Update, 1/25/19, 11am ET: I got a chance to see this keyboard at CES 2019, and that visit filled in a couple of gaps. First, the Viper V765 will use the unretooled Box switches. That may raise some hackles, but as Patriot pointed out to me in a meeting, they don’t have to worry about potential breakage because they manufacture their own keycaps. That’s fair enough, but it also points to how more mainstream gaming keyboard OEMs understand that people aren’t buying their gear to slap aftermarket caps on them. Mostly, their customers aren’t thinking about customization.
Original article, 10/23/18, 3:56pm ET:
Patriot announced a new entry to its 700-series keyboard family, the Viper V765. The new one slots into the middle of the stack, beneath the V770 and adjacent to the V760. Although the V765 has a somewhat different look than its brethren, the main difference is that the company is loading it up with Kailh Box switches.
Patriot has been using Kailh switches on its keyboards exclusively, but this is the first appearance of the Box type. Even more notable is that you can opt for four different types of Box switches for the V765, whereas the other models in the family offer just one option each. The three other 700 series Patriot keyboards have been limited to Kailh Red (V770) or Kailh Brown (V760, V730). Now you’ll be able to choose between Kailh Box White, Red, Brown, or Black.
Patriot’s timing is a little unfortunate given the recent hullabaloo surrounding Kailh Box switches and the allegation that they can crack keycap stems. Box switches had become hugely popular in the enthusiast community, but now many people are wary of them. We dug deep on the issue, and Kailh pledged to retool the switches to solve the cracking issue. It’s unclear whether or not Patriot will be shipping the retooled versions; we’ve asked and will update this article accordingly. (Update: These are unretooled Box switches. See above for full explanation.)
Regardless, it won’t be an issue for the V765 unless you plan to replace the keycaps on it (and who does that on a mainstream gaming keyboard like this one?). The stock caps will almost certainly be the standard black ABS keycaps that seem to come with every gaming keyboard, and those seem to be unaffected by the cracking issue.
The Viper V765 has RGB lighting and customization software to match. You’ll get numerous lighting options and the ability to program the keys and macros. There are dedicated media buttons and a volume roller, and it comes with a magnetic wrist rest.
The chassis is made from silver-colored “aircraft-grade aluminum” on the top and angled sides, and presumably, black plastic on the bottom. There are RGB light bars on both sides and across the top edge of the V765, and the caps are top plate-mounted, so it will be awash in color. It has a full-size layout, too.
Whatever else it has going on, the Viper V765 is priced right.
It appears to be just $100. You apparently can’t actually buy it yet, but there’s a “sold out” listing on Patriot’s web store. An Amazon posting says that it’s “coming soon.” Update: It’s now available for $99 on Patriot’s web store and $89 on Amazon.
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