Endgame Gear KB65HE keyboard review - premium in all ways except the price

Endgame Gear KB65HE RGB lighting

Endgame Gear KB65HE RGB lighting

Endgame Gear has been in the peripherals game for a long time, mainly focused on producing quality gaming mice, but with the KB65HE they’ve dipped their toes into the world of keyboards. Or rather, they’ve dove headfirst and scored an almost perfect ten. The KB65HE board is Endgame Gear’s first-ever keyboard, and though most would expect a quick and easy product to ship out as a trial run, this particular peripheral is anything but. From first opening the box, you can tell that this is a premium product, and almost every element has been carefully curated to produce something that Endgame Gear should be incredibly proud of.

The most noticeable thing upon first getting your hands on this keyboard is the weight of it. Despite its slim 65% size, you could probably kill a man with the CNC-milled aluminium chassis alone (although, we wouldn’t recommend or condone it). It’s a solid block of metal, where Endgame Gear has chosen to scoop the centre out and simply drill a hole for the USB C port (which is located on the far left of the board, which for me personally makes for fantastic cable management and is yet another small but effective detail), making the total board weight just over a kilo at 1,050 grams. It’s satisfyingly rigid and refuses to budge even in the height of virtual battle, so it’s great for those super intense gaming sessions where you don’t want to worry about your hardware sliding all over your desk.

In the guts of the KB65HE, there are two separate mats made of silicon, one beneath the board itself and the other between the PCB and the faceplate, which gives a deliciously muted tone to the keys of an otherwise pretty sturdy board. It also comes with adjustable rubber feet, although these don’t afford a great deal of elevation. But if you’re like me and plan on using the KB65HE for both gaming and typing in equal measure, this doesn’t pose too much of an issue.

Endgame Gear KB65HE keyboard
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The click-clacking of mechanical keyboards is an inescapable standard but with such a softened and unintrusive sound thanks to the Gateron KS-37B switches, you can use the KB65HE for the day-to-day without being deafened by the sound. And I use the term switches lightly because Endgame Gear’s first keyboard has officially made me a Hall Effect convert. These ‘switches’ don’t actually switch anything, because they utilise an embedded magnet and spring instead of the electrical components you’d find in other switches. This only adds to an extremely premium typing and gaming experience, and still means they’re completely hot-swappable provided you can source a compatible replacement. The Rapid Trigger technology uses these Hall Effect switches to implement custom actuation points for individual switches that can be altered whenever you like, which means key presses can reset the moment your fingers leave the key. So instead of waiting for traditional switches to reach their appointed reset point like on most standard keyboards, this adds an extra level of responsiveness. It means the KB65HE is afforded a lot more intuition, particularly in high-stakes, fast-paced FPS games like Valorant and Apex Legends where movement and accuracy are rewarded in equal measure - I used the KB65HE on both games and once you get accustomed to such responsiveness, it’s noticeable how much of an advantage these Hall Effect switches give.

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However, the only downside to this is that you need to reinput the actuation distance - in layman’s terms, you need to press the key as if you were pressing it for the first time again - in order for it to reregister the input, which can lead to some accidental key presses or slow response on what you think you’re pressing. This can be corrected, though, because the KB65HE lets you set the actuation and release points of each individual key to whatever works best for you. So it’s a learning curve, but still something that this peripheral caters to.

Endgame Gear KB65HE keycaps
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More than anything, it just feels good. The weight is something you’d expect from a custom board, whereas pre-builts normally tend to opt for plastic cases to shave a little off the price, and the keycaps are Doubleshot PBT and crafted in collaboration with Ducky - which is proof that Endgame Gear genuinely wanted to get this peripheral right, even with the minor elements. These PBT caps have far more durability and are slightly textured, and if you’re using the KB65HE for daily use then these small but effective details only add to the comfort of the board. The RGB lighting is totally customisable and allows you to change the colouring on a per-key basis, so even from an aesthetics standpoint it ticks all the right boxes.

Taking all of this into account, anyone wanting to make the move to a Hall Effect keyboard can do so with the Endgame Gear KB65HE without breaking the bank. At a cost of £139 / $139, this peripheral holds up against its Keychron and Wooting counterparts with a noticeably lower cost, and it has a lot of potential to become something great, especially with the upcoming macro support. For first-timers, Endgame Gear has hit it out of the park with the KB65HE.

Endgame Gear KB65HE keyboard review
Endgame Gear recently made the move to keyboards and has produced a near-perfect first product. A solid Hall Effect peripheral that doesn’t break the bank, with effortless customisation and user-friendly functionality.
9 out of 10
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