VARMILO VA109M FOREST FAIRY [INTRODUCTION] JULY 17, 2019
07/2019 by WILLIAM ZWINGENBERGER (TEXT) / HOLGER DASSLER (IMAGES) - Back to overview
After proving with the VA88M Double Rainbow that there are mechanical keyboards on the market that deviate from the usual gaming design, we introduce you to the VA109M Forest Fairy. This second model from Varmilo sets itself apart with an absolutely unique design as well. The manufacturer might not have opted for RGB lighting, instead going for the standard version of the proven CHERRY MX Brown key switches, but this custom keyboard is just as much an eye-catcher as the VA88M rainbow keyboard. In contrast to the space-saving tenkeyless layout of the last model, Varmilo went for a standard layout and even added four additional buttons. The individual PBT keycaps on this custom keyboard stand out with their stunning colors and decorations. You can find out what more the Varmilo VA109M Forest Fairy has to offer in this article.
Specification at a glance
- Keyboard Layout: Extended
- Switch Type: CHERRY MX Brown
- LED Color: -
- Macro Keys: -
- Response Rate: <1ms
- Matrix: 100% Anti-Ghosting with N-Key-Rollover
- Software / Integrated Memory: -
- Media Keys: Six, using hotkey functionality
- Palm Rest: -
- Dimensions: 442 mm x 137 mm x 35 mm
- Weight: 1,25 kg
VARMILO VA109M FOREST FAIRY in detail
At first glance, the Varmilo VA109M Forest Fairy is very different from conventional mechanical keyboards. The actual shape is rather unspectacular: the keyboard is based on a solid ABS plastic chassis with narrow edges around the keys. The color scheme, on the other hand, is truly exceptional: in line with its ‘forest’ moniker, the case is completely leafy green and features a groove-like structure on the surface, reminiscent of a mixture of wood grain and the surface of a leaf. Combined with the bright white and green color accents of the keycaps, the Forest Fairy immediately catches your eye.
As usual, Varmilo does not include a palm rest, but two set-up feet at the underside allow either a steeper or flatter angle of the keyboard. In both scenarios, rubber pads ensure that the keyboard, with its dimensions of 442 x 137 x 35 millimeters, does not slip on the table.
108 decorated PBT keycaps and detachable USB cable
With its Extended layout, the European version of the Varmilo VA109M Forest Fairy offers 108 buttons. The manufacturer calls the VA109M a ‘110 percent’ keyboard: there are four additional keys placed above the numeric pad. These keys allow you to quickly call up task-specific apps such as your web browser or the calculator.
Similar to the recently introduced Varmilo VA88M Double Rainbow RGB, the key caps are one of the highlights of this keyboard. Some key caps feature the same shade of green used in the chassis, while other key caps are matt white. The Asian manufacturer has given just as much a attention to detail to the inscriptions: arrow keys are pointed leaves, the two Enter keys feature the image of a deer, and starting from the space bar, a third deer leaves a colorful tail of leaves behind. Varmilo again picks up the colorful shades of the leaves, reminiscent of autumn, for the Escape key.
Keyboard enthusiasts will be delighted that Varmilo is going for PBT caps with this VA109M Forest Fairy. These key caps have a better typing feeling and longer durability than their ABS counterparts and resist shining much longer. The decorations and labels on the 1.3-to-1.5-millimeter thick caps were applied with a thermosublimation printing process, which is known for its exceptional quality.
Another popular feature is the detachable USB cable: a mini-USB jack is located on the back of the Forest Fairy and allows the use of individual connection cables, such as the included cable with a green design. Users can also prevent tangled cables on the desk by picking their own preferred cable length.
CHERRY MX Brown switches for reliable and fast input
Nowadays, the absence of RGB lighting on a keyboard is almost unheard of. However, it does perfectly fit with the ecological theme of the VA109M Forest Fairy, so there are no RGB or monochrome LEDs underneath the colorful keycaps. As with all their custom keyboards, Varmilo uses high-quality mechanical MX Brown key switches from CHERRY, guaranteeing the highest precision and a lifespan of more than 50 million actuations.
The MX Brown switch is especially popular with typists thanks to its tactile switch characteristic without audible click, a travel of two millimeters, and an actuation force of 55 centinewtons. Even casual gamers often rely on this MX switch due to its good performance in PC games.
Alternatively, Varmilo also offers the keyboard with CHERRY MX Blue and MX Clear. There is also an ‘80 percent’ layout option.
Hot keys instead of dedicated software and no macro features
In addition to the four additional keys above the numeric block, the Forest Fairy has a number of keys that double as hot keys. Multimedia functions such as Start, Stop, Mute, as well as the Win-Lock feature, are available without relying on dedicated keys or software. Unfortunately, there is no built-in option to assign macros to the keys of the VA109M Forest Fairy; you would have to use a third-party tool such as AutoHotKey for this.
As with the VA88M Double Rainbow RGB, Varmilo has proven with its VA109M Forest Fairy that a mechanical keyboard does not have to be a boring black or grey product. The VA109M is a worthy representative of the custom keyboard segment, meeting the demands of the scene not just with its unique appearance, but also with its high quality and stability. Even casual users will find themselves enjoying this robust keyboard with reliable CHERRY MX Brown switches, guaranteeing the best performance in everyday operation. On request, Varmilo also offers the VA109M Forest Fairy with other variants of CHERRY MX switches (including rare ones), so that collectors can get a unique version of this eye-catcher for their desk or display case.