IOGEAR's Kaliber Gaming brand of products recently introduced the HVER PRO RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard which at first glance, looks similar to other entries in the already crowded market of gaming mechanical keyboards. Closer inspection does reveal some interesting features, but for the most part the HVER PRO does beg the question of why you would want this keyboard over other ones available for sale. There are two versions of the keyboard with the only difference being the mechanical switch used with brown and red sets available. For this review I was provided the red switches and my personal favorite when using mechanical keyboards. Before we get into the typing and gaming performance, let's dig into the build quality and design of the keyboard.
Build Quality and Design
At first glance the keyboard is hard to differentiate from others in the market of RGB gaming keyboards. However, that isn't a bad thing because the actual build quality is solid with its top metal body and high quality RGB lighting. While the design might not stand out it does feature solid construction with a braided USB cable, highly-durable rubber feet, and a built-in key changer that clips into the bottom of the keyboard. Speaking of the keyboard's bottom, it is one of the sturdiest designs I've seen in terms of weight and consists of a non-sliding design. This keyboard is going to stay in place no matter the situation. From a technical prospective, the keyboard gets all the basics right with a slim design and build quality that will stand the test of time of hauling back and forth to LAN parties.
As someone that has reviewed a fair share of RGB keyboards, I was impressed with both the color options available and quality of RGB switches in the HVER PRO. The RGB lighting includes a wide variety of rainbow-orientated options that incorporate effects ranging from rain and waves to explosions and eruptions. Even better is that no software is required to change the lighting as there are built-in function options on select keys that enable easy cycling through the effects. My personal favorite lighting effect is the Rainbow Pulse option that pulses every key randomly through different colors that ends up creating an aesthetically pleasing look as well as zen type of relaxing mood. The key caps are raised slightly above the metal keyboard top giving the RGB mechanical switches full light to shine even better and ultimately make for an overall pleasing look.
My only gripe with the keyboard's design is the choice of font used which makes particular numbers, smaller symbols, and punctuation downright hard to read at a glance. Font choice on keyboards should be immediately readable and not require extra study to determine the letter, symbol, or word. While not a deal breaker for me personally, I can see some potential buyers being put off by the font choice. I understand this is a gaming keyboard and the font is trying to be a bit more edgy, but ultimately that doesn't need to make readability suffer in the process.
Typing and Gaming Performance
If you've typed before on a mechanical keyboard, all of those basics follow through with this one: loud, tactile touches on every press. With these being red mechanical switches, I was used to their light press required for activation and noticeable clicky sound when typing. I initially did find a tendency to make more mistakes with this keyboard versus a previous red switch keyboard with the Corsair Strafe. It was almost as if the actuation point for the keys were far less than the Strafe though I was soon able to overcome this with more time on the keyboard. As for the sound of this particular keyboard, the keys do sound quite clicky when typing up a storm and any mechanical keyboard fan should fall right in love, which is to say don't use this one in an office environment.
As for gaming I found no issues with the keyboard as it features full anti-ghosting technology to ensure every key press is registered properly. Games tested ranged from strategy and simulation to first and third person shooters. The red switches do make gaming a breeze as keys don't require nearly any pressure to register, which in turns makes longer gaming sessions a pleasure on the fingers. Gamers can also use the function key to disable the Windows key when playing games to avoid the disastrous, accidental start menu pop-up. I've used more expensive Razer and Corsair mechanical keyboards and I can testify that the HVER PRO performs admirably in comparison to both its similar and higher priced competition.
The keyboard's software is a bit limited in functionality and design in that some odd restrictions are in place such as only three profiles. While it does include the normal functions such as allowing users to set up shortcuts, hotkeys, and macro functions, the way in which menus are set up are not the most user friendly. Setting up custom color options for keys is a real pain to use and seems like a user interface that was designed in the early 2000's.
At a suggested retail price of $79.95 I do find that a bit high for the feature set on display with HVER PRO. Everything about the keyboard is put together in a solid package that is hard to fault it too much for any small annoyance. I just wish it would have done a bit more to make it stand out among the heavily crowded market of mechanical gaming keyboards, especially when other brands such as Razer and Corsair are pushing out new keyboards with new and unique features.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.
I've been writing for Gaming Nexus since 2011 and focus primarily on PC games and hardware. I'm a strong advocate of independent developers and am always seeking the next genre-breaking and unique game releases. My favorite game genres are strategy, role-playing, and simulation, or any games that feature open worlds and survival elements.View Profile