Overall, the Epomaker RT100 is an exceptional gaming keyboard, catering to both retro aficionados and gamers seeking a mechanical keyboard with a unique twist. As such, our Epomaker RT100 keyboard review scores a highly respectable 93%.
In a saturated market where even reviewers like myself get confused between keebs, the Epomaker RT100 distinguishes itself with its stunning early 90s design, all while boasting modern specs that challenge its similarly priced peers.
Competitive FPS players might find keyboards like the SteelSeries Apex 7 ($229 AUD) more attuned to their needs, the RT100 is a dream for semi-serious gamers and RPG enthusiasts. The 90’s baby in me had me drooling all over this one.
– Retro-style gaming keyboards come in two flavours – useless and useful. The Epomaker RT100 sits proudly at the latter end with functionality equal to its style.
As a brand that is synonymous with un-traditional peripherals, the RT100 is just one of Epomaker’s extended range of quirky creations. It breaks about every design law in gaming and quite literally lets you ogle at your favourite Pokémon while you type – or just about anything for that matter.
But is the Epomaker RT100 worthy of adding to your gaming setup? Or is it just a quick time travel back to the 90s for a hot minute?
Here’s everything you need to know before you buy! 👇
Epomaker RT100 Keyboard Review:
Testing the Epomaker RT100 keyboard across gaming and working environments, we’ve analysed the RT100’s design, features, performance, connectivity, battery life and overall viability to help you make the right choice when purchasing.
While there is a lot to be said about retro-style keyboards, occasionally, they do not fit well within a gaming environment.
Can the Epomaker RT100 be the difference maker? Let’s find out.
The Epomaker RT100 is a captivating 95% retro mechanical keyboard that immediately transports you to the early 90s with an aesthetic that echoes classic IBM keyboards. It’s built like a tank which is also synonymous with 90s peripherals and, despite it’s compact framework, the 97 keys are not too squished together.
At a cursory look, you might snuff your nose at the RT100 and I certainly had that notion too. However, linger a bit longer and its timeless elegance becomes undeniable. Epomaker has bottled so much of the past into a single keyboard and the RT100 is begging to be placed in a games den with other nostalgic artefacts.
Amidst the retro allure, there’s a slight curve to the keyboard that brings the RT100 back to modern design standards and you will find a detachable smart monitor in the top left corner (more in a moment). To the right, there’s a multimedia knob that controls more than just media and plenty of little quirks along the way.
For example, the space bar says ‘’need more space’’ —- cute.
While the retro white model resembles something that you would find in your nanna’s attic and might not be for everyone’s taste, Epomaker also has Pink, Deep Grey, Green and Purple versions which are more modern. There’s also the element of space saving which is great news for gamers who need a little more room to wiggle their mouse around. However, if you’re at that point where mouse movement is a priority, then you should be looking at a much smaller keyboard.
The design won’t be for everyone, but it’s beautiful.
Underneath the retro exterior, the Epomaker RT100 proudly dons cutting-edge Sea Salt Silent switches and a gasket mount. Together, these components blend seamlessly to create a typing experience that resembles traditional linear switches; without the noise complaints.
The switches themselves are hot-swappable and the RT100 is installed with Kailh Switch Sockets to ensure compatibility with both 5-pin and 3-pin switches. There’s south-facing LED lighting that can be customised via the companion driver and the brightness of these is respectable.
Frankly, I wouldn’t go messing too much with hot-swapping your keys as the allure of the RT100 has been achieved so proficiently out of the box.
But hey, you do you boo boo.
Mounted on the top left of the Epomaker RT100 gaming keyboard you will find an extremely cute Smart Mini TV that can be customised to display anything from your CPU usage to your favourite Pokémon. Akin to an old CRT television, surprisingly, this display can fit quite a lot of information despite its miniature stature. It also doesn’t happen to streak black and white lines like a CRT television which is a plus too.
As for other features, the ON/OFF switch acts as a toggle between wireless and wired modes and there are plenty of FN shortcuts you can create via the Epomaker companion driver. This driver is fairly stacked; providing options to create macros, remap keys and change backlighting effects.
However, it’s not exactly the most user-friendly companion software I have ever tested and so you might get a little frustrated with this aspect.
Nevertheless, the overall feature set is richer than Richard Branson!
As a 97-key keyboard condensed into a 95% layout, I had expected the Epomaker RT100 to feel cramped. However, I was moderately surprised at how comfortable this keyboard is to slap away at when writing articles or cooking up Zelda recipes.
Perhaps the 90s allure tricked me into thinking that the performance was going to be of the same era. Yet, the RT100 honours the durability of early-90s keyboards whilst packing softer switches to provide comfort when typing. Legacy on the outside, modern on the inside.
Each keypress feels like a linear switch but there’s a quietness to the keyboard that it’s rare to see with mechanical keys. Having tested so many keyboards over the years, it’s the first time I have ever experienced an almost velvet-like feel to each keypress which blew my mind for a little bit there. It’s soft, sturdy, mechanical and… soft.
For gaming, the RT100 plays out nicely across all games but I wouldn’t expect to see this feature at esports events any time soon. It’s not purpose-built for gaming so don’t go expecting the world’s best polling rate or anything like that.
Nevertheless, despite serving as a more generalist keyboard, when testing the RT100 across RPGs like Elden Ring and a handful of FPS games too, the experience here is no slouch. There’s a responsiveness that’s akin to dedicated gaming keyboards and that’s pretty much all you will need as a casual gamer.
For connectivity, the Epomaker RT100 boasts versatile options; operating flawlessly on both Windows and Mac. It supports USB-C to USB-A wired connections, Bluetooth 5.0, and 2.4GHz wireless. Personally, while its wireless speed might not match the likes of Razer keyboards with Razer Hyperspeed, I found speed differences between its wired and wireless modes negligible. Which is everything you want from a gaming keyboard that offers both.
The connection is stable, super easy to set up and as you would expect with a keyboard at this price point. Just be careful when you extract the wireless dongle as it’s rather stiff to eject from the ports on your PC.
The Epomaker RT100 utilises a 5,000mAh battery that will last around 12 hours with the LEDs switched on and up to 16 hours when connected via Bluetooth. Now, whilst this is quite weak when you compare the RT100 to other gaming keyboards, you can extend the battery life by adjusting the sleep settings.
By turning off the LEDs permanently and then instructing the keyboard to enter sleep mode when not in use after a certain period of inactivity, you can expect the Epomaker RT100 to last a few weeks. It sucks that you have to compromise but there’s options here for everyone.
It’s a rarity to find a 97% layout mechanical keyboard in this price bracket that genuinely emulates the feel of a full-size keyboard and that’s without even mentioning the features. In fact, from over 10 years of experience reviewing keyboards, when you consider its performance, aesthetics and features, the cost of the RT100 is surprisingly reasonable.
Availability: The Epomaker RT100 keyboard is available for purchase in Australia through Amazon, MWAVE, and directly from Epomaker.
If your gaming den isn’t already brimming with retro flair, the Epomaker RT100 keyboard might seem like a gamble. After all, its design significantly deviates from the norm, and Epomaker as a brand is still carving its niche in the market.
To help you make the right decision, here’s a breakdown of reasons to either snag or skip the Epomaker RT100 gaming keyboard.
Reasons to buy the Epomaker RT100 keyboard:
You have a penchant for retro gaming gear.
Fun gaming peripherals resonate with you.
A 97% layout is your ideal, as opposed to a full-size keyboard.
You’re seeking a standout keyboard without compromising on performance.
You switch between wired and wireless setups.
Silence is golden: you want a hushed mechanical keyboard.
Customization software doesn’t faze you.
A budget of close to $200 for a keyboard sounds reasonable.
On the Flip Side:
For gamers scouting a more compact keyboard, the 97% layout of the RT100 may feel a tad expansive. Furthermore, while its price reflects its retro charm, those who are indifferent to this type of aesthetic might find better value in dedicated gaming keyboards. There’s also the battery life for travelling gamers that’s a miss.
Epomaker RT100 Keyboard Review Verdict
Overall, the Epomaker RT100 is an exceptional gaming keyboard, catering to both retro aficionados and gamers seeking a mechanical keyboard with a unique twist. As such, our Epomaker RT100 keyboard review scores a highly respectable 93%. In a saturated market where even reviewers like myself get confused between keebs, the Epomaker RT100 distinguishes itself with its stunning early 90s design, all while boasting modern specs that challenge its similarly priced peers.
While competitive FPS players might find keyboards like the SteelSeries Apex 7 ($229 AUD) more attuned to their needs, the RT100 is a dream for semi-serious gamers and RPG enthusiasts. The Sea Salt silent switches ensure each keystroke is both precise and pleasantly muted and that 90’s baby in me had me drooling all over this one.
Just be mindful of that battery life. It’s a bit of a sucker punch.
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Content Disclaimer: This Epomaker RT100 review is independently written using a test model of the RT100 keyboard. GamePro has not been commissioned by Epomaker nor have we received financial payment or free advertising credits.
Should you click on any link to Amazon and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission. But that’s just how we keep this website alive! Feel free to hit us up in the comments. We would be happy to answer any questions you have about our Epomaker Wireless Keyboard Review.
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