It is obvious that HAVIT wanted to bring something new and innovative into the market, not just another typical mechanical keyboard that would face ludicrous competition. The KB395L definitely stands out, as it is one of the very few mechanical keyboards using such short travel switches.

In terms of overall quality, the HAVIT KB395L is not the kind of keyboard that you want to rage punch or daily abuse. In order to make the keyboard lightweight and thin, the designers had to limit the thickness of the plastic underside of the keyboard. Furthermore, the stems of these Kailh switches and the keycaps are quite fragile and will not withstand too much force. Considering that replacements will be very hard to come by, it would be wise to treat the KB395L with respect.

Aesthetically, the KB395L stands out via its minimalism. The dimensions of the top aluminum plate have been reduced to barely fit the standard layout keyboard and only the company’s logo between the arrow and control keys stands out. One could say that it strongly resembles Apple’s keyboards, only with superior mechanical switches and a black color scheme. The RGB lighting is generally good, with minimal bleed around the keycaps, but its application on the Space Bar key could definitely have been better.

Kailh’s new PG1350 blue switch makes the KB395L practically ideal for professionals that like tactile switches. It is soft and very comfortable, probably even more than all classic mechanical keyboard switches. The audible feedback is not too loud and should not disturb people who are not in the immediate vicinity of the user, neither tire the users themselves out after long typing sessions.

The company markets the KB395L as a “both games and office” keyboard. We would say that it strongly inclines towards the latter, as its comfort and minimalistic design are more suited to professional use. Professionals will love its tactile, audible feedback and the long-term comfort that Kailh’s new switches offer. It is not a bad choice for gamers but it has little to offer other than long-term comfort, while other similarly priced products are definitely better suited for gaming. The current retail price of the KB395L is $80, which may be a little high for a keyboard using Kailh switches and lacking in advanced features, but we would not go as far as to claim that it is overpriced considering that it currently is one-of-a-kind design. Its tenkeyless version, the KB390L, is available for $20 less, but note that it also lacks the RGB backlighting of the KB395L.

Per-Key Quality & Hands-On Testing
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  • Elstar - Thursday, March 1, 2018 - link

    I don't know how you define minimalism, but I don't think RGB lighting counts, nor a big branding logo, nor awkward key labels that smush the while-shift-is-held label into the superscript position (the underbar partially hovering over the hyphen-minus label is particularly ugly).
  • dave_the_nerd - Thursday, March 1, 2018 - link

    Meh. I've seen a lot worse. RGB lighting can be turned off, and it's a helpful visual aide for us hunt-and-peckers.

    Although I agree with you that the keycap font/design is terrible. Who thought the "____" on the space bar was a good idea? Or that the font on the Shift/Ent/Back keys should be larger? Or that they should read "Ent" and "Back" instead of "Enter" and "Backspace"?

    On the other hand, a proper touch typist probably wouldn't spend enough time looking at the keyboard to be annoyed by those things.
  • Cellar Door - Thursday, March 1, 2018 - link

    That is nitpicking on a ridiculous level - have you ever used a laptop? Look at the font on those.
  • dave_the_nerd - Thursday, March 1, 2018 - link

    Oh, yeah, they're all terrible too. ;-)
  • notashill - Friday, March 2, 2018 - link

    People that aren't ridiculously nitpicky probably don't even consider buying $80 mechanical keyboards in the first place.
  • twtech - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link

    It's actually surprising to me that more people aren't pickier about their input devices. If you work in a profession where you're going to sit there and type all day, I would think the keyboard you use, etc., is pretty important.

    I have several split mechanical keyboards, and those tend to start at around $200. The Kinesis Freestyle Edge, which is what I'm currently using, has key backlighting. At first, I thought it would just be a gimmick, and turned it off. I also turned it off because, before the latest firmware update, the backlighting was ridiculously bright and distracting even on the lowest setting.

    But it turns out that very mild backlighting is actually pretty useful for quickly locating the home row in the dark. I can make out the keys just well enough out of the corner of my eye to be able to place my hand directly back on the home row after using the mouse without hesitation. The font on the keys doesn't matter a whole lot though.
  • Ukyo - Thursday, March 1, 2018 - link

    I have the TKL version and love it... for a bit... but quickly moved back to my MS ergo type keyboard. And my co-workers thanked me for it... lol
  • twtech - Thursday, March 1, 2018 - link

    You should check out the Kinesis Freestyle Edge. Your coworkers might still hate it if you were to get it with MX blues, but you'd probably like it.
  • philehidiot - Friday, March 2, 2018 - link

    You just don't realise how loud those blues are until you start typing and the girlfriend has to turn up the telly... Downstairs.
  • twtech - Friday, March 9, 2018 - link

    The Freestyle Edge has materials that mute the sound a bit. It's still loud, but apparently not as loud as it would be otherwise.

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