Alright, today I’m reviewing Epomaker Shadow-X, a mechanical keyboard that’s coming in with a small 1.06 inch screen display and a low price tag at around $85.99.
What’s in the Box?
Ripping into the box, you’ll get:
- The Shadow-X Keyboard itself
- A guide to get you started
- A USB Type-C cable for charging and wired connection
- A wireless dongle
- A combo tool for pulling keycaps and switches
- Some extra keycaps
Design and Feels
Let’s talk looks first. The Shadow-X is stylish keyboard that comes in 4 color options: black silver, white blue, white green and white purple – I got the purple option. The build quality feels really good and keyboard is on heavy side – it’s about 800g in weight. The case is made out of ABS plastic.
Now, layout. This isn’t your typical keyboard. Missing that top row of function keys, it feels a bit like a tenkeyless (TKL) board but squished down to 70% layout. Then there’s the right side knob, which you might think is for volume, but surprise – it’s actually like a remote control for choosing how you connect your keyboard: Bluetooth, wireless dongle, or wired.
And that little screen above the arrow keys? That’s like your keyboard’s little helper, keeping you in the loop with the date, time, connection type, and battery life. Cool for some, maybe a bit much for others, especially when it comes to tweaking settings like your light show effects.
Using the Epomaker software you can also insert there any color image you want.
Before we dive in, hats off to whoever made these keycaps. They’re PBT double-shot, which is just a fancy way of saying the letters won’t ever fade, and your oily fingers won’t turn them shiny and gross.
Underneath these caps, we’ve got some switches. You can pick from a few types, but I got the tactile ones. They’re smooth, they don’t make a racket, and they’ve got a nice little bump that feels just right when you’re typing.
If you ever want to swap out these switches for something else, it’s super easy – just use the tool they give you to pop ’em out, and push in some new ones.
Typing on this thing is very comfortable. It’s soft, it’s satisfying, and you don’t get that feeling of fatigue after banging out an essay or smashing through a bunch of work emails. It’s because the keyboard’s built with some padding and foam layers that make every key press feel like a cloud. Plus, it’s all held together with some fancy tech that keeps the keys from feeling too stiff or too spongy, just perfect for me.
Connection and battery
Playing games with the Shadow-X is a blast. Hook it up with the provided dongle and it’s like it’s not even wireless, with your moves registering instantly. No lag, no hiccups – just gaming goodness.
Battery-wise, this champ’s got a stamina of about 40 hours with the lights all flashy, though that depends on how you’re connected and how bright you’ve got those colors popping. It’s 300 mAh which is alright. Expect to top it up once a week if you’re keeping that RGB light show on full blast.
Here’s the results of my test for Shadow-X key input latency/delay:
- Wired – 7-7.5ms
- 2.4Ghz – 12-13ms
- Bluetooth – 13-14ms
Knob and screen
Now, I’ve got to level with you about that knob again. It’s in a weird spot, like, why get rid of the Page Up but keep the Page Down key? Also, it doesn’t do volume control.
The OLED, as much as it tries to be helpful, can be a bit of a pain. There are supposed to be shortcuts for adjusting your keyboard’s fancy lights, but during my playtime, it kind of insisted on using its screen menus, which felt like trying to solve a Rubik’s cube just to change how bright my keys are.
Overall, the Epomaker Shadow-X gets a big thumbs up from me. If you’re cool with the 70% layout and don’t mind having a knob that can’t be used to adjust volume, it’s a super-solid keyboard. It types like a dream and it’s good for gaming, all while playing nice with your budget.
Epomaker Shadow-X Specs
|70-key, 70% form factor in a modified US ANSI layout
|ABS plastic case
|370.4 (L) x 129.8 (W) x 47.8 (H) mm
|800 g / 1.76 lbs.
|Full N-Key rollover USB and 2.4 GHz, 6KRO with Bluetooth
|Available as layered functions
|6 ft / 1.8 m
|EPOMAKER Shadow-X Driver
|Yes, per-key 16.8 M RGB
|USB, 2.4 GHz, Bluetooth 5.0
|Wireless (2.4Ghz dongle or Bluetooth) and wired
|Hotswappable, south-facing (Support 3-pin and 5-pin switches)
|Double shot PBT material
|Number of keys
|70 keys + 1 knob