Switches, Keycaps, And Lighting
In a refreshing change from Red, Brown, or Blue switches, Patriot opted for Kailh Box White switches for the V765. Clearly, that call was made at some point in the product development cycle before the cap-cracking issues emerged. I confirmed some time ago with Patriot that the V765 is equipped with the offending Box White switches instead of the retooled versions that have slightly thinner stems that purport to solve the keycap-cracking problems.
However, there are two reasons not to worry. The first is that it's unlikely you'll experience cracking on Box White switches anyway; the problem is just not that widespread. We wouldn't put especially expensive or vintage keycaps on them just in case, but we're not sure who would put aftermarket caps on a keyboard like this one, anyway. Secondly, Patriot makes its own keycaps, so its internal QA will catch any issues. And in the extremely remote event that you find cracks in one of the V765's keycaps, you'll have recourse thanks to Patriot's two-year warranty.
Many people enjoy the light but clicky feel of the Kailh Box White switch, and you can count me among them. What I don't enjoy so much is the ping sounds I hear when I'm typing on the V765. It's by no means the noisiest pinging I've heard on a keyboard, but it's certainly audible enough that I can hear it even when I'm sitting back in my chair.
I'm also not enamored of the stabilizers. They're more or less Costar-style, although I suspect they're either Patriot's own creation or were bought off-the-shelf from a knockoff supplier. These stabs feel a bit sticky and stiff, and the bars look thin to me.
The black ABS keycaps on the V765 are pretty much standard-issue for gaming keyboards. They're thin, and good golly do they shine up quickly. The shine-through legends feel nice and bright; they're certainly large. I like the look of the font much better on the alphas than on the modifiers, though. On the latter, it looks a little thick. Patriot placed the sublegends on the number keys such that they're right atop the LEDs, so they're just as bright as the legends. It didn't do the same with the lighting controls that are on the F keys, which are printed lower on the cap and thus aren't evenly backlit.
The lighting situation is the epitome of love/hate. The LEDs seem especially bright, with rich color and reasonably strong color mixing—something that I've learned is definitely not a given even with expensive keyboards. And the effect of the underlighting on the textured, metallic top plate is striking, and frankly rather unique. There's tons of light bleed, by design, and it's more or less even around the bottom of the keycaps, except for the ones on the edges that don't have neighbors on four sides.
A big problem with the lighting, though, is that the glow off of the top plate and from the shine-through legends are different tones. You can see this issue most vividly if you set all the LEDs to white. The "white" on the top plate has a bluish look, whereas the "white" coming through the legends is reddish. The same holds true if the backlighting is set to yellow, light blue, or magenta. This is not solvable without different keycaps; there's something in the tone of the translucent plastic that affects the color of the light. If you employ a lighting other than single-color static, you may not notice it too much, though.