Blogging depends on a solid keyboard, and I’ve used quite a few over my lifetime. Mechanical switches are preferable, even when using a laptop, so I’ll often just use an external keyboard and mouse (I hate trackpads) on a laptop.
I typically rely on gaming keyboards, because they’re built to take a beating. They also include mechanical switches, RGB lighting, and anti-ghosting features. If you don’t use a PC often, ghosting can be a big problem when gaming or typing quickly. Essentially, when two keys are pressed simultaneously, it can skip one of the presses.
When that key press causes you to lose a PVP match or slow down your workflow, it can be a pain. Unfortunately, finding all of these features is going to cost you in the $100-200 range, and it can quickly get expensive stocking up on backups. And professional bloggers, developers, and gamers should all have a backup.
Thankfully, IOGear’s Kaliber Gaming Hver Pro keyboard has all these features under $100. In fact, at $80, this is the best value keyboard on the market.
High Kaliber at Low Cost
The Hver Pro has a small form factor, but the brushed aluminum case is sleek and stylish. Floating keycaps are situated on mechanical switches with individual RGB lights. It comes in red and brown, and I reviewed the Cherry MX Red model, which was provided for free by the manufacturer for purposes of this review.
Overall I was impressed with the typing speeds and precision controls in games like Smite. It’s on par with my high-end keyboards from Division Zero, Bloody, SteelSeries, and HyperX. In fact, My X40 from Division Zero broke two keys within a month, whereas this keyboard held up as well on day 30 as it did on day one.
I type at an average of 70-80 WPM, and I can easily burn through a great keyboard within a year or two of solid use. Like shoes, I’m careful to keep switching them up every month to make my investment last. Because blogging is my profession, I have about $1000 worth of keyboards to ensure I can always do my work and make a living.
Hver Pro is surprisingly sturdy and rugged for its size and weight, much less the price. It held up to steady blogging and gaming, but let’s not forget how pretty it is.
Beauty Beyond Skin Deep
Probably the biggest selling feature of this keyboard from Kaliber Gaming is the individual full RGB lighting. This is a standout feature for a sub-$100 keyboard. It’s a gorgeous and brightly lit display that’s easily customizable using the included software and drivers. The lights show well through the keys, and it’s great for photos.
Unfortunately, you’ll notice the secondary functions of the keys aren’t backlit, something that keeps this keyboard from getting a perfect score. The included software suite is also clunky, making offerings from SteelSeries and HyperX feel smooth and fast by comparison.
You don’t actually need the software to do a bit of fine tuning, like brightness and effects, though. Those can be adjusted on the keyboard itself, so there’s not much you really need the software for, unless you want to program each individual key color and get into some seriously personalization.
That may be fun for a hobbyist, but professionals won’t be bothered. I simply look for the least intrusive setting (or, if I’m high, the most fun and colorful one) and dig into my work. Adding the RGB functionality to my otherwise bland laptop is great though.
Overall, the flaws it has are more luxury than necessity. I can see if you’re an EDM DJ wanting to impress a crowd with RGB macros on the keyboard synced to Arduino-powered RGB case setup, etc. But other than that, it’s simply a novelty. I’m not worried about the software. The hardware is what matters, and the Kaliber Gaming Hver Pro has it.
The red switches are fantastic (and IGN’s reviewer obviously doesn’t know the difference between Red and Brown, which lowered this keyboard’s score due to his incompetence). Everything was smooth as butter for me, because I’m using Red switches and comparing it to other Red switches. I don’t know why IGN reviewed a Brown and then described in detail how it’s different than Red.
All of the keys held up well in my testing, and this is a surprisingly great keyboard for under $100. If you’re an aficionado or professiona, Hver Pro is a clutch keyboard to have on hand.