MarvoDIY Re-defined 68 Mechanical Keyboard Kit Review
The MarvoDIY Re-defined 68 (RD68) is a 65% keyboard kit currently on sale for $67.15. While Marvo also sells Skyloong-branded GKxx series keyboards, the RD68 is a separate product. MarvoDIY sent me the RD68 in exchange for an honest review. For this build, I used the XDA profile keycaps previously provided by MarvoDIY for my review of their Undefined61 keyboard kit and JWICK Yellow switches. The RD68 does not come with switches or keycaps.
My review sample shipped in minimalist, unbranded packaging, which will not be the case for the final retail product. Besides the board itself, the package included a combination keycap puller and switch puller, and a USB-C to USB-A cable. The package did not include any documentation besides a thank-you card addressed to MarvoDIY’s initial batch of reviewers. The manual for the RD68 can be found here.
The RD68 case has an aluminum alloy frame with a plastic bottom. The bezel on the metal case frame is very thin, and the corners are rounded. The machining of the frame is noticeably rougher than that of the much more expensive UD61. The case uses a tray-mounted design, and the PCB allows for hot-swapping switches.
The bottom of the board has collapsible plastic feet with rubber caps. With the feet extended, the RD68 has a 7° typing angle. The typing angle without the feet is 4°. The bottom of the case also allows for the installation of a metal nameplate with a mirrored finish. This is a neat touch and gives the impression of a more expensive board. Underneath one of the collapsible feet is an array of dipswitches that swap or lock various keys.
A USB-C port is located at the top left-hand corner of the board. I think the USB-C port design is unattractive and my least favorite thing about the board aesthetically, especially in comparison to the recessed design seen on the UD61. To the left of the USB-C port is the wireless functionality switch. The RGB lighting is bright and consistent across the board. The LEDs are north-facing.
The RD68 is not compatible with the Keyhome software that the UD61 used. The RD68 product page links to a different software suite. The new software suite shares much of the same functionality as Keyhome but still does not allow for the rebinding of the default function shortcuts or any of the media, wireless, or backlight controls. The new software is actually a step back in some respects. It does not appear to allow the user to set a secondary function key or create new function shortcuts as Keyhome did. One can swap the Function and Windows keys using one of the dip switches but I would prefer to be able to rebind it to any key in software. I am puzzled as to why MarvoDIY did not re-use the Keyhome software for the RD68.
With the JWICK Yellows, the RD68 has a deep, clacky sound profile. With the exception of the stabilizers, the board sounds excellent right out of the box. The board uses several layers of sound dampening material in its construction. As a result, the board is very quiet, even with unlubed switches. The RD68 also sounds much less hollow than the UD61 thanks to the additional sound dampening layers. The plate-mounted stabilizers are still a weak point for the RD68 without modding. Initially, they were very rattly. However, the RD68’s stabilizers, at least on my review unit, appeared to be unlubed. This made it very easy to perform the Holee mod.
The wireless functionality of the RD68 is excellent. I have not experienced any kind of key chatter, dropouts, or other connectivity issues during my time with the UD68 on either Bluetooth or on 2.4 GHz. I also did not have any issues connecting or reconnecting the keyboard to my computer using Bluetooth after system restarts, which is a problem I have had with other boards.
The RD68, while more affordable than the UD61, is again in a difficult position. Based on my experience with the SK64 and GK68XS, the case offers real improvements over that of an SKxx/GKxx series keyboard in terms of build quality and sound. However, one must account for having to purchase switches and keycaps separately when accounting for the total price for an RD68 build. In addition, the state of the software suite as of the time of this review is concerning and may be a dealbreaker for many.
The MarvoDIY RD68 can be purchased at the link below: