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EpicGear DeFiant Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

EpicGear DeFiant Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review
EpicGear is a relatively small player in the peripherals market, but its DeFiant mechanical gaming keyboard may change all of that.
By: Chad Sebring | Keyboards in Peripherals | Posted: Apr 23, 2016 5:50 pm
TweakTown Rating: 98%Manufacturer: EpicGear

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

 

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EpicGear has been around for a while now, and sadly, in that time, we have no seen all that much as far as products go. Checking back into their folder on the NAS, we found that review sampling has come down to two products. The first of which was the Meduza, and while it has been some time since we looked at it, EpicGear was ahead of their time, and is still the only dual-sensor mouse we have ever seen. Then along came the Zora, which is more mainstream in its ambidextrous design, but with bold color accents and a full software suite, we found ourselves pleased with that mouse as well. One thing that rang true with both products though is the fact that no matter the technology involved, EpicGear products have always been affordable.

 

 

They have made many mice over the years, and even a few keyboards, headsets, and various other accessories, but what brings us together today is their latest in mechanical keyboards. Of course, EpicGear could have stopped designing with a keyboard offering a metal top, a lightweight but solid frame, the unusual font used on the keys, and backlighting, but EpicGear has way more in store for you with this keyboard. They took the ball and ran with it as far as they could with this design.

 

Not only did they brand their own switches, but they are also offering optional key caps, and protective layers in optional colors to cover the metal plate. Taking things yet another step further, EpicGear has delivered the first and only keyboard we have seen to offer removable switches. This means that you can swap switch types on the same keyboard with ease, and if a switch should go dead, with no soldering involved, you just replace the bad switch by snapping it into place.

 

Along with the new DeFiant mechanical keyboard, EpicGear has also sent along a box of optional switches to try out. EpicGear is offering three switch types to choose from. We opted for a keyboard with purple switches that are tactile and audible, but they also offer linear gray switches or orange tactile switches without a report. Since we have so much to cover on what the DeFiant is all about, along with many of the accessories that go along with this design, we may as well get right to the specifications, so we may discuss the price and show you what this EpicGear DeFiant and EG MMS switches are all about.

 

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The EpicGear DeFiant offers LED backlighting with on-the-fly per-key lighting, and under each key cap is an EG MMS switch. The keyboard offers an adjustable polling rate up to 1000Hz, and every key is programmable. Along with anti-ghosting support, the DeFiant also sports the option for 6-key or NKRO support. There is a wheel to adjust the volume with a one-touch mute function. There is software to ease the pain of programming, a gaming mode, and a Windows lockout switch as well. On the back of the DeFiant is a braided cable that is black with orange highlights, and the keyboard is 455mm wide, 167mm deep, and stands 26mm in height. All of this keyboard weighs in at 1000 grams and is supported by a two-year warranty.

 

The right side of the chart mentions the three types of switches. There we see they offer linear gray switches, orange tactile switches, or purple switches with a tactile feel and audible click. The EG MMS stands for EpicGear Modular-Matrix Mechanical Switch, and this means that there is a PCB with contacts on it, which allows the switch to be removed and replaced without wiring or solder involved in the process. The switches require 50 grams of activation force and are said to have only 1.5mm of travel to actuate, with 4mm of total travel. The EpicGear switches have the highest lifespan we have seen as well, with a rating of seventy-million clicks. The top plate is made of a high-strength alloy, the switches offer double-blade contact points, double-cross contacting area, and are plated with thirty microns of gold plating.

 

As we write this review, it will still be a few weeks before this keyboard hits the shelves, but EpicGear has made us aware of the MSRP. We are told that to obtain the DeFiant keyboard that you will only need to find $89.99 for this 104-key layout. Of course, there is a key cap set, the protective liners, and the EG MMS switch sets as well, but at this current juncture, we have not been disclosed the pricing for these products, but it is very possible that EpicGear is still working out these fine details.

 

While we will be showing off the EG MMS switches, how they work, and what they feel like, our primary interest is in the DeFiant mechanical gaming keyboard itself. With pricing in hand for that, we can carry on knowing you get a ton of options in this keyboard, and with little invested up front.

 

 

Chad's Peripherals Test System Specifications

 

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