Pros: Build Quality, Aesthetic, Great Sound Profile (Deep Clack). Easy to assemble and mod
Cons: Potentially Pricey for some, Rather simple feature-wise
Disclaimer: The KiiBOOM Moonshadow 81 was provided to us at no charge courtesy of KiiBOOM. However, this was done with the understanding that I was to give my honest thoughts and opinions on the keyboard. The KiiBOOM Moonshadow 81 is available for purchase here should you find yourself interested in one, or feel free to use your own links.
KiiBOOM was kind enough to send over a full set with their Matcha Latte Linear Switches and a set of their crystal keycaps. However, note that the product is a barebones kit and keycaps and switches are not included in the listed price. One key characteristic of the Moonshadow keyboard was its screwless design. I was able to put together the entire keyboard without the need to whip out any tools or screwdrivers and the process was indeed as hassle-free as marketed.
- Switches: KiiBOOM Matcha Latte Switches
- 81 Keys Hot-swappable
- Grey/White/Purple/Green colours available
- Aluminium Body
- South-facing LEDs
- Software Compatibility: VIA/QMK
- USB-C Connectivity
On unboxing, the first thing I noticed was that the keyboard was REALLY heavy. There seems to be a weighted base, which helps keep the keyboard firmly planted, and it would take quite a bit of force to even shift or adjust it. The board is VIA and QMK compatible, however, it can be easily set up out of the box. I was able to quickly figure out the keyboard and even the default RGB options. The south-facing RGBs give a rather tasteful muted backlit lighting which I liked.
One downside to this keyboard is its fixed silicone feet. There are no adjustable heights. I liked the angle that that the board came in but those who prefer a more unique angle for their typing style might be disappointed at the lack of options. However, one can always improvise through DIY means.
I was sent a set of the KiiBoom transparent keycaps, the ones that come with their Phantom 81 keyboard. However, I didn’t like how it looked on this keyboard and felt like it did not match the vibe so I took the liberty to put on the set of keycaps I was using on my personal keyboard. It happened to suit the dark blue aluminium frame and gold accents on the board perfectly and looked like a match made in heaven. Everything turned out so well put together.
I was also sent a set of KiiBoom’s Matcha Latte Linear switches. It was my first time using them, and I didn’t lube them out of the box. They seemed to perform decently well and had a really nice sound profile when paired with the keyboard. I find them to have a nicer, more responsive feeling when typing on them as compared to Gateron Yellows.
Of course, one thing to point out was the locking mechanism that secures the 2 halves of the aluminium frame together without the use of any screws. There are 2 plastic pieces at the top that slide to lock the keyboard frame in place. It seemed a little weird to me at first, but over time I realised they are pretty much out of your personal line of sight when using the keyboard and really make taking apart or putting the keyboard together a simple affair.
The sound of the board is something like a deep clack, which was very satisfying out of the box. This of course would vary with the switches used. However, I’m quite sure the solid weight and the silicone pads as well as the gasket do contribute to this sound profile. I find the stabs relatively stable and do not have too much rattle without any lubing or modding done.
In conclusion, I loved the feel and user-friendliness of the Moonshadow. The biggest issue I would have with the board is the feet and also perhaps the price. It is a little on the pricey side for someone new to the hobby. However, considering the materials and the whole package you are receiving, I feel it is fairly priced. For people who do not have the time to mod their keyboards, I feel the Moonshadow does a great job at excelling right out of the box and the build quality speaks for itself. When you find the right keycaps for this barebones kit, you can really elevate the aesthetic and add your personal creative touch to the look effortlessly.