I’ve been using the Logitech MX Keys keyboard for a while but like I mentioned in my review it’s a little bit too wide for me. I find I bump the mouse into the side of the keyboard a lot so I have to constantly shove it over to the side to make room and then I’m typing off to the side which isn’t ideal.

I never use that number pad anyways so I went out to look for something a bit smaller.

I couldn’t really find anything in the same sort of style as the MX Keys but I did find the Keychron K1.

I really don’t know much about mechanical keyboards, only that I don’t really like how they look and I’ve always preferred lower profile keyboards like the Apple Magic Keyboard or the MX Keys.

But the Keychron K1 caught my eye because I really liked how it looked.

Apparently there are all kinds of benefits to mechanical keyboards (that’s a pretty deep rabbit hole to go down if you start looking into it) and the K1 didn’t have the ugly sort of keys that I don’t like. Plus it’s nice and slim and low profile.

So I ordered one with Gateron Red switches and used it for awhile. Here’s my full review.

Note that at the time I purchased this keyboard the K3 and the K7 didn’t exist yet. This review is for Version 4 of this keyboard but as of right now a Version 5 is now available with a hot-swappable key option.


The Look

This is an 80% Ten-Keyless keyboard meaning it doesn’t have that numpad but it still has the arrow keys and keys like Insert, Home, Page Up, etc. over top.

It does save a good deal of space without that numpad and when using this keyboard my mouse no longer bumped into the edge which was great.

The overall look of this keyboard is fantastic as well with the dark and lighter grey keys. The orange Escape key is kind of a Keychron trademark. I’m not a huge fan of it but fortunately they give you several alternate keycaps including a standard grey one to replace the orange one.

The keyboard comes with mac keys like Command and Option but you get extra Windows Keycaps for Alt and Windows that you can easily swap out. This is probably one of my favorite things about Keychron Keyboards.

Depending on what option you go for you can get white backlighting or RGB. I went with white and it looks great. There are a ton of different lighting patterns as you can see in the video below:


The Keys/Switches

You have a ton of different options for what kind of switches you get with the keys in this keyboard.

I really didn’t know much about mechanical keyboard key options when I purchased this so I went with the Gateron Reds.

These were the best option for gaming and also the most quiet option apparently.

They’re linear switches and I kind of learned that I’m not really a fan of how they feel. This is 100% a personal taste issue though. I’ve since learned that I prefer a more clicky or tactile switch.

When you buy a K1 directly from the Keychron website now you have the option of selecting hot-swappable switches meaning you can swap them out for any other type of switch without having to solder. You can even mix and match different switches for different keys if you want.

I’d highly recommend you go with this option. Keychron also sells a sample pack of different switches so you can test out what you like.

You can hear what all the different switch options sound like in the typing test video below.


Other Features

The keyboard works wirelessly via Bluetooth and it works great. You also have the option of using it wired (and charging it) with an include braided USB-C cable which is very nice.

Across the top of the keyboard over your function keys are all the standard Mac media keys that map perfectly to options in Windows as well. There’s no software to configure the key bindings yet though. They are working on that however.

The battery life I’ve found lasts me about a week and that’s with the backlighting on. I’d prefer it lasted longer but it’s really not an issue for me to plug it in for a little bit with my setup.

You can use the keyboard with Windows, MacOS, Android or iOS and seamlessly switch between them. The keyboard can be synced to 3 different devices through Bluetooth at any time and you can switch between them with the press of a button.


Keychron K1 V4 low profile mechanical keyboard

In Conclusion

If you’re looking for an 80% Ten-Keyless keyboard that’s right in the middle of a mechanical keyboard and a more flat low profile one you can’t go wrong with the Keychron K1.

Unless you know exactly which switches you like I’d highly recommend going with the hot-swappable option and buying some sample keys to test out. If you try to save some money and get an un-hot-swappable one you may be stuck with keys that you don’t like.

I don’t think I’d recommend the Gateron Red switches but that’s just my personal taste. I really like their Mint Optical switches but that’s a topic for another review.

Images and videos are from the Keychron website used under Fair Use.