Keychron adds Bluetooth to its awesome Q1 board
Kechron's Q-series keyboards are shockingly good, not just in and of themselves, but in terms of value versus the usual super-premium designs. Check out one of our reviews for more details, but to sum it up: awesome aluminum construction, huge amounts of customization, plenty of layout options, and wide-open programming with VIA and QMK. The one thing the line has been missing is wireless powers. Today, Keychron addresses that lack with the Q1 Pro.
Keychron has been making wireless boards for years, of course, mostly separate from its high-end designs. But it says that it's finally cracked how to keep a stable wireless connection through several pounds of milled aluminum. Visually identical to the current, wired-only Q1 keyboard, the Q1 Pro preserves its popular 75% layout, programmable dial, the dual-gasket mount, and hot-swappable key switches. The only fundamental change to the design is replacing the metal switch plate with a polycarbonate one for "more flex" (and possibly better wireless signal in an otherwise all-metal box).
Speaking of wireless, the design includes Bluetooth 5.1 for quick connections to up to three devices and a 4000mAh battery that should last for months if you turn off the RGB lighting. In Bluetooth mode, the polling rate is 90Hz, but if you need something faster for your Counter-Strike matches, plug in the USB-C cable for 1000Hz and N-key rollover capabilities.
The Q1 Pro is launching today as a Kickstarter project, as is Keychron's wont. Deliveries will go out in April, which is also when the keyboard will be available for direct purchase. Barebones (no switches or keycaps) versions start at $179 with the fully-assembled version topping out at $199 (with a slight discount for Kickstarter early birds). Color options include black, aluminum, and white, with cyan, purple, and orange accent keys, respectively.
Expect Keychron to roll out wireless "Pro" models for its other Q keyboards in the future, assuming sales are solid.
Michael is a former graphic designer who's been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.