If a mechanical keyboard is something you are not used to using on a regular basis, using one as your main keyboard may take a bit of getting used to. The Otemu blue switches, like all blue switches, produce a very noticeable “click” when depressed, and give off that classic sound that is associated with mechanical keyboards. Blue switches can be some of the loudest, but the Otemu units that HAVIT chose for the HV-KB378L were no louder than any other blue switches we have used in the past. The response of the switches is very good, and they were quick to pop back up into place, ready for another use right away.
Our major complaint about the HV-KB378L is the layout of the non-removable wrist rest. The three separate plastic pieces that make up the wrist rest area are all different sizes, which ends up providing you with an uneven surface for your wrists. While the look of the HV-KB378L’s wrist rest may set it apart from other keyboards, the design choice is something buyers are stuck with, since you can’t remove the wrist rest. We were able to remove a few screws from the base of the keyboard, which allowed the three pads to be removed from the keyboard. This left us with a bit of excess aluminum from the body of the keyboard that could be used as a bit of a wrist rest. This however is definitely not an ideal solution.
Reviewing a gaming keyboard wouldn’t be complete without a bit of gaming testing, so we fired up a few of our latest favorites, Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite Battle Royale. Both games hail from the last-man-standing, “Battle Royale” genre, and feature quick-paced action. While our personal mechanical switch preference for gaming is the classic Cherry MX Red, or similar, the Otemu blue switches held their own just fine. The tactile click of the switches did take a bit to get used to when coming from MX Reds, but the quick response of the blues was plenty to keep us in the game. We didn’t notice any errant key presses, as the N-Key rollover feature takes care of that issue.
As far as lighting goes, HAVIT has gone the route of providing on-board lighting control, as opposed to a software-based solution. While this allows for quick and easy changes to be made right from the keyboard, it removes the option of a fine-tuned, custom lighting layout. By using the FN key and an additional key (Insert, Home, Page Up, Page Down, Delete, and End), you can cycle through various lighting effects on the HV-KB378L. The speed, direction, and brightness can also be adjusted, adding a bit more variety to the included lighting patterns. Unfortunately, the blue light strips along the top edge of the keyboard can not be configured, and are always glowing when the keyboard is plugged in. Even if the color couldn’t be adjusted, we would have liked to see the option to dim or disable these lights.