Review: Epomaker Shadow-S wireless mechanical keyboard

Review unit provided by Epomaker

Epomaker is a company that makes and sells well-made mechanical keyboards. I've had the opportunity to review several for the past year and I really enjoy using them.

Epomaker Shadow-S is an 85-key gasket-mounted wireless mechnical keyboard that comes with a customisable 1.14 inch display. Retail price is USD 99 and it's the same price on Amazon too.

Things included

  • Keyboard
  • 2m USB-C to USB-A braided cable
  • Keycap and switch remover
  • 3 extra switches
  • User manual
  • USB-A receiver

Design


The keyboard is available in either White Brown or Pink White colours. Switches available are:

You can click on the links above to see the specifications for the switches. The keyboard I received came with the Epomaker Sea Salt Silent switches. These are my favourite switches because they are quiet and have a nice cushioned feel when typing. These silent switches are great for use in office or in an environment where you don't want to disturb people.


Design of the keyboard is beautiful. I love the colour combination of warm gray and dark mauve (not exactly brown). There are only 85 keys without the numpad so the size is quite compact. As a graphic designer, I miss the numpad as I use it often.

The keyboard is gasket mounted and has 5 layers of damping materials: sandwich foam, IXPE switch pad, acoustic pad, bottom sponge and base silicone layer.


The 1.14-inch LCD display can be customised to show your own image. I just it to show the time and more importantly the battery life. To upload your own image and the set the time on the LCD, you have to use Epomaker Image Custom Tool which works only with Windows.

The LCD display recessed quite deep into the body, so from an angle the icons at the bottom of the display cannot be see. But thankfully important information such as date, time and battery life can be seen clearly from an angle.

The knob there is for adjust volume.

This keyboard has battery capacity of 4000 mAh which was able to get me 1 week of use with the lights on all the time, or at least 4 weeks (based on extrapolation) without the lights. Battery life is good.


The keyboard supports USB-C (three connections), 2.4Ghz and USB-C cable connection. There's a little slot for holding the USB-A receiver.

MacOS and Windows keyboard layouts are supported.

One annoying downside I discovered is when keyboard wakes from sleep, the keyboard layout is switched. E.g. When the switch is in Windows layout, the Mac layout is enabled instead after keyboard wakes from sleep. Not sure if this is a problem that's specific to my review unit.

MacOS issues

The modifier keys on the right side for MacOS are Spacebar / Right-Cmd / Right-Cmd / Right-Ctrl. There does not seem to be a way to turn the Menu key into a right-Opt using the VIA software because the MacOS Opt key is not available.

Keys on the left for MacOS are alright: Left-Ctrl / Left-Opt / Left-Cmd


The back has four piece of rubber feet with good grip on the table. There are also fold-out feet for two height options.


The keyboard is quite thick. I'm still able to type on it with my wrist on the table. If you feel the keyboard is too high, you can always buy a wrist rest.

There are already pre-programmed shortcuts for the function keys that work for both MacOS and Windows. To see the list of shortcuts, just read this PDF.


The keyboard supports VIA programming so you can customise each individual keys and the shortcuts (function keys or lighting) and even create macros. I did not test the VIA programming feature though as the keyboard works fine as it is.

The VIA app can be downloaded here: Version 3 (29 June 2023). You'll also need to upload either the USB JSON file or 2.4Ghz JSON file to the VIA app before you can customise the keys.

Keyboard has to be connected with cable to your computer, set to USB mode, before you can use the VIA software.

It will take some time to figure out the VIA software for customising the keys.

Typing experience

The pre-lubed Epomaker Sea Salt Silent linear-type switches come with the following specifications:

  • Type: Linear
  • Material: POM stem, PC & nylon housing
  • Initial force:35 ± 5 gf
  • Triggered force:50 ± 5 gf
  • Actuation force: 60 gf
  • Total Travel: 4.0mm
  • Pre Travel: 2mm

Typing sound is soft and feels cushioned due to the 35gf initial force, soft. Typing speed is medium compared to the fast, breezy and loud Epomaker Peace Lily switch from from the Epomaker Brick 87 keyboard that I also received for review.

I love the typing experience with this keyboard because i don't type that fast and i just love how quiet this keyboard is.

If you want more sound and tactile experience, you can choose the other switch options.


Keys are hot-swappable.

Lighting


The keyboard has south-facing LED colour lights. Switching between light patterns, or adjust lighting speed & brightness can be done through keyboard shortcuts.

Light does not go through keycaps so keys are difficult to see in total darkness.

Conclusion

This is another well-made keyboard from Epomaker. It looks good and works great. Pricing seems reasonable.

If you're looking for a wireless mechanical keyboard, this is one you can consider. Or check out the other designs Epomaker has to offer because they have so many designs!

Pros and cons at a glance
+ Beautiful compact design
+ Solid built quality
+ Adjustable height
+ Customisable LCD
+ Knob for volume control
+ VIA compatible
+ Reasonable pricing
+ Has backlight with many lighting patterns to choose from
+ Nice typing experience with options for switch selection
+ Supports 2.4Ghz, Bluetooth and USB connection
+ At least 4 weeks battery life without lights, and 1 week with lights
- Issues with keyboard waking up to wrong keyboard layout
- Mac keyboard layout cannot be customised
- No Mac version of the Image Upload Tool for the LCD display

Availability

The Epomaker Shadow-S is available for sale on Epomaker online store and Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | ES | IT | JP)

Those are affiliate links which means I earn some commission but at no extra cost to you. Your support helps me create more reviews like the one you've just read.

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