TVS-e Bharat Gold USB Keyboard
Created: Mon Jan 27 11:44:42 2014 | Last modified: Mon Jan 27 12:03:15 2014
Price Paid: ~INR 1800
Warranty: 1 year TVS-e India
Probably the world's cheapest mechanical keyboard (costing around USD 30 at present exchange rates), TVS-e Bharat Gold is a Cherry MX Blue switch (the fact is not advertised on the website) 104-keys traditional keyboard. Indeed TVS-e is a brand that is popular in India, as a long-standing keyboard and peripherals manufacturer but is little known outside of our country. And the TVS-e Bharat Gold is the flagship keyboard of this company. The PS/2 variety of this keyboard is slightly cheaper and some people might prefer that version.
This keyboard looks traditional and feels solid. It is also much larger in size than the average membrane keyboard and a bit larger than some modern design mechanical keyboards. It feels solid in construction and is not of the smooth and shiny variety; rather, having a rough texture. The key-caps are well sculpted and feel fairly good while typing. After using a membrane keyboard, a mechanical keyboard is a true joy to use. Cherry MX Blue switches, in particular are both tactile and clicky, meaning that you get a nice, satisfying click noise when a key is actuated. There is no doubt that a mechanical keyboard is a real benefit for those who type long hours on the keyboard. Finger and wrist fatigue is noticeably reduced if not completely eliminated. This keyboard is meant for typists and programmers who require solid tactile feedback and a light, springy response. All in all this is a good, solid no-frills mechanical keyboard.
But having used it for a few months now, I have found a few keyswitches already not responding as well as when they were new. The original springiness and clickiness of the keyboard seems to be lost in some of the keys, in particular the comma and the F5 keys. Although not as clicky as before, it is still tactile, but a wee bit softer and stickier (which causes a few issues when typing quickly, either leading to a small delay in key return or causing duplicate presses occasionally). I am not sure what caused the issue, but removing and replacing the key-cap had no effect, so it is apparently an issue with the switch itself. I do keep the keyboard fairly clean and wipe the surface and the keys regularly with a soft tissue or earbud but I suspect that some grit or dust has settled internally in these keys. Another issue I found is that the printing on some of the key caps are also slightly fading already, but this is not such a big issue for somebody who touch types or at least types without needing to locate the keys visually.
Not having used any other mechanical keyboard up to now, overall, I have few complaints about this product barring the slight loss of springiness in a few keys. It's not a big deal, but it is noticeable and causes slight irritation when typing quickly and smoothly and you encounter these particular keys. The best part of this product is the price. It is a real bargain for mechanical keyboard fans in India, particularly because other mechanical keyboards are not really locally available, and shipping/taxes and the exchange rates make other mechanical keyboards quite a bit more expensive.
Not quite the perfect mechanical keyboard, perhaps, but it is good enough for regular rough use and the local warranty makes it preferable to purchasing keyboards from outside the country. I rate it 3.5/5, the loss of a few points being due to the stickiness issue with a couple of keys and the slight wearing off of some of the printed letters.