Switches, Key Caps & Lighting
Switches & Key Caps
Aiming for that happy medium between clicky Blue and linear Red switches, Patriot opted to outfit the Viper V760 with Kailh Brown switches. Unlike some companies that offer the same keyboard with different switch options, Patriot offers only Browns.
The key caps are laser-etched polycarbonate, with translucent characters that allow the backlighting to glow through. The key caps have an oh-so-slightly textured look (visible only if you look especially closely). This, is my observation, gives them a slight shine, which offers a fortunate side effect: You don’t notice as the grease from your fingers shines up these key caps. This, for example, as opposed to Razer keyboard key caps that ship with a matte finish but show the greasy shine more obviously.
Every switch is equipped with an LED, and the V760 supports RGB lighting. A small shortcoming is that because the LEDs are positioned at the top of the switch housings, and there are numerous secondary characters on the caps, the key lighting is slightly uneven. Subjectively, though, the slightly dimmer lighting on the secondary characters was not immediately noticeable.
You can do quite a bit with the lighting (as detailed below in the Software section), but Patriot created the V760 to allow you to adjust many lighting settings right on the keyboard.
The controls are scattered all over the keyboard, though. The F6-F12 keys all offer some lighting functions, as does the Pause Break (Reset) key. The directional keys control the direction (ha!) of the lighting, Pg Up and Pg Dn control the speed of a given lighting effect, and dimming/brightness is assigned to the - and + keys. F1-F5 are where you can store your five profiles, which include lighting settings.
All of this requires the Function key, which on the V760 is to the right of the spacebar and Alt key has a cool “viper” character on it. (Also note that because of the lighting controls occupying space on the F keys, the media controls have been bumped to the number keys.)
That is all to say that although you can control a great deal without software, it’s not exactly intuitive, even though there are secondary characters printed on the appropriate key caps.
For example, let’s say you want to set a certain light effect, such as Reactive mode. (In Reactive mode, when you press a key, the LED will light up and then fade.) To turn it on, press Fn + F9--twice. (If you press that key combo only once, it does this crazy rainbow-colored raindrop effect.) To adjust the fading speed up or down, press Fn + Pg Up or Fn + Pg Dn, respectively. To increase or decrease the brightness of the lighting for this effect, press Fn and “+” or “-” respectively.
That’s a lot of key presses, and we haven’t even adjusted the colors yet. No friend, for that you need to use the software. More on that in a bit.
That’s just one of many lighting modes the V760 offers:
- Spectrum (cycles through “all the colors of the rainbow”)
- Breathe (selected color brightens and fades)
- Raindrop (detailed above)
- Reactive (detailed above)
- Vortex (keys light up one at a time from the top left to the center, then disappears to the bottom right)
- Sidewinder (lights start at the top row of keys and then winds side to side until it reaches the bottom row)
- Ripple (press any key and the lights emanate from that point in a ripple pattern)
- Spotlight (keys light up on opposite sides of the keyboard, meet in the middle, then return)
- Radar (lighting travels along the edge of the keyboard and lights a section of keys at a time)
- Waves (spectrum lights moves from one end of the keyboard to the other)
You can also program up to five of your own custom lighting configurations. First, enable Record mode by pressing Fn + F12. When you do so, F1-F5 will start blinking, indicating that the device is ready for you to program something - in this case, colors. Press any of the F1-F5 keys to select an empty profile. Then, press any key to change its color; you can keep pressing the key to pick different colors--one of seven presets.
This requires you to press each key multiple times - every single one that you want lit in a certain color. For example, white is the seventh color in the rotation, so if you want every single key to be lit in white, you have to press all 104 of them seven times each.
When you’re done, press Fn + F12 again to save your settings.
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