Vissles v84 keyboard
The Vissles v84 Keyboard is attractive and well-made offers a good typing experience but aims at gamers. However, the software is Windows only, leaving Mac owners to arcane keystrokes to configure their keyboards or find a PC to make the modes. Has Bluetooth connectivity issues with some Mac models.
Vissles v84 Keyboard Review
Vissles created an attractive and useful keyboard with its 75% V84 USB and 5.1 Bluetooth® design. My review version was designed for a Mac, in muted dark and light grays with pops of orange on the top right and lower left corner. Although a Mac version, the V84 is a standard keyboard that works on any device that accepts a standard keyboard. An included keycap puller allows for swapping keycaps after reconfiguring the layout.
As with many devices, the software proves harder to master than the mechanics. That is true of the $119 Vissles V84 keyboard, a device which would benefit from software and user experience improvements to match its excellent hardware.
Vissles v84 Keyboard Specifications
- Number of keys: 84
- Backlight: RGB Dynamic
- Bluetooth version: 5.1
- Interface: USB-C
- Battery: 3750mAh Lithium Battery
- Weight: 824g + 8g for magnetic foot pads
- Dimensions: 316mm x 126 mm x 39mm
What we like
Despite the light key actuation, I rather like typing on the V84. It offers a more springy experience than the refined Drop but still firm enough for touch typing. The well-sculpted and sturdy keys benefit from the double-shot PBT injection molding process. Unlike the Drop ALT, Vissles included a dedicated row of function keys. Vissles rates the switches at 60 million keystrokes.
For those who want to customize their experience, the Vissles V84 Keyboard supports 3 and 5-pin MX-style mechanical switches such as those from Cherry, Gateron, Kaih and others. The keyboard can be ordered from Vissles with VS II, Red, Blue, or Brown switches. A wide variety of compatible keycaps are easily available from various resellers.
The backlight is excellent and subtle, though requires a manual to figure out the right keys and options, as they are not intuitively integrated with the keycaps. The V84 supports 19 RGB dynamic lighting effects and 9 monochromatic lighting effects for those who like to have fun with their keyboards.
The Vissles V84 Keyboard also comes with a leatherette wrist rest to make input for comfortable. I love the magnetic feet that adjust the angle of the keyboard. That is a clever idea that should be adopted by more manufacturers–though if you move the keyboard around, watch out for lose feet as they aren’t designed for jostling.
I have come to respect, perhaps even adore, compact keyboards. I don’t need my fingers to wander over an expansive surface or occasionally jump to a ten-key pad. Perhaps it’s because I learned touch typing on an actual typewriter.
What could be improved
This Vissles V84 claims a Macintosh proclivity, but even though its keys come preconfigured for the Mac, the software available for configuring the keyboard only works with a Windows PC.
My biggest issue, however, is the Bluetooth implementation. I own several computers, an M1 Mac Mini being my primary day-to-day device. The Mac Mini refused to recognize the v84 over Bluetooth. It worked just fine wired to a USB port. My M1 Pro MacBook Pro recognized the keyboard, and I found the connectivity OK, though the various sleep mode resulted in interruptions as I awaited the keyboard to awaken and reconnect.
Even getting into pairing mode requires a glance at the manual if you don’t do it often–holding down the function key with one of the QWERTY keys, wait for three flashes, and then look at the available Bluetooth devices. Some indication on thy keys of their role would be useful.
The V84 also supported macro recording, but that is a feature best left for hobbyists and others serious about mastering the esoterica of their tech investments.
A braided cable would be appreciated to increase the quality of the experience and the endurance of the overall solution.
Vissles V84 Keyboard: The Bottom Line
Vissles hardware engineering appears more refined than their software prowess. If you own a Mac, you can easily incorporate the Vissles V84 Keyboard into your workstream, but you may be limited to a wired experience. That inconsistency of Bluetooth connectivity makes the V84 hard to recommend despite the otherwise good keyboard experience for those without a need for customization. Those who want to really customize their experience will need not only the included key and switch pullers, but also access to a Windows PC to run the configuration app.
Vissles provided the v84 for review. Images courtesy of Vissles.
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