Monday, 19 July 2021 18:47

The Vissles V84 mechanical keyboard - the compact keyboard that does it all


Vissles creates some nice gadgets, and their latest is a mechanical keyboard that works via Bluetooth or USB, it can pair to multiple devices at once, it has hot-swappable keys for Windows and macOS, has a range of backlighting options, and is macro-programmable too.

The Vissles V84 mechanical keyboard does all this in one solid-feeling package. The keyboard is compact at 75% of a full keyboard, but yet includes a full set of function keys above the number row, and also a column with the del / home / end / page up / page down keys. In that regard, the layout takes a small bit of getting used to because, for example, backspace and enter aren’t at the edge as you might expect - but on the other hand, the learning curve isn’t significant because the keys are all full-sized keys without compromise. So, provided you rest your palms in the usual place you’ll find yourself easily tapping away at letters and numbers from muscle memory without difficulty.

The keyboard works equally well with Windows and Mac-based products - which includes macOS, but also iOS and iPadOS. For that matter, it also works with Android, Linux, and anything else where you can pair a keyboard via Bluetooth or USB. The keyboard itself has a USB-C socket and a USB-A to USB-C cable is provided, but you could replace that with USB-C to USB-C if needed. However, why Vissles explicitly mentions Mac and Windows is because three keycaps are provided in the box, as well as a key pulling tool, to replace the option and left- and right-CMD keys with a Windows and left- and right-ALT keys so it physically looks right, no matter the operating system of your choosing.

Actually, you can replace any of the keycaps, not only these three. It is equipped with five-pin switches and is compatible with most all MX-style three- and five-pin mechanical switches. There is no soldering; the keys are all hot-swappable, and you can use the key puller included in the box.

VisslesV84MechanicalKeyboardVersion2 1 1024x1024

The keyboard is tapered towards your wrists, with a slight incline as it goes back. It does not include legs that pop out, which suits me as I always put the legs out anyhow but often they are flimsy and break. The Vissles V84 does away with all that by simply giving you a solid keyboard that’s already angled, with a strong grip.

The Bluetooth range is 10 metres, and you can pair the keyboard with five devices. A key combination (Function+QWERT) will allow you to switch between them at will.

The keyboard uses backlights to communicate its pairing status, and you can enjoy the RGB backlighting for yourself. In fact, it comes with 19 different lighting effects, nine types of monochrome sets, five lighting speeds, and five brightness levels. All are adjusted through function key combinations. If you replace your keycaps, Vissles says SMD-LED compatible switches are best for showing the backlights.

Additionally, you can record sets of 16 character sequences as macros, and save these for later replay as you desire. Your macros could be a common phrase, an Excel function, a series of actions in a game, or anything else you can imagine.

While you can do all these things from the keyboard itself, Vissles also provides free software to give you full customisation control over the keyboard settings.

Vissles V84 hot swappable mechanical keyboard is programmable

The Vissles V84 has 84 keys, supports Bluetooth 5.1 and USB-C, has a 3750mAh lithium battery and weighs 824g. It is 316mm x 126mm x 39mm. The mechanical keys have a travel distance of 4mm.

It's flexible enough to use with your tablet, phone and game consoles; it’s robust enough to travel around with you; it’s solid enough that you feel you’re typing on a real keyboard with delightful mechanical keyboard clacks. The backlighting is fun, the macro recording is helpful, and the versatility of being connected via USB cable or paired with up to five Bluetooth devices makes it a terrific keyboard for the desktop or on the go.

There’s a lot to like about the Vissles V84 and typing on it was easy, accurate, and comfortable. I do love a good mechanical keyboard and how they feel and sound, and finding such a solid a keyboard with this amount of functionality and hackability at its price point is remarkable.

It is available for $US 99, currently on sale from its usual RRP of $US 119. You can get a further 10% discount by using code "V84" during checkout, taking the price down to $US 89.10.

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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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