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Havit's HV-KB390L low-profile keyboard reviewed

The mechanical keyboard goes on a diet

My first keyboard and daily driver for a number of years was a tenkeyless variation of the Enermax Aurora, a superb scissor-switch keyboard. Eventually, I was seduced by the subtle tactile feel of Cherry MX Browns and set aside my Aurora for mechanical keyboards. At the time, my move to mechanical key switches meant a move away from low-profile keyboards. I was actually hesitant to swap my Aurora out for a mechanical board because I was worried about my fingers slipping down into the deep crevices between tall keycaps while gaming and typing. Fortunately, I was able to easily adjust to using high-profile keycaps, but my love for low-profile layouts endured. 

Fast forward to the present. There's recently been an explosion in new mechanical key switch types, and some of these new switches are more compact and allow for low-profile keycaps. When I first laid eyes on Havit's HV-KB390L low-profile keyboard, I knew I had to try it out for myself. Now that I've spent some quality time with this board, I'm here to give my impressions.

The HV-KB390L goes for a minimalistic design with a black metal base plate and silver chamfered edges that barely extend beyond the outer keycaps. The LEDs under the keycaps give off a pleasant greenish-blue glow that isn't overly bright. The legends use a pretty standard, clean font, though the decision to replace the Enter key with a button dedicated to tree people is a bit of an odd one. The only possibly garish aspect of this board is the Havit "gaming" logo above the arrow keys, but I don't mind it.

Havit HV-KB390L (left) next to HyperX Alloy FPS (right)

You can see from the side shot above how much slimmer the HV-KB390L's switches and keycaps are compared to the usual Cherry MX switch-and-cap stack. The Alloy FPS gives a good idea of just how much more compact the HV-KB390L's keys are because both keyboards have similarly fat-free chassis. On top of its tightly cropped edges, though, the HV-KB390L has a thin base to go with its compact keys. The HV-KB390L is tiny compared to many mechanical keyboards on the market. The side shot also shows off the exposed switches that give the keyboard its slick "floating keys" effect.

The bottom of the keyboard is made of strong, uniform plastic and features two flip-up stands. The stands aren't the most heavy-duty I've used, but they snap securely into place and steadily prop the keyboard up without any wobble. The overall construction of the keyboard is solid, and it looks quite classy.

A single Micro-USB port is positioned on the back of the HV-KB390L, and a Micro-USB -to-USB cable is included in the box. The provided cable is five feet long and rubber-sheathed. The cable doesn't catch on my monitor stand or desk, but it is quite inflexible. It resists my efforts to bend it into a shape that is optimal for cable management. Fortunately, the cable is detachable and can be replaced with any compatible aftermarket cable of the owner's choice.