The Velocifire VM02WS Wireless Mechanical Keyboard Review: Scratching the Itch For the Office Nicheby E. Fylladitakis on January 15, 2020 8:00 AM EST
Velocifire developed the VM02WS in order to fill a specific, unfledged segment of the market – that of wireless mechanical keyboards. With the market for standard (wired) mechanical keyboards having become heavily saturated in the last couple of years, going wireless is the next frontier for PC peripherals companies, especially those who were never able to secure a suitable chunk of the wired market to being with.
The advantage of being an early mover is that there's very little competition right now, and that's especially the case for wireless mechanical keyboards. With most wireless boards priced far above that of the VM02WS, Velocifire has little to worry about in terms of direct product competition, at least for the time being. Despite this, the VM02WS still has to convince users on a more fundamental matter: that it is a viable alternative to regular mechanical keyboards or electronic wireless keyboards.
When the retail price of a product is the primary design consideration, its quality naturally is a concern. Velocifire did a fine job with the assembly and the frame of the VM02WS, creating a solid mechanical keyboard. The quality of Content’s switches, however, is concerning. The actuation force consistency among the switches used in our sample were poor – there are significant differences between the individual switches – indicating loose quality control. We are not worried about any impact the great disparity mght have on performance, but such figures usually do not bode well regarding the longevity of the switches themselves.
There is not much to say regarding the advanced functions of the VM02WS because, mildly put, these are very limited. The only advanced functions available are simple sound volume controls and multimedia commands via keystrokes that include the Fn key, which can nowadays be found on even the cheapest of keyboards. Besides that, the VM02WS does not have any remapping/programming capabilities or any other advanced functions. It is but a simple keyboard, just like any typical office keyboard.
The battery life of the VM02WS is exactly as we anticipated for a backlit mechanical keyboard. It can last for a few days with the LEDs turned off but will drain in a single day if the LEDs are left on. This is more than enough for a gaming session or for doing some work but it definitely will not work for people who want to maintain a tidy, cable-free desktop.
Velocifire’s VM02WS currently retails for $60, a competitive price for a wireless mechanical keyboard. However, we suspect that its sales will be limited due to the user groups it is being aimed at. For gamers, it is not suitable for anything more than casual gaming due to the significant input lag and zero advanced features. The company never tried to approach gamers for a reason, instead focusing their efforts on, as their webpage declares, “Copywriters, Typists, Programmers” However, these users rarely actually need a wireless keyboard or they need a wireless keyboard that its battery can last for months; the market for wireless mechanical keyboards is still a niche market right now, and it's one that seems to be more aligned to consumers than professionals.
Ultimately, if you are the rare case of a professional who likes to lay back on a sofa and work, then the VM02WS may be just the product for you. But that is as far as the keyboard seems to be designed to go: it has a niche and it does it well, and that's pretty much it. So office users who don't need wireless connectivity won't stand to benefit from this keyboard for obvious reasons, and gamers and the like aren't going to come away satisfied from a professional-focused keyboard such as this.
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FunBunny2 - Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - linkthey do: https://www.amazon.com/KINESIS-Gaming-Freestyle-Me...
Dug - Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - linkStop with the extra thick keyboards that require a wrist rest to even come close to being ergonomically correct. The 80's are over with. Why keep reviewing these pieces of crap?
The_Assimilator - Thursday, January 16, 2020 - linkBecause the manufacturers seem to think that everyone who wants a mech keyboard wants an IBM clone with RGB, and are willing to pay through the a** for it.
Lord of the Bored - Thursday, January 16, 2020 - link"So Velocifire doesn't completely overcome the inherient disadvantage of a wireless mechanical keyboard – a fully electronic keyboard would find its battery life measured in months – but the VM02WS is delivering days of battery life in a field that often only delivers a dozen or so hours."
Why would a microswitched keyboard inherently have worse battery life than a silicone dome one? (they are both "fully electronic")
I mean, I'd expect marginally BETTER battery life because the metal contacts in a microswitch have lower resistance than the carbon dot in a rubber dome.
E.Fyll - Thursday, January 16, 2020 - linkThis is a complicated topic, there are too many variables to discuss. One, for example, would be that the microprocessors used for mechanical keyboards consume much more energy. A more fundamental difference is that the controller is looking for many more inputs (per key) instead of an input from a group of keys. There are of course many more differences to discuss and all actually are subject to specific designs/models, but the general rule is that a mechanical keyboard requires about 4 to 10 times more energy than a classic membrane-based keyboard (without taking key lighting into account).
And, assuming that all other parameters are ideally stable, lower resistance equals higher energy consumption (I = V / R, P = V^2 / R).
Lord of the Bored - Friday, January 17, 2020 - linkSo it is because microswitches are used in higher-end keyboards, basically? More inputs to avoid keyblocking issues and a more advanced processor to do keyboardier things = more power draw.
I'd assumed that lower resistance would save energy because they don't need to drive as much current through the switches to generate usable logic signals on the other side. But I suppose that's far from a guaranteed design change.
Gonemad - Thursday, January 16, 2020 - linkHaving a backlit wireless keyboard is kinda self-defeating for me. I would either have it wireless with batteries that last the larger portion of a year and work anywhere at couch distance, or have it backlit, like my OG logitech G105.
I still have the G105 because I was planning a quiet pc on my sleeping room... it still fits that purpose if I ever need it.
docbones - Friday, January 17, 2020 - linkBut will it work with a KVM switch?
Snowleopard3000 - Saturday, January 18, 2020 - linkWhat are the suggestions on a MX Red silent Backlit wireless keyboard that will work in an office environment. I am tired of the response times from the $5 el cheapo wait 1 minute for the key stroke to show up on the screen keyboard they gave me in an office where we keep the lights off.
lmcd - Saturday, January 18, 2020 - linkI wonder if a mechanical keyboard could be low enough power to fit within the power profile of the Logitech solar K750S