Review: Keychron K3 is a classic mechanical keyboard in a modern compact form

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The Keychron K3 is a very well-designed slimline mechanical keyboard, however its chief competitors is different keyboards from the identical producer.

In the event you do not like mechanical keyboards, then the Keychron K3 just isn’t going to alter your thoughts — nevertheless it would possibly come shut. It is bigger than the sort of chiclet keyboard you get from Apple, but slimline and small in comparison with most different mechanical ones.

Then in the event you do like mechanical keyboards, you are not going to lose any of the texture or the sound by going for this. It manages to be compact with none clearly overt compromise on the journey of the keys or the rigidity of the keyboard.

Keychron’s newest keyboard follows its extremely praised K2 predecessor, and the equally rated K1 earlier than it, in offering a stable, comfy typing expertise. Its predecessors are nonetheless out there, although, and the addition of the Keychron K3 — plus the forthcoming K4 — implies that it is tough to decide on.

What makes the K3 stand out is mainly is enterprise that it’s constructed to be compact. It is compact sufficient that Keychron sells a separate journey pouch, plus a light-weight palm relaxation.

L: Keychron K3. R: Apple Magic Keyboard

L: Keychron K3. R: Apple Magic Keyboard

Design — switches and keys

Keychron describes this as an ultra-slim keyboard, and says that it’s 75% of a full-size one. In sensible use, it is visibly compact however to not the extent that it is noticeable when typing.

The sturdy aluminum physique homes certainly one of two forms of key switches, an optical or a mechanical one. Both permits you to swap the keycaps to, as an illustration, make a Home windows format as a substitute of a Mac one.

If it's hard to justify flashing backlight colors, it's also hard to dislike them

If it is arduous to justify flashing backlight colours, it is also arduous to dislike them

Keychron’s low-profile optical change model goes additional and options hot-swappable caps and keys, which means you’ll be able to change each with out switching off the keyboard.

Then for that optical change model, there are six additional choices, every of which is claimed to be 40% slimmer than present common switches.

These six switches embrace the best-known crimson and blue varieties, plus brown, white, black, and orange. That is actually how mechanical keyboards get their taste, as every kind of change produces a subtly totally different really feel — and sound.

Broadly, blue switches are loud, they want a agency press, and you’ll hear a definite click on as you kind. Pink switches are simpler to press, needing much less stress, and are usually quieter.

The others fall in between these two, and it’s arduous to precisely predict which can swimsuit you the most effective. That mentioned, although, all of them make noise and require extra typing stress than the sort of chiclet keyboard that Apple sells.

Which means that whereas there are these generally fairly refined variations, however total you both like a mechanical keyboard or you do not. So in the event you just like the sound and the tougher typing stress, you will be pleased whichever change kind you get.

AppleInsider examined crimson switches, and Keychron additionally equipped a full set of blue. You should buy blue or brown switches individually and swap out every key change your self, you probably have the low-profile optical version of the Keychron K3.

As well as being able to connect to three devices, switches on the back let you choose Bluetooth or cable connection, plus PC or Mac configurations.

In addition to having the ability to join to 3 gadgets, switches on the again allow you to select Bluetooth or cable connection, plus PC or Mac configurations.

Design — backlighting and typing angle

What you’ll be able to’t do after buy with any choice is change the backlighting. You must select between a white backlight or what Keychron calls an RGB one.

It is a multi-colored backlight the place, amongst many different choices, you’ll be able to have it that totally different coloration lights flash as you kind. You’ll be able to set one coloration to indicate on a regular basis, too, or have shifting patterns throughout the keys.

Backlighting is not particularly useful if you’re a contact typist, however even if you end up, it’s oddly restful having these colours play throughout the keys. In the event you dislike that, you’ll be able to change off the backlight — or purchase the White Backlight model as a substitute.

The place you do not get any alternative in any respect, although, is within the typing angle. The Keychron K3 comes with one angle, marked by each a slight slope on the keys, and double-height rubber toes on the rear.

In common use, that angle is ok and the keyboard feels good. Transferring to it from a low-lying Apple Magic Keyboard, although, takes some adjustment as a result of your fingers are finest positioned barely greater than the underside row.

The separate palm relaxation helps elevate your fingers to that degree. Although word that it’s a really separate relaxation — it doesn’t connect with the keyboard and easily sits in entrance. Which means that relying on the floor the remainder is on, it could possibly slip.

There's only one typing angle and the keyboard is taller than a standard Apple one, so this separately sold palm rest is useful

There’s just one typing angle and the keyboard is taller than an ordinary Apple one, so this individually offered palm relaxation is beneficial

Keychron sells the palm relaxation individually. It is available in variations constructed to swimsuit totally different Keychron keyboards, however all price $25.

Switching keys

Keychron gives a instrument for lifting keys, and switches, off the keyboard. The primary time you do it, you do really feel as in the event you’re breaking off the keycap.

However then as quickly as you’ve got pressed a substitute into place, it’s as if the brand new key was all the time there.

Removing a key or a key switch is particularly easy

Eradicating a key or a key change is especially straightforward

There may be extra you are able to do moreover altering format to suit Home windows or Mac. You’ll be able to, as an illustration, determine in opposition to Keychron’s default orange Escape key and substitute it with a plain one.

What you’ll be able to’t do, although, is substitute the US-style Enter key with, as an illustration, a European-style Return. These keys are totally different shapes, and whereas Keychron sells many keyboards in these totally different configurations, the Keychron K3 is at the moment solely out there within the US model.

Maybe extra prone to have an effect on your shopping for determination is how there isn’t any choice for a numeric keypad. That is clearly deliberate and a part of making this a compact keyboard, however it could good to have an non-obligatory, separate keypad.

Must you purchase the Keychron K3

At $74 for the white backlight model, and $84 for the multi-color RGB one, the Keychron K3 is a wonderful keyboard for a superb value. It has a really distinct really feel, and sound, however it’s compact sufficient for it to be really transportable.

Add to that how customizable it’s with totally different keycaps, and even switches, and it’s a notably good purchase — in the event you like mechanical keyboards and do not desire a numeric keypad.

  • Compact design
  • Satisfying typing expertise
  • In a position to change shortly between a number of gadgets
  • Can include many backlighting choices
  • Choosing the right change for you is daunting
  • No numeric keypad choice
  • Just one typing angle

Ranking 5 out of 5

The place to purchase

The Keychron K3 mechanical keyboard may be purchased instantly from Keychron’s web site, beginning at $74 for the white backlight model.

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