Keychron Q1 Overview: Fanatic Degree Options That Received’t Break The Financial institution

Keychron Q1 Review: Enthusiast Level Features That Won’t Break The Bank

So that you need to get into customized mechanical keyboards?

Within the current years, we’ve seen an explosion in reputation not simply in mechanical keyboards, however customized mechanical keyboards. You is likely to be questioning what’s the distinction between a ready-built one like these made by Razer, Logitech, Corsair, and so forth, versus a customized one.

Because the title would indicate, a customized keyboard means you get to decide on the case your keyboard is available in, you get to decide on the switches, you get to decide on the keycaps, and if you wish to get even deeper, you get to decide on customized cables in a colorway of your alternative, or specialty one-off artisan keycaps which might be often hand sculpted by extremely gifted folks locally.

The one drawback is that because you’d be shopping for a number of the components separate from one another, placing collectively a whole keyboard may very well be a undertaking that would take months to finish. To not point out, sure keyboards can simply price you $400-500, and keycap units also can run as much as $120-$200 in some instances.

This may be extremely off placing to rookies, a few of whom aren’t certain they’re prepared to speculate that type of money and time, and that’s a niche that Keychron is hoping to fill with the Keychron Q1.

Meet the Keychron Q1

Proper off the bat, it’s clear that the Q1 is a totally totally different beast from the remainder of Keychron’s keyboards. The firm’s different keyboards usually had that “Keychron” look to them, type of like how all Razer keyboards are likely to look a sure method.

With the Q1, it appears that evidently Keychron has studied the customized keyboard scene and has even taken suggestions from the group throughout the design course of earlier than it entered manufacturing.

The tip result’s a keyboard that appears to return with all of the “will need to have” options that fans are searching for in a customized board, however at a value that won’t burn a gap within the pockets for rookies within the interest, whereas additionally retaining some basic Keychron options.

Specs & Options

  • VIA help from day one out of the field
  • Gasket Mount Design
  • ANSI/ISO PCB choices
  • Sizzling-Swappable PCB for 5-pin mechanical switches
  • Foaming
  • Full CNC Aluminium Physique
  • Screw-In Stabilizers
  • South-Dealing with RGB
  • Home windows/Mac change

Design & Construct High quality

The Keychron Q1 is a 75% keyboard. Which means that it does away with the numpad in addition to a number of different keys like Scroll Lock, Print Display screen, and Pause/Break. Nevertheless, in contrast to a 60% or 65% (that are different in style type elements), it retains the F-key row, so in case you’re somebody who makes use of F-keys as macros for gaming, or in case you use it for work/productiveness, it’ll be there.

It additionally makes use of normal keycap sizes and format, which signifies that searching for a customized keycap set to suit the Q1 is not going to pose an issue.

The mannequin that was despatched to us got here in a pleasant blue end, and talking of which, Keychron even offers clients the choice of ordering a personalized badge to make their keyboard really feel really distinctive and private! That badge will be eliminated and changed with a change and keycap in case you want an additional key.

The load of the Q1 was additionally somewhat good and hefty, which is likely to be unusual to listen to as loads of maintstream manufacturers are likely to market their keyboards as being light-weight, however a heavy board means that it’ll transfer round much less on a desk and might contribute to a greater sound signature.

Nevertheless, many different opinions have identified that the Q1 does sound somewhat “pingy” which we agree. It may very well be the standard of the aluminum they selected, however do notice that Keychron is conscious of this.

The corporate truly features a piece of froth within the backside of the keyboard to assist dampen the sound, however clearly it isn’t sufficient. It’s so skinny and flimsy that we expect not together with it could have made that a lot of a distinction. Keychron states on their web site that for the retail models, they may truly be together with further items of froth that ought to hopefully handle the sound concern.

Sound & Typing Expertise

Talking of sound, that is a facet of mechanical keyboards that those that aren’t into the interest would possibly discover obscure. It is because along with seems to be and really feel, the sound of a keyboard will be an necessary issue as properly, with many fans attempting every kind of switches and mixtures to attain that good sound.

That is the place a number of the options of the Q1 come into play.

The Q1 makes use of a gasket mounting system. This consists of items of froth strips that sandwich the case of the keyboard with the plate and PCB. As an alternative of extra conventional mounting kinds that may merely screw the plate and PCB into the case, a gasket mount is designed to assist present a softer and versatile typing expertise.

It is because the froth helps make the board really feel much less inflexible, whereas on the similar time absorbing a number of the vibrations which impacts not simply sound, however typing really feel. The tip result’s a board that doesn’t really feel very harsh while you backside out and has a softer sound signature.

As for the typing expertise, Keychron outfitted this board with Gateron Phantom Pink switches. Gateron is a producer of switches and this Phantom lineup was created completely for Keychron. It’s out there in Pink (linear), Blue (clicky), and Brown (tactile).

Surprisingly proper out of the field, there was little to no spring ping/crunch and the switches had been additionally fairly easy. It is because these switches are literally manufacturing facility lubed, which for probably the most half will be hit and miss, however on this case we expect that for many rookies and newbies to the interest, it’s good to go.

We think about that tuning it additional or utilizing different switches may benefit the sound and typing expertise enormously, it’s not a foul place to begin.

The stabilizers (a element used to stabilize longer keys like Shift, area, Enter, and Backspace) had been additionally one other nice shock as they had been decently lubed out of the field. Whereas it may very well be additional improved upon, it sounds method, method higher than what you’ll discover on different mainstream mechanical keyboards.

Customization Galore

This brings us to our final level of the Keychron Q1 assessment, and probably crucial level as properly – customizability.

It is a key tenet of the mechanical keyboard interest and that’s taking a keyboard and outfitting it with switches, keycaps, and different modifications to actually make your board sound, really feel, and look the way in which you need.

A number of mainstream keyboard manufacturers make it extremely troublesome (not unimaginable) to customise through the use of parts that aren’t normal, or bizarre keycap sizes that make it close to unimaginable to make use of with aftermarket keycap units. These points are virtually non-existent with the Q1.

The Q1 incorporates a hotswappable PCB which suggests that you may simply swap out the switches with any of the aftermarket ones out there on the market with out the necessity to desolder the previous ones and solder within the new ones.

It additionally makes use of normal keycaps and format so discovering a set that fits your tastes received’t be an issue. The stabilizers are additionally screw-in stabilizers, one thing the group largely prefers over clip-ins, and they’re additionally appropriate with in style stabilizer sorts from Cherry, GMK, Zeal, Durock, and so forth.

Final however not least, the Q1 will be configured both utilizing QMK or VIA, the latter of which is mainly a point-and-click software program that allows you to rebind and reassign keys in seconds, an necessary characteristic for many who need to get probably the most out of their keyboard.

Keychron clearly has GMMK and the GMMK Professional of their sights once they created the Q1, and actually, whereas on the floor each keyboards would possibly look comparable, there are some delicate variations and key classes that Keychron took from the GMMK Professional’s launch that would give it a slight edge, like higher tolerances for different manufacturers of stabilizers, for instance.

Nevertheless, take into account that this interest is all about “desire” so this isn’t essentially to say that one is best over the opposite. For instance, the GMMK Professional’s inclusion of a rotary knob is likely to be a deciding issue for some.


So who’s the Keychron Q1 for? When you’re new to the mechanical keyboard scene, you is likely to be intimidated by the lengthy wait occasions for keyboards and keysets to achieve their clients, however as Keychron plans for the Q1 to be an in-stock merchandise, you will get began instantly.

It may also enchantment to veterans who’ve been within the interest for some time now. The power to totally customise it, due to the hotswap PCB, may make it an amazing spare keyboard to check out new switches with.

It’s also priced very fairly at $179 for a totally assembled model (which incorporates switches and keycaps), however if you wish to select your individual switches and keycaps, the barebones model will set you again $149.

All issues thought-about, the Keychron Q1 for its value and options feels prefer it truly punches properly above its weight and in case you’re new and don’t know how you can navigate this limitless stream of “preferences” on this interest, then the Q1 may very well be an amazing place to begin.

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