Ghost Judges Apollo – The Perfect Midway Point
My interest in cheap AliExpress keycap sets that punch way over their pricing is a documented fact, and sometimes you can find real gems in that category. Sometimes, however, you might want to get a bit more of a premium experience without spending 100$ on a keycap set.
I spent a bit of time researching online for a well-received 50$ keycap set and settled for the Ghost Judges Apollo. The forum reviews of these keycaps were all stellar, and overall their color schemes looked interesting to me so I decided that it might be worth investigating what Ghost Judges offer for the price.
The Ghost Judges Apollo set came in a nice box with each keycap being separated, unlike most cheaper sets that come in a bag. This is a nice simple touch since it took me less time to figure out the keycaps I want to use and put them on my Wooting 60HE.
This is already above what I was expecting for the keycap set so I am quite happy with the packaging.
Materials and Designs
The Ghost Judges receive stellar reviews mostly because of the high-quality materials and clean designs with crisp legends on their keycap sets. My Apollo set, like the other Ghost Judges keycaps, are doubleshot PBT, resulting in a high-quality product that should not shine over time.
Their designs are quite simple with mostly 2-tone color schemes that can fit quite well with any keyboard or setup. The legends as mentioned above are crisp with a pretty simple font in my case. Some keycaps do come with extra print on the keycaps like Japanese/Korean adding a bit of character to the sets.
The main reason I was interested in a higher-quality keycap set was because of the shining and the greasy feeling cheap PBT keycaps get over time. It does make sense that you get what you pay for, and considering the price of some of those sets, a little bit of shine does not ruin the deal at all.
I simply wanted to test what a midway keycap set offers, and I can report that in the case of the Ghost Judges, the improvement is apparent.
A very important point that has developed for me over time is the profile of the keycaps I want to purchase. After experimenting with multiple sets it became quite clear to me that I prefer the low-profile Cherry keycaps that have a nice curvature to them allowing for precise inputs.
The Ghost Judges Apollo keycap set is using the Cherry profile which felt amazing to type on from the very first second. I felt no deviations from the Cherry profile I am used to therefore have no qualms with the implementation and measurements used by Ghost Judges.
Layouts and Extras
Since I am using an ISO Wooting layout I wanted to make sure that the keycap set I am getting will cover all the special keycaps needed for me. The Ghost Judges Apollo (and the other sets) offer a wide variety of keycaps and also extras (usually different colors for some keycaps) meaning the keycap set can be used on any keyboard size and layout.
This is quite nice considering that some of the cheaper keycap sets come with specific ANSI keys or 60% layouts only.
I got the Ghost Judges Apollo keycap set on my keyboard for a month now and the reason why I waited for quite a bit of time before having any opinion on it is because of the reasons I bought this keycap set in the first place.
Over this period of time the keycaps did develop the tiniest amount of shine (specifically my D key). It is a very often used key but it does not explain why the W, A, and S keys have yet to develop nearly as much shine as the D key. From my understanding and research, PBT is not immune to shine, it simply develops a lot slower than on cheap ABS.
I can confirm this fact since my cheap AliExpress sets usually are already shiny after 1-2 weeks of use. I am not necessarily blown away by the long-term performance of these keycaps since I have another PBT doubleshot set that has 0 shine after 2 years. The set in mention however was much more expensive so I think it is unfair to make the same comparisons.
Overall for the price-to-value performance the Apollo keycap set is still in the green, meaning that if someone would ask me for a solid 50$ keycap set, this would be on the list for sure.
If you are on a budget but do not want to change your keycap set in a week, the Ghost Judges offer you amazing value for only 50$. These will not be a replacement for your 100$ keycap set but are by no means made poorly either.
Build Quality: 7
Layouts & Extras: 9
- Great quality for the price paid
- Comes with a full set of keycaps for any layout
- Uses the Cherry profile which is preferred by many
- Simple but interesting designs and color choices
- My set, specifically one key, did develop shine after a month
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