If so far everything is ambiguous with Patriot’s gaming mice, then with mechanical keyboards it turned out just very well. The American manufacturer now has four models in its lineup: V730 for beginners (according to the brand’s own classification, I didn’t come up with it!), V760 and V765 for middle peasants and V770 for experts. They differ in a set of functions, and it became directly interesting to me what such a “basic” keyboard can offer for gaming use. That is why we will begin our acquaintance with the Patriot Viper V730 model. After all, simplicity is good.
|Model||Patriot Viper V730|
|Polling frequency, Hz||1000|
|Number of keys||104|
|Keystroke resource, mln.||–|
|Switch type||Kailh Brown|
|Changing the angle of the body||+|
|Built-in memory, KB||–|
|Ability to record macros||–|
|USB cable length, m||1,8|
|Braid material||Nylon braid|
|Material||Aluminum / Plastic|
|Removable palm rest||Non-removable stand|
|Dimensions (L x W x H), mm||220 x 458 x 44|
|OS Compatibility||Windows / Mac OS X|
|average cost||2299 hryvnias|
Contents of delivery
The keyboard is sold in a characteristic box, decorated in blue and black tones. A lot of technical information is not found here, but the main points regarding the backlight, palm rest and the type of switches used are still mentioned.
Of the internal protection against damage, only two uncertain dampers were found on the sides of the box. Therefore, check the integrity of the product when purchasing.
The package includes an ultra-short instruction manual, two logo stickers and a red envelope in which all this is stored.
Visually, the Patriot Viper V730 is immediately identifiable as a «gaming» keyboard thanks to its aggressive back design. But if you look at it from the front, from the position of the user, it looks quite ordinary. The device turned out to be very strong due to the solid aluminum plate of the top panel. The metal also has several transverse bends in front and behind, forming additional stiffening ribs and giving the keyboard extra strength. And the color in the style of gray gunmetal only adds solidity to the appearance. The keyboard is full-sized with a skeleton-type key design, when the upper part of the mechanisms protrudes almost half from a specially lowered base plate. These are usually much easier to clean and look good. The palm rest is plastic and non-removable, it has a soft-touch coating that is smooth to the touch. The brand logo is applied in red paint on the right, and the name is above the arrow buttons.
The printed key layout is ANSI standard with long single row Shift and Enter keys. The symbols are laser engraved. The Latin alphabet is located in the upper left corner of the caps, while the thinner Cyrillic alphabet is at the bottom right. Without illumination, the inscriptions are almost invisible. The caps are made of the usual ABS plastic, painted on the outside. The keys have a cylindrical recess in the center. Fn is located immediately after the right Alt, in place of the second Win button.
In the digital and arrow blocks of buttons, everything is extremely standard. Even Lock-indicators are in quite familiar places.
There are no special surprises in terms of switches. Silent tactile mechanisms Kailh Brown are used, in a transparent case with an RGB LED soldered directly on the PCB. The MTBF resource is not indicated for them, the rest of the characteristics are standard — 60 grams of effort is required for activation, the operation occurs at 2 mm, and the full stroke is 4 mm. Latch operation, by the way, does not guarantee activation when the key is pressed very slowly. There is a small «dead» zone between this moment and the contact. Stabilizers external, wire, economy option. Although they hold long keys in a horizontal position when pressed quite successfully and do not emit extraneous sounds.
On the sides of the keyboard there are small recesses for which it can be easily lifted and rearranged. The body has a wedge-shaped slope towards the front, and the caps are almost flat in profile. Folding legs slightly change the angle of the body and its height in the rear — from 44 to 50 mm.
There are many interesting reliefs on the back of the keyboard, but no external ports or anything else useful. The signal cable enters the housing exactly in the center at the very bottom of the housing. There is a small kink protection at the entry point.
The cord has an average thickness and flexibility, remembers the given shape well. The wire is covered with a nylon red and black braid, near the USB connector there is a ferrite ring and Velcro tape to adjust the length of the cable.
The reverse side of the keyboard is plastic. The palm rest and back panel protrusion are hollow inside. However, this does not affect their rigidity. There are three decent rubber feet along the front edge. Two more of the same are located in the corners at the back. There are also four drains along the front of the hull.
The rear legs are laid out in one level. They have rubber pads on them.
All buttons are lit only in red. Due to the location of the LED, the Latin alphabet is more visible than the Cyrillic alphabet. Five levels of brightness are available, plus the backlight can be turned off completely. Each button can be individually illuminated, and there are five on-board profiles to store illumination configurations. And if it becomes completely boring, then in the arsenal of the device there are also six lighting effects. The lock LEDs are orange and very bright when viewed directly. Fortunately, at an angle, as the user usually sits, these indicators already look normal and do not blind in the dark.
Since the Patriot Viper V730 does not have its own software, all its functions are configured with hardware keyboard shortcuts. Almost all available actions relate to backlight settings and multimedia commands. Everything, as usual, works in combination with the Fn button. Below is a list of features that have been replicated.
|Fn+Pause||Resetting the keyboard to factory settings|
|Fn+F1–F5||Choose from five custom key illumination profiles|
|Fn+F6||Wave or radar light effect|
|Fn+F7||ribbon light effect|
|Fn+F8||ripple light effect|
|Fn+F9||light effect radial running line|
|Fn+F10||rain drops light effect|
|Fn+F11||Light effect of pulsing or static illumination of all keys|
|Fn+F12||Record individual button illumination. Press the combination Fn + F12, then press the F1-F5 buttons to select the recording profile, then press all the buttons that should be lit. Press Fn+F12 again to end the recording and save the configuration to the selected profile|
|Fn+PgUp||Increase light effect speed|
|Fn+PgDn||Decrease light effect speed|
|Fn+7||Turn down the volume|
|Fn+8||Turn up the volume|
Ergonomics and testing
The first thing that inspires respect for the Patriot Viper V730 when you pick it up is its durability. I can hardly immediately name at least five similar keyboards that would differ in the same degree of transverse and longitudinal rigidity. Yes, the aluminum plate of the top panel plays a far from decorative role here. The solidly built body also enhances typing comfort. For those who know the technique of blind typing, the time to get used to the Viper V730 will not be required at all. And for those who still need to look at the keyboard while typing, there is a very nice looking and crisp red backlight. A bold plus to the overall ergonomics of the device adds a built-in palm rest. It is covered with a soft-touch material that is pleasant to the touch, which, although it quickly gets dirty, creates a feeling of unobtrusive comfort during prolonged work or play at the computer. Nevertheless, the absence of pain in the wrist joints after a working day or a hot game night makes life much better.
In terms of Kailh Brown mechanical switches, everything is pretty standard. They are in many ways similar to the way membrane keyboards work, but with less and more predictable effort. The tactile sensation of pressing is accompanied by a typical button failure followed by a push to the finger at the moment of activation. The buttons are relatively quiet, the stabilizers of the long keys do not rattle, do not creak and hold them quite evenly. This type of mechanisms, on average, is well suited both for printing large volumes of texts and for gaming battles.
The backlighting on the keyboard looks fine and does its job. The ability to quickly mark the desired buttons with light without a driver and write it into one of the five profiles is very convenient not only for gamers, but also when performing some typical operations in various work applications. And the backlight here does not blink and does not emit extraneous overtones.
The Patriot Viper V730 keyboard supports full-fledged NKRO anti-ghosting, which allows you to activate all buttons simultaneously and in any combination.
Patriot Viper V730 is a very «hard» mechanical keyboard in the literal and figurative sense of the word. A harsh rarity from the past. From those glorious times when RGB backlighting was a curiosity, not the norm and the main criterion in choosing a keyboard for games. When the decisive factor was the strength of the body, able to survive without damage a series of hits on the table or on the knee. In addition, the advantages of this device include tactilely clear switches, support for the NKRO mode of all buttons and a convenient built-in palm rest. Although the backlight does not change color, you can quickly set an individual glow configuration for any buttons without software, creating a layout for a specific game. And save it to one of the five profiles.
Of the annoying minuses for me personally, only the inability to block the Win key was noted. Someone will not like that the keyboard does not support macro recording. And for some, just one color of the backlight will not be enough.
The Patriot Viper V730 is a simple classic mechanic with no frills and a minimal set of additional features. And it can really be recommended to an unpretentious beginner, who is not satisfied with the speed of the membrane keyboard or the key blocking with multiple simultaneous keystrokes.