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Endgame Gear KB65HE review – Hall Effect keyboard tech done right

This high-performing gaming keyboard boasts a great typing experience and rapid response times that make it perfect for FPS games.

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Our Verdict

Even pedestrian looks and a diminutive 65% frame can’t mask the Endgame Gear KB65HE’s impressive performance. This gaming keyboard implements Hall Effect technology seamlessly without going overboard on the price tag, but those who like standout designs on their gaming peripherals may be disappointed with its unremarkable design.

Reasons to buy
  • Top tier, rapid performance
  • Solid aluminum case
  • Relatively cheap for a Hall Effect keyboard
Reasons to avoid
  • Not the most exciting looks-wise
  • Weak shine-through on some keycaps
  • Wired connection only

Endgame Gear is best known for making gaming mice, but it’s made a welcome foray into gaming keyboards with the excellent Endgame Gear KB65HE. This plain-looking, but high-performing keyboard is the latest to get much-vaunted Hall Effect sensors, providing stiff competition to magnetic-mechanical efforts from big hitters like SteelSeries and Corsair.

While not a new technology, Hall Effect sensors are still a rarity among keyboards with none of the entries on our best gaming keyboard guide including it. However, it’s actually been used in controller thumbsticks for decades, with the SEGA Saturn 3D and Dreamcast controllers being some of the first notable examples. However, because it’s relatively expensive, it has taken some time for keyboards – where over 100 sensors are required for a full-size board – to start using the technology. Thankfully, though, the KB65HU doesn’t break the bank while bringing this brilliant technology to bear.

Endgame Gear KB65HE specs

Dimensions (mm) 315 x 108.8 x 37.2 (W x D x H)
Weight 1,050g
Format 65%
Connection Wired
Switch type MX-Style Gateron KS-37B Magnetic Switches (prelubed)
Switch life Not stated
Backlighting RGB
Extras No
Price $139.99 / £139

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Endgame Gear KB65HE features

In terms of features, the Endgame Gear KB65HE’s magnetic-mechanical switches are the headline, of course. Rather than a physical switch, a Hall Effect switch detects magnetic field changes to register key inputs. It’s named after Edwin Hall, a student at Johns Hopkins University, who discovered the phenomenon in 1879.

And how can this centuries-old theory help modern keyboards? In many ways, actually. For a start, there’s no physical contact between the switch and the key, meaning the switches can have a much longer lifespan. Endgame Gear says the KB65HE is good for 150 million actuations, which is 50 million more than typical high-end mechanical switches.

Keyboards with Hall Effect switches can also benefit from quicker activation, as they don’t require a debounce delay, which is particularly helpful in competitive FPS where a speedy input can mean the difference between securing a valuable kill and leaving your team a person down.

Another feature the KB65HE and its cutting edge switches brings is adjustable actuation points, meaning you can customize the distance you have to push the keycap before it registers an input. The Endgame Gear app lets you set the actuation point anywhere from 0.1 to 4mm depth. It doesn’t end there, either: the switches are hot-swappable to boot.

One thing to note is that this is a 65% size keyboard, a fact likely to please some and dismay others. It makes for a dinky, portable package with a small footprint on your desk, but that comes at the expense of the numpad, F keys, or any media keys.

Another key detail is that the Endgame Gear KB65HE is wired only. No Bluetooth or 2.4GHz connections are on offer here, which is a shame, but not unusual for magnetic-mechanical keyboards. It comes packaged with a sturdy 1.8m USB-A braided cable, and not the plasticky-feeling kind either.

Endgame Gear KB65HE design

Let’s just get something out of the way: the Endgame Gear KB65HE isn’t going to win any awards for its looks. Available in plain black only, this keyboard has little to distinguish itself from a thousand other keyboards out there at first glance.

The keyboard defaults to all-white RGB out-of-the-box which, while welcome from a practicality point of view, sells the keyboard somewhat short. Although I wasn’t thrilled to download yet another piece of peripheral support software, booting the Endgame Gear program gave me access to a range of RGB lighting effects. The range of effects aren’t anything special, but they showcased the design a little better than plain white lighting.

The Endgame Gear KB65HE rocks Ducky doubleshot PBT keycaps, which are pleasantly textured. However, as is often the case with this type of keycap manufacture, the shine-through on certain keys is poor, giving the impression of a manufacturing error. The right-most column of keys are badly affected, especially PgUp and PgDn. For a keyboard that costs well over $100, this is disappointing.

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Another issue is that the rubber feet don’t hold the keyboard in place at all well. It doesn’t take much pressure to slide the case across my desk, despite it being made of wood, a material usually resistant to slippery peripherals. The box includes spare rubber feet to change the angle from the default 5° to 7.5°, which is a smaller customizable range than we’ve come to expect from gaming keyboards.

But it’s not all bad news. Despite its diminutive 65% stature, this keyboard weighs a respectable 1,050g thanks to its high-grade aluminum frame. That’s not quite on the level of the ludicrously heavyweight Monsgeek MW1 SP but is 200-300g heavier than some 60 percent boards. The case has no flex at all regardless of any efforts to bend it, making for a reassuringly secure and reliably stable typing and gaming platform.

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Endgame Gear KB65HE performance

When it comes to performance, the Endgame Gear KB65HE is an absolute powerhouse. It leaves even other magnetic-mechanical keyboards in the dust with its pin-point precision and incredible response time. Whatever game I was playing, I found it to be an entirely trustworthy companion, rendering accidental or unreliable inputs a thing of the past.

It’s also an absolute pleasure to type on. The keyboard defaults to a 1mm actuation point out-of-the-box, and it feels like your fingers glide across the keys while you’re punching the keys.

And that’s all without the usual incessant clacking that accompanies keypresses on a mechanical keyboard. Since Hall Effect switches don’t rely on a physical connection and can be adjusted to a feather touch actuation, they’re pretty quiet. The Endgame Gear KB65HE’s Gateron KS-37B switches are especially so, thanks to a pioneering dual-rail structure and self-lubricating POM material. This has the added bonus of fast-rebounding inputs.

However, some folks might find the 1mm actuation point lighter than they’re used to. Not to worry, just download the Endgame Gear app and you can change that in a flash, with each key individually customizable.

For those uncertain as to the other benefits of this customizable actuation point, it can come in particularly useful for several scenarios. For instance, you may prefer a longer travel for accurate typing but want a shorter travel when gaming. Also, if you’re at all prone to hitting certain keys accidentally, you can slightly lengthen the keypress for that key, ensuring you only press it when intended.

Since Endgame Gear isn’t exactly a household name, it’s unlikely many of you will have the app already downloaded, and I doubt anyone’s overjoyed at another peripheral app to clog up their computer. Thankfully, Endgame Gear’s one is easy-to-use and straightforward.

Endgame Gear KB65HE conclusion

While not exactly cheap at $139.99, the Endgame Gear KB65HE is reasonably priced for a keyboard that boasts Hall Effect switches. Its no-nonsense design may be just the style you like too, and its build quality is excellent.

That said, this board’s very simple design and 65% layout do make it seem a little less of a bargain as compared to, for instance, the similarly priced Akko MOD007DB Tokyo with its TKL layout and more interesting design.

Endgame Gear KB65HE alternatives

Corsair K70 Max

If you want a keyboard with high performance, Hall Effect implementation, and plenty of bells and whistles, the Corsair K70 Max is a great option, although it’s substantially more expensive at $229.99 / £219.99.

Read our Corsair K70 Max review.

Mountain Everest 60

If you’re after a compact keyboard but aren’t bothered about the rapid response times (and inflated price tag) a magnetic-mechanical keyboard brings, check out the Mountain Everest 60. Even smaller than the Endgame Gear KB65HE at 60% size, this dinky keyboard boasts a clever, modular design that makes adding a numpad easy if you regret plumping for a smaller size.

Read our Mountain Everest 60 review.