June 30th, I won a coupon code to try out the Havit Low Profile keyboard for a hefty price of $6. At this point I’ve only own a keyboard with MX Browns, and what I didn’t expect to happen is to love these low profile switches so much that I lost all ambition to even look at MX keyboards anymore.
So far, the keycap legends haven’t shown any sign of wear, but the keycaps are in the early stages of developing a shine. I really wish we could get some funds together to create molds for PBT, I think the upstroke resonates better due to the double stem keycap design, and its has wonderfully simple stabs that are very silent and from what I can tell the only sound difference comes from the upstroke with larger keys having a lower pitch. I really wonder if the stabs are special for Havit/Dareu because oddly enough there have a special top house just for the switches with stabs that have a slot to snap the stab into. Seems odd to me that Kailh has made two separate molds instead of just putting the stab slot on every switch. I just love how I don’t need a keypuller to take the keys of, its so simple and easy to clean the keyboard.
I love how fast and accurate these switches are, and being lower to the table is always nice for the wrist.
Really wonder how a PBT cap would sound on these switches, Especially if we had someone like Zeal or Input Club develop a better clear-style switch for KLP.
What has been your experience with Kailh Low Profiles? Are you interested?
I’m curious about them, and I will probably be buying the X-1 when it comes out. (Hexgears X-1 Wireless Low Profile Mechanical Keyboard — Kono Store). I used to be a huge fan of Apple’s boards, before I got into mechs, but I can’t really handle the feel of them now. I’m a bit concerned that the lack of travel distance is going to get to me, but the portability may be worth it if they at least feel decent.
Yea, I’m wondering if the clicky switches are the only ones worth having. At least for the clicky, I find no problem with travel distance because the tactile feedback is enough to satisfy since its basically a linear until you trigger the sharp click.
Do you use regular keycaps or are keycaps for KLP shorter?
I through Kono am working on creating keysets and colorways for the Hexgears X-1, with the eventual goal of doing exactly what you suggest in your post: creating a profile and keysets that can work on any low-profile keyboard.
I’ve tried them out and they’re quite nice. They still retain 3mm of travel so definitely more full feeling than a laptop. There isn’t as much of a “clack” in the down/up-stroke, so the overall switch is quieter than their standard MX equivalents.
I’m going to do low pro when I build my helix in the next couple of weeks, I’m also worried about how they’ll feel, but thought it was a good opportunity to give them a try. Hopefully we’ll start to see some more choices for keycaps in the near future.
Kailh Choc low-profile switches use a different stem, and generally when you’re using low switches you want low caps too. Here’s an image of the stem:
I have used some keycaps from a plum ortholinear keyboard that uses Cherry ML switches. They are some variant that has a centered stem and fits the chocs. The typing experience is so much better than the keycaps that kailh makes. I would love to see some cylindrical or spherical keycaps made for them. They don’t need to be sculpted, I think it makes more sense to have them all the same height, but having something other than flat would be preferable.
Do you have any photos? I’m curious about what they look like. My partner and I have been discussing custom low profile switch caps for a while, and I’d love to see more options.
Not the greatest pics, but it gives you an idea. You can pick up the plum boards for pretty cheap on ebay.
Wow. Turns out I actually have an ML board sitting forgotten in a drawer - thank you so much for sharing! It’ll be a fun project this weekend.
They don’t all fit properly, but hopefully you’ll get lucky.
Yeah, we noticed that the ones we tried seem to have the stems less centered on the cap than the ones meant for the kailh switches. I’m going to try making silicone molds this weekend of a few low profile caps that we have, so all I need is one good ML cap to replicate! We’ll see how it turns out, finger crossed.
I was looking for comparisons between the two switch types, and found this old(ish) video: Kailh Cherry ML "clones" first impression - YouTube
Matt3o didn’t seem to think the caps were fully compatible, however, based on his other comments, I’m a little more excited to give these switches a try.
I would love to see some cylindrical or spherical keycaps made for them.
From what I understand, either @AuthenticDanger or @TheGlyph has had great results chopping off the bottom half of DSA and then stem-swapping a Choc mount.
I believe the keycaps that Kailh manufactures themselves are PBT doubleshots. Unfortunately there’s a difference between the blue low profile switches (DareU, Havit) and the Choc switches (Input Club, Drevo) so they’re incompatible. Seems dumb to have so many variations of practically the same design.
I love the idea of low-pro switches but can never bring myself to actually get another board… but thank you for sharing the experience!
Yea, I’m not a fan of the flat keys either. Definitely happy with the shape that Dareu is using for their KLP. I think it’d be kind of hard/difficult to even feel a benefit from sculpted low profile since the difference between each step would be so subtle.