You cannot discuss Keychron Q2, the second edition of the premium high-end keyboard, without referring to its predecessor Q1, which was a fantastic keyboard that created a legacy that Q2 inherited. The high success of Q1 inspired the company to develop a new, improved model that is currently available only from the company’s website. Both Q1 and Q2 have one thing in common – easy customization, but the latter is more compact and has six different versions. Your choices are Fully Assembled (No knob), Fully Assembled Knob, Barebone (No Knob), Barebone Knob, Barebone ISO Knob, and Barebone ISO (No knob). All the models have an aluminum case and have three colors – Space Grey, Carbon Black, and Navy Blue.
Keychron Q2 gives a premium feeling
The keyboard derives its elegant looks from the design and the aluminum case material that adds a lot of heft to the Keychron keyboard, which underlines the brand’s premium quality. The 65% layout keyboard is premium indeed and fulfills the expectations created by its predecessor. However, the layout leaves out the function row that was present in Q1, the reason why it is 65%. However, it makes the keyboard more compact, and to access the function keys, you must use the Fn2 modifier. By introducing Q2, Keychron gives an option to users to choose between a compact keyboard and one with more keys. The move aims at expanding the customer base as the company wants to build on the success of Q1.
An expensive keyboard
Those looking for a premium keyboard should be happy to get Q2 but need to shell out good money because it’s an expensive wired mechanical keyboard. The basic version without keycaps, switches, or a rotary knob costs $149, and you must pay an additional $10 for adding the rotary knob and another $20 for adding the keycaps and switches. The complete keyboard costs $179, and the price is likely to increase by mid-2022 as per indications available from the company. The keyboard comes with a detachable USB-C cable, and because the Q2 is hot-swappable, it means that installing or replacing the switches does not need any soldering. You can pick between Gateron G Pro liners red, tactile brown, and clicky blue, which are standard switches. The switches are south-facing and come with per-key RGB backlighting.
The keyboard design
Q2, the new keyboard from Keychron, is a gasket-mounted mechanical keyboard with an aluminum body, screw-in stabilizers, sound dampening foam, a rotary encoder, double shot PBT keycaps, adjustable RGB, hot-swap PCB, Mac and Windows support, and QMK/VIA software support. The Q2 has a double-gasket design as the board has regular pads above and below the switch plate and even silicone pads on the backplate. The silicone pads reduce the clanking sounds of the aluminum plate considerably. The notched rotary knob on the top right hand will make gamers happy, especially those who love to adjust the rig’s volume with a wheel. The Mac or Windows selector switch is placed beside the USB-C port and is not quite noticeable unless you look for it.
The board’s shell appears to be scratch-resistant, especially the switch plate that remained intact when taking out switches. The stabilizers of Q2 are better than Q1 as the wires click right into the place with minimal rattle. The VIA and QMK software support of Q2 is a noticeable development because of the ease of use of the software, which has tons of features.
Typing on Q2
Q2 is much more flexible than Q1 due to the Poron gaskets. The Poron foam pads used for the gaskets seem most appropriate for a gasket-mounted keyboard. The Gateron G Pro Brown switches wobble less than the standard Gateron switches, ensuring smoother typing. The spherical angled shape of the keycaps further eases typing, and their contours nicely match with the finger profiles. Overall, the keyboard performs excellently because its high flexibility ensures a smooth typing experience.
Although the new Keychron keyboard is suitable for gaming, the small keyboard is not versatile enough for every genre. The compact design of the keyboard makes it slightly inconvenient for gaming.
The Keychron Q2 is much improved than Q1 and brilliant despite the smaller size.