IOGear Kaliber Gaming Hver Stealth Keyboard Review

IOGear’s Kaliber Gaming Hver Stealth Keyboard ($49.95) could be virtually unimaginable to establish with out the brand in its top-right nook. It appears to be like generically equivalent to just about each different gaming keyboard in the marketplace—black with RGB backlighting and a number of capabilities assigned to virtually each non-alphanumeric key. On the plus facet, let’s repeat the value: $49.95, for most of the identical options you may discover on a lot costlier keyboards from better-known producers. If solely the Kaliber’s typing expertise and software program had been higher, it would be a slam-dunk price range purchase. As is, it is merely a satisfactory one. 

A Basic Board With Mystery Switches

The Hver Stealth is a full-size 104-key keyboard, measuring 1.5 by 17.6 by 5.3 inches. It comes kitted out with tactile switches—IOGear does not title the important thing change producer, however refers to them as “brown boxed mechanical switches”—in an aluminum body. This provides the keyboard some heft, and with no removable cable, odds are that it isn’t going to be taken on many journeys, which should not be an issue for customers who do not need to recreation on the go.

More or much less the entire customary options for a mechanical keyboard are right here, together with N-key rollover, per-key-programmable RGB lighting, and the power to assign customized macros to particular person keys. Many of the inputs already serve a twin function: Most of the highest perform row is assigned to media controls, the cursor arrow keys management the RGB lighting, and so forth. These controls are helpful for managing the Hver Stealth with out having to make use of its devoted software program.

IOGear Kaliber Gaming Hver Stealth Keyboard left half

(Photo: Nathaniel Mott)

To be blunt, although, I do not like typing on the Hver Stealth. The keys are too delicate for my liking, so I ended up typing a bunch of unintended anagrams as a substitute of precise phrases. That’s normally solely an issue for me when typing on a keyboard with linear switches, nevertheless it recurred with the tactile-style Kaliber. This is the primary time shortly that I’ve needed to put aside the keyboard I’m testing to jot down the evaluation; that is how a lot the important thing switches tripped me up. They’re merely not analogous to a different sort of mechanical change I’ve used earlier than. 

IOGear Kaliber Gaming Hver Stealth Keyboard lighting

(Photo: Nathaniel Mott)

I believe the issue is that the Hver Stealth’s mechanical switches are caught someplace between desirous to be linear (straight keypresses with no bump or click on) and being tactile. There is not a lot of a bump in the course of the keypress, and it feels as if the suggestions level and actuation level are virtually the identical, so I can not depend on the bump to point when I’ve really typed one thing. Some typists could like that feeling, however I need my tactile switches to supply a little bit extra readability with every keypress.

IOGear Kaliber Gaming Hver Stealth Keyboard edge view

(Photo: Nathaniel Mott)

IOGear Kaliber Gaming Hver Stealth Keyboard base

(Photo: Nathaniel Mott)

The upside of getting linear switches that aspire to be tactile once they develop up is that the Hver Stealth performs nicely in video games. I did not discover any dropped inputs whereas enjoying Valorant, for instance, nor did I discover myself unintentionally utilizing up my talents earlier than a spherical began. (Or at the least not more than normal; I appear to excel at losing a bunch of creds whereas I’m nonetheless in spawn.) I instantly bumped into issues after I tried typing one thing in chat, however I in all probability should not be losing time with that anyway, so I will not complain.

Performing nicely as a gaming keyboard is an efficient factor, particularly since that is how IOGear markets the Hver Stealth. But there are some elements of the board, from the inclusion of devoted shortcut keys for launching a browser or Windows’ calculator to offering a full quantity pad, that appear at odds with the give attention to gaming. Why not use these shortcut keys for one thing else, or ditch the keypad to supply higher ergonomics or save desk area?

IOGear Kaliber Gaming Hver Stealth Keyboard keypad

(Photo: Nathaniel Mott)

These, nevertheless, are issues of choice. I seldom use the numeric keypad, however I’m additionally not an accountant; some folks refuse to make use of keyboards that lack pads. I like extra of a bump in my tactile switches; some folks do not need to really feel something whereas they sort. (Insert unhappy Reddit jokes right here.) Considering its value, the truth that I’m not dismissing the keyboard outright is an endorsement, regardless of these nitpicks.

A Utility From Another Age

I want I may say the identical concerning the software program. Pop quiz: How usually must you obtain software program from an organization you are unfamiliar with? Then, after you’ve got downloaded it, how usually must you proceed with the set up after Microsoft Defender warns you that it is unable to establish the app’s developer? The reply to each questions is “Practically by no means,” but that is precisely what you need to do if you wish to handle the Hver Stealth’s lighting or key assignments with IOGear’s software program.

Since PCMag pays me to judge merchandise in full, I proceeded with the set up after working the app by VirusTotal’s safety suite and getting a inexperienced mild, however underneath unusual circumstances I’d have hesitated. I used to be rewarded for my pluck with an app that jogged my memory of a Windows Media Player pores and skin relationship again to Windows Millennium Edition.

IOGear Kaliber Gaming keyboard software profiles

The software program seems in a nonstandard window—presumably as a result of IOGear thinks that is what avid gamers need—and will not win any design awards. But it does supply quite a lot of lighting results, the power to reassign keys, and the choice to automate widespread duties by recording macros.

IOGear Kaliber Gaming keyboard software macros

IOGear Kaliber Gaming keyboard software lighting

In 2022, although, “does what it is speculated to” does not reduce the mustard. Manufacturers should not be encouraging their prospects to put in questionable software program that appears prefer it was made for a decades-old model of Windows. Razer and Logitech supply state-of-the-art software program; IOGear’s is ho-hum at finest.

The Verdict: A Price-Aggressive, But Perplexing, Pick

I used to be shocked by IOGear’s Kaliber Gaming Hver Stealth. Among the nice surprises, the keyboard has a braided cable as a substitute of a low-quality rubber-coated one and gives per-key RGB backlighting, N-key rollover, and different options sometimes present in significantly costlier gaming keyboards. It does not really feel low cost or flimsy, both.

The unhealthy surprises: The Stealth’s tactile switches aren’t significantly tactile, its software program set up is unnerving, and the app appears like a flashback to a bygone age of gaming PCs.

IOGear Kaliber Gaming Hver Stealth Keyboard profile

(Photo: Nathaniel Mott)

I would not settle for these sacrifices in an $80 or $100 keyboard, however at $49.95 the Hver Stealth prices lower than a full-size mechanical keyboard of virtually any stripe. Granted, the mechanical key switches are nameless, however the keyboard’s negatives do not outweigh its worth so long as you are appropriately skeptical of the software program. If you need a gaming keyboard on the tightest of budgets, this IOGear is a good selection.

IOGear Kaliber Gaming Hver Stealth Keyboard

The Bottom Line

IOGear’s Kaliber Gaming Hver Stealth is a cost-effective mechanical gaming keyboard that lacks bells and whistles however makes up for it with strong construct high quality and a few options you’d anticipate at twice the value. Just avoid its software program.

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