If I said, “It’s a gaming keyboard,” you could probably guess the main specs and features of the Patriot Viper V675. It has a full-size layout with RGB backlighting and offers plenty of customization capabilities, and you can use the onboard controls to an extent, but there’s software you should use to get more granular about it. It has RGB racing stripes along the left and right sides, and you get a detachable magnetic wrist rest. The switches are mounted to the metallic top plate, exposing the clear switch housings so the backlighting barfs profusely all over. The keycaps? Black ABS plastic with translucent legends and sublegends, although some of the sublegends aren’t as well lit because the LEDs are located on the north side of the switches. A volume roller and four dedicated media buttons line the top edge of the keyboard.
Given I could just about copy and paste that paragraph for any number of gaming keyboard reviews, the Viper V765 is not what you would call unique. So it needs a reason to exist, both in the general keyboard market and within its own product stack. Or at least, assuming it’s of sufficiently high construction quality, it needs to offer some value in terms of cost. Let’s find out if any of that is the case for this keyboard.
A Closer Look
I’ll give Patriot this: I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a shinier top plate. The thing barely looks real, so deep and speckled is the metallic aluminum finish. That sensational silver is framed by black—black plastic all around the edges of the keyboard, black keys, and black buttons.
Patriot gets points for using a standard bottom row; I will forever be baffled by gaming keyboard makers who get cute with the bottom row. If there’s a reason to go non-standard, great; but Patriot wisely chose to not break what wasn’t broken. There is no column of macro keys on the V765 as there is on the V770, but there are a few extra buttons.
Just above the F1-F4 keys, you’ll find four dedicated media buttons with stop, play/pause, forward, back controls. Across the way, above the numpad, is a volume roller. I never did get it work for its intended purpose, though, and there’s no way to program it within the accompanying software. (After reaching out to Patriot about the issue, it seems I’ve discovered a bug in the latest firmware release. It’s being fixed for the next release.) For what it’s worth, it has a stepped action, and it’s rather stiff compared to other rollers I’ve used. That’s not a bad thing, necessarily.
The underside of the V765 is unremarkable—there’s no cable routing trough or anything. There are, though, two flip-down feet that give you a bit of a typing angle. It’s not too flat by default, with a pitch of maybe five degrees. The feet just about double that.
The cable is a nice touch, with a braided red-and-black design that nicely matches the rest of the keyboard. It’s not removable, though, so you’ll have to be careful not to stress it if you transport the V765 anywhere.