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If you happen to’re searching for a tenkeyless mechanical keyboard constructed round a Mac-centric expertise, the Keychron Q3 could be the perfect keyboard to your cash.
In the case of a customizable, solidly designed typing expertise, the brand new Keychron Q3 hits just about all the marks and solely misses a number of comparatively minor metrics.
The Keychron Q3, in contrast to different fashions within the firm’s lineup, actually focuses on customization. It stands out in comparison with different Q-series with its 80% design that gives a extra accustomed to snug expertise.
As with different Keychron merchandise, this keyboard does what it does exceptionally nicely.
To place it plainly, this is without doubt one of the greatest mechanical keyboards you will get without having to cope with a ton of customizing or compromising with a Home windows-focused mechanical keyboard.
Here is why the Keychron Q3 is a superb possibility for the Mac-using mechanical keyboard fanatic.
Other than dimension, the Keychron Q3 shares an identical design aesthetic to earlier keyboards within the firm’s Q-series.
Mainly, it is a heavy keyboard. The load distinction between the Keychron Q3 and a Keychron K2 is placing at first. If you happen to’re used to one thing like an Apple Magic Keyboard, the Keychron will really feel like equipment to you.
In comparison with the earlier Keychron Q1 and Keychron Q2, the primary draw of the brand new mannequin is a bigger structure. The Q3 is an 80% or “tenkeyless” keyboard, giving customers more room to kind. It is a welcome diversion from Keychron’s extra compact boards.
The CNC aluminum chassis, which contributes to the keyboard’s weight, feels strong and durable. It is accessible in Carbon Black, Navy Blue, and Silver Grey shade choices.
Keycap colours will range relying in your configuration, although there’ll at all times be a “spotlight” shade on two of the keys. For instance, on the silver-gray Keychron Q3 we’re reviewing, the Enter and Escape keys are yellow.
If you happen to’re a connoisseur of mechanical keyboards, the keycaps themselves are OSA PBT keycaps. For the lay consumer, they’re snug to kind on and needs to be sturdy sufficient to final. The usual keycap textual content is nice sufficient and really readable.
The Keychron Q-series is a extremely customizable piece of substances. That is the primary differentiator between the Keychron Q3 and one thing just like the much-loved Keychron K2.
You should purchase a barebones model of the Keychron Q3 — primarily a metallic plate — and assemble it your self. That will contain selecting out the important thing switches, keycaps, and different objects of your selection.
Alternatively, you should buy a completely assembled model of the Keychron Q3. Even should you do, you’ll be able to nonetheless pick which key switches you need. The Keychron Q3 is hot-swappable, which means you’ll be able to pop in numerous key switches down the street.
In the case of change selections, reds are the quietest and greatest for gaming, whereas blues are clicky, loud, and geared toward typists. Brown switches are tactile however not clicky, placing a stability between blues and reds. If you cannot resolve, don’t be concerned.
After all, as with most mechanical keyboards, you can too buy personalized keycaps down the street. The Keychron Q3 has a extra conventional keyboard structure, so it could be simpler to search out caps that match than with Keychron’s different boards.
The Keychron Q3 can also be offered in a variant with a knob, in addition to a knobless model. The knob is totally mappable, so you’ll be able to set it to manage varied system or app features. Out of the field, the knob was mapped to quantity.
You can even utterly customise the important thing mapping in your board via Keychron’s personal By way of software program, which is out there from the corporate’s Github. Along with mapping particular key features to keys, you can too map macros to run when sure keys are hit.
Options & equipment
Within the field, the Keychron Q3 comes with a braided USB-C to USB-C cable. That is useful as a result of the Q3, in distinction to different keyboards in Keychron’s lineup, lacks Bluetooth performance. On the rear, there is a single USB-C port and a easy change to toggle between Mac and Home windows.
The shortage of Bluetooth means the Keychron Q3 is a wired-only keyboard. After all, due to its dimension and weight, this is not essentially meant to be a transportable keyboard anyway. This factor is supposed to dwell in your desk.
Personally, a single wire connecting the keyboard to a Mac is not a hassle. Nonetheless, should you’re choosing a brilliant minimalist desk setup, then it’s possible you’ll need to go for a keyboard with Bluetooth help.
Keychron additionally ships a number of further keycaps for switching the Q3 between Home windows and Mac configurations. Not like the Keychron K2, which some readers could be extra accustomed to, there are not any neutrally coloured keycaps within the field.
If you happen to’re searching for a quieter mechanical keyboard to maintain from annoying your housemates, companions, or neighbors, then the Keychron Q3 could be the keyboard for you.
Coming from a Keychron K2, the typing is considerably much less clicky. Even with the identical actual switches in each boards, the typing is loads quieter on the Keychron Q3. That could be a boon for many customers, notably in an workplace setting. However if you are going to buy a mechanical keyboard particularly for the “clickiness,” it’s possible you’ll need to go for the blue switches.
Underneath the fingers, the keycaps really feel snug sufficient to kind on. In comparison with a Keychron K2, having separated arrow keys — in addition to a devoted spot for insert, delete, web page up, and web page down keys — can also be nice. In the easiest way potential, the structure feels just like the keyboards many people might have grown utilizing.
Do you have to purchase the Keychron Q3?
There are a variety of various situations for buying — or not buying — the Keyhcron Q3.
If you happen to personal one thing just like the Keychron K2, there will not be a number of causes to “improve” to this mannequin. Nonetheless, if you’d like to have the ability to hot-swap your key switches or want a extra customizable expertise (on the expense of Bluetooth), then the Keychron Q3 is a worthy improve.
First-time mechanical keyboard consumers will get a number of worth from the Q3. You may have a strong, sturdy mechanical keyboard that may final your years. Moreover, you can tweak your keyboard to your coronary heart’s content material down the street. It is a strong funding.
If you happen to already personal a extra compact mechanical keyboard however desire a bit extra respiratory room, the tenkeyless design of the Keychron Q3 will fit your wants. Coming from a Keychron K2, the extra house on the Q3 makes on a regular basis typing duties much more snug.
- Stable and sturdy design
- Absolutely programmable through software program
- Tenkeyless setup makes for a extra snug typing expertise
- Sizzling swappable switches means you may have choices later
- Quieter in comparison with Keychron K2 (although this generally is a con for some)
- Lack of Bluetooth means you may must go wired
- Lighting controls take a little bit of getting used to
Score: 4.5 out of 5
The place to purchase
The Keychron Q3 is at present accessible to order from the corporate’s web site. A totally assembled model begins at $179.