Today we’re looking at another new arrival at the Keyboard Company, the KBP V60 Dual Backlit 60% Speed Switch Keyboard. There’s a lot to unpack there, so let’s start with what makes this keyboard unique. There are three things:
- It is a compact 60% size design in a UK layout
- It comes with dual-colour LED backlighting
- It is available with new Cherry MX Speed Silver switches
Let’s put this new KBP keyboard to the test!
We’ll start with a quick look at the design of the keyboard. The V60 is a very compact keyboard, comprising of about 60% of the keys of a full-size keyboard with a numberpad. The layout, which is UK (ISO), dispenses with dedicated keys for F1 – F12, navigational keys (Insert, Delete, etc.) and the number pad, with these functions instead accessible via a Function (Fn) layer.
The smaller size results in a portable design which takes up minimal desk space, and it looks cool too. Despite the small number of keys, this keyboard is hardly lacking in functionality. Its comprehensive Function layer includes media controls and volume adjustment, LED backlighting controls and more.
The keyboard includes a unique dual-LED backlighting system, wherein each key is backlit by both a red and a blue LED. These LEDs can vary in intensity, allowing for full red, full blue, or a number of pinks and purples in between. This is a nice halfway house between a full RGB keyboard (which generally requires more complex controls and more expensive components) and a simple single-colour backlighting system (which might not fit your preferred colour scheme). This way, you have some flexibility without the cost or complexity of a full RGB system.
The flexibility theme continues if you have a look at the back of the keyboard. On the right side, you’ll find six tiny DIP switches. Look them up in the manual, and you’ll find that you can customise the positions of the modifier keys extensively — you can have Fn replacing Caps Lock (!), Escape swapping positions with Grave (`) or Alt and Win swapping places (to support a Mac layout).
This is helped by the inclusion of nine additional keycaps, which ensure your keys remain accurately labelled. In addition to the replacement keycaps and the manual, a Mini USB cable and a key puller are included in the box. Finally, the keyboard’s firmware can be upgraded over USB, allowing the keyboard’s functionality to be improved and bugs to be fixed after purchase.
Of course, we couldn’t discuss this keyboard’s design without also covering the switches that lie at its heart. It’s possible to get the V60 Plus Dual with several different switches, but for the UK layout keyboard you have a choice of the old reliable Cherry MX Brown and the new, exciting Cherry MX Speed Silver. It’s the latter that we have in our review unit, so let’s cover the basics.
The Speed Silver is a linear mechanical switch designed to actuate very quickly, making it ideal for the rapid key presses you might need while gaming. The actuation distance has been shortened from 1.5mm to 1.2mm, while the total travel distance has been reduced from 4mm to 3.4mm. It has a clear body, allowing the LEDs below to shine through. Finally, it uses the same springs as the Cherry MX Red, giving it roughly the same actuation force of 45 cN.
Now that we’ve covered the design and features of the keyboard, let’s get into our first-hand impressions after using this keyboard for a week or two!
These Speed Silver switches were the biggest draw when I first heard about this keyboard, so I’ll share my impressions of these first. Generally, I find them to be a superior version of the Cherry MX Red, equally light but just a little bit faster to use. That can make it a bit easier to make a typo, but the increase in speed (whether actual or psychological) feels substantial. I found this really helpful in games like Counter-Strike and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), where you really want to improve your reaction time wherever possible. Choosing a high refresh rate monitor and a precise mouse makes it easier to respond in-game, but so too does having a super quick keyboard.
I expected the Speed Silver switches to be a little difficult to type on, but happily I didn’t find that to be the case at all. The switches are light, sure, but not more so than a Cherry MX Red, and the increase in typing speed made up for occasional typos. I was able to hit 104 words per minute when playing on TypeRacer.com, and my average across ten races was 92 words per minute, compared to my lifetime average of 87 words per minute. Not bad!
Whenever I use a compact mechanical keyboard, I always worry that one of my most-used keys will be hidden somewhere in the Function layer, causing me to waste time tracking it down each time I need to use it. Happily, that wasn’t the case with the V60 Plus.
I didn’t miss having the function keys available, as I rarely use them outside of a few game commands (e.g. quick save and quick load in an RPG, for example); similarly I rarely use a number pad so I didn’t mind that either. The only thing I really pined for were the arrow keys while writing. At first I used the arrow keys on the right side of the keyboard (Fn + P L ; ‘ ), but I found that a bit difficult, so I used the DIP switch on the back to change the Caps Lock key (which I never use) to another Fn key. That let me use Caps Lock + W A S D to move around in text, which was quite intuitive.
Otherwise, I didn’t have any issues with the compact size of the keyboard, and I certainly appreciated the light weight and small size when taking the keyboard on the train to work. It also gave me tons of room for my oversized mousepad; this is the ultimate upgrade for (nerd alert) low-DPI-setting Counter-Strike players. The small size also just looks cool, particularly when combined with the blue to purple to pink to red backlighting.
Overall, I really enjoyed using the KBP V60 Plus with Dual Backlight and Speed Silver switches. There’s always a keyboard or two that I’m hesitant to give back after I’ve finished reviewing them, and the V60 Plus is certainly one of them. It doesn’t have the crazy backlighting of the Type R Polestar, but the compact layout, Speed Silver switches and pinky-purple backlighting are an awesome combination.
The KBP V60 is available now at The Keyboard Company! The exact model I reviewed is available in a UK layout with Cherry MX Speed Silver or Cherry MX Brown switches via the links below:
You can see all of the KBP V60 keyboards via the link below. They’re available in a wide range of styles, with lots of different layouts and switches to choose from:
Finally, you can see all of our 60% size compact keyboards, including some real crackers from Filco, Matias and Varmilo via the link below:
Thanks for checking out the article, and be sure to let us know what you think of this keyboard in the comments below! If you have any questions, we’d also be happy to answer them if we can. Thanks again and enjoy your week!