The prevalence of wireless mechanical keyboards seems to rise with every passing month. What was once a limited market with few options just a couple of years ago has blossomed into a fast-growing niche with many popular brands hopping on the Bluetooth bandwagon.
Today I am reviewing the Akko 3084, a 75% mechanical keyboard with genuine Cherry MX switches, dye-sublimated PBT keycaps, steel backplate and wireless connectivity via Bluetooth 3.0.
Disclosure: My review sample of the Akko 3084 was provided by Banggood.com. This is not a sponsored post. I was not given monetary compensation to write this review, though I do participate in affiliate programs which pay percentage based commissions if you follow my affiliate link and make a purchase. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.
What’s in the Box
The Akko 3084 comes packaged in a fairly standard box with an outer sleeve. The box is plain black with just the Akko logo. The colorful sleeve is printed with all the relevant specs, features and a photo of the keyboard so you know exactly what you’re getting beforehand.
Upon first opening the box we are presented with the Akko 3084 stored in a cushioned foam bag and the plastic dust cover placed on top for additional protection of the keycaps. The box is reasonably padded with cardboard crush points to keep everything safe and secure during shipping.
Unboxing the contents we find the following: the keyboard itself, a plastic dust cover, wire keycap puller tool in purple with Akko branding, detachable USB-C cable, additional keycaps for the Escape/Arrow keys and the instruction manual in Chinese (no English translation). Overall a small but actually useful selection of accessories.
Akko 3084 Layout, Features and Aesthetics
The Akko 3084 is a 75% form factor wireless mechanical keyboard with 84 total keys in non-standard ANSI layout. This form factor provides functionality similar to that of standard TKL (Tenkeyless) keyboards, but has an even more compact footprint.
The smaller size is possible because in this configuration the keys are all “compressed” together with no partition/separation between the navigation or function row keys. The bottom row and right Shift (1.75u) are also non-standard to make room for dedicated arrow keys. The result is a keyboard that’s only one column wider and one row taller than a standard 60% without sacrificing as much functionality.
The physical measurements are 12.3-inches by 5-inches and it weighs 764 grams (about 1.68 pounds). That’s around the typical weight you would expect for a standard 75% keyboard with plastic case and steel backplate. For reference, the Akko 3084 is about 15 grams heavier than the Drevo Gramr (also 75% and plastic but with lighter aluminum backplate). The Akko 3084’s plastic case has a natural incline. When sitting flat the front bezel of the case measures about 0.6-inches high and the back bezel roughly 1.25-inches.
Being a wireless mechanical keyboard Bluetooth support is obviously the main selling point of the Akko 3084. Unfortunately it uses the now dated Bluetooth 3.0 standard instead of 4.0 or newer. Bluetooth 4.0 and later standards offer improved range, lower latency and power saving protocols not included with version 3.0.
It’s powered by a built-in Li-ion battery with a rated capacity of 1800mAh. Battery life seems to be great. After about 2 weeks of testing my review sample is still running on the original charge. Note that I do physically turn it off at night and back on in the morning, but the keyboard was still left powered on during most of the daytime during those 2 weeks.
The Akko 3084 is really simple to setup and use wirelessly. There’s a physical On/Off toggle switch on the bottom of the keyboard. Turn it to the On position when ready to use over Bluetooth and Off when wired to conserve battery life.
It can support up to 3 devices on the Bluetooth profiles, which are accessed by long pressing Fn + E, R or T. Short pressing Fn + the associated profile key puts it into pairing mode so it can be detected by your device. To have wired connectivity you must also switch to wired mode. You can switch between Bluetooth or wired mode by pressing and holding Fn + Tab for about 3 seconds.
Note that just turning off the On/Off switch only disables the battery. If you plug in the USB-C cable and set the toggle switch to Off without also changing to wired mode using Fn + Tab the Akko 3084 will simply begin charging via the cable and stay connected and transmitting data over Bluetooth.
Speaking of wired mode, the Akko 3084 uses a detachable USB-C to USB-A cable. Nice to see so many new mechanical keyboards switching over to this improved and more future proof standard, even wireless ones. The cable is 1.6m (about 5.2ft) in length. A little shy of my ideal cable length of 6ft, but should be long enough for most desk setups. The cable isn’t braided, just a standard PVC coating. The USB-A connector is gold plated.
The Akko 3084 also has a standby power saving mode which is automatically activated after just a few minutes of inactivity when connected via Bluetooth. I like that it has this feature, but the ability to edit the timing of when it sleeps or even disable it completely doesn’t exist.
This feature can be extremely annoying. I don’t know how many times I would stop typing for a few minutes to watch a short YouTube video or some other time wasting activity, only to start typing and nothing be input until the keyboard wakes up from standby. If you could modify it to activate after at least 30-45 minutes that would be fine, but it’s goes into power saving mode way too quickly.
On the bottom of the keyboard are 4 rubber feet for sitting flat and 2 additional sets of flip-out feet for height adjustment.
The flip-out feet are 2-stage, meaning there’s one large set of feet and another smaller set installed inside the larger feet. This provides an additional angle of height adjustment rather than just sitting flat or being forced to max height.
The Durgod Taurus K320 Nebula I previously reviewed has the same setup. It’s a great design that I wish more manufactures would begin to implement. More flexibility with height adjustments is never a bad thing. Both sets of flip-out feet are also rubber tipped for improved traction on a flat surface.
Other than the feet the bottom of the case also features a On/Off toggle switch to conserve battery life, a product information sticker and a pairing hole for the Bluetooth signal to escape. Though I’ve never had a problem with a wireless signal passing through plastic, so not sure if that’s really needed. I guess it could possibly help extend the range over wireless.
As far as “gaming” features go the Akko 3084 is a little disappointing. Granted, it’s not heavily marketed as a gaming keyboard, but it doesn’t even have NKRO. Only 6-key rollover, which honestly is fine for most users but hardcore gamers generally place a high priority on full n-key rollover.
No backlighting of any kind. Only 4 LEDs on the whole keyboard (3 on case bezel, 1 under the Tab key) and they’re for the lock lights, charging and wireless activity indicators. The lack of backlighting (more specifically diodes) is also why the Akko 3084 only has 6-KRO. N-key rollover requires diodes in the key matrices and LED’s are diodes after all.
The omission of LED backlight is a cost saving measure by Akko, but those savings aren’t exactly reflected in the $100 retail price tag. It’s also not programmable and doesn’t come with any software (not necessarily a bad thing).
The Akko 3084 does have media keys, though they aren’t labeled for some reason. They’re located on the Fn layer of the gray function keys (F5-F8). It also has mute and volume up/down controls. They’re found on the Fn layer of the M, < and > keys.
The aesthetics are simple and subdued. The 2-piece black plastic case is about as basic as they come. The corners and edges of the top piece have a beveled/rounded combo. The top and bottom bezels are beveled while the left and right sides are rounded. A small Akko branded logo is placed along the front right edge. The logo blends in well and can barely be seen under normal lighting conditions. I would still prefer no branding, but this is acceptable.
The Escape and Arrow keys provide a splash of color, but if the light blue theme isn’t to your taste Akko also includes a set of gray replacement keycaps. The blue Escape key also has the Akko mascot branding. The replacement gray Escape key isn’t branded.
The Akko 3084 is available with genuine Cherry MX switches. Cherry MX has been the safe industry standard for the past decade, but they’re a bit underwhelming compared to some of the more interesting options recently made available by brands such as Kailh and Gateron.
My review sample came installed with Cherry MX Browns (tactile). This a a good general use switch for users who don’t have one specific task that takes priority. Adequate for either gaming or typing and everything in-between.
Cherry MX Brown switches are a medium weight quiet tactile switch. The switch is listed on Cherry’s website with an operation force of 55g, but the point of actuation requires about 45g of force, after which it ramps up to 55g until finally bottoming out around 60g.
The increased weight after the actuation point along with the tactile bump make this switch feel a little bit heavier than you would expect just judging from the spec sheet. It’s also a decent choice for those with a light touch who like to type without bottoming out.
Tactile switches have a physical bump which can be felt at or near the point of key actuation, but without the accompanying audible click sound present in clicky switches. Cherry MX Brown switches have a total travel distance of 4mm. The actuation point is located at the halfway mark (2mm) and the tactile bump is reached just before key actuation.
If you press very slow and gently you can actually overcome the tactile bump without actuating the key, but this isn’t a problem when typing normally as the tactile bump of Cherry MX Browns is fairly light. Unfortunately this means the tactility is rather weak compared to some of the better tactile switches on the market. If you need extreme tactility and have the budget I would look into switches such as Topre, Orange Alps, Cherry MX Clears or Zealios V2.
Most aspects of the Akko 3084 are surprisingly basic. No backlighting. Only 6-KRO. Mainstream Cherry MX switches. Not a ton of exciting features besides Bluetooth support. The keycaps are the biggest standout that differentiate it from competing wireless mechs.
They’re premium quality keycaps made from a PBT mix (85% PBT according to the specs, so I assume a mix of PBT and ABS) with very nice, high-contrast dye-sublimated legends in OEM profile. The keycap thickness is about a medium.
They measure approximately 1.25mm on average with slight deviations depending on which side I measure with the caliper. Some of the keycaps have one side as thin as 1.15mm. The thickest areas are about 1.3mm. For the most part they’re closer to that 1.3 number, a solid medium thickness.
The keycaps have what I consider the ideal light to medium matte texture. They’re not rough, but the texture is just aggressive enough to provide a grainy surface that isn’t slick or shiny. Being mostly PBT they should be highly wear resistant, so the texture should last longer than ABS equivalents. However, I don’t have much experience with mixed material keycaps. I can’t say for certain how well they will hold up long term compared to 100% PBT keycaps.
I was pleased to find no stray sprue marks or ugly imperfections in the plastic from the manufacturing process, a common problem cheaper keycaps often suffer from.
The keycaps have a gray and off-white color scheme with light blue Escape and Arrow keys. I personally think it’s a clean looking combo, but a second second set of gray keycaps is also included for the Escape and Arrow keys if the default light blue color isn’t to your liking. Akko also makes available other keycap color combos, including a Retro and Ocean Star scheme.
The font used for the dye-subbed legends is a normal, non-gamery font that is very sharp and easy to read. Dye-sublimated legends produce a very durable character that won’t wear away like cheaper methods such as pad-printing or laser etching. Finally, very small homing bumps are located on the F and J keys to help with locating home row by feel when typing.
Overall the Akko 3084 has excellent quality keycaps that seem to be a tier above the rest of the keyboard, which is otherwise pretty vanilla and boring.
The 4 larger keys that require stabilization (Left Shift, Spacebar, Backspace and Enter) make use of red Cherry style clone stabilizers. These stabs aren’t made by Cherry, they just use the same basic design.
Like most production mechanical keyboards the stabilizers aren’t the greatest. They’re actually not that mushy, so they feel ok to type on, but they do rattle a little too much for my liking. Taking a closer look we see the culprit of the rattle. A poor lube job.
There’s barely enough lube there to notice and most of it is on the stem. At least they made something of an effort. Most stabilizers on prebuilt keyboards aren’t lubed at all. Proper lubrication would go a long way to improving the typing sound.
Case and Build Quality
The Akko 3084’s case is made of plastic with a 2-piece design. The material has a nice looking finish, but feels somewhat flimsy and lightweight. The case is thin and prone to flexing when force is applied.
Not to say the keyboard itself flexes. The switches are mounted to a thick steel backplate. The backplate is painted with a black coating which improves aesthetics and helps with rust prevention. This robust backplate provides most of the keyboards structural integrity and limits flexing. You’ll notice most of the flex is in the top shell, which is common on plastic cases with this 2-piece design.
Normally I would do a complete teardown to examine the PCB and other internals. Unfortunately with this keyboard’s design I was unable to find an easy way of disassembling it without the possibly of breaking the case or the LEDs installed in the case.
Not only are 2-piece case designs like this harder to take apart without damage, but the Akko 3084 also has indicator LEDs installed in the top plastic shell. This further complicates disassembly to a point that I didn’t feel comfortable enough to attempt a complete teardown without knowing how everything is connected beforehand. If at a future date I figure out a way to safely take apart the Akko 3084 without damage I’ll update this section of the review.
Conclusion on the Akko 3084 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard
The Akko 3084 is relatively bare-bones with only the most basic of features, other than Bluetooth support. It has no backlighting, isn’t programmable, only supports 6-key rollover, has no additional software or customization options and doesn’t even include English instructions. That may seem like a lot of negatives, but I still wouldn’t call it a bad keyboard. The keycaps are excellent. Overall build quality is decent. I love the 2-stage flip-out feet and Cherry switches are still the industry standard. And don’t forget wireless connectivity over Bluetooth is the main selling point, but the Akko 3084 is also available in a cheaper wired only version that features multiple styles/color schemes, including Retro and Ocean Star.
Despite a lack of spec-worthy features and buzz words, the Akko 3084 is a good mechanical keyboard for those who just want the 75% form factor and need reliable wireless connectivity. The wireless options for this specific form factor are still rather limited. That puts the Akko 3084 in a position of strength. Otherwise there are better wireless mechanical keyboards on the market with more features for similar or less money. I personally believe the Anne Pro 2 (60% form factor) is still the best all-round compact wireless mechanical keyboard for the money, but it’s refreshing to see other viable keyboards are being released to fill this niche.
- Really nice dye-subbed PBT keycaps
- Normal looking, easy to read font used for key legends
- Wireless support provided by Bluetooth
- Somewhat plain but clean aesthetics with minimal branding
- Packaging, accessories and presentation are above average
- Detachable USB-C included for wired connectivity and charging
- On/Off switch to conserve battery life
- Multiple styles and keycap color themes to choose from
- Includes additional gray keycaps to replace the default Escape and Arrow keys, which are light blue in color
- Decent overall build quality; steel backplate makes it sturdy and relatively free of flex
- One of few wireless mechs in 75% (84-key) form factor
- Uses genuine Cherry MX switches
- Fantastic 2-stage flip-out feet for multiple height adjustments
- Rubber tipped feet provide good traction on a desk or smooth surface
- Not available with backlighting of any kind
- Case feels a little lightweight and hollow
- Uses older Bluetooth 3.0 standard
- No diodes installed on the PCB; limits it to just 6-key rollover
- No programmability or customization
- Stabilized keys need lube to reduce rattle
- Instructions are in Chinese with no English translation
- No way to disable or change the timing of the standby power save mode