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The Keychron Q1 is a mechanical keyboard constructed for the fanatic who desires to customise every little thing all the way down to the switches whereas avoiding the mess of soldering keys.
Mechanical keyboards enchantment to a specific area of interest, and the neighborhood forming across the subject can generally be daunting. Tune in to some well-liked keyboard reside streams, and you may see somebody with a soldering iron changing switches of their customized keyboard.
This may be sufficient to show informal fans away.
Nevertheless, Keychron has constructed the right keyboard to fulfill anybody who needs to customise each side of their keyboard, while not having any superior expertise. The plug-and-play nature of the Keychron Q1 lets customers go as deep into the customization rabbit gap as they like with out having to purchase further instruments or supplies.
Past the headlining customization options, Keychron has created a sturdy keyboard with a contemporary aesthetic that calls again to traditional Mac keyboards of yesteryear. We see the Keychron Q1 as a pure subsequent step for somebody who enjoys one thing just like the Keychron K2 and needs one thing a bit extra customized.
Keychron Q1 Design
The aluminum case is offered in carbon black, navy blue, and silver-gray. It’s constructed round a chrome steel plate that provides weight and sturdiness to the construction.
The underside case is thicker aluminum to extend the burden and scale back the “ping” noise when typing.
These components add as much as an undeniably heavy keyboard at about 4 kilos. It is not meant to be moved round your house or used within the lap — it’s a devoted desktop keyboard.
To emphasise this, it’s a wired-only keyboard too. Keychron features a USB-C to C cable and USB-A adapter for optimum compatibility.
The knob model of the Q1 has a machined knob set within the top-right nook. It’s color-matched to the aluminum case, however Keychron says the aluminum colour is not at all times a precise match since they’re machined individually.
The Keychron Q1 makes use of south-facing RGB LEDs in order that the sunshine is distributed evenly across the keys on the keyboard.
Keychron ships the Q1 with opaque double-shot ABS cherry-style keys, not clear ones. The ultimate impact is mild that faces the typist that does not shine immediately into their eyes.
The RGB sample, brightness, and colour are totally customizable utilizing particular key combos. Maintain the “Fn” key and faucet “Q” or “A” to cycle between completely different patterns that strobe or rotate. “W” and “S” alter brightness, “E” and “D” alter colour, and “R” and “F” alter saturation when used with the “Fn” key.
All the things past the aluminum body is user-customizable. Anybody who already owns mechanical keyboards or different Keychron fashions might have already tried shopping for customized keycaps to customise how the keyboard appears, and that operate is right here too. Nevertheless, the Keychron Q1 takes it a number of steps additional.
Look previous the aesthetic layer of keycaps, and you may see a layer of switches. These switches come pre-installed and are chosen by the customer at checkout, however customers can swap these switches out with differing types to vary numerous features of their typing expertise.
Sometimes, switches must be soldered into the keyboard to operate, however the Keychron Q1 is a hot-swappable keyboard. This implies switches will be traded on the fly with out the necessity to solder or program.
Scorching-swapping switches is not a brand new idea, however Keychron takes it a step additional by making each key on the keyboard re-programmable utilizing an app referred to as By way of. Extra on the app and programming keys later.
Keychron despatched us a keyboard with Gateron G Professional Blue switches and a white/grey keycap set already put in. This configuration would mix in with most desktop setups, and the blue keycaps have been clicky with a robust actuation power.
We choose purple switches, so we traded out the blue switches with purple switches.
The method for altering out each change is a tedious one. First, you take away each keycap utilizing the included keycap remover device. Then you definitely take away each change utilizing customized tweezers that depress locking mechanisms below every change.
After eradicating each blue change, I positioned purple switches rigorously in each slot. The pins need to align with the slot they’re going into and can’t be compelled in, as the important thing will not work if the pins are bent.
The end result was basically a totally completely different keyboard within the Q1 aluminum case. The Gateron G Professional Purple switches have a low actuation power and make a way more muffled, quiet sound.
The customized keycap set with blue and purple keycaps have been additionally extra suited to our preferences as nicely.
By way of software program
Keychron advertises the By way of software program for programming the Keychron Q1. We put in the software program immediately from Github and ran it with little difficulty after enabling it in System Preferences.
After altering all the key switches out, we used By way of to check the operate of each key to confirm no pins have been bent. Solely the left Command key was not functioning, nevertheless it was rapidly changed with a brand new change.
As you possibly can see from our photos, the Web page Up and Web page Down keys have been swapped for various keys. We determined to make use of a screenshot key and a lightbulb key as a substitute, however functionally, these keys nonetheless acted as Web page Up and Web page Down at first.
Inside the By way of software program, customers can select from any key operate to switch a key and even program customized macros to happen when a key’s pressed. Even the knob will be adjusted to carry out completely different features when pressed.
For simplicity, we selected to reprogram solely our new keys. F13 was set to take a screenshot utilizing Clear Shot X, and the lightbulb key turns off the keyboard backlight.
Do you have to purchase the Keychron Q1?
We love the customization choices obtainable for the Keychron Q1 and might be experimenting with completely different keys and programming macros for features for a while. The power to strive completely different change varieties in the identical keyboard with a easy swap can also be fairly a boon since we would choose by no means to deal with solder once more if in any respect potential.
Typing on the Keychron Q1 is simply as nice an expertise as different Keychron keyboards we have reviewed. Keychron says the development and padding are supposed to vary particular features of how the keyboard feels, however we’re not discerning sufficient to note these variations.
This keyboard actually is not for everybody. This should not be your first mechanical keyboard by any stretch. If you happen to did not like mechanical keyboards earlier than, this keyboard will not change your thoughts.
The Keychron Q1 is cumbersome, heavy, and meant for use at a desktop linked through a cable. There aren’t any choices for Bluetooth, so quick swapping between gadgets is not potential.
Nevertheless, Common Management does open up the choice of utilizing it on a number of gadgets in a single session, which makes the shortage of Bluetooth a non-issue.
- Scorching swappable keys
- Changable key caps
- Built-in quantity knob
- Absolutely programmable
- RGB ligthing nicely executed
- Wired solely
- Sophisticated lighting controls
Ranking: 4.5 out of 5
The place to purchase
- Get the Keychron Q1 direct from Keychron for $189
- Gateron Switches from Amazon for $13.50
- PBT Keycaps for MX switches from Amazon for $19.99