Boutique keyboard vendors Higround recently released its Basecamp collection of boards, intended to be more accessible than its exclusive collaboration keyboards, and lord are they lovely.
Higround, a subsidiary of 100 Thieves, gained notoriety over their well-received collaboration gaming keyboards, all of which focus on a 65% layout, with premium features like silicone dampening, fantastically designed keycaps, and stabilizers that are as smooth as butter. However, they face one particular issue, they all just sell out too quickly.
In order to mitigate this, Higround has now released the Basecamp series of gaming keyboards, which is intended to be more accessible than their collaboration boards, but look and feel just as good, if not better than their previously released keyboards.
- Switch type: TTC White Flame (Hot-swappable)
- Keycaps: 1.5mm thick PBT Dye-Sub
- Connectivity: Wired
- Form factor: 65%
- Lighting; RGB, configurable via keyboard macro
- Features: 1000-Hz, Anti-ghosting, NKRO, Aluminum plate, dual silicon dampening, transluscent frame.
- Price: $135.00
- Where to buy: Higround
Included in the box: Higround Basecamp keyboard, braided USB-C to USB-A cable, switch puller, keycap puller, Higround sticker
We were sent the ‘Bonsai’ Variant of the Higround Basecamp series to check out, and it’s one of the better-looking colorways in the collection, with an interesting keycap design, which light green accents in addition to a transluscent frame. RGB pulses all around the board when you plug it in, and it’s important to note that this board is wired-only, too.
All of the plastic used on the frame feels adequately high-quality, and the board’s layout and materials feel identical to the Dreamcast board that we reviewed from them a few months ago. The hot-swappable switches are a boon, though the included TTC White Flame switches are absolutely exceptional.
The linear switches come lubed out of the box, and with a 1.6mm actuation point, in addition to 3.6mm of total travel, with 45g of total downward force. The stem does not rock around, and the lubed switch allows for a buttery typing experience. The stabilizers on the board also come pre-lubed, and also feel fantastic. While the Dreamcast board came slightly over lubed, this one was absolutely perfect, and we felt no need to switch them up out of the box.
The included switch puller also allows you to swap out the switches at any time. The included switch puller is a nice touch, but serious modders should invest in a puller that’s slightly longer, and easier to handle.
The translucent frame is susceptible to scratches, so make sure that while in use, you avoid putting it near any sharp objects, though our unit didn’t pick up too many hairline scratches over the course of a couple of weeks. The RGB diffuses throughout the frame nicely, and you can also configure the RGB on the board, or through Higround’s relatively lackluster software, too.
The keycaps look and feel great, with side legends allowing for a clean look. We had no issues whatsoever with the keycaps themselves, which makes every other board on the market look a little lackluster by comparison.
You lose the F-row with the 65% layout, however, you manage to retain the arrow keys, which is absolutely essential. It’s a format that the folks at Wooting could learn from.
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Higround Titan Heart switches
The Higround Titan Heart switches were released shortly after the Basecamp series, so we went and placed them into our board, and this uniquely-designed switch also feels fantastic, they are fairly priced at $36 for a pack of 36, and offer a speedier actuation point of 1.2mm, with 42g of total force. This collaboration with TTC also allowed Higround to integrate a unique design with the switches, which looks great, to those with a keen eye.
These switches also come pre-lubed, and the translucent housing allows for RGB to shine through without any issues with compatibility. For those looking to take their boards up a notch, without needing to put in the effort of lubing the switches on your own, these offer an excellent alternative and are fantastic switches that we had no issues with whatsoever.
Back to the Basecamp board, it doesn’t have any fancy gaming features aside from a 1000Hz polling rate, which is more than enough for most users, the switches are not optical, which is something that we personally prefer. The linear White Flame switches allowed us to move around perfectly in Apex Legends, and even in Final Fantasy XIV, we were moving around with reckless abandon, and all the while it felt absolutely perfect.
Those looking for more performance should look elsewhere, while this board is indeed excellent, to get esports-grade performance, you might want to look at boards with a higher polling rate, or optical switches, though the number of people who will benefit from that kind of tech remains to be relatively slim.
Should you buy it?
For the asking price of $135, you are going to struggle to find a keyboard that feels as good as the Higround Basecamp series. It not only looks stunning, but it also manages to sound ‘Thocky’ – a term which has keyboard users so often chasing the white rabbit, leaving them penniless in the process. The value offered here is exceptional, Higround is hitting all of the right notes, and doing all of the right things that ensure that you are getting one of the best prebuilt gaming keyboard experiences around.
The only issue that we really have with it remains in the Higround software suite, which is a relatively mediocre experience that we wish was as refined as the hardware that they were putting out, this, potentially, is something that the team can look to learn from the likes of Wooting, who has the best keyboard software that we’ve ever used, enclosed in a handy web app.
However, this should be on anyone’s radar if you are looking to splash over $100 on a keyboard, its premium construction feels fantastic, and it makes the efforts by larger brands look embarrassing by comparison.
All Higround really needs to do from here is diversify the form-factor of its boards to more layouts, and trim up its software suite. Regardless, we’re fairly certain that this is the best 65% keyboard that you can buy today, don’t sleep on it.