When you’re shopping for the best gaming keyboard, there are only a handful of brands that stand out: Razer, Corsair, Logitech, and Asus, to name a few. All of them make excellent keyboards, but I haven’t been using any of them. I’ve been using the Akko 3068B, a cheap Amazon gaming keyboard that’s as much as $100 less than similar name-brand options.

It’s almost the full package, just for less money. It’s wireless, with support for 2.4GHz and up to three Bluetooth devices, and it comes with transparent mechanical switches for built-in RGB lighting. For that, most name brands charge about $150. The Akko 3068B, on the other hand, is only $100.

It comes with more features, too, and it makes a better first impression than even the most expensive gaming keyboards. I’ve been using the Akko 3068B, and after slamming the keys down on thousands of words and endless raids in Destiny 2, I’m going to stick with it for a while.

Attention to detail

A keycap on the Akko World Tour keyboard.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

You might expect a name-brand keyboard to have better attention to detail than a cheap Amazon one, but the Akko 3068B proves that’s not always the case. Unboxing the keyboard and finding all of the unique and specialized accessories was an experience on its own, shooting up my expectations before I depressed a single key.

The attention to detail shows up in small places. Take the included USB-C cable. Akko could have included a bare-bones USB-C cable for charging and probably saved some money, but it didn’t. The cable perfectly matches the color of the keyboard, it comes with an Akko-branded Velcro cable tie (also the same color as the keyboard), and the USB port is shaped to fit flush against the keyboard.

There are other examples, like the Akko-branded keycap puller. It’s not a big deal, but it makes a better first impression than the cheap, knuckle-busting keycap pullers that come with even the most expensive keyboards. The Logitech G915, a keyboard that costs twice, made me feel like I spent too much money when I unboxed it. The Akko 3068B made me feel like I didn’t spend enough.

I can’t ignore the World Tour keycaps, either. Akko is better known for its keycaps, and this World Tour set shows why. They’re remarkably detailed, and even after having the keyboard on my desk for a few days, I always returned shocked at just how good they look.

Keycaps for the Akko World Tour keyboard.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

This keyboard comes with a wide assortment of specialty keycaps, too, which I swapped out immediately. You may get a few extra keys with a name-brand board, and keyboards like the Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini don’t include extra keycaps at all. I picked out the World Tour edition for the extra art, but Akko sells several versions of the 3068B with different keycaps and colors.

First impressions matter. I wouldn’t recommend the Akko 3068B if the typing experience was bad, no matter how much attention to detail Akko paid. But the typing experience is excellent, and the extra goodies make the keyboard feel like a premium offering immediately — just cheaper.

Hot swapping

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

My Akko 3068B came with Akko’s CS Jelly Pink switches, which are the equivalent of a Cherry MX Red switch. I’m not a fan of linear switches, but the typing experience is still excellent on the Jelly Pinks, and gaming is top-notch. It doesn’t really matter what switches you prefer, though: You can swap them out in a matter of seconds.

Yes, this $100 keyboard features hot-swappable switches. Even the cheapest keyboards with hot-swappable switches are $200 or more. The Massdrop ALT, for example, is $220, and the Glorius GMMK is around $150 when configured with anything but black keycaps. For that price, you could pick up the Akko 3068B and a few sets of key switches.

I love the idea of hot-swappable switches. It turns mechanical keyboards into a living product, one that you can upgrade and tweak over time and that doesn’t have a definitive end of life. The more expensive options come with aluminum frames, but I could tell from the moment I picked up the Akko 3068B that it wasn’t cheap.

You’re not locked to Akko’s switches, either. Although Akko has a solid selection of Cherry-like switches — all of which are cheaper than branded options — you can slot in any 3-pin or 5-pin key switch. I already have a set of Cherry Blues in the mail, and I can’t wait to slot them in.

Achilles’ heel: Software

Akko Cloud Driver software.

There’s a catch with the Akko 3068B, and it’s the software. Frankly, going with a name brand doesn’t buy you a better keyboard; it buys you better software. I had to search for Akko’s Cloud Driver far and wide, and once I found it, Windows Defender flagged it as a potentially malicious program.

It’s not, but this isn’t the software experience you find with keyboards like the Corsair K70 RGB. The software itself is horrible, too. It only works if the keyboard is connected in wired mode, lighting and macro controls aren’t intuitive, and some of the options (such as the Exit option in the tray) aren’t written in English.

Frankly, I ignored the software. I’m not big on macros, and you can access most of the functions of the Akko 3068B on the keyboard itself. The included manual has a handy list of functions that are already programmed on the board. You can swap between the wireless modes — including up to three separate Bluetooth devices — customize your lighting settings, and access additional functions like locking the Windows key.

I wish I didn’t have to reference a chart to understand how the Akko 3068B works. But after a few days with the keyboard, I was able to find my way around the functions that are most important to me without double-checking. Keep the manual handy, though. I referenced it more than once while using the keyboard.

Name recognition

Akko World Tour keyboard and keycaps.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

You shouldn’t jump on Amazon and buy the cheapest mechanical keyboard you can find, but the Akko 3068B proves that going outside of name brands can pay off. Razer, Asus, Corsair, and Logitech make excellent keyboards. Some of the price you pay comes down to the name and software, though.

I couldn’t be happier with the Akko 3068B. It feels more premium than name brands in some cases, and it comes with many more features — all for a lower price. It’s not the cheapest mechanical gaming keyboard you can buy, but it’s hard to argue with more features for less money. And that’s what the Akko 3068B delivers.

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