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Epomaker x Feker Galaxy80 Review: The Best Budget TKL?

Christopher Coke Updated: Posted:
Hardware Reviews 0

Epomaker is no stranger to partnerships, and the Epomaker x Feker Galaxy 80 may just its best yet. Even more than that, it may wind up being the best budget tenkeyless mechanical keyboard of the year — and it’s not even March yet. With a fully aluminum design, tri-mode wireless connectivity, a custom keyboard sound and feel, and a crazily cheap $105.99 price tag, it’s hard to imagine how it could really be much better. 

The Epomaker x Galaxy 80 is the best budget mechanical keyboard right now around $100. It really is that good. 


  • Current Price: $105.99 (Amazon
    • $95.99 with instant $10 coupon active as of publication (Amazon)
  • Model: EPOMAKER x Feker Galaxy80
  • Structure: Leaf-spring Gasket-mounted Structure
  • Number of keys: 88 keys
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth/2.4GHz/USB-C Wired
  • NKRO: Yes
  • Hot Swappable: Yes, Compatible with 3/5 Pins Switches
  • Keycaps: MDA Profile Doubleshot PBT Keycaps
  • Battery Capacity: 4000mAh Rechargeable Lithium Battery
  • Compatibility: Windows7/8/9/10/11/Mac/Linux/Android/iOS
  • Case Material: Aluminum Alloy shell
  • Inside the box: 
    • Keyboard
    • USB-C Cable
    • 2.4G Receiver
    • Keycap Puller
    • Manual

Epomaker x Feker Galaxy80 - Design and Highlights

The Epomaker x Feker Galaxy80 is a tenkeyless mechanical keyboard designed to emulate the custom keyboards that have so taken over the peripheral market over the last several years. you can see the inspiration throughout every part of it. Even though it's affordable and comes ready to use out of the box, make no mistake, this is every bit a custom mechanical keyboard that you don't have to build yourself and don't make many sacrifices on.

That begins with the case. It's made of two pieces of heavy aluminum. The entire keyboard weighs around three and a half pounds and is immediately more hefty than any gaming keyboard I've ever used. It's available in five different colors: standard black and white, as well as pastel blue, pink, and purple. The top of the case is a basic rectangle. The bottom, however, has contoured sides which looks rather nice.

The decorative elements come in a few different flavors. Each model comes with a matching set of keycaps which each look good. There is a bright RGB LED strip underneath the navigation and editing cluster, as well as a little star badge to the right of the up arrow button. This badge serves double duty as a cover for a hidden storage dock for the 2.4GHz wireless dongle. There is also per-key RGB which is customizable and quite bright.

So, you have the case, crafted in the style of a hand built custom mechanical keyboard (and yes, there are some trade-offs where you can tell this isn't to the caliber of more expensive customs), but what really makes it is the sound and feel and that's almost all internal.

Almost, because it really begins with the keycaps. These are made of double-shot PBT plastic in the MDA profile. You can disregard the graphic on the Amazon listing that says they are Cherry profile. That is a typo and isn't echoed on Epomaker's own website. Instead, the MDA profile is very similar in height but uses a spherical design similar to SA profile keycaps. The legends are big and centered, which I think looks great, and have a wide scoop in the middle to cradle your fingertips. Even more importantly, they have thick walls which lends the keyboard a deeper typing sound. The fact that they are made of such a dense plastic, and the legends are made from a whole separate piece, means you will never have to worry about them shining, chipping, or fading over time.

Beneath these keycaps, you have Feker’s own marble white switches. They are a very lightweight linear switch that is pre-lubed and just about perfect for gaming. They have an actuation force of only 42 grams  that increases to only 47 grams to bottom out. They have a longer 20mm spring for a snappy and responsive feel. But while they actuate at a very familiar 2mm distance (like a standard Cherry MX switch), they only have a total travel distance of 3.5mm instead of 4mm.

This is known as a long pole switch. Inside of each mechanical key switch, there is a stem that your keycap fits on to (the cross you can see by removing the key cap). Inside, that piece of your switch has a center pole that taps the bottom of the housing when bottoming out, making contact at the same time as the rails on either side of the cross. Long pole switches have the pole be slightly longer so it makes contact alone. This gives the switches an iconic poppy sound that works exceptionally well here. They are very much part of the meta in custom mechanical keyboards today.

These switches are also hot-swappable, so if you’d care to change them to something else over time, it’s as simple as pulling out the old switch and pressing the new one into place. 

Below that, the keyboard has multiple layers of sound dampening foam and plastic sheeting to tune its sound. There is a full foam kit pre-installed into this keyboard, not unlike those found with very expensive custom mechanical keyboards. You have PORON plate foam beneath the  polycarbonate plate (another enthusiast favorite for its flexible feel and deeper typing sound) which helps draw out the sound of the switches and another layer of PORON foam on the bottom of the PCB to remove any hollowness from the case. Beneath the switches is a layer of IXPE switch foam that creates a poppy and marbly sound signature.

This keyboard also adds a new element: PET sheeting beneath the IXPE. This plastic sheeting works to reflect the middle and high frequencies back up to the gamer. In essence, it takes what IXPE foam does PET plastic in the very bottom of the case. To be honest, I'm not sure this is actually doing anything but I am sure it helps isolate the PCB from potential shorts.

The entire PCB assembly is mounted using a gasket mount structure. Rather than have the internal assembly screw to either the top or bottom case instead uses soft gaskets into sandwiches the plate in between the two. This helps remove any sense of sharpness from the sound signature, isolates keystrokes from reverberating through the metal of the case, and creates a softer typing experience under the fingers.

The Galaxy80 is also a tri-mode wireless keyboard. It supports Bluetooth connectivity with up to three devices and can swap between them on the fly using a quick key combination. Using its wireless dongle, it is also able to connect using 2.4GHz wireless and a much faster 1,000Hz polling rate. Its 4000mAh is large enough to support gaming with full RGB brightness for just about a week (30 to 40 hours) before needing to be recharged. If you're willing to turn off the RGB it can easily last a month or more depending on how long you use it each day.

The only thing that could really make this better would be if it supported VIA for all of its programming. Instead, it uses a custom software suite that, while functional, leaves a lot to be desired. With it, you can remap keys across two layers, record macros, change between its many preset lighting effects, or create your own and save it to the keyboard. 

The problem is that remapping the second layer is somewhat buggy. It doesn't always tell you when there is a precept function already mapped, like the lighting controls to the arrow keys. If you try to remap these, the software will show it taking place  successfully but your changes won't actually save. I also ran into an issue where trying to Caps Lock would only intermittently work. This particular use case isn't a problem that will affect most people, but speaks to the software showing remaps that appear entirely functional but may not be.

With that said, the current version does show most of the remaps and won't allow you to assign anything there. This is why I say that it's functional. Definitely lacking polish, but you can program macros and key maps easily except for these somewhat rare exceptions.

The other area that betrays this is a budget keyboard is with the weight on the back. It's really more of a large galaxy themed badge than a true weight. I feel like this is a fair trade-off for the price, however. It still looks fine, even though it isn't really adding anything to the sound or feel of the board. It's aesthetic, but then so are a lot of the “weights” on custom keyboard kits that are really just colorful accents.

I should also mention that though the stabilizers were pre-lubed, I did notice some ticking beginning from my Backspace and Spacebar keys after just a day. It’s acceptable given the pricing, but you should take $5 of the money you’ll save choosing it and pick up a small tube of dielectric grease just in case. The others have been perfectly fine for the last three weeks.

Epomaker x Feker Galaxy80 - Typing and Gaming Impressions

With all of that background out of the way, we can talk about what it's actually like to use. The Epomaker x Feker Galaxy80 is shockingly good for the money. Like the Rainy 75, this is a keyboard that would have cost double or even triple the money even a handful of years ago, not including switches and keycaps. As of this writing, you can pick it up for only $95.99, using an instant $10 coupon. 

It factors in so many elements from the custom mechanical keyboard world, you could be forgiven for questioning the point of even investing in a more expensive keyboard. It is products like this that really challenge the high end, expensive side of the hobby. There are definitely discernible differences, and in many cases it's also true that you get what you pay for (especially in craftsmanship and innovation), but the typing and gaming experience punches well above its class here.

Typing on it is comfortable and satisfying. The switches are exceptionally smooth and have a mid-tone rich marbly sound signature. The PET sheet does a lot of work here in enhancing this sound.The plate has multiple flex cuts that allow each key to offer a small amount of give even when typing normally. The layers of foam prevent that movement from becoming too much, but it's perfectly visible and discernible when typing. There is a balance here between having a soft typing experience and becoming distracting and the Galaxy80 walks that line well.

The combination of IXPE foam, PET sheeting, and the long pole switches culminates in a very poppy typing experience. It sounds remarkably like the Rainy 75, which is why I lay so much at the feet of the  sheet. It brings these keyboards into alignment in a meaningful way when the Galaxy80 is available to buy now and for slightly less money. 

Like everything in this hobby, looks, sound, and feel are subjective. No one can say whether the Galaxy80 is better for you than any other keyboard. But the fact is that these two keyboards are going head to head, the Rainy 75 has gotten a huge amount of traction and attention, and the Galaxy80 is doing something extremely similar in a more beginner friendly  layout, and with keycaps that, while not Cherry profile, are better constructed overall. Feker and Epomaker really deserve attention and kudos for this product.

The wireless connectivity is great for gaming and productivity.  Despite using an aluminum case, I found the connection to be very stable and responsive whether I was using Bluetooth or 2.4GHz. Due to its naturally slower connection speed, I would avoid using Bluetooth for anything more than productivity or slow-paced games. 2.4GHz offers a speed that has parity with most wired gaming keyboards, and even side by side, I couldn't tell any difference.

Simply put, the Galaxy80 is a major challenger to what you should expect from a $100 keyboard these days. It’s more than a little impressive for being so affordably priced.

Final Thoughts

As someone who reviews keyboards for a living, it's getting harder and harder to describe the differences between different tiers of mechanical keyboards. The industry is moving so fast, and adopting so many great features from higher end, limited run keyboards, that it seems like every other week I'm extolling the virtues of the latest, greatest thing. The thing is, as someone who has followed this industry more closely than virtually any other technology critic (by virtue of my being deep in the hobby on a personal level), that is just how fast it is moving. With the context of the last few years of mechanical keyboards, the value products like this offer really is pretty mind-blowing.

The Galaxy80 is fantastic. Yes, it’s not the same as a modern $350 custom mechanical keyboard. Yes, it really performs best with at least some of the foams installed and might require you to add a touch more grease to a stabilizer. But at this price, its out of the box sound and feel blow any big-name custom mechanical keyboard I’ve tested out of the water. That’s impressive from a collab with a brand that most people will not have heard of before. 

So at $95.99 or $105.99, this is a keyboard absolutely worth considering. I wouldn’t put it above the Rainy 75 since they have different layouts. But it’s a great alternative if you’re not ready to dive into a compact mechanical keyboard and is probably the best budget TKL you can buy around $100.  

The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes. Some articles may contain affiliate links and purchases made through this will result in a small commission for the site. Commissions are not directed to the author or related to compensation in any way.

9.0 Amazing
  • CNC-milled aluminum case
  • Gasket-mounted with full foam kit and pre-lubed switches and stabilizers
  • Tri-mode wireless connectivity for high-speed wireless gaming
  • Outstanding value: great sound, feel, performance, and build quality
  • Comes ready to use with switches and keycaps straight out of the box
  • No VIA support and unpolished software
  • Stabilizer may need additional lube fairly quickly


Christopher Coke

Chris cut his teeth on MMOs in the late 90s with text-based MUDs. He’s written about video games for many different sites but has made MMORPG his home since 2013. Today, he acts as Hardware and Technology Editor, lead tech reviewer, and continues to love and write about games every chance he gets. Follow him on Twitter: @GameByNight