PC & Console Peripherals

Speedlink Vela – Affordable mecha with blue switches in test

This summer, Speedlink introduced a new keyboard called Vela, which is supposed to offer an affordable entry into the world of mechanical switches. The device is currently sold at a price of € 40.91* [review time: €46] and promises a 100% layout with Blue switches as well as a multi-color LED illumination in return.

We will clarify whether the Vela is a good choice for beginners for this price, and where the strengths and weaknesses of the device lie in the following test.

Technical details

Dimensions: 459 x 136 x 40 mm
Weight: 910 g
Connection: USB-A, 1.5m
Layout: 100%
Rollover: N-Key
Lighting: Multicolor
Switches: Mechanical (No other specifications – On our model: Jixian Blue)

Scope of delivery

The Vela comes in a color printed cardboard box with no accessories to speak of. The 1.5 m long and unsleeved cable is permanently installed on the keyboard. Apart from the device itself, the packaging therefore only contains a short manual, which explains the lighting effects, among other things.

Design & Workmanship

The case of the Speedlink Vela consists of a matte black plastic tray. On the underside in several recessed stripes as well as on the side bevels, however, the case is held in high gloss. However, this is hardly visible in use, because the entire upper side of the keyboard is covered by a matte black metal plate. This is beveled downwards on the sides, and the Speedlink logo is also printed above the arrow keys.

Visually, the Vela presents itself quite plainly. The only noticeable decoration is a green illuminated LED strip, which is located at the front of the device and runs almost across the entire width. The font used for the keys is also interesting because all closed circles are broken in this case. In some cases, such as the “&” character, we find this a bit strange. In the end, however, it may simply be a matter of taste.

The same goes for Speedlink’s decision not to illuminate all the additional functions realized by the FN key, but to print them with white color. This means that these labels naturally don’t match the color of the respective LEDs. On the other hand, the problem of inhomogeneous illumination is avoided.

In terms of build quality, there is nothing to complain about with the Speedlink Vela. The keyboard and the keycaps are haptically pleasant and solidly built. The case is torsion-resistant, the keys sit firmly and the gap dimensions are completely appropriate for the price.

Practice & Ergonomics

Speedlink does not officially specify the buttons installed in the Vela, but at least our model has Blue switches from Jixian installed. These seem to be based on the commercially available Cherry MX Blue: The typing feel is roughly comparable, and the acoustic feedback when the keys are triggered is also relatively bright. Whether the switches can keep up with the original in a direct comparison remains to be seen, but the typing feel is by far superior to that of all commercially available rubber dome keyboards. The Vela thus lives up to the claim of an entry-level device in the world of mechanical keyboards: It’s pleasant to type on, and the existing spring pinging shouldn’t bother most users – and especially beginners.

We also find the illumination of the Vela successful. The line-by-line multicolored color scheme is of course a matter of taste, but the built-in LEDs are bright enough in any case. In addition, the Vela offers several dynamic effects for the keys, such as an afterglow when the key is pressed, breathing or a running light, in addition to a static glow that can be (de)activated for each key. The effects are switched through by FN+Roll. Optionally, they can be configured with FN and the arrow keys with also the brightness (four levels + off) and the speed. In addition, the green decorative stripe can also be adjusted: Via FN+menu, the stripe can be illuminated statically, with a breathing effect or not at all.

Technically, everything is fine with the Speedlink Vela – the keyboard and the N-key rollover work flawlessly. In terms of practicality, the only thing we would have liked to see is an LED for the rollover function, because it is not apparent on the Vela whether this is active. Instead, the third LED indicates whether the Winlock function is active.

Finally, a few words about the ergonomics. Here, the Vela does averagely well. Both flat and set up, the keyboard stands on four rubber pads, allowing it to rest on the table without slipping. However, there are no other ergonomic bonuses, such as a palm rest. If you want these, you’ll have to pay a bit more. But even so, we were able to type and play comfortably with the Vela for a long time without any complaints.

Conclusion

With its price of only € 40.91* [test time: €46], the Speedlink Vela is very cheap for a mechanical keyboard. Nevertheless, the device is well implemented in our eyes. The built-in blue switches from Jixian are pleasant to type on, and technical details like the generously configurable illumination or the N-key rollover are well implemented. The build quality is also good, and the green LED strip on the front is a nice extra.

The only thing we missed on the Vela was an LED for the scroll function, but most users don’t use it anyway. The bottom line is that the device is a good solution for all customers who want to buy a cheap or even their first mechanical keyboard.

Speedlink Vela

Workmanship
Features
Ergonomics
Value for money

83/100

An inexpensive mechanical keyboard with well-implemented lighting.

Speedlink Vela price comparison


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Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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Diesen Sommer hat Speedlink eine neue Tastatur namens Vela vorgestellt, die einen günstigen Einstieg in die Welt der mechanischen Switches bieten soll. Das Gerät wird derzeit zu einem Preis von [Testzeitpunkt: 46 €] verkauft und verspricht dafür ein 100%-Layout mit Blue-Switches sowie einer mehrfarbigen LED-Beleuchtung. Ob die Vela für diesen Preis eine gute Wahl für … (Weiterlesen...)

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