Are you looking for a keyboard that combines the best of both worlds: the sleek design of OnePlus and the mechanical performance of Keychron? If so, you might want to check out the OnePlus Keyboard 81 Pro, a collaboration between the two brands that aim to deliver a premium typing experience.
OnePlus to soon launch its first mechanical keyboard created in collaboration with Keychron, a brand known for customizable mechanical keyboards.
OnePlus’ debut mechanical keyboard, the Keyboard 81 Pro, may be little more than a redesigned Keychron Q1 Pro with a few tweaks. But the Keychron Q1 Pro is one of the best mechanical keyboards available today.
"I love this keyboard. It’s sleek, sturdy, and comfortable to type on. The wireless mode is awesome, as I can use it with my laptop or my phone without any hassle. The switches are also great, they have a nice feel and sound.” – Rahul – Kelly+Partners
The tweaks OnePlus has made to its design range from “harmless” to “really cool”. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the Keyboard 81 Pro is to improve than the Q1 Pro, but it’s a good alternative version with its own strengths.
The Keyboard 81 Pro actually feels quite different to type on compared to the Q1 Pro. They both have switch plates made out of polycarbonate, but OnePlus has opted to use custom-branded switches that correspond to the color scheme of the overall keyboard.
As a reminder, Keychron’s Q1 Pro is a wireless version of the Keychron Q1. It’s made from a solid aluminum chassis, with a gasket-mounted switch plate that gives it a premium typing feel and comes with extra features like hot-swappable switches (handy if you want to change your typing feel without soldering) and the ability to reprogram it using the powerful VIA customization software.
Depending on the design and switches you’re after, the OnePlus Keyboard 81 Pro costs between $219 and $239 (the version I’ve been testing), compared to $199 for the button-equipped Q1 Pro it’s based on.
For a lot of people, I suspect it will be the end of the conversation – why pay a premium of $20-$40 more for this keyboard unless you’re a OnePlus superfan?
The big difference is in how the keyboard feels when you bottom out a switch, which is less crisp and bright and more of a muted thud. I wouldn’t say it’s better or worse, but it’s certainly quieter, which may appeal to anyone who needs a keyboard for office use or for use on video calls.
As of now, there is no information on the exact features/specifications of the OnePlus mechanical keyboard. However, the company has confirmed to share more details on the same on December 15. While the brand might not get into the PC segment anytime soon, it is definitely getting into PC accessories by launching products like monitors and gaming keyboards.
Here's a Full Rundown on this Keyboard
· The keyboard is hot-swappable, meaning you can replace its switches using a simple pulling tool with no need for soldering. You get a combined switch and keycap puller in the box. · The keyboard is remappable using VIA, an excellent app. The software recognized the OnePlus keyboard immediately and worked as well as with the Q1 Pro. · Yes, it’s RGB, but the keycaps aren’t shine through, so you’re only going to see the light between each keycap, which is relatively underwhelming. I’d recommend leaving the keyboard’s RGB lighting turned off because… · Using RGB will significantly cut the keyboard’s battery life. Even with its RGB turned to its lowest setting, you’re looking at a battery life of 100 hours versus 300 hours with the lights turned off entirely. Best save them for when you’re using the keyboard wired. · As you can hear in the typing sound test above, Keychron has done a great job on the keyboard’s stabilizers, which I can’t hear rattling at all.
What to expect from the OnePlus gaming keyboard?
Gaming keyboards are known for their impressive key feedback, key travel, and sound. Unlike a membrane-based keyboard, a mechanical keyboard is also easy to repair and customize with custom keys and keycaps. However, when compared to a regular keyboard, mechanical keyboards are expensive.
The OnePlus Keyboard 81 Pro is currently available on the OnePlus website and selected retailers. The keyboard costs $199.99 USD, which is on the higher end of the mechanical keyboard market. However, OnePlus is offering some special deals for early adopters, such as a free OnePlus Buds Z earbuds or a $50 USD discount coupon.
The OnePlus Keyboard 81 Pro is a keyboard that offers a unique combination of style and performance. It is a great option for fans of OnePlus and Keychron who want to enjoy a premium typing experience.
However, it is also a pricey keyboard that might not suit everyone’s budget or preferences. If you are interested in buying this keyboard, you should weigh the pros and cons carefully before making your decision.