The KC84 Pro is a great entry-level mech that offers a strong set of features, including hot-swap sockets and PBT keycaps
KC84 Pro on Amazon
A few months ago I looked at two keyboards from Yunzii’s KC84 series and I was thoroughly impressed. Since then they’ve released a Pro version and they were kind enough to send me a sample along with some keycaps and a coiled aviator cable. One thing I like about the KC84 series is the stylised cases and keycaps, and each keyboard has a distinctive appearance that makes it stand out from the crowd. The most notable change on the Pro version is the new translucent ABS case, which is available in black and white.
I was torn between the White and Shimmer versions, but eventually decided on White. This particular version comes with OEM profile keycaps that have a grey-white colourway. They are double-shot PBT and the quality is very good with walls of around 1.2mm. A minor nitpick would be that some of the legends have a stencil-like appearance, but it wasn’t too off-putting. The case has a frosted translucent finish that allows us to see all the electronic eye candy inside like the diodes and hot-swap sockets. There are no underglow LEDs on the PCB so the case doesn’t look overly flashy. I actually prefer this more understated look without the underglow. I haven’t used shine-through keycaps for a while and had forgotten how good they look! The RGB looks really punchy and smooth on the KC84 Pro. The Fn layer provides comprehensive RGB control with mode cycling, single colour selection and brightness and speed control.
The KC84 comes with the trusty Gateron switches and you can choose from the usual Red, Brown, Blue and Black. Gateron’s linear switches are especially impressive, offering superb stock performance with a smooth push feel. The spring ping is pretty bad, but it wasn’t really noticeable during general use. The Gateron Black is a heavier switch with a bottom out force of 75g. While they are a little too heavy for me personally, they felt great to type and I make less typos on a heavier spring. The KC84 comes with clip-in stabilisers that are factory lubed, and I didn’t pick up any substantial rattle on any of the bigger keys. Overall a very good typing experience for a prebuilt, and the sound was even more impressive. Sub $100 mechs are often plagued by issues like metal ping and rattle, but the KC84 Pro sounded really good; this is partly thanks to the layer of foam between the PCB and mounting plate. My only nitpick would be that the keycaps sound a little thin, and you should be able to get an improvement with a thicker set.
The 84-key layout is ideal for beginners as it has all the functionality of a TKL while being only one row wider than a 60% board. With this layout you have the F-Row, Nav cluster and arrow keys, so it will be an easy transition from the full-size or TKL form factors. The Fn layer features a set of media controls as well as the RGB shortcuts discussed earlier. When holding Fn, all the Fn keys will be illuminated white, so it should be easy to memorise the shortcuts. What’s nice about this layout is that you’re not so reliant on the Fn layer, and it’s a great alternative to the 68-key layout if you value the F-Row or just need some extra keys for macros.
The case sounded a bit creaky when squeezed or bent, but otherwise the build quality is solid. There are four rubber feet on the bottom as well as rubber-tipped foldouts. Here you will also find cable routing, so you can feed the cable left, center or right. The PCB features Gateron hot-swap sockets so it’ll be very easy to do your own modding. No changes have been made to the case construction, and we still have that top frame that clicks into the bottom piece.
The KC84 software can be downloaded on Yunzii’s website. Choose the option that says Download Software with Music Rhythm. All the essential features are present, including single key remapping, macro recording and RGB controls.
Yunzii also sent their Milk PBT keycap set and the Epomaker Coiled Aviator cable. Now Yunzii are partners with Akko, which is why you’ll sometimes see the Yunzii Akko naming on products. This is Yunzii’s own Milk keycap set, which is a dye-subbed PBT set with the Cherry profile. There are 140 keys in total so it supports a wide variety of layouts. I’ve never been too big on sublegends, but I must say this set has definitely piqued my interested, and I’m already looking to order a few new sublegend sets! The colourway is based on the GMK Noel design, and I quite like the combination of blue, white and pink.
The cable is available with a few different colourways, and what’s cool is that it matches the Akko keycap designs. This is a great entry-level cable if you’re tired of that generic USB cable that came with your keyboard. I thought the Sakura version would be a good match for the Milk keycaps.
The KC84 Pro is another worthy addition to the KC84 series, and these boards represent a great entry point into the world of mechanical keyboards. They’re easy on the eye but all the important features are present like PBT keycaps, hot-swap sockets and functional software. The 84-key layout isn’t as daunting as the smaller boards, and this is a great place to start. A definite recommend at under $100.