In the past, I had funded the original Keychron K1 mechanical keyboard via Kickstarter. It didn’t have the name K1 at the time and it was supposedly the first slim profile mechanical keyboard. After many years Keychron has come a long way. The Keychron K1 is now in its 4th revision dubbed the V4. I decided to try it out again with the option to choose what sort of switches to pair with it. In the original Keychron, it arrived with Blue switches which apparently drove my colleagues at the office nuts. Using Red switches, the keyboard doesn’t create loud clickety noises and is bearable in an office environment.
Today Keychron makes a lot of different models. The closest model to the K1 is the K3 where it has fewer keys. Initially, I wanted the Keychron K3 as it has a smaller footprint as I was thinking of bringing it around with me but as it was out of stock at the time, I chose the Keychron K1 V4 instead. There are at least a dozen other wireless mechanical keyboards about including some other great wireless keyboards around. To me, the few key criteria which led to my decision was that the keyboard should be able to use both Bluetooth and cable, as well as the ability to pair with multiple devices at the same time.
The Keychron K1 V4 comes in both either an 87-key option or a full-sized 104-key option (that is the keyboard with the full Numpad). It only comes with an aluminium back and you get to choose if you wanted just a simple white backlight or an RGB backlight. Since I was bitten by the whole RGB craze, I chose the latter. Switch options come in the standard trilogy, low profile Gateron red, blue and brown switches. There are no options to choose a swappable switch (which means you can change the switch on the keyboard).
What I like about it
- The Keychron K1 V4 low-profile is fairly slim and I can stuff it into my existing standard-sized laptop backpacks
- It has an aluminium backing, it has a solid feel when I press on the key and the board doesn’t flex
- I like that it has the markings for both Windows and Mac (especially the shortcuts at the function keys such as mission control and brightness options)
- It is slim enough that I don’t need a palm rest to work comfortably with it
- Toggle switches between Windows and Mac, Cable and Bluetooth connectivity
- Uses a USB-C as a port for both cable connectivity as well as charge
What I don’t like about it
- The keyboard has an aluminium backing. As a result, it is rather heavy.
- It doesn’t come with any legs to adjust the height of the keyboard. This means that if you have smaller hands or prefer that there is a slight tilt to the angle, it might annoy you.
- I think I preferred the clickity feel of blue switches overall but that would drive people around me nuts with the sound of typing
If you are thinking of purchasing one, I would suggest that you try it out and choose your key switches carefully. Alternatively, you could purchase one with swappable key switches which would allow you to change them to your own liking. Would I get another Keychron again? Definitely, I would think that my next one would be the new Keychron Q1 QMK keyboard which is their latest customisable mechanical keyboard. If you are based in Malaysia and is thinking of getting one, you can check out our local vendor, Keybot or if you prefer to buy directly from Keychron, you can purchase it and use BuyandShip to ship it over to Malaysia (which is what I did). I believe I paid around RM20 for shipping in the total.