While laptops have built-in keyboards they aren’t always great in terms of usability. If you’re using a laptop and looking to ramp up your productivity, consider getting an separate keyboard for your laptop that may suit your needs better. This review takes a look at the Epomaker NT68 Mechanical Keyboard, designed to work effectively with your Windows or Apple devices. We are also giving you a chance to win your own keyboard in our giveaway!
Getting to Know the Epomaker NT68 Mechanical Keyboard
The Epomaker NT68 Mechanical Keyboard comes in two flavors: the Regular version and the Low Profile version. This review focuses on the latter. The product boasts a 68-key design and comes with a sleek ABS+ aluminum frame case.
The NT68 Low Profile I tested packs Gateron low profile switches and uses an ABS keycap material which helps keep the height of the keyboard lower. Both versions of the keyboard are hot-swappable, and the Low Profile can be swapped with other 3pin Gateron low profile style switches (Red, Blue and Brown).
The keyboard can connect wirelessly to your Bluetooth-equipped devices but also comes with a USB-C cable in the box. The product packs a 1900 mAh battery, which according to the manufacturer, can sustain two to five weeks of usage or 20 to 80 hours with RGB lights on.
Speaking of which, the NT68 boasts RGB lighting with 16 million LED colors. It ships with nine different types of lighting effects which can be further customized using the proprietary software.
Unboxing the Epomaker NT68 Mechanical Keyboard
The Epomaker NT68 Mechanical Keyboard arrives in a compact white box. The keyboard itself is petite but felt much heavier than any of the standard PC keyboards I have used previously. That’s to be expected due to the hardware involved, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Overall, the NT68 is still super portable and felt sturdy in hand, which I certainly appreciated.
The box also contains a USB-C cable contained in a nice little black pouch, as well as a “key puller” to swipe out switches. The keyboard comes wrapped in a nice ergonomic stand which nicely covers the device and makes it easy to carry around. I honestly love how easy is to just pack up the NT68 and move it around depending on where I am working.
Setting Up the Epomaker NT68 Mechanical Keyboard
Setting up the Epomaker NT68 Mechanical Keyboard is super easy. If you want to pair your keyboard to a device that is lacking Bluetooth functionality, no problem. Just plug the device into your computer using the USB-C cable. My Windows PC immediately recognized the keyboard without me having to do anything else. The same happened when I connected it to my laptop.
The NT68 can also be connected to mobile devices like phones and tablets. All you have to do is switch on the Bluetooth connection on your keyboard by using the button on the right side (next to the USB port). Go to your mobile device’s “Settings -> Bluetooth & Device connections -> Bluetooth -> Pair new device.” You should be able to see “NT69 KB” appear in the list of potential connections. The process worked extremely smooth for both mobile devices I tried, which is a big plus in my book.
Using the NT68 Mechanical Keyboard
The Epomaker NT68 Mechanical Keyboard can be placed on top of your laptop’s own keyboard. Just remove the casing and place it there. This works incredibly well if you have a MacBook, as you’ll experience seamless integration between the two. I, on the other hand, tested the keyboard on a larger ASUS laptop, so the Epomaker NT68 wasn’t able to completely hide the laptop’s keyboard.
With the keyboard all set up, I went ahead and started typing a few emails on my laptop. I found the keys smooth to the touch and precise, while the clicking sounds did indeed feel satisfying, reminiscent of an old typewriter I used in the 90s.
Depending on the keyboard you were using before, it may take some time before you get accustomed to the particular layout of the NT68, which, by the way, lacks a number pad.
It’s a good idea to take some time and consult the documentation included inside the package, which lists a series of shortcuts that will help you set up the keyboard according to your own preferences. There’s a lot to digest, so take your time, especially if this is your very first mechanical keyboard. It doesn’t take a long time to get accustomed to using the keyboard and shortcuts, especially if you’re frequently using it, as I did.
Customizing the Epomaker NT68 Mechanical Keyboard
You’ll need to go into driver mode in order to start customizing keys and backlights. For instance, one of the big problems for me was that the keyboard lacked a PrintScreen button. Fortunately, you can add it by customizing one of the additional keyboard layers offered. There’s are three layers you can modify to suit your particular needs.
I added the “PN” button on top of the standard Insert one in Layer 1. The process took just a few seconds. Once I had applied the effect, I easily switched between the standard layer (which is not customizable) and layer 1 using the Fn + W key combination.
Next, I wanted to change the backlight effect on the keyboard, so I selected the Driver option and started browsing through the available presets. Once I found one that I liked, I used the Apply button to experience the effect.
Pricing for the Epomaker NT68 Mechanical Keyboard
The Epomaker NT68 Mechanical Keyboard is currently up on Kickstarter. With only a few days to go before the campaign closes, early birds can still pledge $95 (or more) for either the NT68 Regular or Low Profile. I found this to be quite affordable, while certainly not the cheapest option. There’s limited quantities left with an estimated delivery date set for October.
The Low Profile keyboard I tested is available with a Black Case and Black Keycaps. Users can opt for additional Gateron low profile switches in Red, Blue or Brown.
The Epomaker NT68 is one of the more budget-friendly mechanical keyboards out there. It’s compact and sleek and comes with a stylish cover that makes it easy to transport anywhere.
Typing on it feels good, and if you work from your home office without many visitors, you won’t have to worry about the keyboard’s clickety-clackety sounds disturbing anyone. The range of extra shortcuts also comes in handy in various scenarios, and you can even share it with other people who can create their own layers with customized layouts to suit their needs.
If you’re looking to upgrade your typing experience on your laptop, I recommend that you try the Epomaker NT68 Mechanical Keyboard. Its affordable price and robust features makes it a good choice for anyone who is looking to experiment with a new mechanical keyboard or is trying to figure out whether mechanical keyboards work for them. I also invite you to enter our giveaway to win this Epomaker keyboard. You’ll find the details above.