Author Topic: Review of the TVS-E Gold Bharat USB 2.0 Keyboard - "India's Favorite keyboard"  (Read 15601 times)

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Offline P3TC0CK

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I posted this over on /r/mechanicalkeyboards and there was a lot of interest in it, so I'll post it here with a little more as I did for the morphling KB-87 I covered in an earlier post, for anyone who doesn't use reddit or /r/mechanicalkeyboards for anyone interested in the keyboard  :)

------------------------------



The TVS-E Bharat gold is a full-sized, 104 key keyboard that has been in production for at least 20 years in India. One of the only features of the keyboard listed on the box was that it was compatible with windows 3.1, NT, 2000, and windows XP so it's a safe bet they're doing something right if they're still selling these things. 

It is available in both USB 2.0 and PS2 connectors, with the PS2 keyboard being about 100-300 rupees cheaper.

The keyboard itself costs around 1800-2300 rupees (about 29 USD to 37 USD) depending on where you find it and what version it is. It is only sold in India to my knowledge and is relatively expensive to have shipped out.

A friend of mine was kind enough to bring back a couple from his trip to India as I live in the UAE and it would be pretty expensive (about the cost of the keyboard itself) to ship it to the UAE.

The keyboard quality is adequate- when you first hold it you know that it's a budget keyboard. It uses brass screws and the keycaps are pretty thin. It feels sturdy though when typing on it but I'd be careful when using this keyboard if you're constantly shifting around from workstation to workstation.

The typing experience is great regardless- everything registers as it should and it feels great typing on the keyboard for extended periods of time. The keycaps leave something to be desired and I will be replacing mine, but my friends who also got the keyboard are pretty happy with the quality of the caps.

The Body




Compared to my Morphling KB-87 this keyboard is big; really big. The body is slightly curved like a model m and the keys sit within a recessed area. The Gold Bharat has a curved body and is supported from the bottom by two raised platforms that the folding feet sit inside of.

There's not much to say here in terms of styling as the keyboard is pretty spartan. You'll either not mind the size or find it way too big for your needs.



A pretty interesting feature, which makes all that extra dead space around the keyboard a little more useful, is a small ridge/shelf at the top of the keyboard which gives you about 3-5 CMs of space to store small things like rulers, pencils, cigarettes, and more.



The two speckled plastic body plates are held in by seven (one under the warranty sticker) brass screws which add to the utilitarian look of the keyboard but make it pretty easy to take apart and repair.

There are also gigantic rubber feet at the bottom which do a good job of keeping the keyboard in place and dampening any vibrations. The folding feet and back of the keyboard do not have any rubber on them, so the keyboard will shift if you are using it on an uneven surface.

Layout and Keycaps



As with all InScript keyboards, the Gold Bharat uses a giant enter key and small backspace key. This is going to make finding key caps for this keyboard difficult, but luckily every other key, with the exception of the spacebar which is explained below, is a standard size so you won't have to buy any small space bars or function keys.

The legends seem to be painted on, so I'll have to get back to you all on how long they last.



The keyboard has a standard size spacebar but a non-standard stem placement. You could possibly replace the included stabalizers to include one that fits larger spacebars, but as it is now the stabalizer only fits the current keyboard's keycap. There is room to include a bigger stabilizer.





The keys (with the except of the spacebar) include these cool clip on stabilizer clips which make keycap removal really simple.



The keycaps are, as expected for a budget keyboard, extremely thin. Although the stems do seem to be untouched which is a nice plus to have considering many other "budget" keyboards (even the blackwidows suffer from this) even thin out the stem plastic. The space bar however is pretty thick so there's no complaints about that.


The Switches



Every switch on this keyboard is a genuine Cherry MX blue switch. They feel crisp and tactile and are really pleasant to type on as you'd expect with Cherry switches. For a keyboard that cost me 2100 Rupees (about 140 AED or ~35 USD) I am more than happy with that.


Final Thoughts

This is probably the cheapest cherry MX blue keyboard out there. If you're looking to get an extra keyboard to throw around or to introduce your friends to mechanical keyboards, then look no further. If you're looking for a board with super solid construction, LED lights, and everything that is expected of 100+ mechanical keyboards, then keep looking.

There are some pretty big issues if you're looking to add your own keycaps since you won't be able to change the backspace, enter, backslash, and spacebar key without slight modification and structural weaknesses. But as mentioned earlier, when you're paying under 40 USD for a keyboard you can look past these if it gives you a great typing experience, which it does.

« Last Edit: Sat, 25 October 2014, 09:12:02 by P3TC0CK »
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Offline CPTBadAss

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Cool, thanks for sharing! I've only read about this and not seen many pictures or reviews on it.
Please check out TactileZine.com!

Offline P3TC0CK

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Cool, thanks for sharing! I've only read about this and not seen many pictures or reviews on it.

No problem, someone did a partial teardown here on reddit.

I'll hopefully be getting this RITCOMP Cherry MX Black keyboard and doing another review as the same friend who went to India and got me this will be travelling there in a month or so. Someone on reddit mentioned it, so it could mean that India could have a lot more variations of these keyboards which would be cool to show.
petcock
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Offline CPTBadAss

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That's cool too. Looking forward to your ritcomp review :)
Please check out TactileZine.com!

Offline strict

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Very interesting board indeed. Thanks for sharing!

Filco MJ2 TKL (Cherry Clears)  |  Phantom 87 (78g Gateron Clears)  |  Phantom 86 (67g Zealios)
Realforce 87UBS (55g)  |  Realforce 87UW (45g)  |  Realforce 87UWS (Variable)


Offline MOZ

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I love this keyboard, to harvest Cherry MX blue switches. It will be a bit hard to ind other variants of the board as I did call up TVS a number of times, while in India, and was unable to find out if there were other variants available. I did do a small GB and sent out a few of these to guys outside India.

It's a good start to mechs, specially for the price and in a place like India. However as a mech board enthusiast, soon you'll find many better boards.

Offline frosty

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Review of the TVS-E Gold Bharat USB 2.0 Keyboard - "India's Favorite keyboard"
« Reply #6 on: Sat, 25 October 2014, 18:46:43 »
Yeap, I've never heard of this board, Thanks for sharing!

Offline Flamingchook

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I love this keyboard, to harvest Cherry MX blue switches. It will be a bit hard to ind other variants of the board as I did call up TVS a number of times, while in India, and was unable to find out if there were other variants available. I did do a small GB and sent out a few of these to guys outside India.

It's a good start to mechs, specially for the price and in a place like India. However as a mech board enthusiast, soon you'll find many better boards.

I was a recipient of one of these boards from the group buy MOZ did. It served it's purpose well, supplying 104 mx blue switches and some valuable de-soldering experience.

Having used a Filco and Model M before I wasn't very impressed with the quality. It's definitely hindered by the plastic plate and weird stabilisers that it uses. I also didn't like the huge enter key they have.
MX: Filco Majestouch Metalic Blue 104-key w/ MX Brown, JD40 w/ MX Green, ErgoDox w/ MX Blue, GHPad w/ MX Blue. Topre: Realforce 87U 45g. BS: IBM Model M 52G9700 29-OCT-93
Soon™: GH60 w/ 62g MX Clear, [CTRL]ALT 60 w/ MX Green

Offline P3TC0CK

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I love this keyboard, to harvest Cherry MX blue switches. It will be a bit hard to ind other variants of the board as I did call up TVS a number of times, while in India, and was unable to find out if there were other variants available. I did do a small GB and sent out a few of these to guys outside India.

It's a good start to mechs, specially for the price and in a place like India. However as a mech board enthusiast, soon you'll find many better boards.

I was a recipient of one of these boards from the group buy MOZ did. It served it's purpose well, supplying 104 mx blue switches and some valuable de-soldering experience.

Having used a Filco and Model M before I wasn't very impressed with the quality. It's definitely hindered by the plastic plate and weird stabilisers that it uses. I also didn't like the huge enter key they have.

For the price you can't really complain. Of course you're going to get much better quality if you invest the money, but if you're short on cash and live in India or can get one for cheap it's a great entry into mechs I think.

The enter key would be standard in India. I wonder if they sell custom keycaps there  :)
« Last Edit: Tue, 18 November 2014, 09:37:57 by P3TC0CK »
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Offline murali

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Hi,

Do you know any place where I can buy some good caps for this keyboard in India?
BTW I live in Bangalore.

Thanks,
Murali

Offline vmod

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Hi,

Do you know any place where I can buy some good caps for this keyboard in India?
BTW I live in Bangalore.

Thanks,
Murali

I am not 100% sure but as TVS-e is genuine Cherry MX Blue switch, any Cherry MX keycap set would do the job. Only problem is the Enter key and the space bar key stem. It won't be easy at all to find a replacement Enter Key as no keycap ( at least as part of keycap set ) make that big Enter key.
Also I am not sure how the stem of the space bar is so that too might not be an easy replacement. Otherwise I think any Cherry MX keycap set would be fine.

Finding keycaps in india locally is really hard and most even if you find them they charge 3x or 4x the price which then turns out to be expensive than getting it shipped from anywhere in the world.
So get it online, I don't think you will have to worry about customs or duty & taxes for keycap sets.
Getting items via Banggood to India is usually not a problem.
Banggood has this PBT Keycap set (http://www.banggood.com/PBT-87-Blank-White-Key-Caps-for-Cherry-MX-Keyboard-p-84084.html)
Some Ebay.com ship worldwide too.

Offline SamirD

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I just found out about this keyboard.  Pretty cool.  My wife is from Bangalore and goes almost every year, so if you still need some keycaps, we could talk about getting them to you.

Next time I'm in Bangalore, I'll have to see if I can't find one of these and pick it up for use as my India keyboard.  That way the M doesn't have to go international on a yearly basis, lol.

Offline Kad

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Very neat to see these "regionalized" keyboards! If I could pick one up I definitely would, they look very cool and you gotta love those Blues!

[WASD v2 w/ MX Blues]

Offline Kola93

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This is a very interesting keyboard; thanks for sharing! ^-^

Any idea as to where they are manufactured? I'm interested in manufacturing and it's interesting to see if there are Made in India keyboards.

Offline SamirD

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This is a very interesting keyboard; thanks for sharing! ^-^

Any idea as to where they are manufactured? I'm interested in manufacturing and it's interesting to see if there are Made in India keyboards.
Most everything in India is made in India.  TVS is a very well known national brand there, with one of there most popular offerings the 'TVS Scooty' a gasoline scooter, in a country where scooters are like cars here in the US/Canada.

My thought is that they're importing the switches and using either cheap Indian labor or dirt cheap Chinese labor for assembly.  Most fully assembled imports into India have a 100% duty, so it's probably made in India.

From a quality standpoint though, Indian manufacturing is just now coming up to par and only in the automobile industry.  Stuff like keyboards will be made like utter crap--think of the cheapest chinese stuff and that's about what Indian domestic goods are like.  Hence why anything import (or import brands) are what to get vs the domestic variety.


Offline vmod

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This is a very interesting keyboard; thanks for sharing! ^-^

Any idea as to where they are manufactured? I'm interested in manufacturing and it's interesting to see if there are Made in India keyboards.
Most everything in India is made in India.  TVS is a very well known national brand there, with one of there most popular offerings the 'TVS Scooty' a gasoline scooter, in a country where scooters are like cars here in the US/Canada.

My thought is that they're importing the switches and using either cheap Indian labor or dirt cheap Chinese labor for assembly.  Most fully assembled imports into India have a 100% duty, so it's probably made in India.

From a quality standpoint though, Indian manufacturing is just now coming up to par and only in the automobile industry.  Stuff like keyboards will be made like utter crap--think of the cheapest chinese stuff and that's about what Indian domestic goods are like.  Hence why anything import (or import brands) are what to get vs the domestic variety.

I don't want to be that guy and sound like a stickler but a few corrections.

TVS-e (TVS Electronics) has nothing to do with TVS Motors as such. They both do come under the TVS Group of companies but totally separate and even established in different time.

About TVS-e and Cherry MX.
In 2008, Cherry  was bought by ZF Electronics and TVS-e combined. So it the Cherry company was renamed as TVS Cherry Private Limited but later (now) known as ZF Electronics TVS (India) Pvt. Ltd. So that is the main reason why it is so cheaper for them.

And you are 100% right  the quality of the board is not all super-fine but its a very basic keyboard with ISO layout. And you are correct its made in India only the switches are manufactured in Germany as of now.

Offline SamirD

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This is a very interesting keyboard; thanks for sharing! ^-^

Any idea as to where they are manufactured? I'm interested in manufacturing and it's interesting to see if there are Made in India keyboards.
Most everything in India is made in India.  TVS is a very well known national brand there, with one of there most popular offerings the 'TVS Scooty' a gasoline scooter, in a country where scooters are like cars here in the US/Canada.

My thought is that they're importing the switches and using either cheap Indian labor or dirt cheap Chinese labor for assembly.  Most fully assembled imports into India have a 100% duty, so it's probably made in India.

From a quality standpoint though, Indian manufacturing is just now coming up to par and only in the automobile industry.  Stuff like keyboards will be made like utter crap--think of the cheapest chinese stuff and that's about what Indian domestic goods are like.  Hence why anything import (or import brands) are what to get vs the domestic variety.

I don't want to be that guy and sound like a stickler but a few corrections.

TVS-e (TVS Electronics) has nothing to do with TVS Motors as such. They both do come under the TVS Group of companies but totally separate and even established in different time.

About TVS-e and Cherry MX.
In 2008, Cherry  was bought by ZF Electronics and TVS-e combined. So it the Cherry company was renamed as TVS Cherry Private Limited but later (now) known as ZF Electronics TVS (India) Pvt. Ltd. So that is the main reason why it is so cheaper for them.

And you are 100% right  the quality of the board is not all super-fine but its a very basic keyboard with ISO layout. And you are correct its made in India only the switches are manufactured in Germany as of now.
Thank you for the corrections.  I thought that the TVS electronics were made by a different division in the group, but didn't know the structure.  Thank you for the correction on that.

So wait, what?  Cherry Germany was bought out or Cherry India?  And if there's a Cherry India, aren't the switches then the domestic version of the German Cherry?

If the switches are domestic Cherry of German design, that would definitely explain the price point.  And it would mean that it would be cheaper to buy Cherry switches in India!  (group buy!)

Offline vmod

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This is a very interesting keyboard; thanks for sharing! ^-^

Any idea as to where they are manufactured? I'm interested in manufacturing and it's interesting to see if there are Made in India keyboards.
Most everything in India is made in India.  TVS is a very well known national brand there, with one of there most popular offerings the 'TVS Scooty' a gasoline scooter, in a country where scooters are like cars here in the US/Canada.

My thought is that they're importing the switches and using either cheap Indian labor or dirt cheap Chinese labor for assembly.  Most fully assembled imports into India have a 100% duty, so it's probably made in India.

From a quality standpoint though, Indian manufacturing is just now coming up to par and only in the automobile industry.  Stuff like keyboards will be made like utter crap--think of the cheapest chinese stuff and that's about what Indian domestic goods are like.  Hence why anything import (or import brands) are what to get vs the domestic variety.

I don't want to be that guy and sound like a stickler but a few corrections.

TVS-e (TVS Electronics) has nothing to do with TVS Motors as such. They both do come under the TVS Group of companies but totally separate and even established in different time.

About TVS-e and Cherry MX.
In 2008, Cherry  was bought by ZF Electronics and TVS-e combined. So it the Cherry company was renamed as TVS Cherry Private Limited but later (now) known as ZF Electronics TVS (India) Pvt. Ltd. So that is the main reason why it is so cheaper for them.

And you are 100% right  the quality of the board is not all super-fine but its a very basic keyboard with ISO layout. And you are correct its made in India only the switches are manufactured in Germany as of now.
Thank you for the corrections.  I thought that the TVS electronics were made by a different division in the group, but didn't know the structure.  Thank you for the correction on that.

So wait, what?  Cherry Germany was bought out or Cherry India?  And if there's a Cherry India, aren't the switches then the domestic version of the German Cherry?

If the switches are domestic Cherry of German design, that would definitely explain the price point.  And it would mean that it would be cheaper to buy Cherry switches in India!  (group buy!)

Cherry Corp (Germany) was bought by ZF and TVS-e back in 2007-08. So the switches are still made in Germany, the manufacturing plant hasn't been shifted or expanded outside Germany. You know Germans they value their quality...

Also it is really is difficult to just buy Cherry switches that's why many people (even in GH) buy the TVS board only to harvest switches.

Offline SamirD

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This is a very interesting keyboard; thanks for sharing! ^-^

Any idea as to where they are manufactured? I'm interested in manufacturing and it's interesting to see if there are Made in India keyboards.
Most everything in India is made in India.  TVS is a very well known national brand there, with one of there most popular offerings the 'TVS Scooty' a gasoline scooter, in a country where scooters are like cars here in the US/Canada.

My thought is that they're importing the switches and using either cheap Indian labor or dirt cheap Chinese labor for assembly.  Most fully assembled imports into India have a 100% duty, so it's probably made in India.

From a quality standpoint though, Indian manufacturing is just now coming up to par and only in the automobile industry.  Stuff like keyboards will be made like utter crap--think of the cheapest chinese stuff and that's about what Indian domestic goods are like.  Hence why anything import (or import brands) are what to get vs the domestic variety.

I don't want to be that guy and sound like a stickler but a few corrections.

TVS-e (TVS Electronics) has nothing to do with TVS Motors as such. They both do come under the TVS Group of companies but totally separate and even established in different time.

About TVS-e and Cherry MX.
In 2008, Cherry  was bought by ZF Electronics and TVS-e combined. So it the Cherry company was renamed as TVS Cherry Private Limited but later (now) known as ZF Electronics TVS (India) Pvt. Ltd. So that is the main reason why it is so cheaper for them.

And you are 100% right  the quality of the board is not all super-fine but its a very basic keyboard with ISO layout. And you are correct its made in India only the switches are manufactured in Germany as of now.
Thank you for the corrections.  I thought that the TVS electronics were made by a different division in the group, but didn't know the structure.  Thank you for the correction on that.

So wait, what?  Cherry Germany was bought out or Cherry India?  And if there's a Cherry India, aren't the switches then the domestic version of the German Cherry?

If the switches are domestic Cherry of German design, that would definitely explain the price point.  And it would mean that it would be cheaper to buy Cherry switches in India!  (group buy!)

Cherry Corp (Germany) was bought by ZF and TVS-e back in 2007-08. So the switches are still made in Germany, the manufacturing plant hasn't been shifted or expanded outside Germany. You know Germans they value their quality...

Also it is really is difficult to just buy Cherry switches that's why many people (even in GH) buy the TVS board only to harvest switches.

Very interesting.  I'll have to try to find a TVS board the next time I'm in India.


Offline vmod

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Very interesting.  I'll have to try to find a TVS board the next time I'm in India.
Oh that won't be a problem, now a days they are easily available on the leading e-commerce sites of India like Amazon.in and Flipkart.com And are priced at about ~$30.
Just a warning, its an ISO layout. The enter is something you can get used to but the short backspace key is a bit terrible imo.
« Last Edit: Wed, 04 November 2015, 22:05:37 by vmod »

Offline SamirD

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Very interesting.  I'll have to try to find a TVS board the next time I'm in India.
Oh that won't be a problem, now a days they are easily available on the leading e-commerce sites of India like Amazon.in and Flipkart.com And are priced at about ~$30.
Just a warning, its an ISO layout. The enter is something you can get used to but the short backspace key is a bit terrible imo.
Thank you!  Any idea if any retailers carry it in Bangalore?  While amazon is amazon, I'm still quite skeptical of mail-order in India.

The ISO layout probably won't bother me.  I have a keytronic with a large enter key and a small backspace that I had to get used to back in the early 1990s.  Besides, I'll probably just keep the keyboard in Bangalore so that I don't have to lug my M internationally.  I bought a carrying case just for it because of the trips!


Offline vmod

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Very interesting.  I'll have to try to find a TVS board the next time I'm in India.
Oh that won't be a problem, now a days they are easily available on the leading e-commerce sites of India like Amazon.in and Flipkart.com And are priced at about ~$30.
Just a warning, its an ISO layout. The enter is something you can get used to but the short backspace key is a bit terrible imo.
Thank you!  Any idea if any retailers carry it in Bangalore?  While amazon is amazon, I'm still quite skeptical of mail-order in India.

The ISO layout probably won't bother me.  I have a keytronic with a large enter key and a small backspace that I had to get used to back in the early 1990s.  Besides, I'll probably just keep the keyboard in Bangalore so that I don't have to lug my M internationally.  I bought a carrying case just for it because of the trips!
It is really hard to find TVS-e gold locally. Most govt./railway offices use them (!) so most cities just get them for official purposes. Local retailers don't keep them much because of the low demand and abundance of Razer/gaming keyboard fanboys. Being said that you might have better luck to get them locally Bangalore, Delhi and Kolkata.
Bangalore sure would have a local stash because most Flipkart & Amazon sellers/shipments are sent out from there. For your scepticism,  Amazon and Flipkart does have one-day guarantee delivery for mere $2. Does that help?

It is indeed better to have a spare on instead of carrying one and you can buy a few TVS-e if you are used to the ISO layout, keep one everywhere you visit :)

Offline SamirD

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Very interesting.  I'll have to try to find a TVS board the next time I'm in India.
Oh that won't be a problem, now a days they are easily available on the leading e-commerce sites of India like Amazon.in and Flipkart.com And are priced at about ~$30.
Just a warning, its an ISO layout. The enter is something you can get used to but the short backspace key is a bit terrible imo.
Thank you!  Any idea if any retailers carry it in Bangalore?  While amazon is amazon, I'm still quite skeptical of mail-order in India.

The ISO layout probably won't bother me.  I have a keytronic with a large enter key and a small backspace that I had to get used to back in the early 1990s.  Besides, I'll probably just keep the keyboard in Bangalore so that I don't have to lug my M internationally.  I bought a carrying case just for it because of the trips!
It is really hard to find TVS-e gold locally. Most govt./railway offices use them (!) so most cities just get them for official purposes. Local retailers don't keep them much because of the low demand and abundance of Razer/gaming keyboard fanboys. Being said that you might have better luck to get them locally Bangalore, Delhi and Kolkata.
Bangalore sure would have a local stash because most Flipkart & Amazon sellers/shipments are sent out from there. For your scepticism,  Amazon and Flipkart does have one-day guarantee delivery for mere $2. Does that help?

It is indeed better to have a spare on instead of carrying one and you can buy a few TVS-e if you are used to the ISO layout, keep one everywhere you visit :)
The Razer is in Bangalore?!?  Will people never learn--especially when a much better bang for buck domestic model exists.

I like the idea of getting a few.  After all the trouble it sounds like it's going to be to find one, might as well stock up.


Offline SamirD

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Looks like I'm headed to Bangalore soon so I'm going to see if I can find one of these.  If I find some, anyone else want one? 

Offline SamirD

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Bump.  I found a source. 

The first one they sent had some plastic rattling inside and the corner of the case screw holder had broken.  They'll be bringing a new one Monday.

Offline rvndrdv11

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Re: Review of the TVS-E Gold Bharat USB 2.0 Keyboard - "India's Favorite keyboard"
« Reply #25 on: Sun, 10 September 2017, 00:50:48 »
I have been using the TVS gold keyboard from at least two years and it still performs the same as when it was new. I am pretty much satisfied with its performance. It is a must have  computer accessories for those who needs to type a lot like programmer, bank employees etc.



 You will be able type much faster thanks to its ergonomic design which is especially designed to boost up your typing performance. The keys produces a nice click sound when pressing the keys.It is also one of the cheapest mechanical keyboard in India