K3 Keyboard

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

While there are many good things about owning a MacBook, the keyboards in the 2017 model are not one of them! Low travel, sticky keys, falling off keys… the keyboard is just not the dream. While later models fixed these issues, I'm stuck with the 2017 model…

I've had my eye the offerings from Keychron for a while, however had been put off by the sizes - either the slightly bulky frames, or the full 104 keyboard layout. I want a keyboard that will replace the laptop keyboard - which means that portability is a priority.

I jumped on the Kickstarter for the Keychron K3 as soon as it went up, and have been so impressed with what has been delivered.

The keyboard feels solid and well built, simple design- the orange escape key is lovely, and the keys feel sturdy. I read far too much ahead of purchasing the keyboard, and ended up picking the Gateron mechanical brown switches which seem to be a happy midway between clicky/tappy and too quiet. I figured that they can't be any louder than my current keyboard!

I love the size of this thing. It has everything I need from it, and a little more. I was surprised to find a screenshot button hiding on it. It's designed for customisation - so the keycaps can be changed and replaced. You can switch them round if QWERTY isn't your thing, lockdown v3.0 in the UK might be a good time to learn to touch-type in Dvorak?

Two gripes of the keyboard - the first one is more of a user learning thing that you get each time you move keyboards. For the K3, Keychron have squeezed an extra row of keys on the right-hand side of the keyboard to include keys like Page Up and Down, Home and End. It's a nice touch, however I spent the first week of using it cursing the Home key which is where my fourth finger has learnt to expect to find the backspace key. It's not a a deal breaker, it's a thing to relearn.

I have been impressed with the battery life, it promised 34 hours of solid use, which maps to my experience. The issue is that you get no warning before the battery dies. No flashing light, nothing. One minute it was connected, the next it was gone. It charges over USB-C, it's fine, I would have just liked some warning before the disconnect!

Overall, it's a strong keyboard, perfect for day-to-day use, and while I haven't been able to travel with it yet, I'm convinced that it'll go into my remote office bag happily!

If you're interested, my referral link will get you 10% off.

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