Keeping a Low Profile
How low (profile) can you go?
Havit is a Chinese company with a unique product for the enthusiast PC segment: the thinnest mechanical keyboard on the market at 22.5 mm. Their slim HV-KB395L keyboard offers real mechanical switching via Kailh low-profile blue switches, and full RGB lighting is thrown in for good measure. For a keyboard that retails for $79.99 this is certainly an interesting mix, but how in the world does low-profile mechanical feel? I will attempt to translate that experience into words (by… typing words).
- 104-key Mechanical Keyboard
- Customizable RGB backlighting
- Kailh PG1350 Low Profile Blue Switch
- 3mm of total travel, 45g of operating force
- N-Key Rollover
- Detachable USB Cable
- Weight: 0.57 kg
- Dimensions: 43.6 x 12.6 x 2.25 cm
First impressions of the keyboard are great, with nice packaging that cradles the keyboard in a carton inside the box. The keyboard itself feels quite premium, with a top panel that is actually metal – unusual for this price-point.
The base of the keyboard offers rubber feet to keep it from moving on your desk or table, and there are the usual flip-out feet (also rubber tipped) for adjusting the angle.
The cable is detachable; a standard microUSB of the type that ships with smartphones, and is not particularly long.
Now for the important stuff: the keys. This really is a low-profile design, looking to the naked eye like any number of membrane keyboards.
The clicky nature of the first presses instantly confirm that we are indeed looking at a mechanical keyboard, and it’s kind of a weird sensation. The key travel is pretty shallow at 3 mm, but there is a distinct tactile feeling followed by a clicky sound – just as you would expect from a blue switch.
The keyboard feels very fast thanks to that low travel, and the keycaps feel solid.
The lighting is not the brightest I’ve encountered, but is fully customizable – though the included instructions are a little convoluted if you are doing things strictly on the keyboard (a driver is in the works for OS-based customization).
- HAVIT Ultra-Thin RGB Mechanical Keyboard: $79.99 – Amazon.com
I was immediately impressed with the build quality of the HV-KB395L, and found the low-profile typing experience to be a nice change from the usual mechanical keyboard. This shallow but clicky experience is very conducive to comfort over long periods with less finger travel and a shallower wrist angle. Havit has come out of nowhere with a great product here, and once RGB lighting can be controlled via the OS it will be even better.