My engineering office is open for those who wish to get out of the house to get work done. For the past month, I have been testing the Keychron K3 wireless mechanical keyboard and toting it in my backpack between my home and the office.
The major differentiator between the Keychron K2 and the K3 is the ultra-slim design of the K3. Low-profile switches and a minimal aluminum body make the Keychron K3 one of the thinnest and lightest mechanical keyboards available today. The keyboard is available with low-profile Gateron mechanical switches or Keychron optical switches. I tested out the Keychron optical switches that support hot-swapping.
The Keychron K3 arrived with black switches, but the PR folks also included bags of red, white, and blue switch keys to test out. There are six switch options for the optical switch design with differences in actuation force, travel, behavior, and sound level. I enjoy using mechanical keyboards due to the clicky sound that satisfies me as I bang away on the keyboard.
The blue and orange switches are clicky and advertised as being suitable for typists so I swapped out the default black switch keys for the blue ones. Three switch models are quiet and listed as being suitable for office or gaming. It takes some time to pull off the keycap and then the switches themselves, but the great thing is that you can also mix up key behavior if you desire.
Three mechanical Gatreon low-profile switch options are also available. These three switches all have the same travel distance with differences in actuation force and sound.
The retail package includes the keyboard, keycap puller, switch puller, a USB-A to USB-C cable, and five extra keys. The extra keys support switching from a primary Windows/Android to Mac/iOS experience. There are 84 keys on the Keychron K3 keyboard. It is sized to be 75%.
The USB-C port is in the middle of the back edge with an OS switch and a connection switch in the far left corner of the back edge. OS switch options consist of Windows/Android and Mac/iOS. For your connection, you can switch between Bluetooth or a cable connection. I only used Bluetooth functionality during my review and it connected perfectly to multiple devices. The keyboard supports connecting up to three devices.
You can also choose different backlight versions and the one I tested was the RGB backlight aluminum frame version, available for $84. 18 types of color and style are available in this model with a simple press of the lightbulb key moving you through each available option. Again, another way to enjoy your remote work experience is to switch up the lighting and effects on the keyboard.
The Keychron K3 weighs in at 396 grams and measures 306 x 116 mm. It is easy to move around the office or house to connect to various devices with a switch.
After testing the Keychron K2, I cannot go back to a non-mechanical keyboard as I love the key travel and sound of the keyboard as I enter text. The Keychron K2 has Gateron mechanical switches so the K3 was my first experience with the low profile Keychron optical switches. While the black switches were installed by default, I switched to the blue ones with clicky behavior and sound that more closely matches the K2 experience. The sound of the K3 is a bit different than the K2, but still enjoyable for those looking for an audible keyboard experience.
The white, red, and black switches are linear and quiet, so they may be better for those in an office with other employees. The key spacing is great, the travel is satisfying, and the performance has been flawless. The battery of the K3 was acceptable, but you will have to charge it up at least once a week if you use it every day.
The Keychron K3 is designed for those looking for a sleeker keyboard setup either for aesthetics or for portable use where you move the keyboard around your home or office environment. Given that the keyboard is an essential part of getting work done, the $84 price is perfect.