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Vissles’ V84 keyboard is proof that you can get high-end keyboard features at a low price

By Kenny Yeo - on 8 Aug 2021, 10:48am

Vissles’ V84 keyboard is proof that you can get high-end keyboard features at a low price

Note: This article was first published on 13 July 2021.

The Vissles V84 is a compact 75% keyboard. (Image source: Vissles)

Let’s get over the basics. The Vissles V84 a 75% Bluetooth wireless keyboard that is hot-swappable and comes with your choice of Gateron switches or Vissles’ very own VS switch. It works with Windows systems, Macs, as well as iOS and Android devices.

It has 84 keys so you retain your arrow keys and to the right is a column of navigation keys. It’s a logical layout for people who want maximum functionality in the smallest possible keyboard.

The frame is black and plastic and there are rubber feet below to keep it from sliding about on your desk. On its own, the frame is already angled. But if you find it to be insufficient, there are magnetic stands in the box to add a further six degrees of tilt to raise the keyboard higher.

The white keycaps are PBT which is nice to see at this price point. It also means they won’t yellow and won’t develop that nasty shine that you get with ABS keycaps. Mac users rejoice because additional Mac keys (Command and Option) are provided for you to swap out.

The keyboard is slightly angled. Feet are included to increase the angle of tilt. (Image source: Vissles)

The key caps have a soft grain texture to them and the printing is mostly alright. It’s quite sharp considering they are PBT but I spot some inconsistencies with type especially in the function row.

My unit came with Vissles’ own VS switch. This is a linear switch. Its rated actuation force of 45g is similar to the ubiquitous Cherry MX Red but this is a completely different animal. 

It’s lubed from the factory so it’s supremely smooth with no hint of scratchiness. The stabilisers are lubed too, which I wasn’t expecting at this price point. If I want to nitpick, the keyboard hasn’t been lubricated consistently. Some keys like Backspace and Tab could clearly use a little more attention. Still, because the switches and stabilisers are lubed, they make a low-pitched thock noise right out of the box.

The switches require some time to settle. At first, presumably, because they are factory-lubricated, it feels like there’s a slight tactile bump almost as if they are like a very light version of Topres. This sensation dissipates over time and they settle down to feel like very refined versions of Cherry Reds. Whether that’s a good thing or not, I’d leave it to you to decide.

Hot-swapping lets you put your favourite switches into this keyboard. (Image source: Vissles)

And if you don't like the switch, the good thing is that this is a hot-swappable keyboard. It has 5-pin sockets so it'll work with almost any MX-style switch that you can get from enthusiast sites like Kbdfans and NovelKeys.

If you like RGB lighting, this keyboard has it. Lighting effects can be customised using the Vissles keyboard app. Curiously, despite being compatible with Macs, the software is Windows-only. Mac users can only toggle between the keyboard’s built-in 19 lighting effects

Because the PBT keycaps are shine-through, the lighting effects were muted. Setting a colourful preset and brightness to the maximum also takes a toll on battery life. With such settings, the large 3,750mAh battery gets depleted in just days. If you use a less intensive effect or turn off the backlights altogether, Vissles claims up to 180 hours of battery life.

(Image source: Vissles)

The most surprising thing about the keyboard is its price. Normally, a keyboard with features like wireless connectivity, PBT keycaps, and hot-swappable sockets will set you back close to or over S$200 but the Vissles V84 is US$99 (~S$134). It's remarkable value for money and genuinely one of the most surprising keyboards I've typed on this year.

You can find and buy the Vissles V84 keyboard on Vissles' website here.

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