Vissles LP85 Review Low Profile Optical Switch Mechanical Keyboard

Thin, low profile is the theme of Vissles's new LP85 keyboard - a low profile optical switch mechanical keyboard that looks like Apple's Magic Keyboard but without the trackpad and folding case! It is the thinnest mechanical keyboard currently on the market at just 1cm high!

Being so thin, the Vissles LP85 is easy to stow away in a backpack or stored upright against a computer tower. The aesthetics is the main selling point and, it's likely to attract MacBook owners, as well as gamers and typists looking for a comfortable board. Because the LP85 keyboard is so slim, you do not have to raise your hands or bend your wrists as much, making it more comfortable when typing and gaming for long periods.

There are two ways to use the keyboard: via bluetooth connection and cable. There is no USB dongle. Instead, the Vissles LP85 keyboard is equipped with a bluetooth 5.0 chip that supports bluetooth multipoint connection to up to three devices at the same time. The bluetooth multipoint feature is very useful for productivity when working on several computers. Switching between each device is easily done by using the Fn+Q/W/E command.

The Vissles LP85 frame has an anodized aluminum metal construction; hence no keyboard flex. The PCB (printed circuit board) is made of glass fiber epoxy (FR4). The keycaps stabilizers are made of stainless steel. The keycaps have a flat square shape and are made of double shot ABS plastic, which means the legends are permanent. 

The optical switches are made by Vissles and are not hotswap  (not removable). Yhe keycaps aren't designed to be removed either. Vissles advises not to remove the keycaps to avoid damaging the buckling springs. If howswappable switches is something you need or want on a keyboard, you can get this with the Vissles V84 - another superbly built mechanical keyboard.

The Vissles LP85 optical switches have an actuation force of 50 grams (same as Cherry MX Blue) with a pre-travel distance of 1.2mm. The typing experience is smooth and quick. It feels a bit like typing with Cherry MX Speed Silver switches or Kailh Thick Gold switches but with a clicky buckling spring actuation. There are a total of 85 keys, including F1-F12 row keys and arrow navigation keys.

The base of the Vissles LP85 has two long silicone rubber strips across and a front slope (2-degree), although the height of the top row and bottom row of keys is almost leveled. The height of the top row is 1.3cm high, while the bottom row is 0.9cm high. There aren't any feet risers on the keyboard. The length and width dimensions are 31cm long and 12cm wide. Total weight is 560 grams.

The power port, status led and switch mode button (to toggle between wired and wireless) are located on the middle front of the keyboard. The switch is also made of metal. Inside the Vissles LP85, you also find a 2000mAh polymer lithium ion rechargeable battery. When battery is low, the status led flashes red to alert you.

Full charging time takes 3.5 hours and can power the Vissles LP85 keyboard for 3 days (8 hrs daily usage) with backlight turned on. With backlight turned off, battery life is around 4 days. There is a power saving mode built-in too that automatically turns off the back-lighting (after 5 minutes) and puts the keyboard in sleep mode after 30 minutes of no use. To wake up the keyboard, simply press any key.

As far as RGB, there are 19 dynamic lighting effects, 7 solid color effects and an "off" mode if you want the backlight turned off. The backlight can also be turned off completely by decreasing the brightness. The lighting is controlled directly from the keyboard. You can switch the direction of the lighting effects, change the color of the lighting effect, increase/decrease the speed of the lighting effect, as well as the brightness (3 levels of brightness). There isn't any custom lighting mode; hence you cannot manually change the RGB color of the switches.

The Vissles LP85 keyboard is available in two QWERTY layouts for Windows and Mac users. The Vissles LP85 seen pictured has the Mac layout, which is basically the same as the Windows version. The only difference is that the legends on the "Alt", "Ctrl" and "Windows logo" keycaps have been replaced with the words "command", "control" and "option". Despite the different layouts, both LP85 keyboard versions (Mac and Windows) are equipped with a Mac mode and Windows mode. A 1.5 meter long USB-C cable is included. You can buy the LP85 low profile keyboard via kickstarter.

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