It would seem that Epic Gear is on something of a tick-tock cycle with its peripherals. We’ve already seen its clever Defiant modular keyboard, its suite of add-ons for the device, and its MorphaX modular mouse. At CES, there were no new Epic Gear peripherals (although we did see a final, polished version of the MorphaX); mainly, there was eye candy. Lots and lots of eye candy.
It seems that instead of refreshing it hardware lineup, Epic Gear is trying to simply make the ones it has more attractive. And why not? These devices still feel fresh, so it’s not a terrible idea to offer potential buyers more options for customization. The company just keeps pumping out these pretty accessories.
The Defiant keyboard debuted in a solid black color, but there are new top panel skins available. Mainly, there was one with an all-white top panel and white key caps, one with a green camouflage top panel, and another with white camo. But unlike, for example, Das Keyboard, which offers removable top panels, these are protective films that you can apply and peel off at will. They’re “special formulated PET material with elasticity” and promise not to leave behind any residue.
Officially, they come in Clear, Frost White, and Stealth Black, but you can really have anything, as evidenced by the camo skin we saw. Also, the ABS white key caps (which are designed for backlighting) are sold separately, so you can add those to any Cherry stem-compatible keyboard you wish.
You can also opt for soft, chunky, adjustable side stands (you can see them on the keyboards in the photo album above). They use a release mechanism to let you attach or detach them, and there’s a horizontal scroll wheel you can crank to raise or lower the height.
Although it seems that it’s a problem solvable by clear light bars and RGB lighting, Epic Gear offers colored light bars that you can swap in and out of the MMS switches. The process is easy and simple, and they come in red, green, yellow, blue, and pink, in packs of 30. (Why you can’t them in packs of 104, we don’t know.)
While Epic Gear was at it, though, it figured why not build cases for all of the above. Enter the Assassin and the 50 Cal. The Assassin is a soft-shell case that can accommodate a Defiant keyboard and accessories including the rear bumper, wrist rest, side stands, and a mouse. If you want to go whole hog, you can grab the 50 Cal, a metallic-looking polycarbonate suitcase that you’ll probably have a hard time getting through airport security, because it looks like it houses a rifle. (Er, hence the name, we suppose.)
We aren’t sure if it’s larger than the Assassin or not (it appears to be), but a 50 Cal case on display at Epic Gear’s CES suite was packed with a keyboard, mouse, headset, full complement of replacement switches, tournament wrist rest, and light bars.
It’s not clear how much all of these will cost, nor if they will come to North America.
For some, all these accessories are little more than so many cupholders. They’re at times a little garish, and many of them (eg, the light bars) are wholly impractical. But after spending some time in the Epic Gear suite, we came away with the feeling that it’s just a lot of fun. Epic Gear isn’t taking itself too seriously, and many of the above trinkets will indeed appeal to many gamers. If a bizarre LEGO mechanical keyboard can garner so much interest, why not all of Epic Gear’s miscellany?
Also, of note: We saw Geil’s RGB-enabled RAM kits on display at the suite. Enjoy: