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Keychron K6: $100 Mechanical Alu Keyboard!

An extremely exciting mechanical keyboard release is the Keychron K6. This is a fully mechanical, hot-swappable, wireless, aluminum keyboard. It's a sign of mechanical keyboards becoming increasingly more mainstream, and hits all the boxes.



First Look

Something I appreciate about this keyboard is that it does not go the safe route with pure black keycaps. Black keycaps are, frankly, boring and overused. The grey and orange keycaps really pop against the black aluminum case. The shortcuts are printed on the keycaps, which I personally do not like, for aesthetic reasons, but some people do.

The aluminum is quite thick, which definitely gives an aura of quality. This will also help protect the fragile plate and PCB. The aluminum is secured on the sides of the keyboard with hex screws. Looking at the layout of the keyboard, the three keys between the spacebar and arrows are utilitarian, as opposed to two 1.25u keys with a blocker or two 1.5u keys.

On the left side of the keyboard, there are two switches: one for mode (bluetooth/cable/off) and one for OS (Mac/Windows). There is also the USB-C port there, which is why the cable is right-angle. The cable, I have to say, is fairly short. It's black and braided, USB-A to USB-C.

The lighting effects are fairly standard, although you do have a surprising amount of control through function layers. There are also a good amount of multimedia keys available through the function layers as well.

Inside

Let's take a closer look at the keycaps. These are ABS shine-through. Although they are technically double-shot, they are probably the thinnest keycaps I've ever seen. Even though this is probably how Keychron can offer their keyboard at such a low price, it's a shame that keycaps with such a classy color combination have to have the lifespan of a mayfly.

The switches this keyboard is shipped with are the three basic Gateron switches: red, blue, and brown. I really appreciate that Keychron went with Gateron instead of Cherry. Even though Gaterons are a bit cheaper than Cherry, they are better in every aspect, especially smoothness.

This keyboard also has bluetooth. In my experience it was a breeze to activate bluetooth mode and connect it to my PC. There is no dongle, which is a tradeoff I'm willing to make. Bluetooth means you can connect the keyboard to a tablet easily, and with keyboards bluetooth isn't very finicky.

Versions

There are many different versions of the Keychron K6. All of them are available on Amazon or on Keychron's website. The highest level version ($100), the one we got for review, has an aluminum case, RGB backlighting, and is hot-swappable. The lowest level has white backlighting, plastic case, and fixed gateron switches ($70). From there, you can work your way up, adding RGB backlighting, hotswap PCB, etc. Unfortunately, there is not an option for white backlight/aluminum case, which is really too bad.


Overall

This keyboard, for $100, is very solid. If you want aluminum wireless, this keyboard is a no-brainer. Even for people who don't need to connect to devices with bluetooth, this is still an excellent value keyboard. Although the HK Gaming Hades68 is slightly higher quality (full aluminum case, option for silent switches), it is considerably more expensive and has soldered switches.

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