Kemove Shadow: One of The Best Mid-End 60% Boards

Kemove Shadow on Amazon

Today we’re revisiting an underrated gem in the mid-end 60% market, the Kemove Shadow. You may have seen the white version of this board on the channel, and I used the Snowfox as my daily driver for a couple of months. It’s very rare to get such a good typing experience and sound profile at under $100. The Shadow has an exhaustive list of features that include Bluetooth, hot-swap sockets, PBT keycaps and full RGB backlighting.

Package contents

Right now we still only have Bluetooth 5.1 on the Shadow, but I am hoping to see 2.4Ghz connectivity in a future iteration. You can save up to three devices on the keyboard, and pairing is as simple as flipping a switch on the back, then holding Fn + Z, X or C for 3 seconds. One thing to note is that the board only has 6KRO in Bluetooth mode, while it has full NKRO in wired mode. The Shadow has a sizeable 3000mAh battery, which should give you around 12 hours of use. I was able to get 3 days with the backlighting at full brightness and over a week with the backlighting off. The keyboard will go into power saving mode after 5 minutes of idle, but will immediately be responsive when used again. Generally I prefer to use the snappier 2.4Ghz over Bluetooth, however I was really happy with the wireless performance here, and I didn’t really have any issues with input delay when playing CSGO.

Double-shot PBT keycaps

I may sound like a broken record at this point, but Gateron has excellent budget switches, especially their linear offerings like the Yellows and Blacks. The Gateron Brown is maybe not as impressive, and its biggest shortcoming is the lack of tactility. This switch could easily be mistaken for a linear! I’m hoping Gateron brings out something similar to the Akko Ocean Blue, with a higher tactile position and more pronounced bump, as it would be much more appealing on a budget to mid-end prebuilt. With all of that said, the Gateron Brown is perfectly adequate for a board like this, being smoother but less tactile than your generic Brown. I did pick up some noticeable metal ping on a few individual keys, but overall I wouldn’t say the ping was a big issue. If you’re not going to lube, a nice workaround is putting the pingy switches on lesser used areas, for example my A and F keys had ping, so I just swapped them with number row switches. The stabilisers are pre-lubed, and they felt pretty good with minimal rattle. All things considered, you’re getting a very good stock typing experience here, and the hot-swap feature makes it very easy to do your own customisation.

Gateron Browns

You’ll see that the Shadow’s Fn key sits in the bottom right corner, and this creates space for the Fn layer arrow keys, making it possible to access them with one hand. This is a very convenient arrangement, and you’ll find this on Kemove’s other 60% boards as well. Apart from that, the Shadow has a very comprehensive Fn layer, and you’ll find everything here including the F-row, Nav cluster, RGB and media controls. I’m not usually a fan Fn icons, but I quite liked the pink print on the side of the keycaps.

Fn Layer arrow keys

The Shadow has full RGB backlighting and there are 13 colour modes accessible with the Fn layer, with more modes to be found on the software. The mounting plate is painted white which makes for some punchy RGB. My only nitpick would be that the light doesn’t shine through evenly on all the keys, but you won’t be aware of this for the most part. The Shadow looks really sleek with its thin bezels and inner frame design. On the back of the case there are two switches, one of which allows you to toggle between Windows and Mac mode, and then of course your Bluetooth switch.

Win/Mac & Bluetooth switch

Build quality is very good, and the plastic enclosure feels compact and sturdy with a weight of 650g. The bottom of the case is quite stylish with some Kemove branding, and then we have two flip-outs that offer an 8-degree typing angle. This board includes a 1.5m detachable cable with an L-shaped connector. I actually had an issue with this cable on the DK61 where I received a USB device overcurrent message, but had no issues this time around. The keycaps are double-shot PBT with a thickness of around 1.2mm, and it’s always nice to see high quality caps at an affordable price like this. The PCB is IPX4 certified and it also comes with Gateron hot-swap sockets, which is a very useful feature and saves you the time of having to desolder.

While the software isn’t very intuitive, it has all the expected functionality like key remapping, macro recording and RGB controls. The software can be downloaded from Kemove’s website.

So the Kemove Shadow still offers great value at under $100, and it’s every bit as good as the Anne Pro 2 and Ducky One 2 Mini while having that crucial hot-swap capability, not to mention a chunky 3000mAh battery. This is a great choice if you’re looking for a mid-end 60% board without breaking the bank.

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