Single page Print

Programmed to achieve
The Defiant's software is visually similar to the Morpha X software. I really liked the software for the Morpha X mouse. It's compact, comprehensive, and lightweight. The Defiant's configuration app is a little less intuitive and a little less functional, but it's not bad.

The software has three tabs, and the first is "Key Management." This is the main page where users can toggle a few settings and assign key functions. Every setting you create on this page is saved per-profile, and you can create up to four profiles that you can then select on the keyboard itself using the Fn key and numbers 1-4.

Selecting any key on the keyboard allows you to assign it one of the functions listed in the top right corner of the app. I have to say that since the keyboard already includes a metal wheel for volume control and predefined media controls, the only functions I can really see assigning are macros.

You set up your macros on the second page of the software. The macro editor is a little more intuitive than the Morpha X's, but it's also buggier. For example, frequently when editing a macro delay, I would have to delete and re-insert the delay entirely to get it to be anything other than 0.0 seconds. Also, while delays in macros are displayed in thousandths-of-seconds, you enter the values in milliseconds.

That kind of inconsistency makes using the macro editor a little frustrating at first, but with some persistence you can create fairly complex macros. I would have liked the ability to define mouse buttons in macros, though keyboards that offer that feature are few and far between.

The last page, labeled Support, offers direct links to the software and firmware update pages for the keyboard, as well as to EpicGear's website and Facebook page. I, again, would have preferred a proper update feature rather than simple links to the website, but it's still convenient to have the links in one handy place.

Change and adapt
So how about those modular features? Before I get into detail on the MMS keyswitches, let me remark briefly on the accessories that EpicGear offers for the Defiant. There's an ergonomic wrist-rest, adjustable-height side stands, a 24-key macro panel with associated palm-rest, and a "multi-function rear-mount bumper with Type-C port".

Let me be frank: I have no idea how any of this stuff connects to the Defiant, or if it even does. There are slots in the plastic base of the keyboard where simple attachments like the side-stands could snap in, but there don't appear to be any sort of electronic connections anywhere on the keyboard. I don't have any of these accessories myself, so I can't say much else about them.

The highlight feature of the keyboard's modularity is obviously the MMS keyswitch design. The switches come in three varieties, aptly titled Grey, Orange, and Purple. The switches hew very close to the Cherry MX design, and as you can probably imagine, each color corresponds roughly to one of Cherry's switches. In this case, the Grey switch is most similar to a Cherry MX Red linear switch, the Orange switch is most similar to a Cherry MX Brown tactile switch, and the Purple switch is most similar to a Cherry MX Blue clicky switch.

All three switches require a nominal actuation force of 50g, which is the same as Cherry's MX Blue keyswitches. The biggest difference between the MX switches and the EG switches is the actuation point. Standard Cherry MX switches operate at 2.2mm of depression, while the EG keyswitches actuate after just 1.5mm of travel. However, they still have the full Cherry travel distance of 4mm, so they won't be too jarring to heavy-fingered typists who like to bottom out.