Listen. I’ve used way too many keyboards over the last 3 years (like HUNDREDS OF THEM)
And this has made the cut as a keyboard I use every. single. day.
It’s the Keychron Q2 Pro, and it’s my daily driver.
The idea of a daily driver might sound silly to you all, because I probably sound like a kid that hoards too many toys in my closet. But when you are buying your first keyboard, and you don’t want to waste your time with the all of the “bad” products, it’s important to filter out the best.
At the end of the day, only a few keyboards can be Woody or Buzz.
So let’s take a closer look at the Keychron Q2 Pro.
One of our favorite keyboards for daily driving.
The Keychron Q2 is Back (with a Twist)
Now you might have heard of the Keychron Q2 before, and this keyboard is just like that, but with a twist, it’s the pro version.
What makes it a pro? Well it’s better. It’s got more features, such as a flexible plate and full wireless capability, but we’ll get into the nitty gritty details later on.
We’ll also be looking at the best way possible way to build this keyboard, especially if you want to maximize price and performance, as there a lot of options, and it can be overwhelming exploring all the ways that you can make this on your own.
If you’ve ever used a Keychron keyboard before, the box will look familiar.
You get a black box with the keyboard printed on it in a shiny material.
Then as you open it, you get to experience that sweet sweet friction fit.
MMHMM. Ah yes.
In the box, you get a few goodies:
- White braided cable with dual USB-C, perfect for plugging it into laptops and you also get a USB-A adaptor.
- Extra modifier keycaps.
- Keycap puller
- Jank switch puller (oh god I can already feel the carpal tunnel)
- And a few tools to pop open the keyboard along with gaskets and rubber feet.
Now that’s out of the way, I’m ready for the big boy. The keyboard.
I was instantly struck by how pretty the all-white case is.
I don’t know if my camera picks it up well, but mhmm this all-white aluminum case is amazing.
The coating is smooth and even. There are no scratches or blemishes, everything looks perfect.
The edges are rounded, the bottom is slightly angled with a nice contour around the edges.
And this keyboard is heavy.
You can definitely tell this thing is made of metal. Aluminum, nice.
It does not mess around.
As far as the knob goes, it’s also made of metal and has a nice textured knurling around the outside.
Each slight turn gives a nice tactile bump that is oddly satisfying. You can also press down on the knob which I had a little too much fun doing.
You also get the classic sliders for switching between Bluetooth and wired, and for Windows and Mac. Each move the slider has a distinct bump associated with it, it doesn’t feel loose and cheap like other keyboards.
It’s Not Amazing, but it’s GOOD Enough
Those all sound great and all, but what is really great is you can use it every day for the next decade.
It’s like a comfortable SUV you drive to work every day.
The gasket-mount design creates a nice cushy typing experience, where every keypress is supported by a nice bouncy feel.
Now, it’s not quite as nice as a luxury sports car you only drive on the weekends. I’ve used a lot of expensive custom keyboards that are like that, and after a while, while I love the sound they make, they get distracting to use. You end up spending more time doing typing tests than doing actual work.
It’s a real thing.
The Q2 Pro doesn’t have that problem.
Now, it’s definitely better than your parents’ 15 year old beat up Corolla with the bumper falling off, like that old Redragon you have with half the keycaps that are missing.
That’s what I mean by a daily driver. It’s nice to use every day without making you giggle every time you type on it. It’s just good enough.
The keycaps, not my favorite.
For example, let’s take a look at the keycaps.
And at first glance, they are… ok. Better than a gaming keyboard.
I appreciate the three-tone mix of red, white, and gray and the font is nice, I’m just not personally a fan of the profile.
It’s on the taller side so it’s not super comfortable.
Not to mention, it doesn’t produce the best sound either.
I’ve found the larger keycaps tend to produce a more rattly, echoey, and clacky sound, so later on we’ll look at what keycaps are a better fit for the keyboard (but these are just my personal preference)
The keyboard is on the smaller side, coming in at 65%, so you don’t get the function row at the top. If that’s an issue for you, you can go to the Keychron Q1 Pro instead, which is slightly bigger at 75%.
But if you really want this size, I’ve got a way you can solve the issue, you can use the magic of key remapping FUN
So if you do use F5 often to refresh a page or have a few shortcuts you use often (such as ALT-F4), you can remap the keys with the use of VIA or QMK.
Now it’s not exactly streamlined, but hey, at least there’s the option, right?
People have been complaining to Keychron to release software for a century now, right, RIGHT? Maybe some day.
Well, what makes it Pro?
But one thing they do-do right (hah doodoo) in the “Pro” version is the plate.
The Q2 Pro comes with this really nice and flexible polycarbonate plate, instead of the usual steel plate you get with the normal Q2.
While you might be thinking “hey, polycarbonate plastic doesn’t sound as durable as steel, what gives?” Well, the plate does (see what I did there?).
The polycarb plate offers WAY more flex, which if you ask the average keyboard enthusiast, gives the keyboard an improved typing experience through a softer feel and improved acoustics, even if it might come at the expense of durability (which I’ve never had a problem with).
It’s also really satisfying to press on your keyboard and see all of the keys bounce up and down.
Before the Pro version, if you wanted the same feature you had to:
- Buy the Q2
- Pay for the polycarb plate separately
- Disassemble the entire Q2
- Swap out the plate
- Put it all back together again humpty dumpty style.
But now you can simply get the Pro version shipped to you with the PC plate already installed, zero hassle required.
And the other big difference between the Q2 and Q2 Pro is the Bluetooth capability.
That’s right, you can connect wirelessly, which is great for those that want to cut the cable and live a wire-free life. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
Now, it’s not as fast as Logitech lightspeed connection, so I don’t recommend it for gaming, but for daily tasks such as working or browsing the internet, it will do just fine.
There is also a slight difference between the Pro version and the normal version, the switches, which I’ll get into.
The Pro version comes in at a price point of $199 vs the normal version at $179.
Not for the faint of heart, huh?
Now, I do want to mention, you can get the barebones edition that comes for $20 cheaper without the switches and keycaps, which is also awesome because you can build it with your own switches, keycaps, and mods (which I’ll get into soon)
I Gotta Say, I Like these Switch Options
The Q2 Pro comes with either Red, Brown, and Blu- I mean Banana switches.
You thought I was going to say Blue switches there, didn’t you? Haha, so naive.
The Red and Brown switches are about what you would expect, Red is linear, Brown is tactile, but the Banana switches are also…. tactile?
Yeah, I guess it’s a rough year for the clicky lovers out there. For those of you who are new the keyboard scene, keyboards usually come with a clicky option, but due to declining interest in a loud typing experience, we see less and less keyboards offer them.
But hey, Banana’s amirite?
The Banana switches are supposed to be more like a Panda switch, which means it will be tactile with a sharp bump. Think like the Brown switches but on steroids.
But for unfortunately, Keychron didn’t send that version to me, so I can’t actually test the bananas for you guys.
All of the switch options do come pre-lubed, which is a huge timesaver.
No opening up each individual switch and lubing by hand for 2 hours while your back and neck start to get all tight and you start to question whether your eyesight is failing (we’ve all been there).
Nope that’s all done for you already.
The Dirty Truth about the Keychron Q2 Pro
One of our favorite keyboards for daily driving.
Now the for raw truth about this keyboard, for those of you that have made it this far, I’ve saved the best takes for you.
It’s good but it’s not amazing.
Now you can fix some of the deficits, by buying the barebones edition, throwing in some Gat Pro Milky Yellows for about $15, and getting a set of Cherry profile keycaps from Keychron or Drop or Kinetic Labs, and boom it’s a really good keyboard, but truthfully, I wish there were better options out there.
Because at $200, it’s still pricey, but it’s still one of the better options.
And you all deserve better.
The stabilizers need some work, the keycaps aren’t great, but it’s what’s available right now.
And unfortunately, that’s where the bar is set.
Out of my entire list of the best keyboards of 2022, this is the only keyboard that’s still available and is somewhat close to custom keyboard.
Well that and the GMMK Pro. But who wants to buy that instead?
You can find the Keychron Q2 Pro here.