest contrast is that they don’t offer the degree of programmability and customization guaranteed by the best gaming keyboards.
Since there’s no product or installed programming, making macros, custom remaps and alternate routes aren’t conceivable. On the off chance that you needn’t bother with those things, the A80 can convey a responsive gaming experience over its link or dongle association.
For gaming, keypresses should be enlisted promptly. iQunix guarantees 1ms reaction time whether you’re associated over USB or utilizing the A80’s remote dongle. Consistent with the cases, I couldn’t see any distinction whatsoever. Indeed, even in jerk substantial first-individual shooters, as CS:GO, the A80 performed perfectly utilizing its remote association.
Bluetooth was more laggy during testing. The reaction time increments to 8ms over Bluetooth, which is sufficient to be recognizable. It’s anything but a solid match for games that require quick response times, yet in case you’re a devotee of playing turn-based procedure or card battlers, it’s totally workable.
I had the option to play a few hours of Total War: Three Kingdoms utilizing Bluetooth, and the additional inactivity was scarcely recognizable. In Call of Duty: Warzone, it positively was, so it’s ideal to adhere to more slow paced games.
While I missed having the option to remap keys and have various profiles for different games, gaming on the A80 actually felt incredible similarly that composing felt extraordinary. The keys were smooth and steady. What’s more, in the event that you like straight switches yet don’t care for excessively delicate ones, for example, the Cherry MX Speed Silvers offered in the Corsair K100 RGB gaming console, the A80 is a characteristic fit. Moving my person and sending orders was smooth and solid.
Features and Software
The greatest restriction of the A80 is its absence of programmability. In contrast to the F96, there’s no product, so custom macros, remaps, and redid RGB plans are impossible.
iQunix incorporates the capacity to trade the Caps Lock and Ctrl keys with a key blend and offers worked in Mac support with another, yet in case you’re a gamer, you may be more qualified taking a gander at a committed gaming console rather than one planned around composing like the A80.
You do approach media controls and a couple of alternate ways worked in around the F-line and bolt keys with the Fn button.
The iQunix A80 is a particularly decent console. (The equivalent can be said for the L80, which is practically the same in its general plan.) There’s a striking scrupulousness here, from the intense, retro plan and coordinating with link, to the utilization of damping froth and remarkable stabilizers.
The outcome is a console that is really exceptional and offers a composing experience that rivals a specially constructed mechanical console.
All things considered, that intense plan and somewhat costly cost isn’t for everyone. On the off chance that you like the structure factor yet can’t manage the cost of the A80, the Keychron K2, while less premium in form, begins at $80 for the adaptation with RGB.
On the off chance that you wouldn’t fret losing a couple keys, the Ducky Mecha SF Radiant exchanges the capacity line for a luminous all-metal undercarriage and keeps the hot-trade usefulness and PBT keycaps yet isn’t remote. You could likewise consider building your own custom mechanical console and fitting each piece one of a kind as you would prefer.
On the off chance that you like the A80’s novel fashion awareness and don’t require progressed programming highlights, it’s extraordinary compared to other pre-assembled consoles for composing accessible today.
It’s a champ in feel and responsiveness, and the consideration of lover most loved highlights, as hot-swappable switches and superior grade, themed keycaps make it a reasonable choice for quite a long time to come. It doesn’t come modest, however the A80 conveys an extraordinary encounter.