Another low-profile keyboard is forthcoming. Hexgears announced a Kickstarter campaign for the Venture, a keyboard that comes bearing a full-size layout and a promise to improve over the company’s previous lowpro keyboard, the X-1.
I had high hopes for the Hexgears X-1 when it debuted (our very full review here), but although it had some very fine qualities, it had some of the same problems that tend to plague low-profiles keyboards. The chiclet keycaps, and especially the flimsy chiclety spacebar, were problematic. That’s one thing the Hexgears crew addressed with the Venture, by loading it with half-height keycaps that have sculpted tops. It’s hard to overstate, in my opinion, how much even half-height keycaps improve typing feel over chiclets.
Hexgears wisely saw fit to keep the X-1’s best feature for the Venture. It can support up to four devices over Bluetooth LE. They said they’ve improved the wireless subsystem over what the X-1 offered, but it was already excellent, allowing you to switch between devices quickly, with strong connection stability.
The Venture, which like the X-1 is compatible with macOS and Linux, comes with a few Mac keycaps and a Mac mode, and that’s an improvement. It also has larger batteries–the X-1 lasted only 3-4 hours uncabled with the RGB lighting ablaze–and you can swap AA batteries in there if you need to in a pinch. The bigger batteries promise up to 16 hours of use even with (some) of the RGB lighting turned on.
Unfortunately, you can’t program the Venture. That was a big qualm I had about the X-1 as well, although the presence of a full-size layout at least gives you a full set of keys. There are several dedicated buttons, too.
The Venture comes with your choice of Kailh Choc Red, Brown, or White (clicky) switches.
For Early Bird supporters, the Hexgears Venture (in black or silver) is $119.