Review: HVER Pro X Mechanical Keyboard

It’s hard not to get at least a little bit fetishistic about keyboards.  They’re such an important part of day-to-day computing that, when it comes time to choose a new one, every little detail has to feel just right.  Key feel, travel time on the press and layout are just the start of the features taken into account when deciding what input device you’ll be using almost every day for however many years it may last.  There’s a reason people can discuss preferences over the many different types of Cherry MX switches, the buckling springs of the Model M and its Unicomp successors or Logitech’s Romer-G keys.  It’s the kind of information that’s only important when deciding what you need, and after that it doesn’t matter any more because the decision has been made and you’ll be using it for the foreseeable future.  A $600 graphics card may last four years or so but a good keyboard?  That’s a reasonable approximation of forever.

The HVER Pro X is a mechanical keyboard with keys equivalent to the MX Cherry browns, which are a bit less hyper-sensitive than the reds but still have a short travel distance to actuate.  It’s an excellent balance between the response speed needed for gaming and being just a little bit forgiving for typing, making keyboards with these switches a near-perfect dual-use device.  The HVER Pro X, however, uses a slightly different mechanism than usual with its optical switches, meaning a beam of light is broken by the key press rather than the contact of a pure mechanical button.  It’s supposed to aid in longevity, make the keyboard spill-resistant and give much faster response times, all three of which I’ll need to take on faith.  I’ve only been using the keyboard for two weeks, have no plans to dump anything on it and my ability to measure response times in microseconds is sadly lacking.  It’s nicely fast and responsive, though, and incredibly comfortable to type on.

The keys have a bit of wobble to them, noticeable if you’re looking for it but otherwise ignorable, and while it took me a bit to adjust to the resistance of the key press it soon felt normal.  The keys all light up with a colorful RGB display, pre-programmed with a total of eighteen different lighting patterns.  The included software lets you set up an additional three profiles, which if you’re into configuring your own display isn’t all that many, while the RGB lighting feels a little dim even on brightest settings.  It gets the job done in the lighting department, albeit not spectacularly, but it’s worth noting a top-end keyboard goes for over $150 while this sells for $90.  Slightly brighter lights with a few million programming options are more Nice To Have features than Utterly Necessary and the important thing is it really does feel nice to type on.

There is, however, a true deal-breaker for the gaming side of things, and that’s the space bar.  When typing both hands are focused on the keyboard, thumbs on space bar, and it works exactly as you’d want.  The problem is that pressing close to the middle, as you do for standard typing, works every time, while pressing the extreme ends of the bar doesn’t register.  The contact point is right in the center, and if you press on the left side (as you would in a WASD configuration) then what happens is one side remains up while the side you pressed goes down and the center switch doesn’t make any kind of contact.  Play an FPS with the jump button on the space bar?  That’s going to be hit and miss at best.  I tried to reach out asking after this, thinking maybe my keyboard was defective in this one specific area, but with no response I’ve got no way to know otherwise.

It’s a shame, too, because all other features on the HVER Pro X range from pretty nice to actually clever.  The key remover, for example, is embedded in the plastic housing on the bottom so it’s always available and difficult to lose.  The black aluminum sheet screwed on to the top of the plastic housing has a curved-up section in the middle with the Kaliber Gaming logo on it, making a perfect lifting point to access the bottom of the keyboard and pop the key remover out.  The overall shape of the aluminum top is a little bit too Cool Gamer for my personal taste but not ostentatiously so, and honestly if I wasn’t looking at it right now while writing about the form factor I wouldn’t be thinking about it at all.  It’s even got N-key rollover for the entire keyboard, so if you somehow press all 104 keys at once it recognizes each and every one simultaneously.

Closing Comments:

The HVER Pro X is a nice typing keyboard that’s painfully close to being able to stand up to the needs of gaming but can’t quite hit the mark.  Its mid-range price gives a feature-set that’s comparable to the more expensive keyboards even with a few cut corners.  The keys feel nice once you get used to them, its range of function keys (function/F12 for the Windows calculator!) gives a strong array of options, and the last couple weeks of use have been both comfortable and productive.  But when it comes to gaming, the HVER Pro X is let down by a single fatal shortcoming, and no amount of fancy lights and functions can overcome that.