First off, right out of the box the LCD was showing static and I was getting the random strings of gibberish, plus the ENTER and PLUS keys on my numpad were loose in the box instead of seated on the switches.
Since this was a brand new board, not an open box sale, and the box wasn't damaged from being dropped; I contacted both MECH KEYS (who I bought it from) and Epomaker for support. MECH KEYS responded less than a day later saying "we have contacted the maker of this board and they say you should open the case and check if the ribbon cable is seated" which makes me think I was far from the first customer with this issue. Epomaker responded about a day later with a letter saying "we can not find your order in our system, did you buy from another seller ... do not worry, we will help you with this issue" so I responded that I had purchased from MECH KEYS and attached a picture of my receipt.
I'm not stupid enough to just pop open the case and risk voiding whatever limited warranty this keyboard may have, so I waited for a response from Epomaker, but all I got was crickets for 3 days. With it being pretty apparent that support for products not sold directly by Epomaker are not a priority, I pulled out my iFixIt kit and popped the case apart using plastic pics. They really did not design this thing to be worked on AT ALL ... but with much pertinence and care not to rip cables, I got all 6 of the board ribbons reseated, plus unseated the LCD screen ribbon half way before it stopped moving, then reseated it using a pair of tweezers.
Somehow that fixed the problem and my screen lit up: So YAY, I didn't spend $200 on E-Waste.
Now lets get to the software: the "firmware" file gets flagged by Anti-Virus programs as malware and windows defender quarantines the EXE for the RGB recording program. Then for as long as the program is running in the taskbar, windows spams alert windows about how it has killed the program from running ... thankfully you can just ignore that and the rest of the program will run, as fine as it can. I say "fine as it can" because while it seems feature complete, there is no documentation or comprehensive explanations on how to use it and you have to guess at what function does what. Lighting functions are straightforward enough, but the macro and button remapping functions are worthless outside of setting up spambot routines (why else would I want to program mouse functions to my keyboard).
I probably wouldn't have taken off a star about that, except that the options for the LCD screen are trash, as the only settings you can change is the image that pops up when the keyboard turns on. Which is cool and all, but where are the functions to program the UI functions of the screen after that boot up? I know they exist because originally the clock was in 12hr format and an hour ahead from system time, but then after running the "firmware" it switched to 24hr format with the correct time. So the function to set the time and adjust the display have to be SOMEWHERE. Outside of that, it will tell you what mode you have the switch in on the back of the keyboard. Which is pretty useless since it is a physical switch, instead of a software toggle, and I already know what mode I set it too. Next to that there is an Icon for caps lock, and then after that there is space next to that icon were it seems like another icon should show up ... but there is no scroll lock key on this board (with no option in the button mapping to change a key to it) & the LCD screen doesn't show you any functions for Num-Lock. Which is kinda important since most of the keys missing from the full 107 layout are alt functions of the Numpad. The entire excuse for having a 1st party program for managing the keyboard instead of using QMK-VIA, is to program that LCD screen, but you can't ... so why even bother to make this thing instead of using QMK-VIA?
All in all, I like the physical layout and construction of the board, I tried two sets of keycaps but ended up going back to the stock ones because they are so much better, it has good connectivity options and I respect the "Alice + numpad + Kitchen sink worth of features" ambition, but the software support is garbage and I really regret opting for the LCD instead of the page up / down keys.
If Epomaker fixes their software to make this LCD screen functional, I will forget about the QC issue of my board not working out of the box.