The simple keyboard is something that most people don't think much about until it gets worn out. For gamers looking for an extra edge though, a good gaming keyboard is as important as your mouse for getting frags faster. Along with simply being more responsive though, a good gaming keyboard needs to have flair and look cool to match the amped up style and attitude of the gamer himself. After spending a few hours "testing" this keyboard with Fortnight and some other games, I'm happy to say that it lives up to it's potential.
IOGEAR makes a variety of PCs ranging from KVM switches, networking gear and cables but they also have a pretty great collection of gaming accessories under the Kaliber Gaming brand. They sent us their new HVER Pro RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with the Red Switches to test out and I'm impressed.
The build quality is exceptional with a light to carry - but hard to slip on the desk chassis made from aluminum with a plastic base and keys that respond quickly to every press with a satisfying click. For those of you looking to upgrade from the keyboard that came with your computer and wondering what it means to have a mechanical keyboard, think back in time to those amazing IBM keyboards from the 90's. You know ... the ones with that satisfying click that made so much noise in the office but felt so right to use. That's what this feels like and frankly, even of just normal business use I really dig the feel of it.
There are three different types of switches that are available here:
Brown - This is the most popular among gamers and make an audible click when pressed as well as slight resistance.
Red - I prefer no actual switch click - only the sound of the keys hitting the bottom of the keyboard. It's slightly more quiet and allows for a lighter touch with a single smooth travel from key touch to execution.
On both types of keys, it does not require a full depression of the keys to execute the action the way a membrane keyboard does. This allows you to be much faster since you can either mash the key or just simply tap it.
This is a Quality Keyboard Made for a Discerning Gamer
While the mechanical switches made me happy to experience, the HVER Pro is quality all over. From a braided USB cable to the sturdy build quality that exhibits zero flex while maintaining a relatively low overall weight, it just "feels right". Another feature that I love on this keyboard is the complete anti-ghosting design that allows you to press multiple keys together without letting false signals or the keyboard missing inputs. Quite simple, it will register every key-press, giving you the confidence that the keyboard will keep up with your fingers no matter how fast and furious the firefight might be.
Fully Programmable Keys
Depending on what game you are playing, there are probably macros that you want to be able to record and execute with a single key-press. The Kaliber Gaming HVER PRO software allows you to do this for games as well as other applications.
RGB Back lit Keys
Initially I thought this was more sizzle feature to just add a bit of cool factor but it's more practical than I initially thought. For instance, when I first booted it up, the keyboard was cycling a sort of rainbow pattern but then I configured it to do a slowly rotating single color pattern allowing me to see the keys better in low light. Then I started exploring it using the Kaliber Gaming software and discovered that I could program it with 18 different pres-set patterns as well as create game-specific patterns. This way you can highlight critical functions allowing you to remember what to press and what keys you can ignore.
What's the Bottom Line on the Kaliber Gaming HVER Pro Keyboard?
I'm impressed. It's a great option for someone seeking a high-quality gaming keyboard. However, as good as it is, it's not the perfect option for everyone.
At $79.99, it's expensive compared to what you might find if just looking for a keyboard to use for typing up reports and email. This is really something that you should look at as a premium accessory to help you take your gaming skills to the next level. However, that being said - when you compare features it's slightly cheaper than other competitive options out there so I appreciate that.
My only other nits involve the top of the keys. The first is that while the primary function of the keys is clear and back-lit, the secondary functions are not. This means that while "F3" might be volume up, I can't see that at all in the dark despite the "F3" being brightly lit. Additionally, the font used is difficult to read and smaller than it could have been. The font in particular I'm sure was done for style reasons and maybe I'm just old but I'd still like my labels to be clear and easy to read. I suppose that after a few weeks I'll just adjust to this and "know" what the different function keys do. However, initial impressions are important so I felt it was important to bring that up here.
Overall, the Kaliber Gaming HVER Pro keyboard is a great option for the serious gamer or someone just looking to add some extra bling to their desktop. It's got a great build quality and I really love the RGB LEDs feature to both add style to your desktop and points to your game!