Review: The Keychron Q10 is a Luxury Mechanical Keyboard with Knobs On

Computers & Mobile Electronics
Review: The Keychron Q10 is a Luxury Mechanical Keyboard with Knobs On

Manufacturer: Keychron

URL: https://www.keychron.com

Price: $215

I spend a stupid amount of time at my desk every day. I have invested substantially in my computer setup and productivity, with half a dozen computers – covering every major OS – and at least a dozen displays on my crazy IKEA Jerker workstation. I have a bizarre $350 RollerMouse, because conventional mice and trackballs start to hurt around hour fifteen in my day, but I was using a standard layout – though fairly fancy (I mean, it had its own 12.6” display!) – mechanical keyboard. My wrists were struggling, yet despite having amassed a collection of at least half a dozen mechanical keyboards, it had never occurred to me that there existed something akin to my beloved Microsoft Natural Keyboards that I used to snag right from the company store for just a few bucks, but with proper switches and customizable keys. This once-fantastical vision was promptly realized with the arrival of the Keychron Q10 Alice layout custom mechanical keyboard.

The Q10 delights in both form and function

As alluded to earlier, the Q10 features a non-linear Alice layout, with keys split down the middle, and, curiously: two B keys, so that you can find it with either hand on each side of the split. The space bar itself is also split, with FN between its two short halves, to allow easy activation of media keys and other shortcuts. I mostly use 60% keyboards, which require dipping into a second layer for even such basic needs as arrow keys, so the 75% Q10 feels big and luxurious to me. Dedicated arrow keys, page up/down and home (but, often to my frustration, no end), and five programable “M” keys, plus a delightful knurled knob on the top left round out the layout almost ideally. Everything about this keyboard oozes quality, from the heavy CNC’d body, to the double-shot PBT keycaps, to the perfectly placed per-key RGB LEDs.

Perfect for both novice and expert knob twiddlers

I’m not a mechanical keyboard expert, but I know what I like, and almost all of my other keebs have Cherry MX Brown switches, so the one concern that I had going in was whether the Gateron G Pro Brown would live up to my expectations. The great thing about the Q10 is that they take care of a lot of the mech nerdery for you in the assembled version, with pre-lubed switches and a factory-installed tape mod. Combined with the double-gasket design and sound absorbing foam layer, it was really hard to compare to any other keyboard that I have – all I know is that it feels amazing!

Layer upon layer of keeby awesomeness

At $215 as configured (fully assembled, “Navy Blue – A” colorway and Gateron G Pro Brown switches), the Keychron Q10 represents a fairly significant investment. But as someone who spends a ludicrous amount of time in front of a computer every day, this investment seems most sound, as it has markedly reduced my typing pain, and … it’s just really nice to use!

Tagged

David bought his first Arduino in 2007 as part of a Roomba hacking project. Since then, he has been obsessed with writing code that you can touch. David fell in love with the original Pebble smartwatch, and even more so with its successor, which allowed him to combine the beloved wearable with his passion for hardware hacking via its smartstrap functionality. Unable to part with his smartwatch sweetheart, David wrote a love letter to the Pebble community, which blossomed into Rebble, the service that keeps Pebbles ticking today, despite the company's demise in 2016. When he's not hacking on wearables, David can probably be found building a companion bot, experimenting with machine learning, growing his ever-increasing collection of dev boards, or hacking on DOS-based palmtops from the 90s.

Find David on Twitter at @IShJR.

View more articles by David Groom
FEEDBACK