There is no perfect keyboard for everyone. But in my hunt for my keyboard endgame, I’ve realized that my perfect keyboard is essentially an old-school IBM Model M re-engineered with all the modern trappings — a bit quieter (because I’m not a monster), much more compact, wireless, backlit, and natively compatible with Mac.
That’s not easy to find. Some were too stiff and small, some didn’t have a wireless option, others felt unnatural and didn’t have mechanical keys, and the rest were simply trying too hard to stand out.
I almost lost hope and put a pin on my search… until a few weeks ago. That’s when I came across what I’m typing this article on — the Keychron K2.
The right balance of everything I want
The Keychron K2, at first, almost seemed too good to be true. But after finding out about its successful Kickstarter campaign, I took the plunge and as I write this a month later, I’m so glad I did.
The K2 offers everything I want from a keyboard and more. It’s wireless and mechanical, to start off. It also comes in the 75% layout which means it doesn’t have a number pad and houses only the keys most of us actually need today. Therefore, the Keychron K2 doesn’t take up much room on my desk, while not skimping on any essential buttons — unlike the ones I’ve tried in the past like the Das Keyboard 4.
It’s not cramped, either. Keys have just enough space between them for my fingers to naturally glide and maintain their usual pace. The keycaps themselves are also the right size — neither too small for me to hit them mistakenly, nor so wide that you have to stretch your muscles to reach the ones tucked away in the corners.
Of course, the K2 also produces that clacky sound we all love.
The keycaps are curved on top and come with an ample travel of 4±0.4mm. This produces the tactile response you’d expect from a mechanical keyboard.
The Keychron K2 also comes equipped with Gateron switches (blue/red/brown) instead of the more common Cherry MX. Unlike the latter’s soft input, the former has a sharper, tactile feel that is better suited to my taste. I don’t want to have to press too hard for pushing them all the way in — an issue I grew increasingly fed up with while using Logitech’s G613 wireless mechanical keyboard.
Of course, the K2 produces that clacky sound we all love. But don’t worry, unless you choose Blue switches, they aren’t overly loud. As long as I kept my door shut, they couldn’t be heard outside my room.
An understated look
The Keychron K2 features an understated handsome design that’s rather rare in keyboard land. It doesn’t have any loud accents or unorthodox curves you would normally find on gaming accessories.
Instead, there’s barely any branding and the keys themselves take most of the space creating the impression that there are no borders. In addition, the Esc key is bright orange which adds a bit of pizzazz to an otherwise minimalistic, grey aesthetic.
The one downside, which may bother some, is the Keychron K2’s elevated base and chassis’ thickness. Depending on your desk and chair’s heights, this can hurt your arms in the long run as you’ll have to keep them at a narrow angle and your wrists could rub against the sharp edges of your table. This didn’t affect me since I have a tall torso. But if you think it can blight your experience, the easiest solution is to buy a wrist-rest. The K2 does offer a six-degree angle stand for switching to a more ergonomic position.
Just because it’s a bit thicker than other keyboards, that doesn’t mean it’s heavy. At about 1.46 pounds, the Keychron K2 is lightweight, especially compared to the Das Keyboard 4’s 2.9 pounds. The heft is evenly distributed throughout the frame, too, meaning the chassis feels sturdy at every key.
Going the extra mile
Apart from the essentials, the Keychron K2 goes the extra mile to impress in the rest of the aspects too.
For starters, unlike most wireless keyboards, it has a large 4000mAh battery that lasts weeks on a single charge. When you do need to top it up, you can do so through a USB Type-C port — another rare perk as far as keyboards are concerned. What’s more, if you run out of charge in the middle of typing, you can continue to employ the Keychron K2 in a wired mode.
Plus, there’s an auto-sleep function that automatically puts the keyboard in stand-by to preserve power when it has been sitting idle for a few minutes.
For night warriors, the Keychron K2 is backlit and offers more than a dozen lighting variations you can control with a dedicated switch on the top right corner. You can also buy it with an RGB backlit for a couple of extra bucks.
The Keychron K2 is a keyboard that I never knew could exist.
One of the highlights of the Keychron K2 is its cross-platform abilities. It supports all the major desktop and mobile operating systems. By default, it ships with macOS keycaps. But the company bundles Windows keycaps (and a key removal tool) in the box that you can easily install.
You can connect up to three devices simultaneously and instantly jump between them through shortcuts. On the side, you’ll find toggles for switching between layouts of different operating systems. And to my surprise, it all works rather seamlessly and I have yet to face a single hiccup.
At a starting price of $69, the Keychron K2 is criminally underpriced, and you can pay a little more to add cosmetic upgrades like RGB backlighting and an aluminum frame.
The Keychron K2 is a keyboard that I never knew could exist. In addition to putting an end to all the common keyboard flaws I’ve grown so fed up with and the perennial ordeal I was stuck in, it goes out of its way with features like the gargantuan battery and quick cross-platform toggles to offer a cohesive and unprecedented typing experience.
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