The Keychron K3 is a very well-designed slimline mechanical keyboard, however its chief competitors is different keyboards from the identical producer.
Should you do not like mechanical keyboards, then the Keychron K3 shouldn’t be going to vary 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 case 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 highly praised K2 predecessor, and the similarly rated K1 earlier than it, in offering a strong, snug typing expertise. Its predecessors are nonetheless obtainable, although, and the addition of the Keychron K3 — plus the forthcoming K4 — implies that it is difficult 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.
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 one in every of two kinds of key switches, an optical or a mechanical one. Both means that you can swap the keycaps to, as an illustration, make a Home windows structure as an alternative of a Mac one.
Keychron’s low-profile optical swap model goes additional and options hot-swappable caps and keys, which means you possibly can change each with out switching off the keyboard.
Then for that optical swap 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 purple and blue varieties, plus brown, white, black, and orange. That is actually how mechanical keyboards get their taste, as every sort of swap produces a subtly completely 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 sort. Crimson switches are simpler to press, needing much less strain, and are usually quieter.
The others fall in between these two, and it’s exhausting to precisely predict which is able to go well with you the very best. That stated, although, all of them make noise and require extra typing strain than the sort of chiclet keyboard that Apple sells.
Which means whereas there are these generally fairly delicate variations, however general you both like a mechanical keyboard or you do not. So in case you just like the sound and the tougher typing strain, you will be completely satisfied whichever swap sort you get.
AppleInsider examined purple switches, and Keychron additionally equipped a full set of blue. You should purchase blue or brown switches individually and swap out every key swap your self, if in case you have the low-profile optical version of the Keychron K3.
Design — backlighting and typing angle
What you possibly can’t do after buy with any possibility 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 possibly can have it that completely different shade lights flash as you sort. You may set one shade to point out on a regular basis, too, or have transferring 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. Should you dislike that, you possibly can swap off the backlight — or purchase the White Backlight model as an alternative.
The place you do not get any selection 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 palms are greatest positioned barely increased than the underside row.
The separate palm relaxation helps elevate your palms to that degree. Although be aware that it’s a really separate relaxation — it doesn’t connect with the keyboard and easily sits in entrance. Which means relying on the floor the remainder is on, it will possibly slip.
Keychron sells the palm rest separately. It is available in variations constructed to go well with completely different Keychron keyboards, however all price $25.
Keychron supplies a device for lifting keys, and switches, off the keyboard. The primary time you do it, you do really feel as in case you’re breaking off the keycap.
However then as quickly as you’ve got pressed a alternative into place, it’s as if the brand new key was all the time there.
There may be extra you are able to do in addition to altering structure to suit Home windows or Mac. You may, as an illustration, resolve in opposition to Keychron’s default orange Escape key and substitute it with a plain one.
What you possibly can’t do, although, is substitute the US-style Enter key with, as an illustration, a European-style Return. These keys are completely different shapes, and whereas Keychron sells many keyboards in these completely different configurations, the Keychron K3 is at present solely obtainable within the US model.
Maybe extra more likely to have an effect on your shopping for resolution is how there is not any possibility for a numeric keypad. That is clearly deliberate and a part of making this a compact keyboard, however it will good to have an optionally available, 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 superb keyboard for worth. It has a really distinct really feel, and sound, however it’s compact sufficient for it to be really moveable.
Add to that how customizable it’s with completely different keycaps, and even switches, and it’s a notably good purchase — in case you like mechanical keyboards and do not need a numeric keypad.
- Compact design
- Satisfying typing expertise
- Capable of swap rapidly between a number of units
- Can include many backlighting choices
- Choosing the right swap for you is daunting
- No numeric keypad possibility
- Just one typing angle
Score 5 out of 5
The place to purchase
The Keychron K3 mechanical keyboard could be bought directly from Keychron’s web site, beginning at $74 for the white backlight model.