Features & Specifications
On its face, the Patriot Viper V760 looks like a solid keyboard (spoiler: it is), but it also enters the pantheon of peripherals made by companies that are known for making other components. In the case of Patriot, it’s memory, SSDs, and the like.
For many of these otherwise-known brands, the entry into the gaming peripherals market smells a little like hubris. Who are they to compete with long-established gaming gear makers like Corsair, Razer, Cooler Master, et al? We’re going to find out. This is why we review things, after all.
One knock against many of these peripherals players is the sameness of their offerings. Many of the newer companies’ keyboards are strikingly similar to many others, and they all tend to be followers of feature sets and designs that are already well-established by the bigger peripherals brands.
Indeed, on the surface, the keyboard market looks increasingly like a commodity play. But if we look deep enough, are there important differences we can find? In the case of this review, we’re poking, prodding, and tearing down the Patriot Viper V760.
The V760’s switches are mounted on top of a flat plate, as opposed to nestled into a bowl design with a top cover. This seems to be the design choice du jour, and it’s not hard to see why; it’s a striking look, even though it’s no longer a unique one.
However, as opposed to the Corsair-style one-piece-of-brushed-metal top, the V760’s top panel has a slightly more elaborate look. It’s still one piece of aluminum, but it’s two-tiered, with a beveled edge that has a ring of shiny metal, and there are black rubberized-looking accents around that. Patriot included a detachable wrist rest, without which the front of the keyboard looks a little naked.
In other words, it doesn’t cut a sexy profile, although it does look a little nicer with the wrist rest attached.
There’s a red Viper logo above the directional keys, and above the numpad are three LEDs that indicate Num Lock, Caps Lock, and Scroll Lock. Around back is a sturdy red-and-black braided cable that has two USB connectors. The design is such that you can’t route the cable any other way; that is, there is no routing trough underneath. There’s a USB passthrough port on the rear right side, too.
There are two small feet that flip out to give you a different typing angle, and here is where you start to see some of the little details that the Patriot folks thought through. Whereas most underside feet are parallel to the keyboard, these are perpendicular. Ostensibly, the idea is that by orienting the feet longways, they’ll grip your desk top slightly better to combat sliding and skidding. The bottoms of the feet feel slightly rubberized. There are four additional rubber nubs underneath the V760 to help enhance stability.
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That's a fair question. The answer is nuanced. Our goal as a publication is not simply to review the coolest stuff; we want to examine as much of each market as possible--the gear people are spending their hard-earned money on, and the gear that stands out as truly remarkable. Sometimes that means reviewing less sexy gear--as you (probably correctly) call them, "commodity keyboards". Because maybe the commodity stuff is actually really great. Maybe it's garbage. But we won't know until we review them, and in the meantime, people are buying them.
Further, we're not just in the business of reviews, we're in the business of *comparative* reviews. So taking a look at a bigger range of the market means we can do a better job of comparing these devices to one another.
Finally, fear not--there's more diversity and some really interesting stuff coming soon. :) And we'll put the XMIT Hall Effect in the queue as soon as he sends me one! :D
A great article with tons of information. Kudos to you for doing a great job with it. After reading your previous article on How you test the keyboard switches I was slightly worried that the graphs would be difficult to grasp but your explanations relieved that worry.