One thing that I love to see is traits from custom boards trickling their way down to more consumer mechs overtime, and thus having a mixture of characteristics. And that’s what I see in this keyboard. Today we check out the Akko 3068. Thanks to Banggood.com for providing this keyboard for review, but as always, I’ll provide my honest opinions. So I’m not exactly sure what the go is with Akko. They seem to be closely tied with Ducky, and are apparently their agents in China. Even though Ducky is in Taiwan. So they have a bunch of different products, doing a lot of keycap stuff, and some pretty interesting boards, including this one. And what I was saying about it’s mixed characteristics. So this is how I’ve understood it.
There’s the SABER68 and TADA68 which was and still is a very popular beginner custom mechanical keyboard, and I still do believe the aluminium version is great value. And a bit later, the TADA68 Pro was released, which was a wireless version with a plastic case. And then the Akko name became attached to it at some point. And finally, we have this, which disattaches it from the TADA name. So it has the exact same 65% layout and form factor, and is one of the reasons why the TADA has been so popular. Personally 65% is the sweetspot for me, as it keeps that compact form factor, but has the dedicated arrow keys and some nav keys on the right hand side, with adding just the 1 column. So we still have the space saving benefits, in giving our mouse more space on our desk, and ergonomically it allows for more natural shoulder and arm positioning. But yeh, I love me some dedicated arrow keys, and is one of the reasons why I don’t particularly like 60% keyboards, and I feel many others are the same way. The one tiny disadvantage of such a layout, is that if you want to replace the keycaps, you’ll need some 1u keys here, and the typical 1.75u right shift key, but these are in most aftermarket keysets that are even worth replacing these. Because these are pretty nice. They’re dye sublimated PBT plastic, so they should be quite durable overtime. And the extra light blue keycaps give the keyboard a bit of colour which I welcome. But we also get the spare grey keycaps if you want to keep it more plain. The legends are clean and simple as well, but the black isn’t that deep, and it’s somewhat light looking, which in my opinion makes it a bit less nice.
And these are Cherry profile, which is another fan favourite, being slightly shorter than the typical OEM caps, and are just more comfortable in my opinion.
The case is decent for a plastic case.
The bezels are slim, but cover the switches to give a high profile look. And it has a kind of sparkly finish to it. There is a slight natural inclination to the keyboard to give it some angle. And again, it has a relatively simple aesthetic. On the rear we have a USB type C port, as of course you can use this in wired mode.
And on the bottom there’s some rubber feet to keep it sturdy on your desk, but there are no flip up feet, which is very common for boards of this size, so we’re stuck at this angle. And we have our on and off switch for the wireless mode. And this another example about mixing characteristics.
Wireless mechanical keyboards aren’t often seen in high end boards, but is a feature that makes it more attractive to a wider audience.
And it’s super simple. We can switch between Bluetooth mode and wired mode with FN + tab. And we have 3 different bluetooth profiles in which we can store devices to.
So as per usual, we turn bluetooth on on our device. Select 1 of the 3 profiles, and simply pair it. It houses a 1800 mAh lithium battery, and they state that it has a 120 hour battery life, which is super impressive, and isn’t something I’ve come across before, I think. I wasn’t able to actually test that claim, but after about a week of on and off use in wireless mode, I didn’t exhaust the battery.
Also keep in mind that this doesn’t have any backlighting, so I guess that helps as well.
It’s using Bluetooth 3.0, and the performance is decent. Each device varies, like usually my laptop isn’t the most responsive with Bluetooth keyboards, but my phone is. And even on my phone, I did feel some latency when I was just typing stuff. And it did slightly impact on what I was actually typing, which isn’t normal for me with other wireless keyboards. So I’d say for gaming, you’re gonna want to stick with wired mode. And in my personal experience, the wireless is slightly below par. But your experience may vary.
This is available in Cherry MX keyswitches. I got the Browns, and yeh, I don’t know why they labelled this as silent. I mean of course compared to Blues, they’re not as loud, but they’re still loud because of the top and bottom out. So as you can hear, there’s nothing special about these Browns. There’s no silencing rings or dampening of any sort, so they’re just normal switches.
And that’s not bad or anything, I just want to make it clear that it isn’t a silent keyboard, like what it says on the box.
Programmability is something that’s important for smaller keyboards, as we are forced to use combos to access other keys. The manual is in Chinese, and there wasn’t a link in there, but it does mention macro stuff. I did go to the Akko Gear website, but unfortunately this keyboard isn’t listed on the downloads page. I did do more research and it clearly states that this keyboard is programmable, but I just couldn’t find this piece of software anywhere, so unfortunately I can’t really comment on this, and I’m sure someone here will know what’s up.
So if you do, please do comment. To take it apart, there’s a couple of Phillips head screws under some keycaps. The plastic enclosure is very simple, there’s not much to it, with just tapped plastic for the standoffs, and not a lot of reinforcement or ribbing to give it a bit more rigidity. Therefore, there is a tonne of empty space in here. So you could fill it up with foam or something to make it feel and sound a bit better. And yeh even the battery, there’s heaps of space for a bigger one. There’s a 1.5mm thick steel plate, which gives the keyboard most of its weight and rigidity. And the PCB is super clean, and has a pleasant matte black solder mask, which you don’t often see in prebuilts. If we look closer, there’s actually spots for some LEDs, so why not just test it it out. For each LED, there’s a positive symbol which is the anode pin. So looking at this 1.8mm white LED, the longer pin is the positive, and yeh, you just stick it in and solder. And while it’s all apart, let’s give it a paint just because. Alright, so overall, this is a keyboard that has the cool 65% layout, with solid dye subbed PBT keycaps. It has USB C, and overall has a decent build with the internal steel plate, but it’s still a plastic enclosure, so it won’t blow you away or anything. You can ignore the Silent branding attached to it. It’s just a normal mech. But what I find appealing is the price at about 80 bucks. I feel that for a starter mech, or just for someone that doesn’t want to splash out the big bucks on one, this is a great choice. It kind of brings that somewhat niche vibe with it, because of the layout, and keycaps, so that’ll be quite foreign to a lot of people. But yeh, wireless. It actually has Bluetooth which is something that a lot of other people seek. The TADA68 plastic version still beats it if you want other keyswitches, which is completely fair enough, and it does come with nicer quality keycaps. But at the same time, it is more expensive. So yeh, I think it feels a nice gap in the market, as it kind of stands on its own. Being a very fairly priced wireless 65% mech. Oh and yeh, the blue paint didn’t really match at all, and I thought the grey looked really good. But it still looks decent, so let me know what you think. Thanks again to Banggood.com for providing this keyboard for review, and for their continued support. I’ll leave links in the description, if you want to check it out. .