review

Vissles V84 Review Mac Layout Hot Swappable Mechanical Keyboard

Friday, June 25, 2021

Most laptops use a 65%-75% keyboard layout so, if you already use a laptop you'll be used to not having a numpad and number row. Laptops are, essentially, tenkeless (TKL) keyboard computers with a small factor. Standalone tenkeless keyboards typically range from 87 keys (80%), 84 keys (75%), 68 keys (65%) and 61 keys (60%). Tenkeyless keyboards save desktop space, making them a great alternative to full size keyboards.
The keyboard seen pictured, it's the Vissles V84 - a 75% Mac-inspired keyboard with a qwerty ansi layout. This means, the enter key on the Vissles V84 keyboard is vertically shaped rather horizontally shaped like on a keyboard with an ISO layout. Being a 75% keyboard, the Vissles V84 has a non-standard 6.25u spacebar (4.5 inches long). This important to note if you plan to put newer keycaps because most full keycap sets tend to come with a 6u or 7u spacebar.

That said, the stock keycaps on the Vissles V84 keyboard are really nice. They are made of quality PBT dye sub keycaps with dye-sublimated legends; hence the legends are permanently engraved. The entire keyboard has a superb build construction (and metal top plate) with a premium weight feel. The V84 weighs 824 grams, which is around 250 grams heavier than a typical small keyboard. 
The weight is partly due to the extra hardware built-in to the Vissles V84 keyboard, including a 3750mAh lithium battery and bluetooth 5.1 chip for bluetooth mode. You can pair up to five different devices and toggle between them, using Fn+Q/W/E/R/T. The internal battery recharges via 5V/1A and provides up to a week of runtime with the lighting turned off. It takes 9 hours to fully re-charge the Vissles V84 keyboard.

The backlighting looks really good on the V84 too. There are plenty of lighting effects (up to 19) and color options to choose from including nine single solid colors. The lighting can be adjusted directly from the keyboard, as well as the lighting speed. Aside from light control, you can record macros from the keyboard too, by using Fn+ Z/X/C keys to perform 3 sets of macros. On-board macro recording is only supported by Windows computers. 
On the base of the Vissles V84 keyboard, you will find a small switch for turning on/off bluetooth, as well as four rubber pads. The keyboard legs are detachable and magnetically attach to the base of the keyboard, boosting the height an extra centimetre. 
It's not likely you will be needing the keyboard legs because the base of the V84 keyboard has a 6-degree gradient, which elevates the front row of keys to 4cm high. The bottom row of keys sit at 2.5cm high. The dimensions of the Vissles V84 keyboard is 35cm long and 12.5cm wide.

The Vissles V84 keyboard also comes with a snazzy palm rest made with soft cushioning and textured protein leather underneath it. The palm rest is designed to be stand alone so, it doesn't clip onto the keyboard. The palm rest measures 32cm long, 9cm wide, 2cm high and weighs 100 grams.

Aside from the exceptional construction, the Vissles V84 is versatile too, thanks to the hot swappable switches, which are Vissles-owned linear mechanical switches with a cyan stem. The switches have a 45G actuation force rating and 2mm actuation travel (4mm bottom out). The switches can be replaced with virtually any switch manufacturer, including Cherry MX, Gateron, Kailh, and Outemu. The keys support n-key rollover (in wired mode) and 6-key rollover in wireless mode. The Vissles V84 keyboard is compatible with Windows, Android, Mac and iOS.

Speaking of wired mode, the V84 keyboard ships with a detachable (1.7 meters long) USB-A to USB-C power/charging cable, as well as a few other accessories. These include a cleaning cloth, extra keycaps, a quality metal switch remover and a metal keycap remover. The power/charging cable is non-branded but feels quality with rubberized plugs. Two rubber pads with 3M adhesive backing are also included. You can buy the Vissles V84 mechanical keyboard directly from Vissles. Be aware, there is another version of the V84 keyboard (version 1), which doesn't have hot-swappable switches.

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