Akko MOD007B Tokyo review – A hidden gem for gaming
The Akko MOD007B is a surprisingly capable gaming keyboard that doesn’t advertise itself as such. With its eye-catching Tokyo-themed design (other themes are available) it appears at first to be a keyboard that’s all about style with little substance. However, hidden behind its rose-hued cuteness is a keyboard that also provides the build quality, typing performance, and, most importantly, gaming performance to largely justify its premium price.
- Unexpected gaming performance
- Easy to use companion software
- Stunning visual design
- Limited customization options
The Akko MOD007B Tokyo is a stunning gaming keyboard to look at, thanks to its combination of a compact 75% layout and charming Tokyo-themed design. However, behind the Tokyo landscape, there’s also an impressive gaming experience that means it’s mostly worth the $150 price tag on both performance and style.
Along with its reliable typing experience and irresistible style, the Akko MOD007B also has the features and gaming performance chops to make it one of the best gaming keyboards I’ve used in recent years. I wrote the Akko MOD007B off as a vanity product, something that would look great on your desktop, but without the performance to match its style, but that’s not the case. Plus, if you’re not a fan of the Tokyo theme, it’s also available in a blue Santorini theme while the wider MOD007 range comes in a wide variety of other styles.
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The Akko MOD007 is a 75% layout, simply meaning the number keys typically situated on the right-hand side of the keyboard are removed, along with a handful of the cluster of keys that normally sits above the cursor keys. It’s essentially an even more compact version of the long-standing tenkeyless (TKL) design, which just removes the number keys.
Some 75% layout boards really bunch up the keys so that they all sit in alignment – a bit like this 65% Corsair K65 keyboard. However, here there’s a bit more breathing room plus the addition of a simple-to-use volume and LED brightness dial in the top right. This particular variant of the MOD007 design is only available in an ANSI (American National Standards Institute) key configuration, most familiar to US users, but isn’t able to accommodate the ISO layout more common in Europe and other regions.
Akko includes swappable keycaps and 3-pin switches, and to me, this is an odd choice given that 5-pin switches are viewed as a more stable option and better suited to hot-swapping. This is stranger still when considering the Akko MMOD007B is gasket mounted, which also favors the 5-pin design.
The MOD007B uses a gasket-mount design, which is where the mounting plate for the switches is suspended on rubber dampeners. This gives a very slight cushioning and noise-dampening effect to the board, which many users favor. It also results in the very clean look of this style of board, compared to keyboards where the keys sit proud on the top surface of the keyboard.
Because of its use of a gasket mount, the MOD007B uses standard 3-pin switches, rather than the 5-pin switches used on keyboards where the switches mount straight to the PCB and need the extra support. You only get one choice of switch, though, which is a 50g actuation force linear switch. However, while limited in switch-feel options, these switches also provide the secret weapon to this keyboard’s gaming performance: its adjustable actuation.
Using the Akko software, you can alter the actuation and return points for every key. There are presets available, but the per-key option is great should you have specific game presets you would prefer to run, but there’s only one custom profile slot to use which is limiting. Likewise, the MOD007B RGB is completely customizable in the Akko cloud software or you can run one of 24 presets.
Akko goes all out on the two primary designs of the MOD 007B. We reviewed the Tokyo model, which is a stunning pink, white, and blue blend that pairs incredibly well with the scenic space bar design showing a snow-capped mountain, cherry blossoms, and other Japanese iconography.
The keyboard has the traditional English typing keys and US layout while also including Japanese text in slightly smaller print. This sometimes tricked my eyes when I needed to reset my positioning, but all-in-all I think it adds to the design. I also like the added touch of four of the function keys being inscribed with the name of a popular Tokyo district such as Akihabara or Shinjuku.
The dial in the top right-hand corner of the keyboard acts as both a volume control and can be pressed to switch to a brightness control for the keyboard LEDs. There is unfortunately no way to tell which setting it is on, but rarely is this an issue as it’s easy to distinguish once you start adjusting it.
The MOD007 is quite a tall keyboard with a steeper typing angle than some keyboards, so I’d recommend getting a quality ergonomic wrist rest – one isn’t included in the box. You can increase the typing angle further thanks to flip down feet on the underside. There are two levels of stands to choose between, with the largest stand creating what I find to be the perfect typing and gaming angle where my hands, wrists, and forearms are all strain-free.
Finally, I found the Akko MOD007B to be quite heavy, coming in at 1.12kg. This initially led me to believe we had been sent one of the wireless models capable of Bluetooth and 2.4GHz connections, but no, it’s just packing some weighty insides. That’s not quite as heavy as the all-aluminum version of the Akko MOD007 made by Monsgeek – the M1W SP – but it’s still a reassuringly hefty board for its size. The casing is comprised of a smooth matte plastic and the weight feels very balanced, so you won’t be accidentally pushing it around your desktop while typing or gaming, though nor will it be an ideal travel partner.
Performance is where the Akko MOD007 surprised me. Once done admiring the visual design, I expected nothing special in terms of gaming performance, but despite having no pre-conception of what to expect from the magnetic Cream Yellow switches, I was left a little awe-struck.
The customizable actuation and return points, made possible thanks to the inclusion of Hall Effect switches, is such a game-changer, even if it’s becoming a more common feature seen on the likes of the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini, the Razer Huntsman V3 Pro, and Wooting One. This means it’s possible to set an actuation point anywhere between 0.2mm and 3.8mm of key press distance. Moreover, the rapid response feature means you can have the key primed for reactivation without having it return to its starting point. As soon as you lift a little bit, you can press again, allowing for very rapid key presses.
If you’re used to more traditional mechanical switches, your brain is likely to take some time to adjust to the feel of this type of switch but it can pay dividends in certain types of games. Rapid actuation is nothing new, but finding it packed into a $150 keyboard that doesn’t overtly target gamers is, impressive.
In twitch shooters like Counter-Strike 2, MOBAs like League of Legends, and ARPGs like Diablo 4, this rapid response and reactivation times offer an advantage over a standard mechanical keyboard. Be wary, however, as if you set your sensitivity too low, you’ll be activating keys with just your natural rest positioning, and it could then become an adverse feature. Luckily, the Akko cloud software has a real-time testing area where you can tailor the sensitivity to your needs.
On typing performance, the Typing Test benchmark returned an initial score of 52 WPM (words per minute) when I first started using the Akko MOD007B. This increased to 58 WPM after a month but still falls short of the performance I get with the Drop CSTM80 which was 79 WPM but on par with the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini which was 59 WPM.
I can easily recommend the Akko MOD007B to anyone looking for a stylish keyboard that also brings great gaming performance. While the brand name might not carry the same weight as a Razer, Logitech, or SteelSeries, everything from performance to build quality is more than commendable in the Akko MOD007B.
While I can appreciate the subtler beauty of the Santorini design, I would also recommend the Tokyo design above it for its brighter colors and less dated text design, although this is only going by the images of the Santorini posted to the Akko store. Despite this, both are sure to be conversation starters, and rightfully so.
If you don’t fancy spending $150 on the Akko MOD007B but are still looking for a great gaming keyboard, I would recommend the Corsair K70 Core. This is a mid-tier design that focuses on raw gaming performance but still throws in the expected RGB and even an ergonomic wrist rest.
If you are chasing typing performance, while the MOD007B is impressive, the Drop CSTM80 is my go-to recommendation for its smooth, sleek, and quiet typing returns. It’s also highly customizable, so if you’re prone to getting bored with how your setup looks, the CSTM80 is a great way to combat staleness.