- Terrific build quality
- Pairs to multiple devices
- Wired option for devices without Bluetooth
One innovation of recent years that I heartily endorse is the move towards, or perhaps that should be back to, mechanical keyboards. Keyboards today are soundless, flat control surfaces (or touch screens), yet people yearn for a time when keyboards made some kind of sound. That brings us to this review of the Vissles V84 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard.
Retro Keyboard Delight
The Vissles V84 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard has 81 compact switch-based keys containing removable keycaps. The device pairs to up to 5 devices through Bluetooth, using a clever sequence of keystrokes, so you can have it paired to your phone, computer and tablet without them fighting for supremacy every time more than one of them is on. It’s sturdily built and has detachable, magnetized rubber feet to raise the angle. This makes for a very sturdy typing platform.
The keyboard supports all major OSes and even has spare key caps in the box to change it from a Mac to Windows version, including tools to remove and replace the keycaps safely and without damage.
And because this is a modern keyboard, of course it features LED backlights, which dance in an array of rainbow colors, completely under your control. It also includes a wrist rest to mitigate the effects of repetitive strain injury on your wrists. If you type a lot, which many of us do these days, you may need this. This is especially true of a mechanical keyboard, as the typing position and movement of your hands and joints is much more active.
All Purpose and Hard Working
Brushing aside why anyone would want to switch from a modern keyboard to a slightly more old-fashioned one, I’ll explain why I like such keyboards. It’s not so much that I want to go back to happier times or a golden era – it’s that typing and having your keyboard make a nice noise as you type is a pleasant experience. Tactile keys give positive mechanical feedback when they are pressed with a finger. They make a noise, and you feel the key hit the keyboard bed so that you know definitively when it’s been pressed properly.
One of the things I find with non-mechanical keyboards is that sometimes when you are pressing on them so lightly you mistype or don’t press the keys enough and fly over them instead, you miss a letter. It’s a matter of personal preference, but I like a more positive keystroke. I also think that when keyboards stopped making a noise, we lost something. A joyful little rattle that accompanies typing, an almost meditative repetitive sound that puts you into a sort of trance while writing.
There is a very nice feel to the keyboard – smooth action and very nice to type on. The keyboard itself is quite heavy. This is not something I ever thought I’d value in a keyboard, but it’s a very good thing in this case. The weight of the thing helps keep it anchored to the desk while you type, making for a very stable typing environment.
For me the Vissles V84 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard has a lovely old timey feel. As someone who grew up using wired keyboards with proper keycaps, it’s lovely to get back to a keyboard that clicks a little bit. However, the noise is not intrusive or annoying as it would be with a proper typewriter – it just gives lovely mechanical feedback that a key has actually been pressed.
For a lot of intensive typing, it’s really easy on the fingers and provides you with what you are missing in more modern conventional keyboards: tactile feedback. It’s one of those things you don’t miss until you get it back. All in all, this is a fantastic wireless keyboard, similar if not lower in price to others of its type, and I rate the build quality and style very high. This is a quality device.
I also like that it has a USB-C cable to turn it into a wired keyboard so that you can use it with devices that don’t use Bluetooth. If I could use it with every computer I own, I would. Mostly, I use it to connect to my Android phone and type things while I’m sitting in the garden. Like this review, for example.
The Vissles V84 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard is priced at around $109. Frankly, the price is spot on for a keyboard of this quality.
Image credit: Vissles All screenshots by Phil South
Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox