EpicGear has designed a very unique and useful keyboard in the DeFiant and we think that there will be a lot of gamers interested in the features it offers. The build quality is great considering the price point and the EG MMS switches, the main selling point of the DeFiant, are totally acceptable Cherry MX clones. Your average user would find it nearly impossible to tell the difference between an EG MMS switch and its Cherry MX counterpart in real-world use without removing the key cap. Going with Cherry MX-compatible stems was a good thought, since users will be able to find key caps and customize their keyboards even further to their liking. The ability to swap out switches is a unique concept that most users will find completely needless, but I think that there is definitely a place for this feature.
People who love to tinker and mess with their components to find the optimal setup will absolutely love the DeFiant, as it offers somewhat of a craft experience, giving users the ability to replace every switch to their liking and adjust (diffuse) the color of each LED. EpicGear has done a great job of implementing these modular switches and removing and replacing them is simple.
The extras that are included with the EpicGear DeFiant Keyboard Kit are welcome, especially the wrist rest, which immediately made using the DeFiant more comfortable. The Assassin Gaming Case is excellent to carry gear in, as it offers a decent amount of protection for your components. Once you remove the foam keyboard-holder insert from the Assassin case, there is quite a bit of room in there. I am sure many users will find use for it beyond transporting their keyboards. The side height adjustment bars are a bit cumbersome, but they do work well and offer more exacting height adjustment. The rear USB 2.0 port add-on is useful, but a bit large for what it offers. EpicGear also has other units with sound pass-thru and USB Type-C connectors available, so there is definitely some customization capability beyond what lies in the case and we wish they had included one of their more feature-filled units with this kit. Not including extra switches, though, was a huge oversight and was the first thing we’d consider as essential to this kit.
The EpicGear DeFiant offers the basic functionality and solid build quality that lend it well to daily-driver use. The gaming software from EpicGear is basic, but it works well and didn’t have any issues on our Windows 10 test system. If you want a keyboard that won’t break the bank while offering the ability to change out mechanical switches for the one that best suits your needs, definitely check out the EpicGear DeFiant. Whether the extras included in the kit are worth the premium over the base keyboard, which can be had for just $89.99 shipped, is going to up to customers. With the keyboard in its base form being available for such a low price, we’re not sure that the $189.99 price point of the kit is going to be attractive, though the case, wrist rest, extra light bars and switches are all high quality items that add to the usability of the keyboard, pricing the DeFiant towards the $200 price point with these optional accessories may make it a tough sell for the relatively unknown EpicGear. We recommend you think about if a case, USB connection and adjustments bars are things that you want. At the minimum we recommend grabbing the wrist rest and some extra key caps to try out, but if you want those extra accessories we mentioned, go ahead and pick up the kit.
Legit Bottom Line: The EpicGear DeFiant is a solid, well-built keyboard that features excellent Cherry MX-clones in the form of the EG MMS switches. The keyboard kit being priced at $189, while including high quality accessories, is a bit pricey for what is being offered, so we recommend end users check out the base model first to see if it will meet their needs, as it is a great keyboard at its $89 price point.