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When you go online and search for the best mechanical keyboards, you’ll most likely come across Keychron. At least, that’s what happened to me when I wanted to get started with a custom mechanical keyboard. And the device that showed up the most was the Keychron Q1 Pro, a 75% custom kit with a durable aluminum chassis, hot-swappable switches, RBG, wired and Bluetooth capabilities, versatility with different platforms, and more. Basically, it had a little of everything for the person who wanted an excellent prebuilt keyboard that they could customize down the road. It was just a bit out of my price range at around $200.

Keychron has made a name for itself with feature-rich, high-quality keyboards, which is why I went with a Keychron as my first custom keyboard (the more affordable K2 Pro, in case you were wondering). After using the Q1 Pro for around a week, the surrounding hype is absolutely founded, even when compared to other Keychron models. It’s missing a couple small features, and its tall, weighty build might not be for everybody, but it’s a truly excellent mechanical keyboard with just about everything you need to get started, whether you're a beginner in the scene or are ready to start taking it apart.

About this review: XDA purchased the Keychron Q1 Pro for the purposes of this review, and Keychron did not have any input into its contents.

Keychron Q1 Pro
Source: Keychron
Keychron Q1 Pro
Best customizable mechanical keyboard
9.5 / 10

The Keychron Q1 Pro is considered one of the best customizable mechanical keyboards for a reason. Its sturdy, high-quality build, ease of use, and features give you just about everything you could want in a higher-end keyboard.

KSA Double-shot PBT
Switch Type
Keychron K Pro Red
South-facing RGB LED
Number of Keys
Compatible Devices
Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS
12.9 x 5.7 x 1.5 inches (327.5 x 145 x 35.8mm) at thickest point
PC plate, Full CNC machined aluminum
Wired operation
USB Type-C
Bluetooth 5.1
Polling rate
1,000Hz (wired) / 90Hz (wireless)
Replaceable Keys
Wrist rest
Num Pad
  • Hefty aluminum build keeps the keyboard steady
  • Bluetooth and wired capabilities
  • Almost completely customizable, but it works great fully-assembled
  • Works seamlessly with VIA
  • No 2.4GHz Wi-Fi
  • Stock keycaps are a bit tall
  • A little heavy

Pricing and availability

You can purchase the Keychron Q1 Pro on both Amazon and Keychron’s official website, although you’ll find the most configurations going straight to the source. It comes either fully assembled for $199, as my review unit did, or barebones for $179, which you can order if you want to customize the switches or keycaps. It comes in either Carbon Black or Shell White (there is a Silver Grey build that’s currently out of stock on Keychron). You can also buy one with three types of Keychron K Pro switches: Red (linear), Brown (tactile), or Banana (clicky). But because the keyboard is hot-swappable, you can always change the keycaps and switches after purchase.


Big and sturdy

The Keychron Q1 Pro on the floor at an angle

The first thing I noticed when I removed the Q1 Pro from the box was its heft. It was pretty obvious off the bat that it was a heavy keyboard, weighing almost 4 pounds, but it’s also thick and tall. It features a CNC aluminum body that feels incredibly sturdy, and a high wedge design that props it up at a comfortable angle without the need for adjustable feet on the bottom (there are four tiny rubber feet, but they don’t do much for height). This isn’t a keyboard you’ll take with you if you’re traveling for work, but it won’t move much at all if you keep it on your desk, which is arguably more important.

However, that size comes with a bit of a downside. The plate is already tall, but the Q1 Pro ships with high, curved KSA profile keycaps, which might take some getting used to, especially if you’re coming from something low-profile like a laptop. I also have small hands and fingers, so resting them in a neutral position in front of the keyboard feels awkward. However, you can always replace the keycaps if you need something shorter or get a wrist rest to prop your hands up slightly higher.

The Keychron Q1 Pro side profile, which shows how tall the keycaps are

The keycaps themselves are high quality, though, so maybe you’ll want to just suck up any discomfort with their height. These are double-shot PBT keycaps, so they’re not only more durable than printed or ABS ones, but they have a lovely textured, matte finish that keeps them from collecting grease over time. They’re still made from plastic, so they’re not too heavy, either.

All of these features on their own would result in an excellent desk keyboard, but Keychron has one more trick. The Q1 Pro, along with many of the company’s other options, uses a double-gasket design that basically suspends the top plate above an extra layer of silicone. All of this not only helps the keyboard sound good to type on (more on this later), but it also means there’s an added bit of flex to the chassis. A more flexible keyboard isn’t for everybody, but it can be more comfortable for builds with keys that might bottom out too harshly. You likely won’t feel the difference, especially since the aluminum keeps everything in place for the most part. I could feel it since I’m a heavy typer, and the bounciness felt more comfortable over many hours.

A diagram that shows the Keychron Q1 Pro's design and build
Source: Keychron

Otherwise, the Q1 Pro comes with everything you’d expect from a 75% keyboard in this price range. You get south-facing, customizable RGB, an F-key row with media controls, and, most importantly, a programmable knob. By default, it controls volume, and clicking on it will mute your audio. Like other parts of the keyboard, it’s made from metal and releases a satisfying click when you turn it. You’ll also get your N-keys in the bottom right and a couple of Home keys lined up under the knob. On the back (although I wish they were on the side for easier access) is a switch to set the layer to Windows or Mac, a USB-C port for charging and connectivity, and one more switch to enable the cable or Bluetooth.

This isn’t the most compact 75% keyboard I’ve used. There is some space between the F-keys and the number row, along with the N-keys and the rest of the keyboard. Thankfully, it’s efficient enough. It’s still smaller than a full-sized keyboard, and if you don’t like all your keys smushed together, it might actually work out in your favor.

Connectivity and software

Unfortunately missing Wi-Fi

The switches on the back of the Keychron Q1 Pro

Keychron is known for its versatility, and that’s no different with its most mainstream keyboard. The Q1 Pro works with both Windows and Mac, and you can easily move between them with the switch on the back of the chassis. The keyboard comes with Mac and Windows-specific keycaps in the box if you only use one operating system, and thanks to easy compatibility with VIA, you can even create multiple layers to work between different devices. And because the Q1 Pro can save up to three device connections, you can easily center it in your workflow.

The website says it’s compatible with just Windows, Mac, and Linux, but I was also easily able to connect it to my Google Pixel 7. Bluetooth connectivity, which is new to the Q1 Pro compared to the regular Q1, is reliable with little latency. However, I wouldn’t recommend using it for gaming as there is a bit of noticeable lag, especially as you move further away from your computer. It would’ve been nice to see 2.4Ghz wireless available, or at least a dongle, but apparently, the aluminum build makes this difficult to implement. Plus, it’s not like Keychron markets its keyboards for gaming anyway.

Unfortunately, I ran into an issue reconnecting back to my Windows PC via Bluetooth 5.1 after that test. Despite my PC saying the keyboard was connected, it wouldn’t work, so I had to remove and pair it again. The Bluetooth stopped working a couple of times during my review period, but thankfully, you can connect it to your computer with a USB-C cable or just re-pair it, which takes just a few seconds.

Some of the easiest software to use

The Keychron Q1 Pro inside VIA

You’ll also need the cable to connect your device to your computer and use VIA, which is one of the most popular keyboard customization options around. It’s incredibly easy to use and compatible with over 1,000 keyboards, including ones from Keychron. All you have to do is plug your keyboard in, head over to the VIA website, and the app will detect your keyboard and immediately pull up what you need for customization or creating layers — no third-party software or weird setup required. I was able to program the knob to change the RGB effects, which was great as somebody who likes to change the lighting depending on my mood.

Typing experience

All up to you

A closeup of the Enter key on the Keychron Q1 Pro

I received a fully assembled kit from Keychron with factory-lubed red switches (45gf actuation point, 2mm pre-travel, and 4mm total travel). When I started opening the package, I had no idea that the Q1 Pro would be an important part of my journey. I no longer need the loudest, “thockiest” (a.k.a. deepest sounding) keyboard! I’m a changed person!

In all seriousness, even as is, the Keychron Q1 Pro sounds fantastic. I was disappointed by the slight ping and hollow sound at first, but there wasn’t much rattle, the sound was consistent throughout the keyboard, and over the course of the week, I grew to appreciate how (relatively) quiet it was for working in my shared office. Even the spacebar, which is often the outlier when it comes to sound on a keyboard, feels on par with the rest of the keys thanks to the PCB stabilizers.

The Q1 Pro feels great right out of the box, so you might not want to do much to it at all.

The Keychron K Pro switches are actually quite nice, as well. The red switches are linear, which means they don’t have a physical bump that creates a tactile feel. For typists, that typically means you don’t get a lot of feedback when pressing on a key, but the reds aren’t too light, which means you won’t make too many errors if you accidentally brush against the wrong key. I was able to get 130 words a minute on Monkeytype. They’re overall just smooth, responsive switches that won’t tire your fingers out after a long day of work and then can assist you in playing video games later.

Meanwhile, the keycaps have this shallow, concave indent in the middle, which is supposed to help with comfort as well. I don’t think it made a difference while typing, but it felt comfortable while I was resting my fingers, waiting for the next words to come to me. But as I said earlier, this was after getting used to their taller profile.

The fun of going with a custom keyboard is that you can, well, customize how it sounds and what it feels like to use. The box does come with both a keycap and switch puller, along with a tiny hex key and screwdriver if you want to take it apart. But, to be honest, the Q1 Pro feels great right out of the box, so you might not want to do much to it at all.

Should you buy the Keychron Q1 Pro?

The Keychron Q1 Pro Bluetooth on the back

You should buy the Keychron Q1 Pro if:

  • You want a high-quality mechanical keyboard for your desk
  • You want to get started tinkering with a custom mechanical keyboard
  • You like the gasket mount design and it’s small bounce
  • You want some bright and customizable RGB

You shouldn’t buy the Keychron Q1 Pro if:

  • You don’t have $200 to spend
  • You want a true wireless keyboard
  • You don’t like RGB

For $200, the Keychron Q1 Pro might be out of your budget, but it might be one of the best uses of that money in the mechanical keyboard space. It’s all set to go out of the box with a super comfortable and steady build that can keep you from tiring out after a few hours. It also has just about any feature you could possibly need, including a programmable knob that’ll expand the capabilities of your keyboard. You can even customize it easily in VIA if you need certain keys for programming or gaming.

But what really makes the Q1 Pro worth your time is that it’s just easy to use. If you want to just plug it in and get started, you can. If you want to play around with customizations thanks to the hot-swappable switches, you can. The only thing that isn’t easy is moving it around, but as long as you leave it on your desk, it’ll become a great work companion. It might even change your opinion about keyboards as a tool that can be both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Keychron Q1 Pro
Source: Keychron
Keychron Q1 Pro
Best customizable mechanical keyboard
9.5 / 10

The Keychron Q1 Pro is considered one of the best customizable mechanical keyboards for a reason. Its sturdy, high-quality build, ease of use, and features give you just about everything you could want in a higher-end keyboard.