After customizing my Keychron K2 V2, I thought I was done with keyboards. Perhaps I should’ve known that it wasn’t yet my endgame and I would soon yearn for more. It took almost half a year for me to feel the itch again, but I did eventually get the urge again to look for something new, especially one with a knob. I also wanted to try using a new switch since I wanted to see if there was something even more tactile than the Akko CS Jelly Blue switches I had on my Keychron. I ended up getting an Akko 5075S, and it turned out pretty amazing.
The Akko 5075S is a 75% gasket-mount keyboard with a plastic body, polycarbonate plate, and screwless construction. There’s a barebones kit with a hotswappable board and a body that comes in four colors, Vintage White, Blue Ash (bluish light gray), Pale Dogwood (pink), and Starry Night (dark blue). I got the last one to match my GMK Blue Samurai (clone) keycaps.
You get the body, board, knob, and a USB cable. There’s little to no need to mod the board; just put on your switches and keycaps, and you’re ready to go. I did end up modding anyway with painter’s tape and polyethylene foam to accentuate the thocky sound, and I mostly succeeded in that endeavor. Most of this review details my experiences in modding this barebones kit.
(Video by CaviteTech on YouTube)
NOTE: This is a full peripheral review based on the reviewer’s preferences and needs. Your needs may be different and you may find this review to not have the information you need. Reader discretion is advised.
Design of the Akko 5075S
The lineup’s four colors are based on Pantone, thus the descriptive names. I got the Starry Night color to match it with Blue Samurai keycaps. While they’re not exactly the same shade of blue, they’re close enough that they seem to match nonetheless. If there’s any reason to buy a barebones kit, it’s having your choice of switches and keycaps to go with it.
The gasket-mounted polycarbonate plate adds more to the thocky-ness and gives it just a little bit of bounce. If you’re looking for trampoline-like with this gasket mount, you’ll be disappointed. With the way it feels, it might as well be a top mount anyway. However, with the plastic body, there was no need for a really bouncy gasket mount since that would be more apropos for something like the Akko MOD 007 or Glorious GMMK Pro.
However, the screwless assembly is its Achilles heel as the tabs have been known to break from either repeated disassembly or sheer carelessness. That’s enough risk to make modding a hardship, but I was able to make it work with enough care. Pulling this thing apart after just getting it in the mail was a fairly harrowing experience, but the plastic wasn’t worn yet to be overly fragile. It just needs more careful planning; it’s not one for experimentation.
I’m a big fan of the 75% layout, but the problem with cheaper boards is how the rightmost navigation keys tend to be different between brands and models. For instance, the Feker IK75 has Insert, End, Page Up, and Page Down — a perplexing combination. Meanwhile, the Akko 5075S has Home, Page Up, Page Down, and End, which is more logical and easier to adapt to.
Functionality of the Akko 5075S
The hotswappable board features north-facing LEDs and Kailh sockets for 82 keys and a dial for controlling either sound volume or LED brightness. Whichever setting the dial can adjust can be changed by pressing on the dial, a button which cannot be remapped by the Akko Cloud Driver software that can be downloaded from the official Akko website. There are also three LEDs on the right side of the board, which indicate connection Caps Lock status, which system it’s set for (Mac or Windows), and Windows key lock status.
As for the knob, it’s great if you tend to adjust sound volume through the operating system instead of a manual control. You can also press down the knob, but you don’t get to remap that key. It’s meant to only switch between volume control and the board’s LED brightness control. It’d be nice to be able to remap it in order to have my custom mute hotkey (Ctrl + F10 through Voicemeeter for muting my speakers and unmuting my microphone for streaming, recording, and calls). Then again, I’ve seen enough knobs with buttons that can’t be remapped.
Other than that, perhaps the only flaw with this kit is the lack of wireless connectivity. However, for the quality you get at this price point, it’s a fair sacrifice. If you’re someone who regularly moves the keyboard to use the desk for other things, you may want a keyboard that you can connect wirelessly so you still have some way of input. If this is your only keyboard, you won’t be doing that, so it can be a bit inconvenient.
Value of the Akko 5075S
You can assume that Akko found various compromises and corners to cut to get the 5075S down to ₱3,000 while its more robust counterparts tend to cost ₱8,000 or more. For instance, it has a plastic body that may be to your advantage if the only thing you wish for is a thocky keyboard above all else. If you want something more substantial, then you’ll want a metal body. But if you’re only looking for a thocky sound, then there’s nothing wrong with plastic as long as it never suffers significant damage..
Akko has garnered a reputation of being a great value brand in the keyboard space, first with its switches, and then with its keyboards and barebone kits. If you’re looking for something more comparable with the Glorious GMMK Pro, then you’ll want to look at the Akko MOD series, which are also made of metal instead of plastic. The thing with the 5075S and similar products from Akko is that it caters to budget-minded keyboard enthusiasts who may not like Royal Kludge, but still want something that feels premium.
The Akko 5075S barebone kit is the most value-packed product you can get for a custom mechanical keyboard that provides a premium experience. Only turbo keyboard nerds who join groupbuys for Keycults will ever shame you for having this on your desk. As long as you don’t feel the need to modify it repeatedly, it should serve you well. This kit is for those who are looking for an aesthetically pleasing keyboard that also provides that coveted “thocky” typing sound with little to no further modding needed.
The Akko 5075S barebone kit is the most value-packed product you can get for a custom mechanical keyboard that provides a premium experience. Only turbo keyboard nerds who join groupbuys for Keycults will ever shame you for having this on your desk.
As long as you don’t feel the need to modify it repeatedly, it should serve you well. This kit is for those who are looking for an aesthetically pleasing keyboard that also provides that coveted “thocky” typing sound with little to no further modding needed.
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