I was looking at attractive keycap sets to go along with my new mechanical keyboard (the hotswappable wireless version of the Keycool KC84) and I fell in love with the colours of the GMK Nautilus. However, GMK keycap sets are notoriously hard to buy (unless you wait for a group buy) and wildly overpriced relative to the cost of my keyboard.
The Akko Macaw offers a similar colour scheme at a fraction of the price. I ordered the set from Mecha and it took less than a week to arrive. Priced at just $79, it’s my favourite keycap set yet.
I’m a sucker for spherical keycaps ever since I dabbled with uniform XDA profile sets. Compared to conventional OEM or Cherry profile keycaps where the top is moulded to a shape of a cylinder, spherical keycaps are contoured on all four sides of the keycap and look really aesthetically pleasing (at least to me). It’s also a nice feeling running my fingers over these keycaps as though it was moulded to fit into the contours of my fingers.
The Akko Macaw is offered in two keycap profiles — OEM and ASA. Given my penchant for spherical keycaps, I naturally opted for the ASA set. The ASA profile sits higher than OEM and Cherry profile keycaps, as well as the uniform XDA profile which I used previously. Initially, I had concerns that I would not be able to get used to the height; thankfully, that was not an issue.
The keycaps come encased in a metal box, which is a really nice touch by Akko. Inside the box, the various keys are each affixed onto a plastic stem moulded into the inside of the box. While this made the initial removal of the keycaps a little bit of a hassle, it also means that your keycaps will not get jumbled up in transit. There is also a metal keycap removal tool included in the box.
Akko was very generous with the keycap selections — not only do you get a full range of keycaps that cater to 100%/TKL, 75% and 60%/65% layouts, there are also three colourways to choose from for the function row and modifiers — the default yellow on navy blue, the inverted navy blue on yellow, as well as black on cyan, which I did not use (but which you can see above).
There are also a couple of novelty keycaps included that fit in the Function row–unfortunately these are only available in a single colour as you can see above.
Having used this set for about a month now, I continue to be very happy with it and have little complaints. Although the keycaps are advertised to be doubleshot PBT, I have started to notice a tiny bit of shine on the spacebar if I scrutinise the board really closely. Apart from that, the rest of the keycaps seem to be in pristine condition. The keycaps don’t seem to be overly thin either–with my previous keycap set, I could notice a little bit of ‘resonance’ when hitting the keys against the keyboard; no issue here.
The “F” and “J” keycaps continue to retain the homing indent (which I greatly appreciate), although Akko has shrunk this to a mere dot instead of an underline. This does not seem to have impacted usability though as you can still clearly feel this indent.
The moulding on certain keycaps is a little bit suspect, with an extra ‘hole’ as you can see from the keycap above. Apparently, this is a common defect with Akko keycaps for whatever reason. In use, though, the affected keys do not feel more wobbly or anything.
Overall, for the price of $79, I find this keycap set to be very good value-for-money. I suspect if I were to pair the keycaps with a black or navy blue keyboard housing, it would look even better.