I have been looking forward to reviewing this keyboard for some time. Not only is this only the second keyboard I own that has a knob installed but it’s also the first keyboard that I decided to have a speed switch installed.
Today we have the Eclipse EC66 65% mechanical keyboard. I backed the EC66 on Kickstarter as an Early bird and received it for $55 USD plus shipping to Canada. More on price later.
In the box you get the keyboard, a USB-C cable, USB wireless adapter, key cap and switch puller and some extra keycaps to swap out for a different look or for Mac keys. There is also a manual that covers most of the on board connectivity functions as well as on board RGB settings.
The EC66 is available at launch in four colourways including two with translucent black cases and two with solid white cases. The keycaps available for the black variant are gray with black legends and pink or green accent keys and knobs. The white case keycaps has white keycaps with green legends, accent keys and knob or, once again, pink. I chose the white and green variant.
The case feels very sturdy and has very minimal flex for an all plastic affair. There’s nothing to see around the side except the USB-C plug on the left front of the keyboard. Underneath is where we see rubber pads around the back and two stand with two angle adjustments. Thanks for this, Eclipse. There are so many mechanical keyboards out there that charge a large premium but don’t have angle adjustments. There is also a mode switch down here as well. If you are going to run the EC66 over USB-C you need to have it switched one way and the other way it turns on the wireless functionality which is available over USB wireless or Bluetooth 5.0.
Bluetooth can by synced by using button combinations on the keyboard. If you have wireless mode on and plug in the USB wireless adapter it should just immediately function.
The thick PBT dye-sublimated keycaps are an absolute joy to type on though I would have loved to see these as double-shot PBTs as the dye sublimation can be easily scratched. The keycaps are in a modified SA profile called MDA. I am a huge fan of this keycap profile and so glad to see some more love for it as finding any keycaps of this type is incredibly hard. The keys below the knob are page-up and page-down and pressing FN+Page Down is the Delete function.
There is one thing though that makes this keyboard unique compared the regular blue, brown, or red switch equipped keyboard. I chose to go with Gateron G Pro Silver switches. Not only are these lubed from the factory, they have a Kaihl box style stem for more stability. On top of that the G Pro Silver is known as a “speed” switch meaning the travel of the switch is lessened by about 0.6mm from the typical 4mm of regular switches. You wouldn’t think 0.6mm would make so much of a difference but it does. Due to the lesser travel I have found myself typing things I didn’t necessarily think I had typed. This is not necessarily a knock on the switch though. These are really built for gaming and they do accomplish their purpose there. Quicker activations and less stress on the fingers while playing is what you get with the G Pro Silvers. I am a fan. And with the factory lube they are incredibly smooth to type on as well.
Oh and of course, the switches on the EC66 are hot-swappable so if you don’t like what you have now you can always put in a 3 or 5 pin switch of your liking.
Of course this also has a knob which by default is set to volume up and down plus mute. You can set this to anything you want though in Eclipse’s software. I should mention that until they released updated firmware for the EC66 the mute function did not work but the new firmware fixed that. Oh and yes, the knob is made of metal.
The EC66 also has a ton of RGB settings that can be configured on the keyboard itself or set by using Eclipse’s software. The software is easy to use and has even more RGB effects on board while allowing more custom colouring along the way. The Main screen is where you can set the function of up to eight (EIGHT!) different layers. The next section is for lighting where you can set all the aforementioned RGB effects. The next section is for setting up macros. The last section is the support section where you can download software and firmware updates. Overall a pretty simple but functional piece of software. Good to note too that your settings are saved to the keyboard so you can remove the software once you have set it up as you desired.
Eclipse now has their website up for purchasing their keyboards along with some different keycaps that are compatible with the EC66. The EC66 itself is selling for $89.00 USD ($99.00 regularly) for versions with Gateron and Kaihl switches to $109.00 USD for TTC Bluish White and Golden Pink to 114.00 USD for TTC Quick Silver switches.
The closest Keychron equivalent to the EC66 is the K6. The K6 doesn’t offer a knob or software but offers basically almost all the rest the EC66 offers and at a lower $71.20 USD price (though normally it’s $89.99). Keychron also doesn’t offer a speed switch with the K6. Keychron does have software for some of their other products but it’s not in a good state as of writing and not compatible with most of their devices including the K6. Eclipse’s software is simple but powerful.
If you’re on a tight budget I can’t not recommend the Keychron but if you are looking for something prettier, something a bit flashier, something with a knob, you have to go for the Eclipse EC66. Just be sure if you are primarily typing and not gaming the best thing to do would be to avoid the Gateron G Pro Silver switches. Again nothing wrong with them but they are really meant for gaming and in that, they are fantastic.