Keychron’s new mechanical keyboard offering, the Keychron Q1 Pro, was reviewed here.

As a tech expert with over a decade of experience in mechanical keyboards, I’m always on the lookout for the latest and greatest options. If you’re like me and use a Mac, the Keychron Q1 Pro is hands-down the best wireless mechanical keyboard out there. 

Keychron has been making quality mechanical keyboards geared toward Mac users for years. I’ve been a loyal customer since picking up their original K2 back in 2019. While it was fairly basic, the K2 gave me my first real taste of mechanical keyboards and showed me their potential.

Keychron has established itself as a prominent player in the mechanical keyboard market over the past six years. The Q1 Pro, a follow-up to the Q1 model, promises an even more refined typing experience for all users, whether you’re a mechanical keyboard enthusiast or a novice.

We will evaluate the build quality, typing experience, and overall performance of the Keychron Q1 Pro to see if it lives up to its claims.

Keychron Q1 Pro Features and Pricing

ProductHighlights
KeyChron Q1 ProQMK & VIA Support$199 Buy Now
Keychron Q1 Pro-whiteHot-Swappable Sockets
For macOS, Windows & Linux
Double-Gasket Design
Full Aluminum Body
OSA Profile Double-shot PBT Keycaps
Pre-lubed Gateron G Pro Brown Switch Pre-installed
Screw-In PCB Stabilizers

Features

  • Support Wired and Wireless connection, Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity which provides a stable connection
  • 4000mAh battery that lasts up to 100 hours with RGB backlighting or 300 hours without
  • The knob can be customized to control volume, switch desktops, scroll horizontally, etc.
  •  Polycarbonate plate that offers more flex compared to the steel plate of the original Q1
  •  K pro-Brown  K pro-Red and K Pro banana switches may feel a bit light but switch preference depends on personal taste
  •  SA keycap profile that may take getting used to due to the increased height

The Keychron Q1 Pro is a cost-effective option in the world of pre-built mechanical keyboards, as it is priced at an affordable $199 for a fully-built mechanical keyboard with keycaps and switches. It boasts significant improvements over its predecessor, including the ability to connect to up to three devices with a wire, and a substantial internal 4,000mAh battery.

One of the highlights of the Q1 Pro is its pressable knob, which allows for easy volume control. The knob can be used to change the volume on any device, even though this keyboard is configured to work with macOS out of the box. 

Build Quality and Design

The Q1 Pro is Keychron’s improved version of the popular Q1. The main upgrade is that it offers Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity instead of the Q1’s wired-only setup. I know Bluetooth can concern some due to potential latency issues, but I mainly use keyboards for productivity and don’t do much gaming. For everyday tasks, the Q1 Pro’s Bluetooth connection works flawlessly. 

Setting up the keyboard took seconds, and I haven’t experienced any connectivity problems. You can pair up to three devices and easily switch between them, or use the USB-C cable if desired. Since it’s wireless, the Q1 Pro has an integrated 4,000mAh battery that provides up to 100 hours of use with RGB lighting or 300 hours without. 

I’ve had the keyboard for about a week and have only charged it once so far. Using my Shark Geek power bank, I found that it draws a maximum of 5 watts at 1 amp, so recharging may take a few hours. The only real downside is the lack of a battery percentage indicator, so you have to press Fn+B to see the charge level shown by the LEDs.

The Q1 Pro comes pre-built with simple but durable white PBT keycaps and K Pro Brown switches. The keycaps are fine but can look dull next to the bright aluminum case in some light. The brown switches feel a bit light for my taste, as I prefer the Gateron switches in my Q1. However, switch feel comes down to personal preference, so these may be perfect for you.

One thing that continues to surprise me after years of mechanical keyboards is that switches alone don’t drastically change the sound. They affect feel the most, while other factors like the case, plate, and mods have a bigger impact on acoustics.

Customization and Performance

The Keychron Q1 Pro can be further customized using the QMK or VIA software, available through a browser-based platform. This user-friendly software allows you to customize key bindings, RGB lighting, test keys, reset the keyboard, and add macros.

When evaluating the pros and cons of this keyboard, it’s important to remember that no keyboard is perfect. The Keychron Q1 Pro offers a high build quality, great aesthetics, and extensive customizability at a relatively accessible price point. With options for both ANSI and ISO layouts, as well as bare-bones or fully configured versions, it’s an excellent choice for anyone interested in mechanical keyboards.

However, the battery life is not as impressive, lasting only 300 hours without RGBs and about 90 hours with RGBs enabled. Additionally, there’s no wireless dongle, only Bluetooth and wired connectivity, along with a potentially polarizing keycap profile. The space bar’s sound quality may also require some tweaking.

Despite these drawbacks, the Keychron Q1 Pro offers a visually appealing design, a satisfying typing experience, and a convenient 75% layout. It’s worth considering for those interested in exploring mechanical keyboards within a $200 budget.

I’ve enjoyed customizing these keyboards, and they’ve been a good progression from my K2 before I invest in more premium options. 

Using the Shark Geek power bank, I saw that the keyboard draws a maximum of 5 watts at 1 amp, so it may take a few hours to fully recharge once the battery runs out. I’m no expert on fast charging, but having to keep the keyboard plugged in seems to defeat the purpose of it being wireless. 

One small complaint is that there’s no battery percentage indicator in the Bluetooth menu like on other Bluetooth devices. You have to press Fn+B to see the battery level indicated by the LEDs, which isn’t very intuitive.

The Q1 Pro comes pre-built with white PBT keycaps that are fine but can look dull next to the bright white aluminum body in some lighting. If you want an all-white board with no flex, though, it’s a decent option.  

The original Q1 let you choose between a custom badge or rotary encoder (knob), but the Pro version has a knob only, which I personally really like. You can customize the knob’s function using Keychron’s VIA software, allowing you to set it to control volume, switch desktops, horizontal scroll, and more.

Okay, time for the typing test! Out of the box, the keyboard is just okay. There are a few switch options, but I went with Keychron’s own K Pro Brown switches. They feel a bit light for my liking, and I prefer the Gateron switches in my Q1. 

The sound is higher-pitched than what I’m used to, but that’s partly because the internal battery changes the case’s shape. As always, switch preference comes down to personal taste, so these switches may be perfect for you. 

I did notice some stabilizer rattle, especially on the backspace and enter keys, so there’s room for improvement there. The SA keycap profile is a bit tall, and I found myself making more errors, which can get annoying. The height takes getting used to, especially if coming from a low-profile keyboard like the Apple Magic Keyboard, so keep that in mind. Overall though, the Q1 Pro isn’t bad, and you can customize nearly everything on a mechanical keyboard to suit your needs.

To get the most out of the keyboard, you’ll probably want to make some modifications. I’ll cover some simple mods today but will keep tweaking my Q1 Pro until I’m fully satisfied.

To get the sound I wanted, I made a few modifications:

•PE foam mod – Adding a thin layer of anti-static foam between the PCB and plate to create a fuller, “marbly” sound. Different materials filter out different frequency ranges.

•Painter’s tape mod – Applying layers of masking tape to the PCB back to add more “pop” and thock to the keys. Subtle but effective.

•Dynamat mod – Adhering Dynamat, a heavy-duty soundproofing material for cars, to the keyboard backplate. Reduces pinging and high-frequency sounds. Looks cool too!

•Switch swap – Replaced the brown switches with heavier Gateron Oil Kings for a smoother feel, though their black housings block most of the RGB backlighting. 

•Keycap change – Swapped the default keycaps for lower-profile ones to match the Apple-inspired style I wanted.

One of the best things about Keychron keyboards is how easy they are to take apart and modify. The included tools are cheap and frustrating to use, so investing in better ones is a good idea,  but they’ll work in a pinch. 

To do one of the mods, I’ll be removing the keycaps, switches, and PCB plate. Otherwise, you just need to remove eight screws to open the keyboard.

One thing that surprised me when I got into mechanical keyboards is that the switches themselves don’t drastically change the sound. They absolutely affect the feel, but other factors have a bigger impact on the acoustics. 

I wanted something heavier than the brown switches, so I swapped them out for switches more to my taste: Gateron Oil Kings. They require more force to actuate and come pre-lubed for a smooth feel, but their black housings block most of the RGB backlighting, so keep that in mind if it matters to you.

To finish it off, I replaced the keycaps with lower-profile ones that suit the overall Apple-inspired look I wanted. I had seen this keycap set around and thought it looked great, so I went for it.

Here’s a quick before and after: 

In summary, I think the Keychron Q1 Pro is a solid wireless option for Mac users, especially those who frequently use function keys and keyboard shortcuts. Whether you’re new to mechanical keyboards or have been using them for years, the Q1 Pro provides an enjoyable experience. At $199 fully assembled, it’s only about $20 more than the original Q1, so it’s definitely worth the upgrade.

I hope you found this video and review helpful! Let me know if you have any other questions. And be sure to check out my studio tour video to see how I got the most out of my small home office space. Thanks for reading!

Keychron K2 vs Keychron V1 vs Keychron Q1

Keychron V1Keychron Q1Keychron K2
Case Material Solid ABS CNC Machined AluminumSolid ABS
Mounting Style Tray Mount Double Gasket Mount
Tray mount
Keycaps Double Shot PBT Double Shot PBT
Double Shot PBT
Switches Keychron K Pro Gateron G Pro
Gateron G Pro
Knob Option YesYesNo
Native QMK/VIA Support YesYesNo
Adjustable Ergonomic Feet YesNoNo
Hot-swappable YesYesNo
Polling Rate 1000 Hz1000 Hz
1000Hz/90HZ(WirelessMode
)
Stabilizers Screw-inScrew-inNo
Color Options Frosted / CarbonBlack / Silver / BlueFrosted / Carbon
Keyboard Size
75% layout75% layout75% layout
ConnectivityType-C
Type-C
Type-C,BlueTooth

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