By: Ben Joubert
January 4, 2019
For a little over a week, I was visiting my girlfriend and her family in New Brunswick, Canada. The east coast of Canada is really amazing and there is plenty to see and do. Her brother has an extensive workshop with plenty of different tools. I have never been too much of a hands-on type of person, and even during school, I struggled with the classes in which we worked with different materials to make something. I probably needed more practice, but it did not seem that I have a talent for these sorts of things. However, I find it extremely interesting, and one night I was able to take a closer look at the workshop with all its tools. The one that caught my attention the most was an old lathe he used for working with wood. He showed it to me and I was able to play around with it for a bit. My creation ended up being a handle for one of the larger files he had. The next day, I had an idea to create a wooden phone stand, because I have always wanted one but I have never thought it worth the money. I got to work and ended up with a unique looking phone stand that leans a little to the right. Some of the work I put in was not perfect and it shows in the final product, although I am still quite happy with it. While his specialty is not in wood but in machining, my specialty is more in the form of writing these articles. I might not have an extensive workshop, but I do have an extensive collection of keyboards that I have gathered over the years from working at APH Networks. Today, I have another keyboard to add to the collection, the Patriot Viper V765. It boasts excellent build quality with aircraft grade aluminum and RGB lighting. It seems impressive, but read on to find out just how!
The Patriot Viper V765 arrived in a large shipping box filled to the brim with foam and bubble wrap. The box was so large I expected another product inside, but I was wrong. Arriving all the way from Fremont, California, the Patriot Viper V765 had very little damage done to exterior. For such a long trip, there is always the possibility of something going wrong and damage being done to the product. In this case, with all the bubble wrap and foam, I doubt anything could happen to the keyboard.
The Patriot Viper V765 has a large retail box, colored mostly black with some green accents. The Viper logo is found in the top left with the product name and description found in the top right. Different features of the keyboard are listed on the left and right sides of the front. A large image of the keyboard is located on the front, giving a nice view of what we should expect inside. The back of the retail box contains more detailed information of the keyboard and the contents of the box.
Before we move on here, here are the specifications and features as obtained from the manufacturer's website:
Specifications and Features
Viper V765 Gaming Keyboard
Weight: 1134 g
2 Year Limited Warranty
Dimensions: 40 mm (H) x 466 mm (W) x 203 mm (D)
Water and dust resistant to IP56 rating
Full spectrum RGB, 16.8 million color backlighting
Kailh mechanical box switches for superior durability and quicker response time
N-key rollover and anti-ghosting
Dedicated multi-media controls
Volume wheel w/ mute function
Removable magnetic palm rest
Aircraft grade aluminum chassis
1.8m braided cable
103 programmable macro keys
5 Profile control key
14 light control keys
10 level LED reaction management
Multi-level LED backlit dimming
Inside, we are met with a few different components. The keyboard sits front and center with a small wrist rest just resting in some cardboard above it. Everything is covered in plastic to ensure there would no surface damage from scratches. After lifting the keyboard out, there is a small plastic keycap puller to remove the keycaps. A keycap remover is always a welcome addition to a mechanical keyboard. Lastly, we find some information booklets and branded stickers. There is foam found around the keyboard for some extra protection from any bumps of bruises. Patriot took the required steps to ensure the safety of the keyboard during transport.
The Patriot Viper V765 is a rather large keyboard with the dedicated media controls found along the top. The sides also slope outward slightly extending the width by a few millimeters. The exposed aluminum backplate looks great with its silver color and instantly exudes a feel of quality. According to the manufacturer’s website, the aluminum is aircraft grade, which means this keyboard should last for years and years. With the aluminum exposed, it is easy to see the bottom of the switches. One thing I appreciate about being able to see the switches is the RGB LEDs leak light, creating a sort of underglow on the keyboard. The LEDs are, in my experience, more vivid when the light can escape downward as well as through the etching on the key. Even though the aluminum forms a strong backbone of the keyboard, it still has a plastic shell housing the rest of the components. Furthermore, the Viper V765 does not only have RGB LEDs under the keys, but also on the sides of the keyboard. There is a short LED bar on each end of the keyboard, which steps up the RGB game.
When it comes to dimensions, the Patriot Viper V765 comes in at 40 mm in height, 466 mm in width, and 203 mm depth. This keyboard is slightly bigger than a standard full-sized keyboard, especially its depth. However, if one is already buying a large keyboard, the few extra millimeters will not make too much of a difference. It could also be slightly bigger if you decide to use the included wrist rest. The wrist rest is not too large, but it connects with magnets. Some soft touch rubber is utilized throughout most of its surface, which is an excellent choice. The wrist rest is extremely comfortable with the rubber, but it is slightly too small. A bigger one would have been appreciated. Generally, mechanical keyboards come in at around 1 kg, and the Viper V765 is no different. It weighs 1134g, which sure is heavy. For the most part though, the keyboard stays in place at a desk, so it is not too much of a worry, especially since the weight helps to keep it in place.
On the left side of the keyboard, we have a few different controls. The first five keys of the F-row are used to configure five different backlight options. After pressing Fn + F12, you are able to select any of the first five F-row keys. Then one can push buttons all over the keyboard to turn their LEDs on and pressing a single key multiple times cycles through a few different colors. Right above the F-row, there are dedicated multimedia keys, which are self-explanatory. Pressing F6 in conjunction with Fn cycles through three different lighting modes, which are radar, spotlight, and wave. F7 only has the ripple mode programmed to it, while F8 has vortex and sidewinder. Both of these last two are kind of like a snake working itself from one side of the keyboard to the other.
The different lighting modes of the Patriot Viper V765 continue on this end of the keyboard. F9 cycles through the raindrop or reactive mode. I always think these modes are really cool, but never end up using them. Raindrop is, in my opinion, one of the prettiest modes out there. Continuing on with the different modes, F10 activates a breathing mode while F11 is a static mode, and pressing it multiple times cycles through different colors. Print Screen deactivates the Windows key, while Page Up and Page Down increases or decreases the speed of the chosen lighting mode. The two keys to the left of the Backspace key either increases or decreases brightness. Finally, we find a horizontal volume wheel, which can be pressed to mute volume. Generally, I appreciate having a volume wheel, but I had difficulty after difficulty with this wheel. Often when lowering the volume in larger differences, like from 80% to 30%, the volume would suddenly shoot up to full. This hurt every time I plugged in headphones and lowered the volume. If you are already in a low range, making small adjustments will not cause this to occur. But every time I decreased the volume by a large degree, it would shoot back up. The same would happen when I increased the volume by large amounts, except it would shoot down to zero.
Patriot has ensured the Viper V765 has NKRO, which is N-key rollover. This means that no matter how many keys are pressed independently, each individual key will be recognized. NKRO is a must for gaming keyboards, as there are plenty of occasions where you need to press multiple keys and having each key registered is crucial. Under the keycaps of the Patriot Viper V765, we find Kailh Box White switches. These are mechanical switches, which are the most popular type of switches for gaming today. There are many different types from different manufacturers all classified under different colors to indicate their unique characteristics. These Kailh Box White switches are similar to Cherry MX Blue switches. The Kailh Box White switches are noisy and clicky with a total travel distance of 3.6 mm. Its actuation force is 50g, and its actuation point is at 1.8 mm. As for the box, it is intended to indicate these switches are protected a bit better. In addition to physically stabilizing the keycap slightly, Kailh Box switches are rated IP56 for dust and water resistance. However, these also are only compatible with SMD LEDs in order to keep this resistance rating.
The back of the Patriot Viper V765 looks about the same as any other keyboard. Right in the center is a sticker with some miscellaneous information, while there are rubber feet found at every corner and in the bottom middle. The rubber feet along the bottom are large and thick, ensuring the keyboard will stay in place on the table. The small stands also feature some rubber to keep everything in place. The wrist rest also has three more rubber feet along it to keep everything in place. A braided 1.8 m long cable is located off center along the top. It has some extra rubber where it connects to the keyboard to ensure the cable does not easily detach from the keyboard.
The software is extremely simple and straightforward. There is mainly just the page you see in the image above. It allows one to change the lighting modes and the LED colors. Unfortunately, it only gives you eight different colors to choose from. One would hope in an RGB keyboard to actually be able to access the 16.8 million colors. The brightness and speed of the lighting effects can be changed on this screen, including the response time and report rate. Game mode can also be activated or deactivated. The profile button allows one to save profiles to the computer and load any previously saved profiles onto the keyboard. The macro button is to record and program different macros. After recording a macro, you can select a key on the keyboard in the software to program either the macro to the key or some other basic settings that Patriot have deemed important enough. This ranges from maximizing or minimizing a window to even multimedia keys. I also encountered no bugs or issues with the program throughout use. All in all, the software looks basic but is definitely intuitive and a pleasant experience to use.
In the above picture you can see how bright the LEDs are. They have a nice spread throughout the whole keyboard, and the aluminum backplate reflects some of the light. At each side there is some LEDs as well, although I was unable to change their color. It seems like they are locked to a white LED. No matter the lighting effect and regardless of the color changes of the main LEDs, the side strips stayed in their white bluish color. It is unfortunate, since changing the side LEDs would have been nice, but in the grand scheme of things, it is not too big of a deal. The Patriot Viper V765 was nice to use. It is easy to setup and download the required software, while its switches are nice and clicky. As I have mentioned before, they are quite similar to Cherry MX Blue. I found they are not mushy at all and the feedback is clean. Throughout all the typing I did, I never found any issues with any of the specific keys, and they kept their general crispness. The only difference I found is that they are slightly heavier and in my opinion, feel like they require slightly more force to actuate than a Cherry MX Blue keyboard. Keep in mind, I am quite used to Cherry MX Reds and they are extremely light. Finally, the wrist rest is good for the most part. It is a little too small, but the soft rubber on it feels great. Overall, I enjoyed using the Patriot Viper V765.
As much as the RGB craze has taken over the gaming industry, I still mainly look for how nice a keyboard is to use, which I am sure is something many other people share. I still use a keyboard from more than three years ago, which has no LEDs to speak of, but it is just so good. When it comes to keyboards, first comes the build quality. The Patriot Viper V765 is an excellently built keyboard. An aluminum backplate is always appreciated and Patriot stepped it up by using aircraft grade aluminum. Furthermore, it is water and dust resistant, which is a cherry on top. None of the components feel cheap, and the Patriot Viper V765 will definitely last. Besides build quality, the design is quite nice with the lighter backplate and dark keys. I appreciate the LEDs on the sides, even though the color cannot be changed. Dedicated media keys, especially volume control, is ideal. Unfortunately, I had some issues with finding the exact desired volume with the volume wheel. On the other hand, the Patriot Viper V765 can be almost entirely controlled without installing the software by using a combination of keys, which I know some people prefer. The software was also a good experience. It is intuitive and clean. I encountered no issues throughout use. It is a disappointment that only a few different preset colors can be chosen for backlight, but there are plenty of different effects to choose from. The LEDs are bright and represent colors accurately. When it comes to actual use, the keyboard is great. The Kailh Box White switches perform well with great feedback and a crisp feel to them. They are clicky and noisy, which could be exactly what you want. The Patriot Viper V765 comes in at $90 USD, which is an excellent price for the quality you get. Generally, keyboards at this price point do not have a wrist rest, but it is nice Patriot included one, even though it is small. Overall, the Patriot Viper V765 performs well and offers excellent features for the price.
Patriot provided this product to APH Networks for the purpose of evaluation.
APH Review Focus Summary:
8/10 means Definitely a very good product with drawbacks that are not likely going to matter to the end user.
7/10 means Great product with many advantages and certain insignificant drawbacks; but should be considered before purchasing.
-- Final APH Numeric Rating is 7.5/10
Please note that the APH Numeric Rating system is based off our proprietary guidelines in the Review Focus, and should not be compared to other sites.
The Patriot Viper V765 is a well-built mechanical keyboard with Kailh Box switches and RGB backlighting.
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