Keychron continues doing it. Since we reviewed the Keychron Q2 in January 2022, it`s made over the Q1 and released 12 different Q-collection forums, from a everyday vintage great right all the way down to an ultracompact. There`s even an HHKB. But perhaps the maximum unusual is the Q10: a seventy five percentage Alice format mechanical keyboard with a milled aluminum chassis. Like different Keychron Q-collection keyboards, it`s a incredible keyboard for the price, with a gaggle of fanatic capabilities at middling-gaming-keyboard prices. Like them, it`s for a positive sort of person: a person who sees a $two hundred keyboard and says, “How is that this so reasonably-priced?!”
Imagine that a person cut up a keyboard down the middle, circled every 1/2 of slightly, kinked the outdoor columns lower back the opposite manner a bit, and glued it lower back together. That`s Alice — named for the TGR Alice, a 60 percentage keyboard from Malaysian fashion dressmaker Yutski that ran as a 40-unit institution purchase lower back in 2018 and stimulated a legion of clones, imitators, variants, and spinoffs.
Like different Alice forums, the Q10 isn’t pretty a cut up keyboard, and it`s now no longer pretty an ergonomic keyboard. You can`t manage the perspective or the camping nor function the halves independently. They aren`t a ways sufficient aside to honestly maintain your forearms parallel to every different, shoulder-width aside. And the Q10, in particular, is a bit tall. But it`s a bit greater cushty than a popular keyboard because it helps you to maintain your wrists at a greater impartial perspective in your forearms. I experience adore it opens up my shoulders a bit greater. It additionally seems cool.
Interesting and beneficial format
Great experience and sound
Easy key remapping
South-going through hot-switch PCB
Left extent knob
You ought to need a 5-pound keyboard
$two hundred both too steeply-priced or suspiciously reasonably-priced
For $215 with keycaps and switches or $195 without, the Q10 is, trust it or now no longer, an absolute steal. The Q collection is Keychron`s try to make an off-the-shelf mechanical keyboard experience like a high-quit custom, and it generally works — in case your imaginative and prescient of a high-quit keyboard consists of terms like “gasket mount” and “milled aluminum chassis.”
My evaluation unit weighs 2244g, or simply below 5 pounds, with the inventory keycaps and switches. It`s supposed to move on a table and live there. Keychron is following the keyboard network here: maximum custom keyboards over the last decade were crafted from milled aluminum for some reasons. Aesthetically: metallic keyboards appearance nice, heavy matters experience high-quit, and that they don`t slide round your table whilst you kind. And practically, the per-unit fee of CNC-milled aluminum scales linearly, that is essential in case you`re most effective making 50 or a hundred of some thing for those who don`t thoughts paying loads of greenbacks every. It`s most effective withinside the beyond few years that fanatic keyboard producers are becoming the size important to make plastic instances, simply as greater mounted producers commenced making milled-aluminum ones.
Like the opposite Q-collection forums, it`s gasket-mounted: the transfer plate sits on strips of squishy foam among the pinnacle and backside frames. This offers the whole meeting a pleasant leap: in case you push difficult sufficient on any key, you may see all of the keys pass downward en masse and get better up. Small silicone bumpers among the pinnacle and backside frames save you metallic-on-metallic contact, similarly decreasing vibration and disposing of the high-pitched ping that stable-aluminum instances regularly have. There`s a layer of sound-damping foam among the transfer plate and PCB. The switches are gently lubed, and the stabilizers are… much less gently lubed.
These are all approaches fanatics mod their keyboards to present them deeper, fuller sounds and decrease high-pitched clacking or pinging. To positioned it any other manner: to make amends for the reality that they`re milled out of stable aluminum. Another is the tape mod (or Tempest mod, after the man who popularized it). It includes making use of layers of tape to the lower back of the PCB to extrade the sound profile. It`s reasonably-priced and easy, and it works. I`ve executed it to numerous keyboards. The Q10 comes pre-tape-modded with a skinny sheet of “acoustic tape” in lieu of the layer of acoustic foam different Q-collection forums have.
Does it work? Yeah.
With the inventory keycaps and Gateron Pro Red switches, the Q10 feels and sounds great. And I don`t even like mild linear switches. It`s now no longer quiet, necessarily, however maximum of the sound comes from the keycaps clicking towards the transfer plate. There`s no resonance or ping whatsoever. Even the gap bars — normally the loudest keys on any keyboard — are quite quiet, likely due to the fact they`re the dimensions of usual Shift keys. I for my part do now no longer kind with sufficient pressure to experience any leap from the gasket mount — it feels approximately similar to an incorporated plate to me, to be honest — however it appears to assist the sound profile, and it ain`t hurting anything.
The inventory screw-in PCB-mount stabilizers are okay. They`re generously however inexpertly lubed, and the backspace secret is louder than I`d like. If it had been my keyboard, they`re the primary matters I`d tweak. Still, through preinstalled stabilizer standards, they`re quite good.
This is the primary time I`ve used an Alice board, and it took me nearly no attempt to get used to. It enables that the format is generally popular. Generally, the keys are the dimensions you`d assume them to be and approximately wherein you`d assume them to be.
The backside row is probably the trickiest adjustment: there are 3 1.25u modifier keys to the left of the primary area bar and a characteristic key to the proper of it. On the proper-hand side, there`s any other area bar, then a solitary 1u modifier that, through default, acts because the board`s characteristic key. If you’re used to counting on the ones proper-hand modifiers, you may ought to get creative. Fortunately, that`s all fixable: the Q10, like several of Keychron`s Q-collection forums, is absolutely programmable the use of VIA, a bendy and famous app withinside the keyboard network for customizing RGB lights and key mapping.
The Q10 consists of each Mac- and Windows-like minded keycaps withinside the box