Havit KB487L Review: Budget Keyboard, Interesting Layout


The Havit KB487L is an interesting Full/TKL hybrid keyboard.

Instead of opting for the traditional navigational cluster, Havit threw that out of the window and went for a number pad.

If you’re someone who does a ton of data entry but needs a keyboard with a compact layout – keep reading.

The Verdict

  • PBT keycaps
  • Interesting TKL/Full layout
  • Braided power cable
  • Poor branding
  • Low-quality switches
  • Non-detachable power cable

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Havit KB487L is a budget mechanical keyboard that attempts to appeal to a higher-end crowd with PBT keycaps and a unique layout.

The keyboard features a 3 color PBT keycap design balancing a cream, orange, and black aesthetic. At first glance, the KB487L looks stylish and attractive.

Upon taking a deeper look at the keyboard, we’re disappointed by the bones of build. With a Jixian switches (a low-quality clone switch) and rattily stabilizers, the keyboard is not very pleasant to use and type on.

While being PBT plastic, the keycaps have a cheap feel to them. They seem to be made through a dye-sub or laser-etching process, and it’s hard to tell as there is no info on the product about the manufacturing process.

Considering the low-price of the build (sub $50), it makes sense the keyboard uses these components, so you can’t fault the design too much.

Overall, the keyboard is not too bad of a purchase for the price, but I would’ve liked Havit to spend more on producing a well-built keyboard instead of a nice-looking design.

If you need a budget keyboard for the purpose of data entry and want to save a little desk space, this keyboard could be a good pick for you.


In The Box

In the box you get a few items so you can tinker with the build and figure out how to operate everything properly.

  • Wire keycap puller: The KB487L comes with a keycap puller so you can easily remove the keycaps. With a wire design, you don’t need to worry about scratching the sides of your keycaps – which is nice.
  • User’s Manual: A manual is also included to walk you through changing the settings. The keyboard is already pretty straightforward to use, so no big issues here.

Overall, we would have liked to see more add-ins in the box. Especially stickers.

Build Quality

The Havit KB487L features a case design that covers the bottom area of the keycaps, which leads to better acoustics and makes it more difficult for dust to accumulate under the keycaps.

The case is made entirely of plastic which gives it a bit of a rickety and flimsy feel, which I’m not a fan of. I’m all about a metal case design, where possible.

The sides of the case are ribbed, which is a little strange. My guess is the case is repurposed for a different design where there is RGB side-lighting, but this keyboard does not get those bells and whistles.

There is a single kickstand adjustment setting so you can increase the typing angle if needed.

The branding on the keyboard is not the best. It looks like they slapped the Havit logo on the keyboard and called it a day.

Overall, not to impressed by the build quality. A few upgrades could go a long way.

The Keycaps

At first glance, the keycaps make this keyboard look very exciting. The multi-color PBT design give it a nice aesthetic that reminds a bit of Halloween.

The function row has additional functionality on a lower level, so you can change the media settings.

There is no dedicated media keys, but it’s nice you access them on a lower layer at least.

The keycaps seems to be made through a dye-sub or laser-etching process. I tried to find it online but couldn’t. I would’ve really liked to see double-shot keycaps as it would result in cleaner legends and more pop to the colors.

The Switches

Once I popped the keycaps off, I realized the switches were from Jixian. I had assumed they would be from Outemu, a common budget switch brand, but surprised when it was Jixian.

There is not much info online about this switch manufacturer, but they are basically a super budget clone switch. For this reason, you can’t expect them to last very long and will feel very inconsistent switch-to-switch.

Using a no-name switch manufacturer like this is not what I like to see on a keyboard.

The switches themselves don’t feel too bad, just a bit rattily. Not much you can expect from this switch manufacturer.

The Stabilizers

The stabilizers are hit-and-miss. A couple of the keys feel smooth and quite-nice, while others are extremely rattily and shaky.

I’m not sure if the stabilizer bars popped off during transport, but they are pretty bad. Some factory applied lubricant and better case design would go a long ways to making these stabilizers feel and sound better.

With budget mechanical keyboards, the stabilizers are usually my biggest complaint. Such an easy thing to fix, but they are so often overlooked.

Recommended Alternative: Keychron K4

If you’re looking for a similar layout, but want a keyboard packed with better features, the Keychron K4 is your best bet.

The keyboard has wireless connectivity, Mac/Window compatibility, and comes with an aluminum frame.

Not to mention the switches are from Gateron, which is a more reputable switch manufacturer.

The K4 is one of our favorites and for good reason. While the price is slightly higher, the amount of utility you get out of it much better.

You can find the Keychron K4 on Amazon for a good price.

Conclusion

  • PBT keycaps
  • Interesting TKL/Full layout
  • Braided power cable
  • Poor branding
  • Low-quality switches
  • Non-detachable power cable

Rating: 3 out of 5.


The Havit KB487L is a keyboard that attempts to come up with an originative design with a high-end feel, but for the low price of $50, they have to sacrifice too much in terms of build quality to get there.

The PBT keycaps, interesting layout, and braided power cable are all things that pop out to you at first, but once you take a deeper look at the keyboard, the low quality switches and poor build lower the overall impressiveness.

If you do lots of data entry and have a restricted budget, you could find a reason to purchase this keyboard, but there are better options out there such as the Keychron K4.

Happy typing!

Jake Harrington

Jake has been an avid mechanical keyboard user for the past six years. He has a background in Mechanical Engineering and wants to apply his expertise to break down how mechanical keyboards and other tech work to show the world all of the cool aspects of the hobby.

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