Sat75X Keyboard Review

keyboard by: CannonKeys 
Photos taken in House by alex

The SAT75X Review

When the Satisfaction 75 dropped back in 2019, it became an instant classic within the keyboard community. Practically overnight, it turned into the must-have board, and it sparked inspiration for countless other designs. What set it apart back then was its unique features—a knob and an OLED display that showcased layer info, time, and more tidbits of information. Of course, the community quickly got creative, modding it to feature a ‘bongo cat’ with a WPM counter. I can’t even begin to count how many commissions I got just to flash the PCB with these mods.

The original release wasn’t without its issues, though. The PCB had a notorious tendency to die if not installed correctly, which was a major headache. Plus, the round 1 version came with a stiff plate and no official alternatives from CannonKeys. Still, it was a grail board for many enthusiasts. Personally, I wasn’t a fan of the original Sat75—it sounded too muddy and metallic for my taste and was way too stiff to type on.

Fast forward to 2020, we saw a round 2 release which did well, and then the Sat75 went into the vault. That was until now. CannonKeys has come back with a bang, reintroducing the board as the SAT75X, now with an injection-molded polycarbonate build, updated mounting style, and some new features.

I was honestly taken aback by their choice to go with polycarbonate, but I was pumped. We’re going to dive deep into this board. CannonKeys sent me this unit for review, and just so you know, I’m not keeping it. But spoiler alert—I’ll definitely be buying one for myself. This release is packed with things to love: a fair starting price of $111 USD, solid customization options, and a design that looks even better in polycarbonate than its aluminum predecessor. I hope this deep dive helps you make an informed decision.

Full Disclosure and Affiliations

For clarity and transparency, this is not a sponsored article! I am sending back this unit to CannonKeys and I just wanted to share my experience and thoughts with the board while they let me try it.

The SAT75X with GMK Lavender.

What’s New About the SAT75X?

The SAT75X brings a lot to the table this time around and I am super pumped about that. First off, it features both a hotswap PCB and a solder PCB, which was a pleasant surprise. The rotary encoder for the knob now comes pre-soldered and installed on the hotswap unit—a fantastic upgrade! The OLED display is also hotswappable, which is a welcome improvement since aligning it in the original unit was always a hassle. The PCB is backward compatible, though the plate is not.

The board now comes in a new material compared to the older model, with four variations of polycarbonate. There are frosted options for a translucent look and some opaque models. The Sat75 wasn’t known for an intricate design, but I think the translucent models are stunning. They add some dimension and character, making the board look even better.

While we no longer have a brass weight, we do get a variety of foams and silicones. But the real game-changer is the new mounting system, kind of.

The mounting system on the SAT75X is technically new to this board but not to the world of keyboards, and that’s totally fine! It seems heavily inspired by the modular gasket system of the IKKI Aurora. They use something called gasket chips, just like the IKKI did, which you can remove based on your preference—and that’s cool with me! The chips are essentially pieces of polycarbonate topped with a silicone gasket strip that push into place. I really like this system because it offers some fantastic customization options for building your board.
Personally, I opted to remove the side gasket chips to allow for some extra ‘flex’ while typing.


Diving Deeper

Building the SAT75X is pretty straightforward. You go through the usual drill: slap in the stabilizers, mount the plate, snap those switches into the PCB, decide on your foams and gasket chips, then seal it all up snug in the case with a few screws.

Speaking of the PCB, though, the hotswap model is quite limited in its layout options, which is a bit disappointing. Sure, it supports a split backspace, but let’s be real—it feels a tad out of place for this setup. I’m crossing my fingers for more layout flex with future updates. As for the solderable unit, I’m in the dark on that one, so no tea to spill there.

One gripe I couldn’t overlook: those feet. They were glaringly white, sticking out like a sore thumb on an otherwise sleek setup. Props to Upas over at CannonKeys for taking the hint—I pitched the idea of clear feet to match the board’s style, and they’re on it. Small tweaks like these go a long way on projects like this.

My test unit arrived with a few scratches, likely battle scars from its journey through other reviewers’ hands. Not a deal-breaker, but worth noting. On the flip side, the injection molding marks were minimal and tucked away, keeping the SAT75X looking sharp and clean.

Now, about that silicone base—good intentions, rough execution. It’s a beefy lad meant to add some heft, but it ended up cranking the stiffness dial a bit too high. In my opinion, a slimmer profile with buffer pillars to cushion the PCB would be the move. Upas took note, and apparently, the silicone isn’t included with the unit, it’s an add-on here.

Sound And Feel

Despite some gripes I had with the silicone base, this keyboard really doesn’t need it—or any foam, for that matter—to hit that sweet spot of sound and feel! It’s all about personal preference, and I gotta say, I was pretty content with it straight out of the box. I went through every foam setup, even showcased a few on stream, and you know what? The board sounded best to my ears either bare naked or with just the plate foam in place.

Not only does the board sound good, but it also feels great! The team did a fantastic job with the plate design for the SAT75X, which is why it’s not cross-compatible with the older model. They kept the relief cut at the spacebar and removed any mounting point in that area. This change made the typing experience less fatiguing and improved the sound. However, it still has a plastic sound signature, which might not be for everyone.

As for feel, typing on this board is softer, hitting that sweet spot between cushy and firm, even with a few gasket chips removed. I dig that you can fine-tune it just a smidge, giving you that personalized typing experience that’s hard not to appreciate.

Final Thoughts And Who Is This For?

So, who’s the SAT75X really for? I wrestled with this question for a bit because I was genuinely curious about its appeal. My take? I think it’s for everyone. Personally, I’m eyeing one as a gift for my significant other and maybe snagging another for myself to game on.

Now, it might not be the top pick for those who exclusively collect high-end designer boards, and that’s fair. But there’s just so much to appreciate here. It’s honestly hard to slot the SAT75X into any existing category. The closest contender might be the Bauer Lite, but with its unique layout, mounting style, and small nuances, it’s really about what size board clicks for you. They do share some sound characteristics, though.

Overall, the SAT75X steps up as a solid successor to the original Satisfaction 75, packing in notable upgrades and fresh features that make it a thrilling choice for both newcomers and seasoned keyboard aficionados alike. At a starting price of $111 USD, it’s a steal, blending nostalgia with contemporary tweaks in materials and design.

Whether you’re a die-hard fan of the OG Satisfaction 75 or just dipping your toes into the keyboard world, the SAT75X stands tall as a compelling option that nails both performance and style.