Magnets, How Do They Work in Keychron’s Newest Mechanical Keyboard?

Magnets, How Do They Work in Keychron’s Newest Mechanical Keyboard?

Keychron, the brand behind some of Gizmodo’s favorite mechanical keyboards for beginning enthusiasts, has launched a Kickstarter for a keyboard with a new switch. It’s called the Keychron Q1 HE, with “HE” referring to the Hall effect switches featured on this board, which use magnets rather than pins to detect keypresses.

The Keychron Q1 HE looks like the regular Keychron Q1 we reviewed in 2021. It has the same stock PBT keycaps and a solid aluminum frame. It also sports the same 75% keyboard layout but with a knob in the top right-hand corner of the board for volume control. There isn’t a number pad or shortcut keys, but its small size will appeal to those who want a solid keyboard that takes up a little desk real estate. It comes in two colors in its pre-order form, black and white, and has Bluetooth connectivity.

The Keychron Q1 HE is capable of anything fast—gaming, typing, manifesting, whatever—because of its magnetic switches, which can determine the depth of a key press. Like the Corsair K70 Max and SteelSeries Apex Pro, Keychron’s Q1 HE lets you adjust the actuation point of the board, as well as what happens when you hard or soft-press a key. This switch appeals to gamers who want speed and to-the-millisecond accuracy, but it’s also helpful for typists like me who want a break after a long typing session. Adjustable actuation means I can bump the sensitivity so I don’t have to press hard to register each key. My fingers get very tired after banging out a few thousand words.

The Hall effect switches are Gateron 2.0 magnetic switches. Like its predecessors, the Q1 HE uses QMK open-source firmware for remapping keys, which means there’s plenty of help out there for customization, though it can be annoying if you’re new to the hobby.

If you’re interested in being among the first people to take the foray into Keychron’s magnetic switch journey, the KeyChron Q1 HE is available for pre-order now on Kickstarter. It starts at $US194 for a barebones keyboard and $US214 for one equipped with keycaps. Pre-orders will begin shipping in January.

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