Keychron has been making a name for itself in the mechanical keyboard market for some time now, offering a good balance of features and price. They're also known for regularly releasing new models, so if you're looking for a specific type of keyboard, there's a good chance they have one that fits your needs. One area where they had yet to venture, however, was in the realm of premium aluminum decks with wireless options. That gap has now been filled with the launch of the Q1 Pro, a flagship, fully customizable 75% keyboard that also offers Bluetooth connectivity.
It may seem surprising that higher-end, customizable keyboards often don't come with wireless options, but this is usually due to their metal housings. The Q1 Pro, therefore, will be of particular interest to those who want to fully customize their keyboard but also want the convenience of Bluetooth.
The Q1 Pro is heavily based on the original Q1 model that Keychron launched in late 2021. Like its predecessor, the Pro model features a gasket design (a double gasket, in fact), hot-swappable switches, and QMK/VIA compatibility (open-source software for easy remapping of any key). Additionally, there's an option for an aluminum rotary knob for things like volume control or RGB lighting, and it's compatible with Mac, Windows, and Android.
When compared to other customizable keyboard options, the Q1 Pro stands out. For example, the GMMK Pro starts at $170 for a barebones model and the recently released Sense75 from Drop starts at $249. The Q1 Pro, on the other hand, is being launched via Kickstarter and can be pre-ordered for $174 (barebones) or $194 (pre-assembled kit).
Connecting the Q1 Pro to multiple devices is a breeze, thanks to the switch on the back of the keyboard, allowing you to easily switch between Windows/Android and MacOS. The keyboard also comes with spare keycaps for the differing keys on Microsoft and Apple layouts, and there's also the option to connect via USB-C.
Battery life for the Q1 Pro will vary depending on how much you use the RGB lighting. With no backlighting at all, Keychron claims you can expect about 300 hours of use on a full charge. If you use the lighting sparingly, that number drops to 90.
Overall, the Q1 Pro offers a solid typing experience and is a great choice for those looking for a premium aluminum, customizable keyboard with Bluetooth connectivity. Currently, it's likely the best option on the market for those looking for these specific features.