Stop separating work and play! Game ON!
Upgrade your gaming experience with the IOGEAR Kaliber HVER Stealth Keyboard. Enjoy comfortable concave keypads, brown boxed style anti-wobble mechanical keys, N-Key Rollover, adjustable lighting, sturdy aluminum frame, risers, rubber anti-slip pads, plug-and-play right out of the box, and a generously long USB-A cable. Quite a steal for under $50! IOGEAR provided a comfortable gaming experience without breaking the bank.
- EASE OF USE
Gaming keyboard ensures that your day isn’t all work and no play.
As my teenage son expanded his interest in gaming, consoles drifted into second place, directly behind the “PC Master Race.” He expressed interest in playing Minecraft and Roblox with his friends, Typer Shark to work on his typing skills, and to play Fortnite. We had a basic computer set up for school with the ability to play some games.
Excited about his foray into a new accessorizable world, he quickly desired upgrades to the “gaming” setup. With school out and amazing grades rolling in, I asked what he wanted. Without hesitation, he requested to start with a light-up gaming keyboard and then possibly get a gaming mouse.
The IOGEAR HVER STEALTH RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard arrived in a 19 1/4 inches long by 7 3/8 inches wide by 2 1/8 inches thick retail package. The cover panel displayed the company name/logo at the top left of the panel in bright white font. The HVER Stealth name was displayed along the bottom left using an attractive rainbow-gradient block letter font.
The KALIBER Gaming name/logo was presented at the top right of the cover panel while the bottom panel listed three product features:
- Dust/Debris Resistant boxed mechanical switches.
- RGB per-key backlighting.
- Rigid Brushed aluminum chassis.
The dark-colored background provided a perfect backdrop for the raised, glossy, photo-quality image of the keyboard. I loved that they chose to use blue/purple room backlighting to create a stacked backlight appearance.
The RGB backlit keys contrasted nicely against the metallic black gaming keyboard, which then contrasted against the dark backdrop. The resulting image provided a vibrant representation of the device and key layout. I liked that the company shied away from plain vanilla colors. Instead, they created a playful and colorful presentation.
The lime green top, side, and bottom panels continued the playful theme. The top panel listed the KG icon, HVER STEALTH name in bold white font, RGB Mechanical Keyboard, and IOGEAR name. Both side panels provided a small top-down view of the gaming keyboard, HVER Stealth name in bold white font, RGB Mechanical Keyboard, and the KG icon.
The bottom panel provided a list of packaging contents (GKB740 Keyboard/Quick Start Guide/Warranty Card), chemical warnings, product manufacturing labels, and copyright/design details. The back panel provided the IOGEAR name in white font and the HVER STEALTH name in rainbow block font at the top left corner. The KG icon was present along the top right and the system requirements (windows 8.1/10/11, USB 2.0 Port) were listed at the bottom right.
Like the cover panel, the main focal point of the rear panel was the large image of the keyboard. The company did a great job with the black background and the contrasting color-filled lighting and the white font. However, instead of displaying the entire keyboard, the panel successfully showcased the Numpad and KALIBER GAMING name.
You will find a list of ten product features to the right of the keyboard:
- Boxed mechanical switches reduce wobble and increase resistance to dust/debris.
- RGB per-key programmable backlight with multiple lighting patterns.
- Fully programmable keys for macro functions, shortcuts, etc.
- Complete anti-ghosting with full key rollover so you never miss a keystroke.
- Kaliber Gaming software to set custom backlighting and keyboard functions.
- Windows key lockout function.
- Double-injected keycaps never wear off.
- W,A,S,D keys and arrow keys functions can be swapped for MMO and left-handed gamers.
- Aluminum chassis provides a solid, flex-free platform.
- Heavy weight base for added stability when gaming. For added exposure, the features were also listed in French and Spanish languages.
I removed the lower flap, lifted the cover, and removed the plastic-wrapped gaming keyboard from the foam inserts. Before disposing of the outer packaging, make sure to remove the large 16-panel Quick Start Guide, the smaller white troubleshooting (with IOGEAR.com QR code)/product registration card, and the black key remover tool. The 17 1/2 inches long by 5 1/4 inches wide by 3/4 inches tall keyboard had a triangular base shape.
The back edge of the wedge-shaped keyboard was ~1/2 inches taller than the front of the gaming keyboard and created a comfortable/ergonomic height gradient. Each of the 5/8 inches tall keys, except for the spacebar, had a finger-fitting concave design. The gaming keyboard was arrayed in standard QWERTY fashion with a top row that contained ESC/REC, F1-F12 arranged in three segments of four, PrtSc, ScrLK, Pause.
The following row contained the tilde, number keys, -/=, backspace key, then the insert, home, and PgUp keys. The next row contained the tab key, followed by QWERTYUIOP\ keys, and then the Del, End, and PgDn buttons. The fourth row contained the caps lock button, ASDFGHJKL;’ buttons, and enter key.
The fifth row contained the left shift button, ZXCVBNM,./ keys, the right shift button, and then the up arrow. The bottom row provided the left control button, windows key, alt button, spacebar, right alt button, function button, menu button, right control button, followed by the left, down, and right arrows.
You will find a NUMPAD at the far-right segment of the gaming keyboard with an additional five rows of keys. The top row provided the NUM key, and /*/- buttons. The second row provided the 789 buttons and shared the + button with the 456 buttons on the third row. The fourth row listed the 123 buttons and shared the enter button with the 0 and . buttons of the bottom row.
Each of the gaming keyboard keys had a muted grey cutout that denoted the button function. Some of the keys had a bold white overlay that detailed the add-on secondary functionality. As an example, the Escape key also had “REC” printed in white font, while the 1-5 buttons had CM1, CM2, CM3, CM4, CM5 respectively.
The – button had a walking icon, the = button had a run icon, and also had what appeared to be brightness functions as well. Each of the function keys had an icon with secondary functions, as did the Ins/pgup/del/end/pgdn/up/down/left/right buttons. Just above the KALIBER GAMING name printed at the top right of the keyboard, you will find LED lock indicators for Num, Caps, Scroll, and Windows lock.
The base of the gaming keyboard was made of striped plastic. You will find dual expandable risers at the top left/right of the base panel. When deployed, the risers lifted the back of the keyboard an additional 9/16 inches from the base. The resulting elevation change allowed the keyboard to feel a bit more ergonomic, with improved wrist positioning.
To prevent slippage, the company added two 1 5/16 inches wide by 1/2 inches tall rubberized anti-slip grips at the front edge of the base. They included a centrally located HVER STEALTH plaque, with model number (GK8740), barcode, and product manufacturing labels. Lastly, you will find a generous 65 inches long braided USB-A cable jutting from the top of the keyboard.
To test the device, I plugged the USB-A prong of the gaming keyboard into my desktop, in both the off and on status, and then repeated this test with my wife’s Lenovo Laptop. The computers quickly registered the device without any requirement to search for drivers. To evaluate the features of the device, I reviewed the waxy pages of the helpful, sixteen-panel Quick Start guide.
The second panel detailed the contents, requirements, and plug-and-play hardware installation. The third panel listed information about the HVER interface software installation (free download), and an operation guide that extended to the fourth and fifth panels. Interestingly, the panel numbering system skipped the cover and assigned the second through fifth panels with green 1-4 numbers. I was initially a bit confused until I realized that the manual presented the same information in two additional languages.
The operation guide described the four LED mentioned above and then provided verbiage about the keyboard features/functions. For example, the manual described the goals of the lockout buttons from interfering with your gaming/work session. The mechanical nature of the keyboard provided full NKRO (N-Key Rollover), which meant that every key pressed will be recorded.
This was mentioned to contrast against ghosting that can occur with nonmechanical keyboards, whereby keys pressed may be missed by the device/software. The manual detailed the three functions of the LED edge light function (solid, pulsing/breathing, off) and the ability to toggle these functions with the Fn+F9 key combination. The backlight function had 15 built-in modes, which were adjusted through the Fn+F9 key combination.
My son loved that he was able to adjust several parameters of the lighting using the Fn system: up arrow to adjust pattern color back, down arrow to adjust color forward, left arrow to shift light flow direction right, right arrow to shift flow direction left, + to increase speed, and – to decrease speed.
I believe that my son easily spent thirty minutes playing with the different lighting features alone. Over the last two weeks, he has adjusted the settings several times and ultimately decided to create his own custom lightning effect following the instruction manual. He did test the feature and liked that the setup could be done mechanically instead of using the software.
To adjust the setting, press the FN+1 button, then Press FN/esc to see the four status LED illuminate/flash. Press each key that you want to illuminate and cycle through the options (red, off, blue, off, violet, off, white, off, green off, yellow, off). When done, press FN+esc again to exit the mode. You can repeat the process for Fn-2 through FN-5. Through this method, you can adjust the colors for the keys that you want and even turn off large segments of the keyboard.
The keyboard comes with preprogrammed hotkeys for F1-12 (my computer, web browser, email, calculator, stop, previous track, play/pause, next track, change lighting, volume down, volume up, mute). I appreciated the functionality of the keyboard and found it to be quite useful and ready-to-play out of the box.
As a bonus feature, you can use macro key functions through the download the software (I did not download the software to my son’s computer). The keys were incredibly comfortable and quite responsive. To test the key sensitivity, I navigated to livechat.com and took the speed test a half dozen times. I was able to repeatedly achieve 97-103 words per minute with 97-100% accuracy.
I felt the key height to be reasonable, the keys were responsive, and the tests showcased the quality of the N-Key Rollover. The keyboard worked perfectly for my son and exceeded his every expectation for a gaming keyboard. I missed having a wrist shield like the Vulcan keyboard that I had previously utilized. However, the absence of the feature was not a negative for the IOGEAR keyboard. Additionally, for nearly a third of the price, I felt that the IOGEAR device was a steal.