I recently acquired a Vissles V84 mechanical keyboard and I have spent some time giving it a go. Vissles was founded in 2018 and have a selection of decent looking accessories and devices including wireless chargers, headphones and monitors. The V84 is the second of keyboard that Vissles have created, iterating on the previous design.
The keyboard itself has 84 keys and is a 75% ANSI layout, this is also called tenkeyless as it is a normal keyboard without the keypad. This keyboard moves a few of the keys around in order to fill the entire surface of the board with keys, rather than separate out the arrow and home/end keys. The compact design gives the keyboard a slim look, but it doesn't feel cramped or small to use.
The package comes with a good amount of accessories, including a leather wrist rest (with optional rubber feet), a USB-C cable, a keycap puller, a switch extractor, additional keycaps for Windows use, and two magnetic feet for the bottom of the keyboard. The magnetic feet are a good touch, they attach very well, are pretty sturdy during use, and lift the back of the board up a little bit, which I prefer. The included wrist rest fits the keyboard well.
The Vissles V84 is a very solid board and is obviously well constructed; it doesn't have any flex at all. It comes with a plastic surround that can be easily removed giving the board a sleeker look.
The keyboard can be used with a wire through the USB-C connection in the back of the unit, you can also connect the keyboard to 5 different devices using Bluetooth. Swapping between devices is done through pressing the fn key and one of the qwerty keys. I paired the keyboard with my computer, my tablet and my phone and can swap between them with minimum fuss. The only problem is remembering which key swaps to what device.
What I look for in a keyboard is how well it works on Mac and Linux devices. Thankfully, the V84 works very well on non-Windows machines. It even works very well on my android tablet and phone. I did try it out on a Windows machine and it functioned pretty well and you even have the inclusion of a couple of keys if you want to swap over to Windows entirely. Vissles provide some software that can be installed on Windows to extend some of the functionality of the device. I have to admit that the software is a bit clunky, but it does the job and allows you to customise some of the key features like lighting effects and macros.
Talking about lighting, the RBG lights on the board are bright and colourful and the white keycaps allow the light to penetrate and show through. It also comes with a number of different modes for the lighting. There are some static lights, waves, pulses and even some effects that respond to the keys being pressed. There are key combinations on the board that allow you to change the lighting effects, the colour and even how fast the pulses move. Thankfully, all of the controls for the lighting are independent of the operating system the keyboard is plugged into. It will remember the last setting and will turn on with those settings.
The V84 also has a macro recording function where short sequences of keypresses can be programmed into the keyboard. I tried this function out and was able to get it working pretty simply. It does, however, have a little bit of a flaw. In order to use a macro you need to swap into macro mode, run the macro and then swap back to typing mode to continue typing. I think it would be much better if the macros could be accessed through the typing mode as that would make them more convenient. The macros built into the keyboard have a limit of 16 characters, which isn't quite long enough for my email address. The included Windows software might allow for more characters here, but for Mac/Linux use it feels a bit restrictive.
The large included battery boasts 3750mAh and lasts for a few days of use, even with the lighting effects turned on all the time. The V84 has a sleep mode where the lights will turn off after a few minutes, but the Bluetooth doesn't disconnect until after 30 minutes of non-use. Even when turned off the keyboard only takes a second to wake up and reconnect to the device it was last connected to.
So what's it like to type on? Well at first I thought that the typing action felt a little bit spongy, but I think I'm just used to a heavier actuation force and shorter pre-travel on other mechanical keyboards. After a few minutes I found that typing actually felt pretty good and the white PBT keycaps and linear switches allow for a decent typing experience. The switches that Vissles include on the keyboard are custom build by Vissles themselves, but they are actually really nice to type on and are very quiet. The switches they include are obviously well lubricated as they don't stick or jump at all. They have a similar profile to the Gateron Red switches if you are familiar with any of the Gateron range. As a test I gave the keyboard to my son for a day and even though he was in the same room I couldn't hear him typing at all, which really showed how quiet it was.
Being hot-swappable I decided to try changing some of the keys with different switches. I bought some Gateron Blue switches to try out with just a few keys on the board. The process of removing the keycaps and switches and installing my new ones was very easy. All of the tools to do this are included in the box and the switches are easily detached from the board. I decided to swap out the arrow keys with the Gateron Blue switches in order to give me a more tactile feel when using those keys.
It's difficult to review this keyboard without making comparisons with the Keychron K2, since I already own that keyboard and it has a similar design. The layout and lighting effects are similar, but this keyboard layout is well established with a few other brands having a similar looking boards. It is also clear that the software that runs the keyboard is created by Vissles as it has a few features and differences to the K2. In my opinion, the Vissles V84 stands on it's own.
In conclusion, if you want to get into mechanical keyboards then the Vissles V84 mechanical keyboard is a great place to start. It has the design and features you need to be productive and the build quality to allow for many years of effortless typing. You can also customise the switches and keycaps very easily to personalise this keyboard allowing it to do what you want. If you already have a few mechanical keyboards you might want to take a look as it's solidly built and quite customisable. The full Mac and Linux support for the colours and other options out of the box is very useful for me as I rarely use Windows machines. Allowing 5 different devices to be paired to the keyboard is a real standout feature for me as it allows me to swap easily between everything on my desk.
If I had to pick any niggles then the only thing I found that could count against the V84 is the on/off switch on the bottom of the keyboard doesn't quite seem to match the quality of the other components. Other than that it's a solidly build and worthwhile keyboard and well worth the the £83 asking price at time of writing. I will absolutely be using this for the foreseeable future.
The good news is that I have a discount code so you can get yourself a Vissles V84 for the lower price of £69. Just enter the code "V84" at the checkout on the Vissles store and you will receive a discount on the keyboard. The world of mechanical keyboards can be very expensive so this level of quality for the discounted price is absolutely worth it.
Here are a couple of close up shots of the keyboard in a dark and light room.
The white keycaps really show off the colours in different lighting conditions. I wasn't sure about the white keys at first, but they feel good and look great in most lighting conditions.
If you are interested, here are some specifications of the keyboard.
- Layout: 75% ANSI layout
- Number of Keys: 84 keys (one of the few mechanical keyboards featuring Mac layout media keys)
- Switches: Linear switches
- Switch Brand: VS Mechanical Switch
- Bounce Time: ≤5msec
- Operating Force: 45 ± 5gf
- Total Travel: 4mm
- Pre-Travel: 2mm ± 0.5mm
- Switch Lifespan: 60M
- Switch Compatibility: Hot-swap socket design, compatible with any MX-style switch (brands like Cherry, Gateron, Kailh, and Outemu)
- N-Key Rollover: NKRO on wired mode and 6KRO on wireless mode
- Keyboard Compatible System: Windows/Android/Mac/iOS
- Software Program Compatibility: Windows (users can still record Macros with Fn+ Z/X/C key to perform 3 sets of tasks without a software program)
- Connectivity: Pair up to 5 devices (simply tap Fn+Q/W/E/R/T to seamlessly switch between 5 devices)
- Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth 5.1
- Materials: PBT
- Dynamic Backlit Types: 19
- Monochrome Backlit Types: 9
- Colour: White
- Inclined Angle: 6-degree angle stand
- Interface: Detachable USB-C Interface
- Battery: 3750mAh Lithium Battery--lasts up to 180 hours (backlight off)
- Weight: 824g (keyboard) + 8g (foot pad)
- Dimension: 316mm × 126mm × 39mm
- Input: 5V/1A