Many of you know that I’ve always had a soft spot for budget mechs, as at the end of the day, these are expensive tools that not everyone can afford. And when we start seeing more advanced features on these budget boards, that’s when I get excited.
So today, I’m excited to check out the Velocifire TKL02 wireless mechanical keyboard.
DESIGN & BUILD
First impressions are very good. It feels solid in the hands with minimal flex, and it is packing some solid weight, coming in at just under a kilo, but if you chuck the cable on, it spills over.
And this is right up my alley when it comes to how it looks. This is just a nice and simple, no frills, tenkeyless board. I think the tenkeyless form factor is a good one to cater for most of the market, as not everyone needs the numpad, and it isn’t a foreign look.
The case is made from this slightly textured black plastic, which looks and feels good, and it doesn’t pick up any fingerprints. And it just has the standard OEM design that you see with a lot of other boards, with a high profile design, so the keyswitches are neatly hidden away. It has a slight natural inclination to it for that bit of angle.
On the rear there’s a USB type C port, so yet another board using USB C which is great to see.
And on the bottom there’s a couple of rubber feet for non-slip, and 2 flip up feet that are also nicely rubber tipped. And finally the on and off switch, because this is of course a wireless board.
To go with the clean theme, the keycaps are also pretty nice. These are solid 1.5mm doubleshot ABS plastic keycaps. So real solid because of its doubleshot nature, and the legends will never fade away, as they’re another piece of plastic. But I think the more impressive thing is that the legends themselves are clean. There’s no weird font, and there’s no gaps in the lettering at all, like you usually see.
The only thing that I’d rather not have is the Velocifire logo, but yeh, I’ll actually paint over this later.
And backlit keycaps means we have backlighting. And another great feauture is that it’s white. Not blue, not red, but just the good old neutral white that will fit into any environment. There’s not effects or patterns, so it’s just on and off, which is all you need really.
But now to the really cool feature of the keyboard. It’s wireless mode. Wireless. Like, I just think that’s crazy to have a wireless mech on a budget. I know there’s been a couple of 60% wireless boards in recent times, but yeh, before this just wasn’t a thing not that long ago.
This uses the wireless receiver we got in the box. So I can actually use it on my desktop PC which is great. But you won’t be able to use it with Bluetooth on like your phone or tablet or whatever. But you could use an OTG cable if you really wanted.
We have an 1850 maH lithium battery inside, and they claim that it lasts for 12 hours with backlighting on, and 90 hours with the backlighting off. Also keep in mind that the backlighting automatically turns off after 1 minute without use, in order to save battery.
I wasn’t able to verify the 90 hour claim, but with the backlight on I got about a week or two out of it, with a couple hours of use a day. But with the backlighting automatically turning off, it was kind of hard to keep track. But yeh, it seemed to last for a decent amount of time.
The performance is great. While typing and just casual use, it kept up absolutely fine.
Although there were a couple of instances where a key would just get stuck and spam whatever the key is. It only happened a couple of times, like once every few days. But to fix it, I had to turn it off and on again which was annoying and can potentially mess up whatever you’re working on.
The keyswitches in this are the Outemu Brown’s. So these are an MX Brown clone, being a tactile switch with a bump and no click. And here’s how they sound.
They feel pretty good for browns, because of the solid case and keycaps. So I actually found them to be reasonably tactile. The stabilisers aren’t the best, as they do rattle, so it’s probably wise to apply some lube if you can.
The bad thing though is that this is only available in the brown switch. So we don’t get a clicky blue, or a linear red. Just brown. While I think it’s a good switch to pick if you just go with one, it definitely would have been cool to have some variety, instead of being stuck with just the one.
Overall, while it may not look like much, this is a board that really has excited me. I haven’t been in the mech game for too long, but I’ve been here long enough to see that this keyboard is kind of special. It looks to be an OEM board, because I’ve seen some other very similar ones, but with a different brand, so keep an eye out for those.
Probably the most disappointing thing, is that this only comes in 1 keyswitch, being the Outemu Brown’s. Like it’s a fine keyswitch that people will like, but it would have been nice to have a Blue and a Red switch version, just to give us some variety. And then the random spasms it has once in a while isn’t great, even though it was rare. Although I haven’t read of anyone else having this issue.
But aside from that, I truly believe that this is one of the best mechs for someone on a budget, or for a beginner. We have the clean look, white backlighting, tenkeyless form factor with standard ANSI layout, great keycaps and font, solid build with an internal steel plate, and of course the wireless capability. And sorry if I’m sounding overwhelmingly positive, but that’s honestly what my personal opinion is, and as always, I will give my honest opinions.