- About the Havit HV-390L Low Profile keyboard…
- Keyboard Design and Overview
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Disclosure: The HV-KB390L mechanical keyboard is provided by Havit
About the Havit HV-KB390L…
The Havit HV-KB390L mechanical keyboard is really special due to its slim design thanks to Kailh’s low profile mechanical switches. You would assume such switches are made for notebook manufacturers and maybe chiclet-style keyboard makers. The travel distance on this keyboard is 3mm. Though it does provide the clickity blue switch type sound upon actuation, the required force is only 45 grams. While Havit doesn’t overcrowd its name with the word ‘gaming’, it is kept under the gaming category. It also provides macros, game mode, WIN LOCK mode and list goes on!
Packaging and Contents
The packaging is decent enough. Though I wish the packaging had some type of protection for the keys, the packaging as bubble-wrapped and had a Havit tape on it. I am assuming this is how it is shipped. If not, hopefully, online retailers will do their part. The Havit 390L has a single backlit colour but with multiple modes and brightness level. Havit assures all the keys have an anti-ghosting function.
This keyboard is interesting. While most mechanical keyboard manufacturers aim towards gamers, this seems to be aiming for general users. Still, it has some useful features such as detachable USB cable and lightweight design.
Features and Specification
- Size: 354*127.5*22.5mm
- Layout: US Layout
- Operating force: 45±10gf
- Key number: 87 keys
- Travel(Total): 3.0mm
- Interface Type: USB
- Anti-ghosting: N-Key Rollover
- Net weight: 520g
- Voltage: 4.75V±10%
- Current: ≤ 50mA （No backlight）,≤ 250 mA （brightest backlight）
- Cable length: 1500mm (Black USB cable)
- Service Life: >50 Million Key Operation
- Compatible with: Win10/8/7/Vista/Mac/Linux/IBM PC (Driver software available in Windows only)
The Havit HV-KB390L keyboard uses the low-profile Kailh PG1350 blue switches with floating keycap orientation. This is the 87 switches version, though there is a numpad variant KB395L viz. also an RGB variant. The top has a black coloured aluminium plate and exposed borders to give a black-and-chromed aesthetics. As you can see, the edges have a chrome finish while the rest of the aluminium has a matte black finish. The keyboard is very lightweight. No flashy design. Pretty minimalistic and functional size and spacing between the keys.
While the HV-KB390L keyboard is not flat yet not steep, it gives that natural angle where you’ll feel comfortable to type it on while having your wrist rest on the table.
The eight of this keyboard is 520 grams, while the height is up to 2.25 cm without the elevated feet. The keyboard has some elevation from to the lower all the way to the upper keys. It does feel low profile if you compare your experience with mechanical keyboards such as Masterkeys Pro L, Meka Pro and Motospeed CK108. I can’t say it would apply the same for HyperX Alloy because of its design compared to the above-mentioned keyboard. Havit 390L is easily the thinnest mechanical keyboard, with HyperX Alloy coming somewhat close to it.
Removable USB Cable Design
It uses a micro USB attachment, but it requires a specific micro USB cable with a thin housing for installation. This is somewhat proprietary as its unlikely you’ll be able to use a conventional micro USB cable to plug it in. While such a design does help to clamp a mini USB inside the keyboard properly, it reduces your option to find a replaceable cable. This is why prefer mini USB, as it is used in the HyperX Alloy. It does a better job at locking in place compared to the mini USB. If you’re in a similar situation and need a solution, most likely you’ll end up stripping the housing itself.
About the Kailh low profile switches…
Unlike typical mechanical switches, the implementation is different. Kailh does say these are clicky switches. Despite its design, it does produce that satisfying click sound. The response of the key does happen when you press it halfway. Though I doubt a lot of people can maintain due to its low profile nature and couldn’t help than to actuate it all the way to the base.
The font is bold and clear- the way it should be. The alternative functions of the functions allow the backlight bleed through it, unlike the Motospeed CK108. The indicators for the lock keys are on the respective switches.
The keycaps are made from ABS with a matte finish black coat with laser etching for the fonts. These keycaps are very thin. Due to the switch type, it does not use the cross axis type mount. It uses a clip type design which is part of the Kailh low-profile switches. Therefore this keyboard is incompatible with cross-type keycaps. I have not seen or heard about getting such keycaps as an aftermarket option but since Kailh are making these switches its just a matter of time. Kailh has few other low profile switch types as well.
Keyboard Feet Elevation
The pop-up feet gives additional height to 3.5 inches. It does feel comfortable even while having the wrist resting on the table. You will not have the need to have a wrist rest gel unless you need some cushion.
The base tray is also ABS plastic and has the required feet.
For a change, it is a singular backlit option. Light blue (ICE BLUE, as said by Havit) is pleasing to look at while providing adequate brightness. Not all keyboards have RGB- thankfully. You do have many effects and brightness level you can set on the fly using Fn and function keys. You can also use Havit’s utility.
The utility is straightforward and easy to figure it out. It also allows you to update firmware via Havit’s servers. You can use the lighting modes or preset macros for individual keys.
The travel distance is very less compared to many types of mechanical keyboards out there. This makes the HV-KB390L an excellent keyboard to use for the day-to-day usage- including gaming. The sensation of actuation is far fetter and refined than typical keys on laptops, which is I assume Kailh will try to sell these to notebook OEMs. You will still get discrete keyboards to whatever you want to use it on. Using this keyboard is a unique experience even if one is experienced in using many types of keyboards. I would prefer a more open solution to use any micro USB cable so that I won’t be handicapped if I lose the cable or otherwise. It could use a better grip on its base. While the lower side does have rubber feet, the upper section feet are only on the pull out feet.
For a clickity keyboard, this is really silent. Its due to its internal mechanism, the keyboard stays quiet. It provides clicks but not loud enough to annoy anyone.
There’s very little flex in the middle but its unlikely to happen unless you’re putting a lot of force over it. It is a very simple, compact and slim design which solves a lot of problems. You wouldn’t need a wrist rest. Due to the low travel distance between keys, it is an excellent keyboard if you type a lot of written content. You can also carry around wherever you want to, which will be a thing if you don’t like that notebook keyboard.
Should you buy?
For this price, it is a good keyboard to shortlist. I don’t have any reservations against gaming, but that comes to preference and an individual’s taste. For a lot of typing work, this keyboard is excellent. HV-KB395L is the full-size keyboard if you need to look for one for $20 more. The ability to use any micro USB cable would make it even better.
- Low Profile mechanical switches!
- Far less travel time
- Excellent singular illumination
- Compact Design
- Detachable Cable
- No flex during real-world use
- Keycap Quality
- Restriction of using any micro USB cable
— Hardware BBQ (@HardwareBBQ) October 20, 2017