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IQUNIX OG80 Review: Wormhole and Darkside

Top of the Line for Gaming and Productivity

Christopher Coke Updated: Posted:
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Hardware Reviews 0

IQUNIX has developed a name for itself for delivering some of the best prebuilt mechanical keyboards you can buy. We certainly felt the same when we reviewed the F96 in 2020, but with two more years of development under its belt, the OG80 is better in nearly every way. Featuring a compact 75% design, high-speed 2.4GHz wireless, hot-swappable switches, PBT keycaps, and more, the IQUNIX OG80 is one of the best wireless mechanical keyboards you can buy today.

Specifications

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IQUNIX OG80 - What Is It?

The OG80 is one of the latest mechanical keyboards from IQUNIX, a company known for developing some of the best prebuilt mechanical keyboards you can buy. It’s a cousin to the A80 and L80, which I reviewed for Tom’s Hardware in July of last year. It’s compact, designed with a 75% layout, and offers fast 2.4GHz wireless for lag-free gaming, as well as simultaneous Bluetooth connectivity with up to three additional devices. Most importantly, it’s built to a high standard, so you can immediately see, feel, and hear the upgrade it offers over your average gaming keyboard.

The mechanical keyboard world is surprisingly deep. On the one hand, you have gaming keyboards. It’s what most of us start with, and they’re usually fine for what they are. They feel better than rubber membrane keyboards, come with decent switch options, and have software for things like macros. On the other hand, you have custom mechanical keyboards which top out the look, feel, and sound of the keyboard, typically at much higher prices. 

IQUNIX and the OG80 exist in the middle of those options. It’s premade and ready to use out of the box, so you don’t have to source your own switches and keycaps. It features a unique design with colorful, high quality PBT keycaps. IQUNIX actually sells its keyboards in multiple colorways so you can find a scheme that fits your personal taste. We were sent the Wormhole and Dark Side versions, and both look great and offer a different “vibe” for your desk.

The layout is also fairly untraditional compared to other pre-built keyboards, but balances productivity and gaming very well. The 75% layout is similar to a TKL but smaller. The number pad is removed and navigation and editing cluster compressed to a single column above the arrow keys. Everything is shifted to the left to remove any unused space. The function row is still intact, so you have access to all of your F-keys. 

The end result is a smaller keyboard that gives you lots of room to sweep your mouse, takes up less space on your desk, and doesn’t force you to give up anything more than the number pad. In fact, there are even additional functions, like lighting and media controls, tied to secondary commands, so you actually have more functionality than your standard tenkeyless keyboard. 

The OG80 also has quite a unique design. Its appearance is somewhere between “vintage” and “science fiction,” with a frosted plastic shell and a very angular shape. The f-row is angled forward, making those keys easier to access. There’s also a large indicator lamp between the Escape and function buttons which looks very retro. Around the back edge, the case is trimmed with fins to again give that retro aesthetic. 

If you haven’t picked up on it yet, look is a big part of IQUNIX’s keyboards. Yes, they sound good and feel good, but they’re also filled with character and are a bit more fun than your average gaming keyboard. The Dark Side is the most subdued with its black-keycaps-on-a-black-translucent-case aesthetic, but the Wormhole and Camping models definitely add some color and visual flair to their look with unique case colors and keycap designs. 

While we’re on the subject of keycaps, the OG80 comes with a thick PBT set. Depending on your model, they’ll either be doubleshot (Dark Side) or dye-sublimated (Wormhole). Both sets are lightly textured so the legends will never fade or their surfaces begin to shine. The doubleshot set is very nice with crisp, consistent legends. The dye-sublimated set is mostly good but isn’t quite as crisp on keys with whole words on them: a consequence of dye-sublimation that all PBT dye-sub sets are subject to. The doubleshot keycaps are also made using custom molds produced by IQUNIX. The company made a significant investment to create molds to their own high standard, so it's no wonder why the doubleshots on the Dark Side are so impressive.

Beneath those keycaps is your choice of Cherry, Gateron, or TTC switches. For Cherry MX and Gateron, you can choose the usual linear red, tactile brown, or clicky blue switches. For TTC, you have Gold Pink, Ace, and Speed Silver. The keyboard also supports hot-swapping switches, so if you have another set you would like to use, it’s as simple as pulling out the old ones and putting the new ones in. 

The OG80 also supports per-key RGB backlighting. Since the case is frosted plastic, it creates a nicely diffused glow across the top of they keyboard. Even OG80 Dark Side has a respectable light show, despite its dark case and keycaps. There are more than a dozen different lighting effects, both animated and touch responsive, and 10 different colors to choose from. 

There is no software yet, so it’s only color customizable across the whole keyboard, but the Downloads page says that software is “coming soon.” This also means that keys are not individually remappable and macros are also out at this point. For hardcore gamers, that may be a deal breaker, but these commands can also be completed using third-party apps like AutoHotKey.

One of the things that makes IQUNIX stand out is that it pays special attention to small elements that elevate the typing experience, like lubing the stabilizers and adding sound dampening foam between the plate and PCB. Depending on which model you choose, you’ll either get Costar or Cherry stabilizers. Cherry stabilizers are popular for their easy modability, but I’ve had nothing but good experiences with IQUNIX’s Costar stabilizers. They’re a pain to get back on if you remove the keycap, but they’re smooth, sound good, and are rattle free. No matter which you choose, the stabilizers will come lubed. And if history and my two samples are any indicator, should sound good out of the box without the need for additional mods. 

Finally, we have connectivity, and this is an area where the OG80 shines. It supports Bluetooth 5.2 across three devices with instant hot-swapping, 2.4GHz for wireless gaming and a 1ms response rate, and wired USB Type-C connectivity when it’s time to charge. You could conceivably connect to four different wireless devices and swap between them on the fly, which is great if you work at a PC but need to pop over to a tablet. It also means that this laptop has wireless gaming chops that compete with dedicated gaming keyboards. The wireless experience is powered by a large 4000mAh battery that iQunix claims can last for up to 3000 hours with RGB disabled (though this will be less if you’re using 2.4GHz).

If you’re a Mac user, you’ll also be happy to hear that this keyboard has a built-in Mac mode for easy connectivity. Inside the box, IQUNIX also provides a selection of Mac-specific keycaps so you can outfit it to match your current OS.

IQUNIX OG80 - Typing and Gaming Performance

IQUNIX is a brand that has rarely disappointed me over the years, and the same is true here. The OG80 seems bound to impress with its excellent typing and gaming experience. The company’s attention to the sound and feel of its keyboards makes the experience of using them a clear upgrade from the masses of gaming keyboards on the market, often for higher prices. 

Having used prior IQUNIX keyboards, I requested TTC ACE switches, knowing that they would match my taste for a heavier linear switch. They also come pre-lubed and were very smooth to type on. As someone who lubes his own switches, this is a set that genuinely doesn’t need extra lubing and is good to go out of the box. They also have a very nice, clacky sound to them that I found quite satisfying when typing out articles.

Unlike many of the other keyboards releasing in the high-end prebuilt space, the OG80 isn’t gasket mounted. Instead, it uses a heavy metal mounting plate and doesn’t have much flex to speak of. The sound is less muted and the feel is a bit more stiff, so if you don’t like the idea of your keystrokes being dampened, this is a good alternative with a unique sound profile. 

The stabilizers deserve special mention here. IQUNIX is one of the few brands that actually knows how to tune stabilizers well. Neither the OG80 Wormhole or Dark Side required extra lubing. Both were rattle-free and sounded good, straight out of the box. 

For gaming, the OG80 doesn’t miss a beat. While I wish there were software to record my own macros, I found Bartel’s Macro Recorder to be a very solid alternative. Gaming on 2.4GHz wireless is exceptionally good (I couldn’t tell a difference between it and a wired gaming keyboard), and the lubed switches made gaming feel more smooth and fluid. 

Overall, the OG80 performed exceptionally well. 

Final Thoughts

The IQUNIX OG80 is another great keyboard in a line of high quality prebuilts. They’re not the cheapest, and in the case of this model in particular, lacks some of the gaming features you might find with a Razer or Logitech keyboard. But, in exchange for that, you’re getting a keyboard that looks, feels, and sounds much better to use, and has a cool and unique aesthetic to match. Simply put, the OG80 is great and makes for a solid alternative to spending extra on a DIY custom keyboard kit.

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.

9.0Amazing
Pros
  • Unique aesthetic
  • Great stabilizers
  • Sound and feel are exceptionally good for a prebuilt keyboard
  • Solid, thick keycaps
  • Tri-mode wireless connectivity with great battery life
Cons
  • Rather expensive
  • No software for macros or per-key lighting customization


GameByNight

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