As you all know, if you have been reading this website for some time, I am a fan of mechanical keyboards. Rather than go down the list of my mechanical past as I often do lets just get to looking at the Keytron K1.
First thing to know is that, I believe for copyright reasons, they changed their company and keyboard name to “Keycrhon”. I can only figure this as I used to sell keyboards make by a company called “Keytronic”. They made rubber-dome clones of IBM Model M’s.
The K1’s design is meant to mimic Apple’s Magic Keyboard in a full and tenkeyless design complete with an spitting image colour match to apple space grey theme. With this we also get chiclet style keys in black and the base aluminum frame anodized in grey. The surface under the keys themselves are plastic but it doesn’t matter. The frame is incredibly strong. You can’t bend it. I mean you probably can if you drive over the thing but why would someone do that?
The keys are all RGB backlit on the model I own but you can get straight white backlit version as well and on top of that versions built for Mac or Windows.
One of the biggest attractions of this keyboard is the fact it has custom slim mechanical key switches. They have a similar feel similar to a blue but not as loud and a bit more resistance perhaps closer to a black. But since there is less travel to complete a key press it’s really a unique feel.
The keycaps themselves do not have a texture on them so if you are not used to a chiclet keyboard it may take some getting used to. It didn’t take too long for me to get used to it and I have not used a chiclet style keyboard in years.
The Keychron K1’s main party trick is that along with being able to be hooked up to a computer via a USB-C to USB-A cable it can also hook up to five other devices be it Android, iOS, Mac or PC via bluetooth. That means you can actually be connected to 6 different devices though not a the same time. You have to switch between them via a couple switches on the front of the device. I will be honest, I have not had a very successful time with the bluetooth connection to my computer’s bluetooth but there is a desk in the way and that could be causing the issue. It does connect to my Xiaomi Redmi 5 no problem though as well as my older Intel Mac Mini.
The bluetooth function works with the RGB lighting on but the battery life goes from days to hours. You can leave the keyboard plugged in to charge while in bluetooth mode but of course that removes the potability aspect of the keyboard.
The RGB lighting is not addressable on this keyboard as all the effects are built in to the keyboard itself. You can change the effects with a number of function button combos.
Right now the MSRP is $84.00 CAD for the tenkeyless RGB model of the K1. I have been very impressed with this keyboard. It types well, the lighting is very functional. The mechanical feel is very satisfying to type on. The best since I discovered Cherry MX Browns to be honest. I really enjoy typing on here.
I think $84.00 is a steel for this and I recommend it wholeheartedly.