Bet you’ve never seen a mechanical keyboard quite as small as this before.
Now on Kickstarter, the Vissles LP85 Ultra-Thin Optical-Mechanical keyboard is so tiny that you could sling it in a bag and barely notice it’s there. Or, you wouldn’t if it wasn’t for its weight; with a solid metal construction, it’s rather weighty. You’d expect it to be with an RRP of $139. But from the time I’ve spent with it, I’d happily say it’s worth every penny. At least, it is if you appreciate the joy of a quality keyboard. For someone like me, that spends at least half of her waking life clicking away at the alphabet, this is a real joy.
Despite its tiny size – think an iMac keyboard – the Vissles LP85’s keys are incredibly satisfying to press. This is billed as a “75% optical-mechanical keyboard” which makes use of LK525 low profile optical switches. If it doesn’t mean anything to you, all you need to know is that pushing each and every key on this keyboard elicits a pleasant click-clack. And despite its small footprint, the keys are full-size. In fact, because they’re flat, they actually have a bigger surface area than the trapezoid-shaped keys on my desktop-sized Logitech keyboard.
The Vissles LP85 is very versatile, too. A USB-C connection allows you to set it up on your desktop PC without worrying about needing to charge. But if you’d rather use it on the fly, switch it over to Bluetooth mode and sync it to your phone or tablet with no trouble whatsoever. Pressing the ‘function’ button and ‘P’ for a few seconds sets the keyboard in sync mode. My Android device picked it up instantly, and within seconds I was ready to type. I’ve never used a keyboard with a phone before; it’s quite the experience. You can have up to three devices synced at any one time, too, switching between them on the fly.
Sporting a 2,000 mAh battery, the Vissles LP85 Mechanical Keyboard should last a long time on a single charge. Though flashy features like RGB lighting will eat it up a little faster than other keyboards. It’s a worthwhile trade-off, though; the lighting is second-to-none, with fifteen effects to choose from. You can have pulsing colours, flashing colours, a solid rainbow, colours that appear only when a button is pressed. Or you can turn them off altogether, but where’s the fun in that?
Yes, there’s something to be said for a full-size keyboard complete with a numberpad. But the compact size of the Vissles LP85 is certainly a selling point in some situations. It’s highly portable for one, and perfect to use with mobile devices and tablets. And because the keys are such a good size, it doesn’t feel like you’re typing on a small keyboard. Everything you need is on here, with the ‘enter’, ‘delete’ and ‘shift’ keys, along with the space bar, being more than adequately sized.
In terms of gaming, the response time of the Vissles LP85 makes it a perfect contender for jumping into your favourite PC titles with. Indeed, the company is targeting this as a keyboard for gamers who “demand instant actuation, satisfying clicking feedback and rapid-fire inputs”. All great strengths for playing games, which the LP85 delivers on. But this is also a great all-rounder, as simply using it to type on is seriously satisfying.
If you’re interested in a Vissles LP85, it’s currently on Kickstarter. And there’s no concern over it getting funded; with 16 days still to go, it has received more than 10 times its goal amount – so far, $115,000 has been raised over a $12,000 goal. Backing the project at this stage will allow you to purchase the keyboard for $99 (around £74), a significant saving of its $139 retail RRP. Shipping is scheduled to begin in January 2022.