TVS-E Gold Bharat Mechanical Keyboard (PS/2) — First Impressions

If you were to search for the cheapest mechanical keyboard in India, and if you take the hat that says “Don’t buy India-based manufacturer’s peripherals” and look at it with fresh eyes then it may so happen that you’ll end up having a glance at this awesome piece of hardware in the Indian market. Let’s jump into my first impressions on the same.

The part that I’ve skipped here is unboxing. It’s not the most pleasant experience. The only things you’d receive will be:

Not so awesome of a box. The keyboard itself and a warranty card.

Build Quality:

One of the reasons I guess TVS didn’t invest much on packing, could be the quality, boy this thing is built like a tank. The keyboard bears the responsibility to keep the box safe from all the damages that may occur during transit. It’s sturdy, heavier and bigger than mostly all membrane and chiclet style keyboards. So don’t expect it to fit in a small desk or don’t expect it to be portable. There is a bit of flex to it, but come on given the portability and size I’m sure no one is going to use it as a tarpaulin. It’s something that’s going to sit aside and work for years to come(hopefully).

Availability:

It’s available online and offline. It’s available in full size black colour 104 standard key layout format only. The port options you get is either PS/2 or USB (I choose PS/2). Also you have a version of the same that comes with support of multiple Indian languages(not really interested, so I didn’t even look at it). For some reason this keyboard it’s not advertised at all. You should be able to get this keyboard, with in the range of ₹1600-₹2000 depending on your location.

First impressions:

Honestly I was very exited about this keyboard(I would like to use and review even more, feel free to gift me some). I have used many membrane keyboards and this is my first experience of owning a mechanical keyboard. My dad has been using a similar older model for about 10 years now(and he’s really good with it).

Straight of this is not for people who are into ninja style stealth silent mode of typing. So if you in an office/library sort of environment, with many people around, you’re probably going to disturb them with these switches. If you have tested and tried membrane/chiclet keyboards and if you want to significantly improve your typing. Then your first approach to affordable and good mechanical keyboard could be this TVS keyboard.

Switches:

The TVS-e Gold Bharat(PS/2 or USB) keyboard features Cherry MX Blue switches. It’s not mentioned anywhere in the box, or the official product page. I did see a listing online that mentioned these keyboards feature brown switches. But that’s not true.

And how do I know that?

1. Out of cherry MX Black, Blue, Green, Red, Brown switches. Only the blue switches have a distinct(and disturbing for some) click-clack sound as demonstrated below.

2. Photographic evidence:

DSC04281

As the name suggests the Cherry MX Blue switches are literally blue in colour.

According to the literature the Cherry MX blue switches have two distinct points of activations:

Blue

Clicks: need 45 grams of force. This is about 2mm from the resting position of the key, which is about half way through the base of the keyboard.

Clacks: needs 50 grams of force. This peak force, forces the switch to go all the way down of the keystroke. This one is about 4mm from the resting position of the key. Normally this is the way we “hit” keys like enter, shift and space keys.

So what this mean to you the users? It may require some more force to type. The tactile feedback is really sweet. It gives a pleasant and fatigue free typing for long duration. Not really good for gamers since the key remains activated from half way through to the base. To reset the switch you literally have to get the key back to its resting position, Cherry MX Red switches could be a better option. But you can try this keyboard if you prefer the tactile Cherry MX blue switches.

For a rough comparison between the audio feedback of the chiclet, membrane and the mechanical keyboard you can have a look at this small demonstration:

Compare this keyboard with one of the available options The Steelseries 6Gv2 Gaming keyboard the keys/ key formats is nearly the same, except for n-key rollover and better anti-ghosting. But that keyboard costs triple the cost of this TVS keyboard.

And you won’t be needing n key roll-over unless you type with your hands and heads.

Trade off’s:

1. It’s not silent, can be a bit noisy in office like environments.

2. The backspace key is actually the size of the normal alphabet keys, and may take some time to use to.

3. The Rupee symbol is a part of their proprietary font, it’s not universal.(Kind of obvious)

My recommendation for TVS to improve their mechanical keyboard segment:

1. Better packaging and unboxing experience. I know the keyboards are strong enough, but seriously a better box would help a lot. Also including some accessories like PS/2 to USB adapter and a keycap removal tool would be just too cool. Obviously keeping the price below ₹2500.

2. Even more options! More colours? A 10-key-less model? More options with the switches, at least the Cherry MX red? More colour options for keycaps? USB and Audio pass through ports? Monochrome Backlit keys? N-key roll-over?

3. The flaps that give inclination to the keyboard should have rubber tips.

4. Availability from your own website for the keyboard and the extra accessories that I mentioned above.

I’m going to use this keyboard for 3 months and then post my full review on the quality, performance, typing experience and tell you guys if it really improves the typing experience.

Let me know in the comments section below if you want my version of explanation of the switches or something regarding the keyboard that needs to be covered. There is a Linustechtips’s Techquickie on different types of switches, if you are interested to watch it click here.

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