NuPhy Gem80 review: Endless customization

Dylan Horetski
NuPhy Gem80

The NuPhy Gem80 is the company’s first tenkeyless keyboard, and features a new keycap layout alongside a handful of enthusiast-level options – but does it stand up against its competition?

Enthusiast-level mechanical keyboards are nothing new, with some of the biggest brands in the industry like Razer and Asus making them increasingly accessible.

Akko’s MOD007 PC offers some of the most sought-after features like sound dampening, thick PBT caps, and more, while the Meletrix Boog75 elevates the typing experience with a machined aluminum case and gasket-mounted PCB for added cushion.

But, after weeks of use, does NuPhy manage to make a mark with its latest enthusiast-level keyboard?

Key Specs

  • Switch type: Cherry Silent Red Clear-Top
  • Keycaps: Doubleshot PBT
  • Connectivity: USB-C, Bluetooth, 2.4Ghz
  • Form Factor: Tenkeyless
  • Lighting: RGB
  • Features: Gasket mounted, south-facing RGB, aluminum and acrylic case, coiled USB cable
  • Price: $243.95 (Reviewed)


The NuPhy Gem80 is built in a standard tenkeyless form factor, which features everything you would see in a normal keyboard – just with the numpad chopped off. Its case is machined aluminum on top with frosted acrylic on the bottom, and this review unit is the company’s ‘obsidian black’ colorway.

NuPhy Gem80

There’s nothing super exciting about the overall design of the NuPhy Gem80, but that’s not always a bad thing. The black keycaps tastefully compliment the rest of the keyboard, and NuPhy’s decision for south-facing RGB lights makes it super easy to use in the dark without having the “gamer” feel.

For branding, NuPhy decided to use a removable GEM badge placed right above the arrow keys. You can flip it over for a simple solid black surface, but I’d rather it not be there at all. It’s sectioned off in its own box highlighted with RGB, and looks fairly tacky.


While NuPhy went with a basic design for the outside of the Gem80, the $250 keyboard is packed full of features on the inside.

Alongside its wired capabilities, the keyboard also supports Bluetooth and 2.4Ghz wireless options with battery life that lasts well over a full week. NuPhy has also included a switch for MacOS and Windows layouts, which has been incredibly helpful when switching between the two for work and gaming.

You’ll find six layers of various foam, silicon, and sound-dampening material inside of the Gem80. All of this alone gives it a nice thocky sound while typing, and it all can be removed as needed to adjust the keyboard to your liking.

NuPhy Gem80

For even more adjustment, NuPhy has included four different PCB mounting options including three gasket-mount designs and one top-mount for firmness.

There’s support for hot-swappable switches, too, meaning that if you decide to change up your switches (or one breaks) in the future, you don’t have to buy a whole new keyboard.

NuPhy has been slowly moving all of their keyboards over to VIA/QMK, so there’s no on-device software needed for the Gem80. Instead, you grab a file from the company’s website, upload it to the VIA website, and make changes to the keyboard that stays in place across all of your devices.

Gaming Performance

The Gem80 has been designed to focus on typing over gaming performance, but it’s still just fine for casual players.

I tested it out in Warzone, and quickly found myself more than capable of putting up a good fight against my opponents in close combat. Palworld was much of the same, it just replaced my camo-dressed opponents with Pokemon-esque creatures.

The keyboard works great in 2.4Ghz and Bluetooth wireless modes, too, with no noticeable lag when quickly pressing keys.

NuPhy Gem80

Typing Performance

NuPhy knocked it out of the park with the Gem80 TKL keyboard. Using the stock setup – the silicon socket PCB mount and all six layers of sound-dampening material provides a wonderful thocky sound and a near-zero amount of impact on your fingers thanks to the flex in the PCB.

Should you buy it?

If you’re in the market for a higher-end mechanical keyboard, the NuPhy Gem80 should be high up on your list. It offers endless customization with removable sound-dampening materials, great battery life, and looks great in the process.

While it offers suitable performance for casual gamers, anyone looking for a higher-end keyboard in its price range with a focus on gaming should look at the Meletrix Boog75.

Some users, including myself, had issues with double key presses when the Gem80 first launched. However, a firmware update fixed all the issues I had with the keyboard and NuPhy has confirmed that they are shipping the product with the update.

Verdict: 4/5

The endless customization options of the NuPhy Gem80 elevate the keyboard above the rest in its price range, but “Gem” branding above the arrow keys takes away from the overall premium design.