Vissles LP85 optical-mechanical keyboard Review – 75% ultra-slim keyboard ideal for travelling or as an Apple Magic Keyboard alternative

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Vissles LP85 Ultra-Thin 75% Optical-Mechanical Keyboard Review Rating
Overall
85%
85%
  • Overall - 85%
    85%

Pros

  • An ultra-slim design ideal for travelling
  • Enjoyable typing experience compared to normal chicklet keyboards

Cons

  • No feet for adjustment

The Vissles LP85 optical-mechanical is a 75% ultra-slim keyboard that comes with both Windows and Mac layouts.

The slim chicklet design with a Mac layout make this an ideal alternative to the Apple Magic Keyboard, and in my case, it is a superb keyboard to use while travelling.

This keyboard is a Kickstart project, but it has passed its funding goal and the estimated delivery is for February 2022 with shipping anywhere in the world.

Shipping to the UK is $15 and this brings the total cost to around £85 but does not include any VAT or customs fees.

Specifications

  • Brand: Vissles
  • Model: Vissles LP85
  • Mode: Bluetooth/Wired mode
  • Layout: Mac/Windows
  • Colour: Black/White
  • Number of Key: 85 keys
  • Backlight: RGB dynamic backlighting
  • Bluetooth: 5.0
  • Bluetooth Name: Vissles LP85
  • Port: Type-C
  • Battery: 2000mAh
  • Switch Type: Low profile optical switches
  • Actuation Force: 50±10gf
  • Pre-travel: 1.2±0.30mm
  • Total Travel: 2.5±0.30mm
  • Slope Angle: 2°
  • Weight: 0.547KG
  • Dimension: 12.1″×4.6″×0.6″ (307.6×118.1×15.1mm) (Footpads and keycaps included)
  • Board Height: 0.31″-0.34″

Design and Build

The thinnest part of the housing is only 7.9mm (0.31 inches), with the thickest end being 12mm. It comes with a durable anodised aluminium chassis.

An RGB LED under each keycap provides a backlit look. You can choose from pre-programmed designs with 19 dynamic and 8 monochrome backlit modes with the stroke of a few keys. However, there is no companion app to customise the RGB lighting to your own liking.

Vissles sell this in either Windows or Mac layouts. There are not many other brands that have Mac layouts for mechanical keyboards.

The keyboard weighs a bit over half a kilogram, so there is some heft to it, considering how small it is. As I mainly used this when travelling, you could argue it is a bit weighty; competing options are under 500g. However, I like its sturdiness, and it feels like a premium keyboard rather than cheap plastic.

In use

I have predominantly used this keyboard with my laptop. I absolutely hate typing on laptop keyboards as they are too cramped, and the overall dimensions of this keyboard make it perfect for travelling

You can use this in wired mode or Bluetooth, I favoured the wired connection as it is not much of an inconvenience having a wire from keyboard to laptop.

You need to toggle the switch on the back to switch the keyboard on, you need to do this whether it is wired or Bluetooth. When using it in Bluetooth mode, you will need to hold down the FN+P keys for five seconds to enter pairing mode. Then you can select Vissles LP85 in the Bluetooth settings. You can also pair it with two more devices as well. You will need press FN+W or FN+E, then FN+P again for five seconds, and it will enter pairing mode for the respective devices.

I have not been able to find any battery life specs for this, but it has a 2000mAh battery, which is 450mAh larger than the Keychron K3, and they claim 34 hours of performance. I have used it for several hours at a time on Bluetooth and never had any issues with the battery. Knowing that I’d have to charge every few days is another reason I’d stick to a wired connection.

Typing on the keyboard is quite a bit different to most mechanical keyboards I have used. The optical-mechanical keys in a chicklet design make this feel similar to a laptop but with a greater travel distance and activation force. You have a pleasant audible click but not the same clickety clack you have from many of the Cherry MX switches.

The official numbers from 50g actuation force, 0.2ms speedy response, and 1.2mm pre-travel.

I am indifferent to RGB myself, but the lighting isn't too bright on this, and it gives it an attractive appearance without being too gaudy and bright.

Price, Availability and Alternative Options

Price starts at US$99 with a shipping timeframe in late January.

Shipping to the UK is $15 and this brings the total cost to around £85 but does not include any VAT or customs fees

The Keychron K3 Ultra-slim is probably the best alternative option. This costs $74 for a white backlight option or $84 for RGB. It isn't quite as thin, being 22mm at its thickest, dropping down to 17mm, but it is a bit lighter.

The Apple Magic Keyboard is £90 RRP but normally around £75 and I would expect that the typing experience is more pleasant on the Vissles LP85.

There are quite a lot of slim Bluetooth keyboards, all of which use traditional chicklet keys without the optical switches. Most of them are considerably cheaper, but the overall quality won’t be as good.

Overall

I like the Vissles LP85 a lot. It is the best solution for a travel keyboard I have used to date, and it is a fair, more pleasant typing experience than any laptop I have.

The optical-mechanical keys in a chicklet design make this feel quite a bit different from normal mechanical keyboards. However, if you are an Apple Magic Keyboard, I think this would have an improved feel.

I am not sure I would use it as my main desktop keyboard, it lies down a bit flat for my liking, and I do find it feels a bit more cramped compared to a normal keyboard. I also prefer a full-sized keyboard for my work keyboard in general.

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