Introduction

Today we will be taking a look at the HAVIT HV-KB366L RGB Backlit Wired Mechanical Keyboard {US Layout} with Blue Switches. From what we can tell, this is HAVIT’s first mechanical keyboard so we were very anxious to get our hands on it. HAVIT is a company who primarily manufacture and sell PC and Mobile phone accessories. They have a wide variety of product which can mostly all be found on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk as well as their own website. 

logo-havit1

From here on out, we will shorten the keyboards name to just KB366L. Now this is one of the things I personally don’t like is the fact they have given it more of a serial number rather than a proper name, but hey ho, on with the review! The KB366L features the Outemu blue switches, which are of course Cherry clones. The Outemu blue switches seem to have a much louder clicky noise to them over the standard Cherry and Kailh switches so be aware of this. Aside from that, the KB366L also features RGB backlighting with a few different modes that can all be controlled right from the keyboard. Oh and one more thing to mention, this keyboard is rather heavy.

Closer Look

The KB366L has a full-metal cover design which is probably one of the reasons it weighs so much. The keys are black with the laser-etched engraving so the backlighting can shine through. It is worth noting these keycaps are quite thin and fragile, so please do use an extra bit of caution when removing them. As we can also get a little glimpse of it in the below photo, the KB366L comes with a light grey braided cabled which goes with the keyboard quite nicely.

While this is called a ‘Gaming’ keyboard, there are not a lot of gaming features to it. Firstly, we have the RGB backlighting, which if you want to see the different modes, please do see the above video. Lastly, there is the windows lock feature, which I feel is a must for gaming keyboards. Simply hit the FN+win key to lock/unlock the windows key. This comes in handy when gaming as if the windows key is locked and you hit it by accident, it will stop the start menu from popping up, something which could essentially cause you the game.
HAVIT-HV-KB366L-RGB-Backlit-Wired-Mechanical-Keyboard-review_3

 

HAVIT-HV-KB366L-RGB-Backlit-Wired-Mechanical-Keyboard-review_4

HAVIT-HV-KB366L-RGB-Backlit-Wired-Mechanical-Keyboard-review_5

As mentioned, the KB366L features the Outemu/Gaote blue switches which are a clicky switch with a 50-60g actuation. As you can see, each switch is individually backlit. Before this review, I had never heard of Outemu or Gaote switches so I was quite excited to try them out and see how well they held up against some of the other switch types I have tried.

HAVIT-HV-KB366L-RGB-Backlit-Wired-Mechanical-Keyboard-review_7

As with most keyboards these days, there are a pair of feet on the bottom that can be raised up to allow for better ergonomics. You will also notice some blue plastic bumpers on the corners of the keyboard. My guess is they are there to help protect it from getting damaged in any way should you drop it, though I will say it is a bold design move in my opinion.

HAVIT-HV-KB366L-RGB-Backlit-Wired-Mechanical-Keyboard-review_6

While each individual key has an RGB LED, you can’t control each individual key on it’s own, they are controlled in groups of which there are six. Looking at the below image, you will be able to see each group represented by a different colour. It is worth noting that all groups can be the same colour but as mentioned, you won’t be able to control the lighting on each individual key. There are quite a few different modes you can set the LEDs to, all of which can be seen in the video at the beginning of the closer look section.

HAVIT-HV-KB366L-RGB-Backlit-Wired-Mechanical-Keyboard-review_1

HAVIT-HV-KB366L-RGB-Backlit-Wired-Mechanical-Keyboard-review_2

Gaming and General Performance

I used this keyboard for about two weeks every day for everything from gaming and typing reviews to wasting time on social media sites so have a pretty good feel for it.

Gaming

First off, I will mention again that there are no real gaming features to this keyboard except the windows lock function. Putting the lack of features to the side and talking about the pure performance of the keyboard itself. The KB366L features a 6-key rollover effect which simply means you can hit up to 6 keys at the same time and experience minimal input lag, any more than this and they are likely not to register at all. While this may not seem important to some, quite a few gamers may not find this adequate depending on the time of games they play.

Loading up all of my favourite FPS games and having a good little session or two, I didn’t notice any real problems with the keyboard or the switches. The lack of functions doesn’t bother me as they are not generally needed for FPS games. Whether I was trying to sneak around a corner, or bunny hopping as fast as can be, the actuation of the switches felt smooth and responsive. I didn’t notice any input lag from the switches in any of my gaming sessions which was great. However, I could feel that the keycaps weren’t quite the standard I was used to and this is what led me to check them out to notice they are a bit thinner and more fragile than normal. While this isn’t a major deal breaker, it is definitely something to keep in mind.

General

This is where things got a bit fun! While everything felt smooth, the Outemu/Gaote switches are extremely loud. Now I know that blue switches are very clicky and I have used some other types before, but these on the KB366L are the loudest switches I have ever come across. So loud in fact that I found it hard to concentrate while typing up reviews as they are just that loud.

Noise aside, they seem to work quite well. As mentioned I used the keyboard daily for about 2 weeks and can not fault as far as the overall usability goes. Typing was smooth, fluent and the responsiveness of the keystrokes was right on point. Once I got some headphones on with a bit of music going, I had no issues typing away for hours on end.

There was one major downfall for the KB366L when it came to general use and that was the lack of features. There is no volume control anywhere on this keyboard, even with the assistance of using the FN key. Aside from the windows lock feature, there is nothing else you can do on this keyboard except type and use the keys for their basic functions. This really lets me down as I am a big fan of having my volume controls on my keyboard, as well as some extra quick access keys for media and general usage.

Final Thoughts

Another keyboard tested and while I am sad to see them go, I am always happy to be able to wrap up a review. I do have some mixed feelings when it comes to the KB366L so let’s recap!

Performance

The overall performance of the KB366L was good. The Outemu/Gaote switches seem to do the job even if they are quite noisy. The actuation point felt fine and there were no problems with the responsiveness of the keystrokes during gaming or general use. While these particular blue Outemu switches are not my cup of tea, I can not fault them at all when it comes to the performance they offer. The only real thing I can see maybe affecting performance is after awhile the keycaps may become a bit loose due to the cheap plastic used to make them, other than that the KB366L had pretty solid performance.

Design

This is where we got let down a bit, but not completely. Let’s go ahead and speak on the good design features first. The base of KB366L is solid and heavy thanks to being made from metal and not plastic. The LED backlighting has a few different modes that can be cycled through with ease and considering there is no software for it, you really can not complain. Also, the Outemu switches seem to be a good fit for this board, even if they are a bit loud for my liking.

Now for the bad bits. First and foremost, the keycaps are very thin and fragile and while I had no problems with them during my tests, if you are a heavy typer then you may run into some issues in the long run. To keep things short, I noticed a tiny bit of cracking in them when trying to remove them for the closer look photos, something I am no accustomed to seeing when removing keycaps from any other keyboard. Next are those horrid blue bumpers, while I am a big fan of blue, I don’t see the need for the blue plastic protectors on all four corners. Yes, if you drop the keyboard it may hit on, but this thing is so heavy I would be more concerned about breaking the floor with it. If HAVIT can overcome those two small flaws, they could have a very decent mechanical keyboard on their hands.

Value

This is where things get a little tricky as the KB366L is about $110 in US and £70 here in the UK. Normally these numbers are a bit closer to each other as we in the UK pay a ridiculous amount of taxes. Normally if something is around $110 you can expect it to be at least £90 or so which is a bit of a difference from what we are seeing today though this is good for us here in the UK! However, while I can look past the blue bumpers for a second, I can not get past the fragile keycaps, I just can’t. I wanted to like this keyboard and I actually do, except for the keycaps, they really just need to be upgraded. Aside from that, here in the UK for £70 it would be a decent mechanical keyboard for the most part.

When all is said and done, this is HAVIT’s first attempt at a mechanical keyboard from what I can see and they were looking to keep costs down somehow. I feel instead of a metal base, I would be happier with a cheaper plastic base that would allow them to get better keycaps and add a few extra functions and/or media keys to the KB366L. Havit are on the right track with this keyboard and hopefully can learn from their minor mistakes and make an updated model that will be something amazing.

I would like to thank HAVIT for sending the KB366L in for review and hope to see HAVIT release a bit nicer mechanical keyboard in the future. 

Share This