Mechanical keyboard comparison | IQUNIX A80 vs Epomaker AK84 vs IQUNIX L80 | Mark Ellis Reviews
Since then, i’ve been using them day in day out and i’ve got three that i’ve been sent recently. That i’d love to share with you. Welcome back to mark ellis reviews, and thank you for subscribing, if you have, if you haven’t, the button is down there so a little while ago, i revealed that i’ve really fallen in love with mechanical keyboards. The reason’s simple they’re, just really really enjoyable to use. They’Re. Very addictive, and for someone like me, i write all the time: i’m constantly, writing blogs and all sorts of things and it’s just lovely to have something to type on that makes that noise and it’s hard to explain unless you’ve tried them really. But trust me they are just so enjoyable to use. They do make. You realize that modern, laptop keyboards and even apple’s magic keyboard there’s just not very much travel and they’re, not particularly enjoyable to use these really really are, and they have such a massive fan base and a really really passionate bunch of manufacturers it’s hard not to like Them now two of my favorite brands, i’ve developed a particular affection for recently – are epo maker and iquinix. They have been very, very kind to send me some keyboards to try out this video isn’t sponsored by either of those companies they’ve just very kindly sent me the keyboards to try out and you’re going to get a warts and all opinion of them. So if you’re not sure what mechanical keyboards are they’re, basically they’re the sort of keyboards that you probably used at school and they’re called mechanical because they are mechanical but that’s, because they have switches beneath these keys.
There are switches that you can replace. You can replace the keys very easily as well and they sound mechanical they’re, just like old fashioned keyboards, but they’ve been kind of brought up to date with new designs and new technologies. Obviously, bluetooth, rgb lights and stuff like that and they’re incredibly durable that every mechanical keyboard i have in this studio and there’s a lot of them they’re all nice and weighty. They don’t have issues with getting crumbs and things in your keyboard, which is a case with certain keyboards from certain manufacturers. They feel bulletproof. But you also know that if anything went wrong, you can just pop off the keys, even pop out the switches and replace them, and you get loads of different types of switches. I don’t really understand what all the switches mean, but i’ve tried all sorts of different versions of them. I just i just know what feels nice from a typing perspective. I’M. Not a gamer. You know. Mechanical keyboards are fairly popular with gamers as well. This isn’t that kind of review – this is a review from someone who just uses them to type on so let’s, look at three that i’ve been trying out recently, so the first one is the iquinix a80 explorer. Now this is normally 265, but iclinics are pretty good. They normally have some pretty good deals going on so it’s always worth just double checking to see if there’s any discounts on offer.
Now, as you would expect loads of options with the keys that you can pick for this mine has the gateron red they’re hot swappable, which means you can swap them very hotly quickly and it’s got what is known as an 80 layout, which basically means it’s 10. Smaller than traditional keyboards, 83 keys it’s got this what they call a terraced structure here, which kind of angles the function, keys and the escape key up slightly i’m. Not sure about that. It looks very, very retro, probably a little bit too retro for me personally, but i don’t know there’s something about having those keys facing you which bit unnerving i’m, not sure about it. It’S, like they demand to be pressed it’s like here, they are for some people. You might like the design actually it’s quite interesting. There are three angle: adjustments on the bottom, so you have these little clips that come out here, that’s quite useful, so you can basically get it to just the right angle that you need and all the marketing material for this particular keyboard for the a80 suggests that It is really a gaming keyboard. I think gamers will, like it, it’s nice and small again: it’s it’s, quite plasticky, unlike the f 96 that’s behind me, which is very metal and just very feels very rugged. This one is chunky. It’S got nice bit of weight to it, but it is plastic so in terms of wearing it might wear a little bit quicker.
I don’t know i think it’s only available in this color, so you you’re a little bit limited to this kind of yellow mustard, yellow kind of gray type color, which doesn’t look too bad actually in the flesh. But if you want something a little bit more out there, then it may not be for you now typing on the gatter and reds nice sound, it’s, quite long travel and i think for some people when it comes to typing it might be a little bit too Long works quite well for me, but it’s yeah. I i think, if you’re not used to using mechanical keyboards and you’re, coming from a laptop keyboard, for example, or an apple magic keyboard, which have very, very thin travel. Something like the gathering red on on this and on any mechanical keyboard to be fair, might just be a little bit too need a bit too much effort to press each key down and just like all iconic keyboards. It has this little switch on the bottom, which switches between bluetooth and wide very straightforward. I like it, i don’t think i’d buy it. Personally, i think again. I don’t really like that terrace thing where it puts the the function keys in your face i’m, not sure about that. Personally, it is more of a gaming keyboard to be fair and again the gathering red for typing not ideal. Personally, so this is quite a niche keyboard. I think i do wish it came in more colors as well, but if you can get a good price on it, it might suit you if you like the design.
Next up is the epo maker ak 84. Sorry, i have to always double check the names of these keyboards. Now this is a kickstarter project. So, by the time you watch this video depending on when that is, it may still be a kickstarter project or it might actually be a real living breathing product, and i think it’s better to say that a lot of epo makers stuff is more budget. That doesn’t mean it’s badly made. It is noticeably lighter compared to the iquinix stuff and iconics is, i think, more of a premium brand. So, comparing the two is a little bit unfair, but this is a good example of a budget mechanical keyboard that is still very well very highly regarded again big fan base for epo maker stuff, and it still feels nice and solid it’s, just not quite as heavy As the iquinix stuff let’s get the design out of the way they sent me, one that’s got this little panda. You can see that a little panda on the space bar i don’t know why. I have no idea what’s the case anyway, that aside um it’s, a very simple design, can’t get that excited about it really. I did ask ipo maker what makes this different you know, what is it about it that should get as excited, particularly with it being a kickstarter project. It has hot swappable keys. It basically has everything that you would expect. You know it has the rgb lights.
Obviously, bluetooth it’s primarily aimed at mac users. It does come with the mac keys by default, but you can swap them for windows keys if you want to, but there’s, not really anything that makes it stand out as a massively innovative keyboard. I think what it is really is just a nice entry point into mechanical keyboards if you don’t want to spend over a hundred dollars for a keyboard, for example, this is quite a good starting point. The only thing i’m not keen on is the typing experience. It’S it’s a lot less key travel, but the keys feel a little bit cheaper. These are chocolate switches again, no idea what that means. Yeah, if this is the experience that chocolate switches give you for me personally, it’s, and this might be because i’ve got used to mechanical keyboards. I, like the longer travel, now feels a little bit. I don’t know a little bit cheaper, really than the other keys i’ve been using, but again because there’s not that much travel and it’s, not particularly expensive, it’s. Probably quite a good entry point. So if you just want to try out a mechanical keyboard, i would recommend any of epo makers. Budget range this sits neatly with inside it really can’t get too excited about it check it out. If you want to just try out the world of mechanical keyboards without spending too much money now the next keyboard on my list is the iquinix l80 formula i’ve been using this quite a bit it’s the one that is currently connected to my 24 inch imac 265.
Normally but again, iconics run regular promotions. You may get it cheaper. This has the cherry brown switches again loads of options for it: it’s hot swappable it’s the same 80 layout as the a80. It has these three angles of adjustment on the bottom and design wise. I really love this one. I have no idea why it says lime on the back. This might be a reference to something that i’m not familiar with. It might be some kind of reference to some sort of retro, gaming or tech or keyboard thing. If you know what it is, let me know in the comments, but i really like the design choice. I love the colors doesn’t. Have that raised function area that the a80 has which again bothered me it’s, just a fairly flat design in that respect, but i love the colors. I love the white. I love the red and it’s just a very nicely put together keyboard. It is plastic, but it feels rugged just weighty enough as well. If you want to hear those cherry browns, this is where it gets interesting for typing. This is the best of the three hands down and it’s. Why i’ve kept it attached to the 24 inch imac it’s the perfect, i think, mix between low key travel and too much key travel. I can say that, because i don’t make as many mistakes on this. I, like the sound of it, my fingers don’t tire very easily at all it’s, just that right balance between sponginess for want of a better word and key travel.
It just feels just feels right for typing now: it’s, not as good as the f96, which is behind me at the moment, and the f96 i have is the full width one, so it has the number pad on it. I do miss the number pad because i got so used to using that f96 with the number pad. I do still find myself when i’m, using this reaching for numbers that aren’t there, but if you’re not bothered about that out of the three. If you don’t mind spending a bit more money on a mechanical keyboard, this l80 formula is just, i think, it’s a great expression of a modern mechanical keyboard. I just want to know what lime means. If you know what this means, please let me know in the comments but yeah this out the three this wins hands down. Now, if you missed my original mechanical keyboard video, i will leave a link to it at the end of this one it’s worth watching, because i go into a bit more detail as to why i got into them into them. In the first place. I talk a bit more about how they work and all that sort of stuff so keep watching for a link to that video.