Havit KB487L Review

The Havit KB487L is an entry-level TKL that is focused on work and play balance with the inclusion of a complete numpad. It features multicoloured PBT keycaps and there are two colourways to choose from. In addition to this Halloween-inspired version, there is a white Chalk design. The KB487L is currently only available with Jixian Red switches, but hopefully we’ll see a tactile version in the future. This looks like good value for money at only $50, so let’s see if that’s the case.

Package contents

With this layout the Nav cluster is replaced with a complete numpad. You still have access to all the Nav Cluster keys via the Fn layer. This is going to be ideal if work or school involves typing lots of numbers, but you still want that smaller form factor for gaming or extra desk space. The only real downside of this layout for me was the lack of dedicated Delete key, but you can always use AutoHotkey to do a remapping. I never use Caps Lock, so I conveniently turned it into a dedicated Delete key. The Fn layer also features media controls and a shortcut to your default music player.

Nav Cluster replaced with a numpad

Num Lock is activated via Fn + Back Space, and the numpad actually features white backlighting to indicate whether it is activated or not. The rest of the keyboard does not have backlighting. It kind of makes sense, because the keycaps are stylised and the legends aren’t shine-through, but I also think RGB is a an expected feature at this price point, even if you’re just getting an underglow. If this is a dealbreaker for you, the Havit KB851L has the exact same layout, but comes with black pudding caps and full RGB. Just keep in mind that this board features the louder clicky switches as opposed to the quieter linears on here.

Jixian Red switches

The KB487L comes with the budget Jixian switches, and I have used their clicky blues before on another Havit and Pictek board. Quite similar to Outemu Reds, probably a bit more scratchy and there was some metal ping. These linears are rated for 50M keypresses with an actuation force of 50g. Not the greatest switches ever, but more than adequate for an entry-level budget board. An area where budget boards often fall short is stabilisers, but the stabs on here were a pleasant surprise and the rattle is minimal. They come with a tiny bit of factory lube, but it just feels like quality stabilisers with well-balanced wires. I was especially impressed with the feel and sound of space bar. Even though the switches do have some metal ping on the upstroke, it was barely audible during actual use, and this is a good sounding keyboard. At $50 the typing experience definitely exceeded my expectations.

Halloween vibes

I love the aesthetics of these keycaps, and this unit features a combination of black, orange and beige colours. It has a kind of retro look, but I’m also getting Halloween vibes here. It is extremely rare to find PBT at this price point, so this is a very impressive feature. These PBT caps are more resistant to wear and shine than ABS. They are laser-etched though, so the legends could collect dirt and/or fade over time. Not quite as nice as dye-subbed caps. They have a textury feel with thick walls of 1.5mm – very good quality. The legends are fairly small with a bold font, and the grey is a little hard to discern on the orange keycaps, but just a nitpick. The case has a two piece design with a top cover, giving the keyboard a sunkey key profile as opposed to the raised profile. There is a little plaque on the front right featuring some Havit branding. If you don’t mind the lack of RGB, this is a very attractive looking board.

Havit branding on the case

The KB487L is fairly light at 830g, but the case doesn’t feel cheaply made. It features a steel mounting plate and I didn’t find the frame too bendy. The top cover simply clicks into the mounting plate, and everything is held together with 14 Philip’s head screws. The cable is braided but unfortunately it is not detachable. On the underside there are two foldouts, and the bottom rubber feet are pretty substantial and prevents the board from sliding around. The switches are soldered so this isn’t a hot swap board. As far as software goes, there doesn’t seem to be any, which is understandable as there is no RGB. You can always just use AutoHotkey for remapping or creating key combinations.

Beige, black and orange colours

So I think this is a very impressive little budget board, especially if you’re looking for a smaller form factor without sacrificng the numpad. There are a few downsides, such as the budget switches and lack of RGB, but the KB487L offers appreciable aesthetics, excellent stabilisers and PBT keycaps. At $50 I definitely think this is good value.

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