The first thing you'll notice upon opening up the box and pulling out your Havit 366L keyboard is just how heavy it is. And I mean that in the best way possible. I'll get into this later, but so often the mid tier mechanical keyboards made from plastic just don't feel solid enough to bang away at over an extended life time. They look pretty, and they sound nice, but you almost feel bad using them because they aren't practical. The 366L is the opposite of that. Below you'll find my in-depth review for this badass mechanical keyboard.
This thing is solid. I'll say it again just for emphasis - thje Havit 366L is a sturdy freaking mechanical keyboard. The exact listed weight is 1296 grams, or close to 3 lb, but that doesn't do it justice. For comparison's sake, the Razer Chroma comes in at 3.3 lb, but that's including all the extra bells and whistles that bump its price tag to the stratosphere. The 366L on the other hand is a metal board and keys. Now that board happens to be an absolutely beautiful piece of brushed aluminum layered on top of a metal base, but you get the idea. Board, keys.
Taking a closer look, you start to notice the little things. The Havit logo stamped into the aluminum right above the arrow keys. The beveled edges that flow outwards from the top of the keyboard. The slightly blueish tint to the corners of the base. It all comes together into a gorgeous piece of machinery. And did I mention how sturdy it is?
Important to note that the design of the board/keys is suspended, meaning the keys themselves are floating above the board for ease of access if you ever needed/wanted to switch out your keycaps. A nice little design choice I think, especially for first-time mechanical keyboard owners.
Here's where things start to break down, just a little bit. Forgive me for being a mechanical keyboard purist, but I was raised on Cherry switches. Not that I haven't experimented - Omron, Kailh, you name it, I've probably tried it. There's just something about the Cherry's that keeps me coming back. Maybe its the brand name, the craftsmanship. I'm not sure to be honest, but I just know that I've always preferred Cherry switches.
For the 366L, Havit went with Otemu blues (Cherry MX blue clones). Which makes a lot of sense if you consider the price tag of this keyboard. Going into this review I knew that I would using the Otemu switches, and as part of my moral code decided I would need to have an open mind (Ugh).
The Otemu blues are hit and miss for me. I understand they are clones and should be nearly identical to the Cherry MX blues I'm used to, but something just feels slightly off. Maybe its the sound, the way the space bar sometimes catches at the bottom of a key press. They're just not truly Cherry blues. And that's fine.
Nitpicking about the quality of keyswitches for a likely entry level mechanical keyboard is like knocking a $200 guitar for not being a Martin. The Otemu's get you that same great mechanical taste, maybe 95% of the way there, and if you truly feel you need that last 5%, its time to upgrade anyways.
Admittedly, this section of the review will be sparse (relative to the above). The 366L does have some awesome features, don't get me wrong, but you're not buying this mechanical keyboard for the extra bells and whistles.
You get a couple different pre-programmed RGB backlight modes - rainbow/marquee (bunch of colors across the board), breathing (flashes in and out), and the solid colors. I've never been a huge RGB guy myself, it just seems unnecessary for most users and, let's be honest, bumps up the price for most boards. That being said, the 366L does it as good or better than anything out there. Because the design is a suspended type, where the key switches are exposed, you really get to see the full breadth of what an RGB keyboard can do. I just wish it was more customizable, for example if I wanted to only highlight the WASD keys. And that leads me into a larger point - the 366L does not support any types of programming. Macro's, custom lighting, etc. This is really where the lack of features stems from.
On the other hand, and this is the common theme of my review if you hadn't noticed - most people don't need that stuff. For the average mechanical keyboard user, you're going to notice the board quality, the switches, and if you get to show-off some badass color modes, which the 366L has in spades, that's just icing on the cake.
This will be my favorite part to write because I think a lot of people will be shocked by just how cheap this thing is. On Amazon right now, go check for yourself if you don't believe me, the Havit 366L is selling for $59.99 (a 40% discount). What that means is a board that was initially priced and built for the mid/high end is retailing at a much more affordable price for most people. An entry level mechanical keyboard with high end build quality. Nice.
I hate doing final verdicts because I always end up feeling too harsh or too lenient. I like the guys at Havit, I really do, and that's what makes writing an impartial review so hard.
Here's what I think, my honest opinion - for the price right now on Amazon (read: $59.99 as of 11/19/16), the Havit 366L is a solid entry level mechanical keyboard. Its got great build quality, the Otemu blue clones perform well and would only be noticeable to seasoned keyboard veterans, and it has RGB capabilities to top it all off. That being said, for the original asking price of $99.99 I can understand why some people might be turned off - the 366L just doesn't have all the bells and whistles to compete with the higher end boards (i.e. customization).