The Keychron Q1 Pro: Is This The Best Wireless Mechanical Keyboard Of 2023?
- Current Cost: $199 (Kathryn).
The Kathryn Q1 began a new age of economical custom keyboards, and with the Q1 Pro, the line formally goes cordless– but that’s not all. Coming in at $199, this new model features a brand-new polycarbonate plate and enhanced KSA key caps to develop the finest Q1. The market is more congested than ever, so does the Q1 Pro have what it requires the keyboard to buy? Discover out in this evaluation!
Kathryn Q1 Pro-What Is It?
Kathryn Q1 Pro-Performance.
It’s as simple as ever thanks to the return of hot-swappable switch sockets if you desire to alter switches. There’s no requirement to disorder with this keyboard– or, let’s be real here, purchase a various keyboard if you don’t like the switches. Rather, you can simply unplug them using an included tool and press a new one into location. This is likewise a wonderful function to dig deeper into the pastime. New switches are releasing all the time and attempting brand-new ones is one of the most fun parts of mechanical keyboards.
Not only do they have a deep noise on the Q1 Pro, they’re also really smooth. They come lightly pre-lubricated from the factory, and I didn’t feel a requirement to pull them out and re-lube them. If you like Cherry or Patron Red changes, these are a cheaper, better alternative.
The Q1 Pro isn’t a reinvention of the traditional Kathryn Q1 however it’s a big sufficient evolution that I would advise any brand-new purchaser to select it over the original. The enhanced sound, feel, and connectivity make it the finest Q-series entry to date, especially if you’re going to put in the time to add a few custom-made mods.
Like the remainder of the line-up, it also supports programmability through VIA. This open-source firmware is phenomenal for remapping keys and designating multiple layers of key maps for specific apps and games. Or, as Kathryn develops it by default, having two layers of commands for both Windows and Mac operating systems that can be adjusted using a toggle on the back of the keyboard (which can be unmapped and custom assigned, turning it into a hardware layer switch).
Bluetooth’s functionality is easily the biggest addition. Wireless connectivity has most likely been the most asked for feature of all the Q-series, and It’s fantastic to see it finally make an appearance. You can link to as much as three various devices and swap in between them with a quick essential combination. It connects quickly and reliably, though you won’t want to walk too far away from the PC. The metal case still seems to impact the connection because way, however for stationary use it works well.
It takes its cues from the enthusiast customized mechanical keyboard community, plainly, and that applies in other areas too. There’s a layer of sound-dampening foam in between the switch plate and PCB, bringing and isolating keystrokes out the noise of the switches. There’s likewise a layer of foam in the bottom of the case to reduce hollowness.
The polycarbonate plate is a nice addition in both noise and feel. PC plates naturally have a deeper noise, which works to address a few of the thinness of the prior variations sound profile. It likewise stabilizes out the flex of the keyboard across the whole crucial set while the last one was more versatile around the edges where the gaskets are placed.
Instead, I think the bigger upgrade features the sound of the board. The mix of PC plate, new Kathryn Pro changes, and KSA key caps all integrate to offer the Q1 Pro a deeper sound profile. With mods, it becomes the best-feeling and best-sounding Q-series keyboard yet.
The Kathryn Q1 kicked off a new age of economical custom-made keyboards, and with the Q1 Pro, the line officially goes cordless– however that’s not all. The Kathryn Q1 Pro is the newest custom keyboard from the team at Kathryn and is the 16th (!!) keyboard in its Q-series line-up. Like the initial Q1, the Q1 Pro is a 75% keyboard and aims to develop a middle-ground in between efficiency and play. Kathryn has enhanced its lubing technique given that the Q1 and there was extremely little rattle or ticking on my sample of the Q1 Pro.
Underneath those key caps, the board includes your choice of Kathryn Pro changes. Available in Red, Brown, or Banana (tactile switches similar to Holy Pandas), these switches are pre-lubed and surprisingly excellent. As I’ll discusses in the next area, I attempted other turn on this keyboard and went back to the K Pros because of their fantastic noise and feel. They’re likewise incredibly inexpensive, so I could see myself choosing up some extras need to they ever make their way to Amazon.
It likewise brings back a great deal of the key functions of the Q1 and the larger Q-series line-up. It uses a completely aluminum case that weighs just under four pounds totally built. It’s readily available in Black, Grey, or White with brand new color design on the keyboard that look much better than any of its previous alternatives, in my opinion (and were bad, either).
The stabilizers were currently pre-lubed and were done well enough that I didn’t need to go back for re-tuning, however I did switch out to a set of Macrons black transparent polycarbonate key caps to let the RGB shine through a bit more. The result looks, sounds, and feels terrific and is a much better rival for more costly custom keyboards than any Q-board that came prior to it.
The Q1 Pro is a noticeable upgrade from the initial Q1. The Q1 currently delivered a soft typing experience, however the extra flexibility is significantly softer under each key.
The 2nd set of gaskets are silicone tabs that sit in between both halves of the case, theoretically stopping vibrations and pinging sounds from resounding through its body. I state in theory because, though it’s much better than the original Q1 that did not have these, a standard force break mod is still more effective and a recommended easy mod to apply here (more on that in the next area).
I’ve since attempted to swap them out for numerous fancier, more expensive switches I had on hand (Novellas Silks, Tuque Clears, WS Onions, WICK Yellows) and every switch I switched to make the keyboard sound thinner. I wound up pulling those switches and going back to the K Pros.
Like the original Q1, the Q1 Pro is a 75% keyboard and intends to create a middle-ground in between productivity and play. It keeps a devoted function row and arrow cluster, as well as a series of navigation and editing buttons in a compressed column along the ideal side. It likewise includes a programmable volume knob. It’s an excellent design with a lot of flexibility if you can live without the jumped.
VIA is precious in the customized keyboard neighborhood. It allows you to remap any essential to carry multiple commands. For example, I remap my Caps Lock secret to shift to a second layer when held however still control Caps Lock when tapped. This enables me to map everything from arrows to media secrets straight under the fingers of my right-hand man, providing me quick access to my most utilized commands all surrounding the house row. All of these modifications are then stored at the firmware level without the requirement for cumbersome flashing, and will deal with any machine no matter operating system or any security software your employer may have installed.
Like all the Q-series keyboards, the Q1 Pro only improves with modding. The force break mod (or 2nd gasket that goes between the two halves of the case) is definitely better than nothing, but I found that including some additional little pieces of tape around the screw holes enhanced the noise even more. I likewise included a layer of 1 mm Kilt vehicle noise dampener to the bottom of the case, and eliminated the light-weight foam that was installed originally. I added a layer of tape to the bottom of the PCB to add some extra pop to the sound profile.
The board likewise supports per-key RGB backlighting. There are lots of presets developed into the keyboard, however using VIA, you can also dial in your preferred lighting scheme. VIA does restrict you somewhat in having the ability to quickly produce complex fixed designs, but makes dialing in an exact hue for the whole keyboard extremely easy. Considering that the key caps aren’t backlit, that tends to be the finest backlighting alternative for exposure anyhow.
Lastly, Kathryn appears to have actually broken the nut with Bluetooth performance. It’s able to connect rapidly and dependably, though I did find that the transmission distance isn’t quite as far as my K3 Pro. Still, for usage at a desk or with a laptop it’s completely great. The only thing I want is that Kathryn added 2.4 GHz connectivity for low-latency video gaming. If you’re playing first-person shooters, you’ll still wish to plug in for the finest gaming experience.
Kathryn waited just a bit too long to launch this feature. At this point, even spending plan keyboards are offering 2.4 GHz in addition to Bluetooth for enhanced video gaming performance. While It’s terrific to see, it would have been good to see Kathryn leap ahead with more competitive wireless alternatives on this design.
It uses a double gasket mounting structure where the plate rests on soft strips of BORON foam rather than be screwed into the top or bottom case. Typing on the keyboard feels softer than bottom-or top-mounted keyboards, and if you push down, there’s a noticeable flex.
The keyboard also utilizes screw-in stabilizers for additional stability on the larger secrets. You can switch these out for your own, if you’re a home builder, or use what’s there as they’re in fact rather excellent. Kathryn has enhanced its lubing technique considering that the Q1 and there was very little rattle or ticking on my sample of the Q1 Pro.
The brand-new key caps are also exceptional. KSA is really close to SA (Kathryn states its caps are more ergonomic but does not explain how), which indicates they’re high. The extra space under each key cap likewise enhances the keyboards much deeper sound. I was also shocked by simply how thick they are. At 1.6 mm, they’re satisfyingly strong under the fingers.
The item explained in this post was provided by the manufacturer for examination purposes.
The Q1 Pro is an obvious upgrade from the initial Q1.
The modifications this time around make a huge distinction in the general experience. For instance, the Q1 Pro now ships with tall KSA key caps that are thick and made from double shot PBT plastic. They’re much better than the initial key caps that shipped with the Q1, though be gotten ready for a bit of a learning curve to adjust to their height.
The Kathryn Q1 Pro is the latest customized keyboard from the group at Kathryn and is the 16th (!!) keyboard in its Q-series line-up. It’s the successor to the initial Q1 and carries through the exact same 75% design while adding Bluetooth connectivity, new switches, brand-new key caps, and a softer polycarbonate plate for about $20 more than the initial, costing $199 totally put together. These upgrades– Bluetooth in particular– make the Q1 Pro the Q-series keyboard to purchase, and it’s a little greater cost even more reasonable.