The Best $150 Custom Keyboard: Affordably Designed for You

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While there are many keyboard options for PC and Mac users, most people find their keyboards too quiet, flat, or all-around unsatisfactory. If you are one of these people, a custom mechanical keyboard is the best option for you. One that comes with an affordable and premium feel should be most considered. Let me introduce you to the Keychron Q1.

The Keychron Q1 is one of the most talked-about mechanical keyboards, and it is the best with the best value. If you are a mechanical keyboard newbie, the Keychron Q1 is a great starting point. The best thing is that even if you sell your computer you will keep the keyboard and use it with a new one. 

There are so many reasons to get one of these keyboards; let's get into it.



What Makes it Work

First, the Q1 is a fully customizable keyboard for mechanical keyboard enthusiasts. It is perfectly compatible with the VIA/QMK software. It is worth the cost: even though it is a little more expensive than most other Keychrons.


This keyboard comes with two options. If you buy it with the full assemble, it will come with:

  • an aluminum plate,

  • the keyboard PCB,

  • double-shot ABS keycaps-

    • Mac and Windows caps

  • case,

  • a quality coiled USB-C cable,

  • and Gateron Phantom switches.

If you choose the keyboard that has not been assembled, you may need to provide your switches or keycaps as it comes with a bare bone ISO.


It comes in three different color options the Space Gray, Carbon Black and Navy Blue. But if you get the already assembled keyboard, you can choose Phantom Brown, Phantom Red, and Phantom Blue switches.

Unlike the K2 keyboard with an aluminum frame in a plastic body, the Q1 is entirely metal.  It has a polished and anodized 6063 aluminum CNC body. This gives the keyboard a heavy feel and a premium outlook.


For the first time, the Q1 came with a 75 percent layout gasket-mounted board. This gasket makes typing feel more cushioned, and with the 2.5mm max flex, you will get flexibility and satisfying sounds while typing.

The design changes the sound and feel. This gives it a good advantage on noise as it makes it very quiet. Each key on the Q1 keyboard is built to withstand corrosion and scratches, maintaining the aesthetic appeal.


Screw-in Stabilizers

What Makes is Work

You get to customize this keyboard with the screw-in stabilizers. The larger keys such as "Enter", "Left Shift", or "Backspace" require this stabilizer to function better. And with the new Gateron screw-in PCB stabilizers, there will be no need for change. There is an increase in stability with the screw-in design, and customization comes very easy.



What Makes it Work

The Q1 comes with RGB LED that faces south. Meaning instead of facing the top of the keyboard, the LED faces you: the typer. This ultimately makes the keyboard feel and sound better. And with the LED lights, you get good illumination and non-backlight twinkle through keycaps for typing in the dark.


ABS Caps and Type-C Cable

What Makes it Work

This keyboard comes with the best coiled Type-C cable and ABS caps compatible with VIA/QMK. This is better than the type of keycaps on other Keychron boards like the K4V2 and K2. The Q1 keycaps are less shiny and thicker, which makes them durable. The keycaps also have a textured surface and are more matte.

The Type-C cable that is included on the Q1 is a heavy-duty thick cable at the center. Although these coils add to the visibility of the keyboard, this coil allows you to layout your keyboard in any way: front, left or right. And with the Aviator port, you can connect it to whichever connections you choose.


Bottom Line


How to choose the right keyboard for you. The Keychron Q1 is the best mechanical keyboard out there. It is compatible with the QMK or VIA that lets you program keys individually on the Q1. That way, you can create macros, shortcuts, modify backlight effects, and change the layout of the keys. The default settings of the Q1 are aimed towards Mac users. However, you can customize it for Windows or Linux.

The keyboard is easy to type on and has great sounds, and you can easily swap it out later on. Compared to what you get on the rest of Keychrons default keyboards, the Q1 is not so bad. If you want a small board to save desk space, a premium-feel, yet customized mechanical keyboard; then the Q1 is for you.


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