Patriot is well known for performance memory, but how about their peripherals. In July we reviewed Patriot’s V560 Viper gaming mouse and we were impressed. Today we will look at the Viper V760 gaming mechanical keyboard. With this being Patriot’s first keyboard in a saturated market, many decisions had to be made to ensure success. If the V760 gaming keyboard is anything like the V560 gaming mouse it is sure to be a home run for Patriot’s first at bat.
Specifications and Features
Here are the specs as per the V760 product page.
|Patriot V760 Gaming Keyboard Specs and Features|
|Key Switch Type||Kailh Mechanical brown|
|Key Cap Type||Cylindrical Painted Backlit|
|Number of Keys||104 Programmable|
|Multimedia Keys||Play/Pause, Previous Track, Next Track, Mute, Volume Down, and Volume Up|
|Backlit||16.8 Million RGB individually programmable|
|Response Time||2ms-20ms (increments of 2ms)|
|Report Rate||125Hz, 250Hz, 500Hz, or 1000Hz|
|Cable||Fully braided and sleeved Gold Plated USB “Y” cable|
|Gaming Profiles||Five (Six as of this review)|
|Chassis||Aircraft Grade Aluminum|
|Wrist Rest||Magnetically Detachable|
|Certifications||RoHS, FCC, CE|
|Dimensions||4.6cm x 20.3cm x 46.6cm|
Packaging and First Look
The retail box that houses the V760 bears a striking resemblance to the V560 gaming mouse. The front, as well as the top and bottom of the box, is covered in a large image of the keyboard and lists a few key features. The box sides simply state the product model and name while the back displays a layout of the keyboard and where many of its features are located along with the product certifications. Through an irregular hexagonal window we get a teaser of how the arrow keys look and feel.
Opening the outer box we are then presented with a solid red, thicker cardboard inner box. Once we open this we find the contents fully surrounded by closed cell foam padding. The keyboard is enclosed in a clear plastic bag and the palm rest is wrapped in thin foam padding. Under the keyboard we locate a red Viper envelope containing two Viper logo stickers, a product advertisement, and a quick start guide. There is also an orange key cap puller for potential upgrades to the keycaps or switches.
A Closer Look
The keyboard is constructed on an aluminum frame. The key caps are the cylindrical top, backlit style and painted black. It is in the 104 key QWERTY layout and utilizes three LEDs to notify the user of number lock, caps lock, and scroll lock settings. The grey, black and red color scheme is very attractive and neutral enough to be used for almost any theme. Great choice Patriot.
From the side view it’s possible to see the slight steps in the five main rows of keys and a slight drop in height for the sixth, or top row. Rotating the folded feet out raises the height of the back of the keyboard by about 11mm.
Looking at the underside of the keyboard you will see five rubber oval pads that keep the V760 located securely. The bottoms of the collapsible feet are also rubber. In the center there is a product sticker with the usual part number, model number, and FCC certifications.
At the back of the keyboard is the cable connection along with the pass through USB port. Here we can see a good image of the keyboard status notification LEDs. Note this close-up provided the best lighting to capture the actual color of the grey and black parts.
Looking closely at the keys we can find a function key with the Viper logo painted on it. It’s easy to locate between the right ALT and the menu key. The use of this function key allows the user to alter the keyboard’s appearance as well as utilize the multimedia keys. Using the provided key puller we get to the heart of the V760, the Kailh mechanical brown switches. Located just above the switch is the RGB LED. There are 16.8 million color options and each key is individually programmable. In addition to static colors there are also ten lighting patterns that can be assigned to the keys.
The cable is located slightly to the right of center at the back side of the keyboard. It is sleeved in a black and red fabric that is thicker than an average cable and measures 150cm long. The end splits into a “Y” and is tipped with two color coated gold connectors. The orange is responsible for the keyboard functions and the green is needed to handle the USB pass through feature. Also included is a red hook and loop style cable tie.
Finally we look at the palm rest. It has a matte black, rubber-like finish with a red Viper logo at the right side. The back has six oval rubber pads and utilizes a magnet to keep it connected to the keyboard. It is secure enough that it only comes off when you want it to. By far the nicest palm rest I have ever used.
The V760 would not be complete without software to drive it’s functions. Patriot offers the “Patriot Viper Keyboard” software, under the download tab in the link. In this section we look at the features that are available.
Once open we are presented with all available options in a single pane. This is convenient, clean and efficient. Located at the left side are the controls. It’s difficult to see but there are five sub-menus: Lighting, Macro Management, Game Mode, Response Time, and Report Rate. The main portion is reserved for an image of the keyboard for assigning selective key macros. Finally at the bottom is the profile button, which allows for up to six saved profiles, the close button and of course the apply button.
Selecting the bar just below this category opens a drop down menu with the eleven possible lighting options. There is a video playlist at the end of this subsection highlighting some of the options for your viewing pleasure. Please note the “SearchLight” mode played games with the camera focus no matter what color or speed setting.
Just below the lighting effects is the macro management. Selecting the bar opens up a sub window for recording, saving, and deleting all your macros.
Continuing down the list is the game mode section. Here you have the option to turn gaming mode on or off as well as disabling the windows key. We were unable to determine what gaming mode actually does. When questioned, Patriot informed us that gaming mode is for disabling the Windows key, it does not. However, the Windows key lock option does, regardless of what the game mode option is set to.
Further down is the response time. This section allows the user to select the keyboards response. The available options range from 2ms up to 20ms in 2 ms increments. The default setting is 8ms.
Finishing off the left side is the report rate section. Here it is possible to set the report rate to 125Hz, 250Hz, 500Hz, or 1000Hz with the default being 250Hz.
Selective Key Macro
To the right is where individual keys can be programmed to customized macros. Selecting a key pops up the selective key macro sub window. There are four tabs in this window, Single/Combine, Macro, Basic, and Advanced. The single/combine tab allows for programming a single key or a key combination. The Macro tab is for assigning saved macros. The basic tab give the user the option of using one of nine pre-programmed macros. Finally the advanced tab can be set to open a music file, startup program, open a file, or open a folder. There is also a disable key option at the bottom of this sub window.
As promised here are the seven of the eleven available lighting effects available for the V760.
Many buyers are convinced that if a keyboard doesn’t include MX Cherry switches it must be cheap. This is not the case. I found the Kailh brown switches to be flawless in execution. The brown switches are designed to have little to no click and provide slight feedback. In reality, the keys provide equal or less noise than a standard membrane keyboard as most users will press the key to it’s full motion making the key bottom out. I have to be honest, as a long time membrane user it did take some getting used to. After a month of using the V760, I have conditioned myself to not bottom out the keys and have learned to trust that the key was pressed.
The downloadable software was easy to use and full of options. Multiple profiles are available and can even be changed on the fly using the function keys. There really is nothing left to ask for in a customizable software like this. Very nice.
Patriot made a lot of great choices when designing the V760. The aluminum frame is lightweight and as durable as any elite keyboard. The grey, black and red colors in combination with the endless RGB options provide the user with as much bling as they can desire. I felt the USB cable was about 30cm shorter than what I prefer but that’s simply because of the way my desk is laid out and not a fault of the keyboard. The pass through USB port could have been USB 3.0 but this is just a minor set back as well. Overall the keyboard worked great and looks beautiful. At the time of this review Newegg had the V760 on sale for $111.59. This price lands it right around the middle of a very large pack. Factoring in the great quality, great performance, and an average price and it’s easy to see why Patriot receives the Overclockers Stamp of Approval.