Keychron has pleasantly surprised fans of mechanical keyboards by announcing the Q1. This was the company’s first foray into fully customizable keyboards, and we really liked it. Today is the turn of the Q2, which is a smaller version (65% or no “function key”) of the Q1. Despite the small footprint, it retails for the same price, starting at $ 149 for the barebone or $ 169 if you want it fully assembled – cheaper than most of the competition.
When we tested the Q1, we liked it a lot. It offered the same level of configuration as the popular GMMK Pro for around $ 100 less. That said, the selling point of the GMMK Pro (in this author’s opinion) lies in those luxurious “Lubed Panda” switches and the firm, responsive typing experience. The “Panda” is GMMK’s own “switch” which, for those who don’t hang around Fall and / or using a “mech” are the mechanical part of the key – the important bit, really, because that’s primarily what will define how the keyboard “feels”.
Like the Q1, the Q2 is compatible with GOING THROUGH configuration software (and therefore QMK) that allows you to easily remap keys on almost anything, create macros and more. Like the Q1 (and the GMMK Pro and more and more), it is possible to replace the right-most key (Insert) with a clickable rotary knob for volume and media control.
Granted, after using the GMMK Pro for a while now, I find the Gateron Reds that came with the Q2 a bit flabby in comparison, but that’s the joy of a customizable keyboard, you can use the switches that you want (or change more or less any other part). You can even load it up with Pandas if you want to, although that would require (a lot) of extra expense.
The Q2 remains USB only (no wireless) but is still compatible with Windows or Mac and the corresponding operating system specific keycaps are included in the box. It’s also just as sturdy and well-built as the Q1 with its all-metal body. You can choose between three colors of it: Black, Gray and Navy Blue.
In the end, the Q2’s selling point comes down to whether you prefer a compact keyboard or have access to physical function keys (they are always accessible here with shortcuts of course).
The Q2 is also joined by other relatively new additions. Keychron is prolific if nothing else. In particular, there is the light weight / 70% K14 which is both wireless and has hot-swappable switches for a more affordable on-the-go option that retails for the low price of $ 59. The company also recently unveiled its first wired mouse. the M1. It’s visually quite similar to the Razer Viper ($ 39) but also has more than a fleeting resemblance to the Glorious oh (also from the same people behind the GMMK Pro).
Orders for the Keychron Q2 are open from today.
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