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Home Technology Vissles LP85 keyboard evaluation: A mechanical Magic Keyboard replacement

Vissles LP85 keyboard evaluation: A mechanical Magic Keyboard replacement


Josh Goldman/CNET

For those who love the look, measurement and luxury of Apple’s Magic Keyboard however want it had been backlit and had the texture and velocity of a mechanical keyboard (and perhaps additionally want it had been obtainable with a Home windows format), Vissles LP85 optical-mechanical keyboard is your dream come true. Or at the least it will likely be as soon as its profitable Kickstarter marketing campaign wraps up and the keyboard goes into full manufacturing and begins transport in the beginning of subsequent 12 months. 

Two years in the past I would not have thought a lot in regards to the measurement and weight of a keyboard. However with extra individuals coming into places of work the place hoteling and hot-desking are the norm, having the ability to journey with a keyboard is maybe extra necessary than ever. The LP85 is a 75% keyboard measurement, which makes it barely wider than the Magic Keyboard as a result of it provides a full row of directional keys together with full-height arrow keys.

The LP85 has an analogous wedge-shaped profile as Apple’s keyboard, though its aluminum-alloy body is three millimeters thicker. And whereas it is noticeably heavier than the Magic Keyboard — the LP85 is greater than twice its weight at 19.three ounces (547 grams) — it is nonetheless mild sufficient to journey with.

Additionally learn: Finest keyboard for 2021


A swap on the again of the LP85 allows you to go from wired to wi-fi.

Josh Goldman/CNET

The additional weight is an efficient factor

The keyboard’s heft is good. It makes it really feel sturdy and retains it in place in your desk. At the very least a part of the explanation the keyboard is heavier is its 2,000mAh battery. The LP85 is a Bluetooth keyboard and may be paired with as much as three gadgets without delay. Like most Bluetooth keyboards, once you’re away from the keyboard for a bit the LP85 goes to sleep and requires a key press to wake it up and reconnect. This reconnection takes a second or two and may be infuriating. However, you may also use it wired with the included USB-C-to-USB-A cable. That is additionally the way it’s charged.

Battery life is OK, particularly in case you hold the backlight off or low more often than not. It lasted for days on a single cost, although I did discover keystrokes would not all the time register because the battery ran down. The backlight, by the best way, may be set to 19 completely different RGB and eight monochrome patterns that you could flip via with keyboard instructions.


The LP85 is slim for a mechanical keyboard. 

Josh Goldman/CNET

The swap makes an enormous distinction

As an alternative of conventional mechanical switches that use steel contacts for indicators, optical switches use a beam of sunshine. When the beam is damaged, the sign is distributed instantaneously. Vissles’ optical switches have an actuation power of 50 grams and a 1.2-millimeter actuation level with a complete key journey of two.5 millimeters. So regardless of the slim physique, you are still getting the texture of a conventional mechanical keyboard. The switches are quick sufficient for gaming and lightweight sufficient for all-day workplace use. 

The switches have a delightful click on to them, though the individuals in your workplace or at dwelling may not agree. Proper now, that is the one swap Vissles is providing with the keyboard, nonetheless. If you wish to experiment with completely different key switches, Keychron’s K3 is an analogous measurement and has hot-swappable mechanical switches. The LP85, maybe as a result of you may’t swap out the switches, feels extra strong each in construct high quality and typing expertise. 

The Kickstarter marketing campaign for the Vissles LP85 ends on Dec. 2 at 9:06 a.m. ET. The keyboard is obtainable in Mac or Home windows layouts, though you may swap the important thing instructions between the 2 with a easy key combo. Whatever the format, the keyboard requires a pledge of $99 plus $10 for transport (AU$167, £86). It is anticipated to ship in Feb. 2022. 

Please be aware that CNET’s reporting on crowdfunding campaigns will not be an endorsement of the venture or its creators. Earlier than contributing to any marketing campaign, learn the crowdfunding web site’s insurance policies — on this case, Kickstarter — to search out out your rights (and refund insurance policies, or the shortage thereof) earlier than and after a marketing campaign ends.


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