The HAVIT KB395L RGB Mechanical Keyboard Review: Marvelous Mechanical Minimalismby E. Fylladitakis on March 1, 2018 8:00 AM EST
- Posted in
- Mechanical Keyboards
HAVIT is a PC peripherals manufacturer originating from China. Although the brand name may not be very well known in North America and Europe, HAVIT was founded back in 1998, making them one of the most experienced manufacturers in the peripherals market. Experienced as they are, the company’s designers and engineers are trying to bring innovative and unique products into the market rather than copying established designs and hoping to compete in terms of availability and price.
Among other things, HAVIT designs and produces mechanical keyboards. When the company approached us to offer us samples, the design of one particular mechanical keyboard caught our attention. That keyboard was the KB395L, an extra-thin mechanical keyboard with low-profile switches. This is not the first low-profile mechanical keyboard that we have reviewed, not even the first one that uses low-profile switches from Kailh, but Kailh’s newest switches are even shorter and, supposedly, more comfortable that any currently available design.
Packaging and Bundle
The packaging of the KB395L is minimalistic, with a black cardboard box partially covered by an exterior white wrapping. The white wrapping lists the basic features of the keyboard and has a picture of it printed on it. Despite its size, the packaging should provide ample shipping protection to the lightweight keyboard. Inside the box we found nothing noteworthy bundled alongside the keyboard - not even a keycaps puller.
The HAVIT KB395L RGB Mechanical Keyboard
Even with its very low height, an experienced user can easily tell that the HAVIT KB395L is a mechanical keyboard. It is a very minimalistic design, with plain surfaces and clean, rounded edges. Only a polished chrome trim along the edge of the keyboard slightly stands out. The dimensions of the KB395L have been reduced to the minimums possible without changing the layout, with the frame of the keyboard ending almost right after the outermost keycaps. The USB cable is removable and connects to a common micro-USB connector at the rear right side of the keyboard.
We received the US layout version of the KB395L. It is a standard 104 keys keyboard that fully adheres to the ANSI layout. The bottom row of the keyboard has a 6.25× Spacebar and seven 1.25× bottom row keys. The only difference here is that HAVIT replaced the right Win key with an Fn key that is used to access the keyboard’s advanced features. HAVIT also markets the KB390L, a tenkeyless version of the KB395L for those that want to save up even more space.
The keycaps are made from ABS plastic and have normally sized characters printed on them. Both of the primary and the secondary character is printed at the top of each keycap, allowing both of the characters to be visible once the LED lighting is on. The secondary characters are positioned peculiarly, as if they are superscripts of the primary character, which may be confusing for a few people.
There are no extra keys on the HAVIT KB395L. The very few advanced functions that the keyboard has available by default are accessible via keystroke combinations using the Fn key. Practically, that is limited to just backlighting control, as nearly all of the combinations involve switching between different backlighting effects and tweaking their playback speed, color, or number of backlit keys. The only keystroke combination that does something different is Fn + Print Screen, which disables the Win key (also marketed as the “game mode”). There are no keystroke combinations for multimedia functions, volume control, or anything else for that matter.
The HAVIT KB395L has two rear legs that with a single fixed setting. The tilt is reasonable and the grip of the rubber anti-slip pads is very good, especially considering the very low weight of the keyboard.
Post Your CommentPlease log in or sign up to comment.
View All Comments
Elstar - Thursday, March 1, 2018 - linkI don't know how you define minimalism, but I don't think RGB lighting counts, nor a big branding logo, nor awkward key labels that smush the while-shift-is-held label into the superscript position (the underbar partially hovering over the hyphen-minus label is particularly ugly).
dave_the_nerd - Thursday, March 1, 2018 - linkMeh. I've seen a lot worse. RGB lighting can be turned off, and it's a helpful visual aide for us hunt-and-peckers.
Although I agree with you that the keycap font/design is terrible. Who thought the "____" on the space bar was a good idea? Or that the font on the Shift/Ent/Back keys should be larger? Or that they should read "Ent" and "Back" instead of "Enter" and "Backspace"?
On the other hand, a proper touch typist probably wouldn't spend enough time looking at the keyboard to be annoyed by those things.
Cellar Door - Thursday, March 1, 2018 - linkThat is nitpicking on a ridiculous level - have you ever used a laptop? Look at the font on those.
dave_the_nerd - Thursday, March 1, 2018 - linkOh, yeah, they're all terrible too. ;-)
notashill - Friday, March 2, 2018 - linkPeople that aren't ridiculously nitpicky probably don't even consider buying $80 mechanical keyboards in the first place.
twtech - Friday, March 9, 2018 - linkIt's actually surprising to me that more people aren't pickier about their input devices. If you work in a profession where you're going to sit there and type all day, I would think the keyboard you use, etc., is pretty important.
I have several split mechanical keyboards, and those tend to start at around $200. The Kinesis Freestyle Edge, which is what I'm currently using, has key backlighting. At first, I thought it would just be a gimmick, and turned it off. I also turned it off because, before the latest firmware update, the backlighting was ridiculously bright and distracting even on the lowest setting.
But it turns out that very mild backlighting is actually pretty useful for quickly locating the home row in the dark. I can make out the keys just well enough out of the corner of my eye to be able to place my hand directly back on the home row after using the mouse without hesitation. The font on the keys doesn't matter a whole lot though.
Ukyo - Thursday, March 1, 2018 - linkI have the TKL version and love it... for a bit... but quickly moved back to my MS ergo type keyboard. And my co-workers thanked me for it... lol
twtech - Thursday, March 1, 2018 - linkYou should check out the Kinesis Freestyle Edge. Your coworkers might still hate it if you were to get it with MX blues, but you'd probably like it.
philehidiot - Friday, March 2, 2018 - linkYou just don't realise how loud those blues are until you start typing and the girlfriend has to turn up the telly... Downstairs.
twtech - Friday, March 9, 2018 - linkThe Freestyle Edge has materials that mute the sound a bit. It's still loud, but apparently not as loud as it would be otherwise.