Keychron K1 First Impressions

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

I recently received my ten-keyless (TKL) Keychron K1 V31. The keyboard is often sold out on the Keychron website so I decided to sign up to be notified when a unit was in A few days later, I received an email that a Gateron blue in the RGB aluminum version was available so I quickly placed an order.

The keyboard above (87-key aluminum body, Gateron blues) costs 79 USD. Shipping costs 19 USD to Germany. This comes out to 98 USD for the total cost which I think is a reasonable price considering the build quality.

Shipping

I only received a tracking number 3 business days after I made the order. However, that number did not work in Hermes’s tracking website. Even after several days, the tracking system will say that the shipment was still not handed over to the carrier.

A friend gave me the tip that the tracking number should work with AfterShip2. I was able to track the package there but only until it arrived in Frankfurt am Main. I could neither track on AfterShip nor Hermes until the package arrived in Berlin.

The package itself came wrapped in multiple bubble wraps so the keyboard packaging box was not damaged. Delivery took exactly two weeks from the time I placed my order. There was also no customs fee.

Issues

As soon as I received the K1, I tried to connect it with my MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015) via Bluetooth. However, my laptop was not able to discover the keyboard. It was able to connect to my iPhone XS and my fiancée’s latest MacBook Air though.

I tried many different strategies like resetting my Bluetooth module, deleting the com.apple.Bluetooth.plist and starting the laptop in safe mode. I troubleshooted the Bluetooth issue for a good amount of time until I decided to throw in the towel and just use cable mode. Others seem to be having this issue as well.

Another issue I encountered was that the command keys would sometimes not work and it would register as option instead. Turning the keyboard on and off and toggling the mode from Mac to Windows to Mac again seemed to fix the issue. I’ve only experienced this once and hopefully this does not come up again.

Impressions

There are a lot of issues reported with the keyboard’s actuation where presses are registered even before the keys “click”. I haven’t encountered these issues (yet) but it seems that the 3rd version addressed these problems. When I type on this keyboard, I have to press down and not just brush over it (like I do with my laptop keyboard) to have the keys be registered.

Plugging it onto the MacBook, I did not have to change the modifier keys as long as the keyboard toggle was on Mac mode. The only key I changed was Caps Lock to Ctrl. The primary function keys (for e.g., the brightness keys, mission control keys, and the sound keys) worked perfectly. There is also a print screen key which maps to what would usually be Cmd + Shift + 4.

Overall, I’m quite happy with this keyboard. It is much bigger than I’d like (I should’ve gone with a 65% keyboard instead) but for the price and the quality, I’m satisfied. The build quality feels really solid and the RGB mode is fun. I never thought that I’d enjoy typing so much but this keyboard makes it a really enjoyable experience.


  1. To get 10% off, you can use my referral code. ↩︎

  2. Make sure to choose YunExpress as the courier if not selected already. ↩︎

keyboardgear
CC-BY-4.0

to posts