KiiBOOM Phantom 81 v2: Review

The KiiBOOM Phantom 81 V2 is the first transparent keyboard I have ever tried. And you can say I’m impressed. It’s a head-turner, a beautiful piece of a mechanical keyboard. But it’s not all about the looks, so let’s review all the other things you need from a keyboard.

The package contains:

  • Phantom 81 v2 Keyboard

  • 1.5m USB Cable

  • Instructional Manual
  • Grey Cloth
  • Keycap puller
  • Switch puller
  • Small screwdriver and two spare screws
  • 2 spare switches
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The first thing that strikes you about the Phantom 81 V2 is ofcourse its transparency. The entire case is made of clear acrylic, showcasing the inner workings of the keyboard like a clock on display. It’s a unique aesthetic, especially with the different color options available. I tested the clear model, and it looked fantastic with the RGB lights shining through, but I think I prefer not using any RGB at all.

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The keyboard uses KiiBOOM Crystal switches, which are pre-lubed and linear. This translates to a smooth, responsive typing experience with a satisfying clack. It’s not silent by any means, but it’s not obnoxiously loud either. However, if you’re looking for a keyboard for quiet office environments, this might not be the best choice.

The keycaps are also transparent, which complements the overall design. However, this transparency comes at a cost – readability. With the RGB lighting on, some of the keycap legends become difficult to see. Additionally, the keycaps themselves are a bit on the smooth side, which might not be ideal for everyone, especially those who prefer a textured feel.

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The acrylic build feels solid and sturdy, despite initial concerns about it being a bit plasticky. It has a premium weight to it (my scale showed almost 1.5kg),, which adds to the overall quality feel. However, the height of the keyboard might be a bit much for some users. I found myself missing a wrist rest, which isn’t included in the package.

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The Phantom 81 V2 offers a variety of connection options: USB-C wired, 2.4 GHz wireless, and Bluetooth 5.0. This gives you the flexibility to use it with your desktop, laptop, or even your tablet. The battery life is also impressive, it lasted me almost two weeks on a single charge with moderate use.

The RGB lighting on this keyboard is fantastic. It’s bright, vibrant, and offers a wide variety of effects to choose from. The south-facing LEDs ensure that the lighting shines through the keycaps beautifully. Plus, the ability to customize the lighting design per key takes things to a whole new level. I’m not sure I captured it well enough on my photos, but in a dark room it looks really cool.

While I loved the overall experience with the Phantom 81 V2, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. The font on some of the keycaps is a bit strange, and it took me some time to get used to it. Additionally, the transparent design makes it a bit more challenging to clean dust and debris that might get trapped inside the keyboard. Just keep that in mind, but it will be the same with every transparent keyboard I reckon.

My sound test of Phantom 81 V2

The KiiBOOM Phantom 81 V2 is a keyboard that stands out from the crowd. It’s a beautiful piece of tech with a smooth typing experience and impressive lighting effects. However, the somewhat high price point, readability issues with RGB on, and lack of a wrist rest might give some users pause.

If you’re looking for a unique keyboard that prioritizes aesthetics and a comfortable typing experience, the Phantom 81 V2 is definitely worth considering. Just keep in mind its quirks before you swipe your card.

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KiiBOOM Phantom 81 V2 Keyboard Specs

  • Price: $159.00 USD
  • Colors: Clear, Pink, Blue, Purple, Black
  • Weight: 1453 grams
  • Layout: 82 Keys, 75% layout
  • Case Material: Acrylic
  • Stabilizer Type: Plate-mounted
  • PCB Type: Hot-swappable with 3/5-pin Mechanical Switches
  • RGB: South-facing RGB LEDs
  • Anti-Ghosting: NKRO anti-ghosting
  • Connectivity: USB-C, Bluetooth 5.0, 2.4GHz Wireless
  • Battery: 4000mAh
Marcus Richardson

I love testing and writing about new tech. I'm also a gamer and an engineer. Check out my Twitter for keyboard stuff.

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