Author Topic: Varmilo VA87M in 2021 still good?  (Read 7493 times)

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Online Sup

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Varmilo VA87M in 2021 still good?
« on: Wed, 10 March 2021, 09:25:32 »
Introduction
I was thinking about getting a Varmilo TKL for a long time since i like the half floating switches. So i pulled the trigger and ordered a custom VA87M that you can order directly trough Varmilo.

Case
The case is supposedly to be made from a mix of ABS and Polycarbonate. The texture is mat and has a bit of a rough texture. Overall the finish is good i don't see any inconsistent in the color. It is the same for the bottom piece.

 
Stabilizers
Stabilizers are plate mount and they are good no rattle since they are lubed from the factory. First plate mount that has passed the no rattle test for me very happy with it.

Plate
The plate is made from aluminum and i don't see any weird anodization issues.

Key-caps
The key-caps are made from PBT and the profile is very close to Cherry, but the edges of the key-caps are more rounded then Cherry profile like GMK. The key-cap quality is okay nothing really spectacular they feels rough and they are thigh around the switches so be careful when you remove key-caps.



Typing feel
Typing feels very nice on it feels very consistent all over the board. Way better then some custom keyboards with tray mount those keyboards have some stiff places where the mounts are. This feels closer to a top mount keyboard.

Conclusion?
It's a okay hand it's not a bad keyboard if you do order trough Varmilo you have to pay high shipping prices that can range from 40-100 Dollars. So the normal VA87M is worth the money. If a custom one is worth is up to yourself since you significantly pay more because of shipping.
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Offline HungerMechanic

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Re: Varmilo VA87M in 2021 still good?
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 10 March 2021, 16:40:32 »
What you are describing is similar to my experience in late 2018.

Actually very close. The stabilizers are the best plate-mount I ever saw on a prefabricated keyboard. But they have degraded somewhat over time - the spacebar is tilting and I will have to take a look at those stabilizers.

[I have some genuine Cherry plate-mount stabilizers, and maybe could replace the spacebar on my Varmilo.]

For the price, it is hard to beat in terms of typing feel and sound. Varmilo is probably better pound-for-pound than a low-end custom of similar price. Except for switch choice. The shipping price hurts the value of the Varmilo custom store.

I think the big threat to the Varmilo pre-built and custom will be when custom TKLs become more affordable. Then, the Varmilo doesn't really have much of a price/performance advantage. If KBDFans released a KBD8X Lite, for example, it could offer more than the Varmilo in a similar price range.

But at the moment, if you want a low-profile TKL, then the Varmilo is still a great prebuilt in terms of how it performs for the end-user.

Online Sup

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Re: Varmilo VA87M in 2021 still good?
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 10 March 2021, 18:00:49 »
What you are describing is similar to my experience in late 2018.

Actually very close. The stabilizers are the best plate-mount I ever saw on a prefabricated keyboard. But they have degraded somewhat over time - the spacebar is tilting and I will have to take a look at those stabilizers.

[I have some genuine Cherry plate-mount stabilizers, and maybe could replace the spacebar on my Varmilo.]

For the price, it is hard to beat in terms of typing feel and sound. Varmilo is probably better pound-for-pound than a low-end custom of similar price. Except for switch choice. The shipping price hurts the value of the Varmilo custom store.

I think the big threat to the Varmilo pre-built and custom will be when custom TKLs become more affordable. Then, the Varmilo doesn't really have much of a price/performance advantage. If KBDFans released a KBD8X Lite, for example, it could offer more than the Varmilo in a similar price range.

But at the moment, if you want a low-profile TKL, then the Varmilo is still a great prebuilt in terms of how it performs for the end-user.

I totally agree with you that the KBD8X lite would offer way more then the Varmilo pre built especially since most of the new QMK boards support VIA and is very user friendly and powerful. Also since the new injection molded keyboards are not tray mounted, but gasket or top mounted it offers a more consistent typing experience.

I knew that there are probably way more better keyboards at this price point, but I also take typing angle into consideration and the looks. I like that the varmilo is not that high angled but its closer to being flat what goes really well with the key-caps that are close to cherry profile what a lot of prebuilt or custom keyboard don't usually have.
current
Filco Zero -  NOS Yellow Alps | Canoe R1 Gateron Red | AEK II JP Cream dampend |Filco Majestouch 2 Tex case Gateron Yellow | HHKB Pro 1 2003 Rev AO Serial 000171 | HHKB Pro 1 2003 Rev A1s|DZ60 OG Panda's with Fei spring and stem. | Sentraq S65_Plus OG Invyr Panda's | A17 Gateron Black TX 65G 3204 | Lubrigrante Wildcard Cherry MX silent blacks 3204 58.5G Springs | Rukia Everglide Tourmaline Blue 58.5G Springs | MGA Standard Greetech brown |
Coming soon
Rest in peace Billy Herrington(William Glen Harold Herrington) 1969-2018
Rest in peace Byron Daniel 1989-2020

Offline HungerMechanic

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Re: Varmilo VA87M in 2021 still good?
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 11 March 2021, 13:03:16 »
Yes, I've noticed at desk-level the Varmilo is very easy to use with near-Cherry-style keycaps.

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Re: Varmilo VA87M in 2021 still good?
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 11 March 2021, 16:07:41 »


I was gonna leave the stock key-caps on, but GMK Caps really made this board shine really enjoy typing on this board now feels like i found a end game tkl. Only wish it had QMK and it would have been perfect.
current
Filco Zero -  NOS Yellow Alps | Canoe R1 Gateron Red | AEK II JP Cream dampend |Filco Majestouch 2 Tex case Gateron Yellow | HHKB Pro 1 2003 Rev AO Serial 000171 | HHKB Pro 1 2003 Rev A1s|DZ60 OG Panda's with Fei spring and stem. | Sentraq S65_Plus OG Invyr Panda's | A17 Gateron Black TX 65G 3204 | Lubrigrante Wildcard Cherry MX silent blacks 3204 58.5G Springs | Rukia Everglide Tourmaline Blue 58.5G Springs | MGA Standard Greetech brown |
Coming soon
Rest in peace Billy Herrington(William Glen Harold Herrington) 1969-2018
Rest in peace Byron Daniel 1989-2020

Offline Rob27shred

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Re: Varmilo VA87M in 2021 still good?
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 11 March 2021, 16:20:15 »
Show Image


I was gonna leave the stock key-caps on, but GMK Caps really made this board shine really enjoy typing on this board now feels like i found a end game tkl. Only wish it had QMK and it would have been perfect.

A Hasu USB to USB convertor would give you TMK for it.
« Last Edit: Thu, 11 March 2021, 16:22:35 by Rob27shred »

Offline Rob27shred

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Re: Varmilo VA87M in 2021 still good?
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 11 March 2021, 16:20:43 »
 :p Accidently quoted myself.....
« Last Edit: Thu, 11 March 2021, 16:23:05 by Rob27shred »

Offline ibmkeyboardsrule

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Re: Varmilo VA87M in 2021 still good?
« Reply #7 on: Sun, 02 May 2021, 22:20:14 »
Are all Varmilo keyboards relatively flat? Particularly the va108m (for Mac)?
I read that MT3 profile caps don't work well with flat cases (true?). I just sent off for the full sized varmilo, based on reading that a number of peeps bought the varmilo 87 for their MT3 caps. Mistake?

When we say flat, we're not simply referring to whether it has the legs in the back to elevate the entire board at various angles, but the case having differing heights for the switches, correct?

Basically trying to determine whether I should cancel my order for the full sized varmilo for the MT3's and get a less flat board (?)

Offline HungerMechanic

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Re: Varmilo VA87M in 2021 still good?
« Reply #8 on: Sun, 02 May 2021, 23:16:01 »
I'm currently using MT3 on a Rakk Lam Ang Pro, which uses a pretty average case angle that should be similar to a Varmilo.

In fact, the Rakk is probably flatter than a Varmilo. It's more about where the board is positioned relative to your hands.

The first time I tried MT3, it was on a TADA68, which is on a pretty low elevation if you ask me. But it was fine.

Most boards should have their switches on the same plane, they aren't supposed to be inconsistent in their depth on the keyboard. Varmilo would be the same as other boards in that respect.

You pretty much have to go custom to get something more elevated than the Varmilo, don't you? Something like an HMKB.

Offline HungerMechanic

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Re: Varmilo VA87M in 2021 still good?
« Reply #9 on: Sun, 02 May 2021, 23:19:04 »
You know what, scratch what I said about the TADA68.

I tried MT3 on the TADA68, and it was good. But the TADA68 can elevate to 8 degrees, which is relatively high.

I enjoyed MT3 at an 8-degree angle, but it was a meetup and I wasn't typing on it for long. Not sure what the Varmilo angle is.


EDIT: You might want to read this:


https://matt3o.com/about-mt3-profile-and-devtty-set/

Quote

The picture above has been rotated by approx 6° and you can see that the keycap on row 3 (the forth from the left) is parallel to an hypothetical keyboard bottom. The closer you get to a 5-7° angle the more optimized MT3 will be for you. If you instead like dead flat keyboards, the set won’t be any worse than –say– SA anyway.


So MT3 was designed for a 5-7 degree typing angle, although I know it works okay around 8-degrees as well.

It will even work flat, but is not optimized for that.

Varmilo's aren't flat, though. [You would need to find the angle of a Varmilo keyboard in order to answer your question.]
« Last Edit: Sun, 02 May 2021, 23:25:38 by HungerMechanic »

Offline Adqam64

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Re: Varmilo VA87M in 2021 still good?
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 20 May 2021, 18:50:20 »
I think that Varmilos have a "flat" angle of 4 degrees, and 8 with the legs up.