When it comes to choosing between the Keychron K2 vs K3, it all depends on what you’re looking for in a keyboard. The K2 is a great option if you want a mechanical keyboard that features RGB backlighting, low-profile switches, and a wireless connection.
It also comes with an optional Mac layout. On the other hand, the K3 has full-sized keys, wireless and wired connections, and an aluminum frame that makes it more durable than the K2.
In terms of performance, both keyboards are great for gaming and typing, but the K3 offers better tactile feedback and a better typing experience overall. Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preference, budget, and what kind of features you’re looking for in a keyboard.
Keychron K3 Review
The previous generation Keychron 75 percent K2 keyboard (opens in a new tab)so much that we decided to give it a place on our top wireless keyboards page as the best for the top productivity keyboard.
The company is now back to bring us the Keychron K3, which sports a similar monochrome style (save for the orange escape button) and is smaller. However, it’s a bit smaller. Keychron has slimmed the keyboard significantly, with low-profile switches, which make the keyboard less than one inch thick.
If switch options are your thing, then the Keychron K3 spoils you for options. The company will have three Gateron mechanical switches with a low profile (red, blue, brown and red) and six Keychron optical switches (white, black, red, blue, brown, and orange). If you’re unsure or like various options, the switches can be interchangeable, which means you can alter the feel of your keyboard without purchasing a new one.
You can do a lot in this Keychron K3, especially if you’re looking for a slim device that doesn’t take up a lot of space while traveling. Make sure to have some case for it while moving, as the keys exposed on the edges could be smashed off when you throw it on your back. Keychron can provide you with an elegant orange case to hold the key3. However, it was $25.
For the pouch and keyboard, you’ll have to pay a minimum of $99. The white-backlit K3 is available for $74. The RGB model (which Keychron sent our way) costs $84.
The company’s rep said that it’s past the point of completing preorders at this time. Also, while Keychron K3 Keychron K3 was sold out on the company’s website when we first wrote this article, We’ve heard that new inventory is expected to arrive within the next few days.
- Attractive slim design
- Switches that can be swapped
- Mac and Windows-centric keycaps are included
- Beautiful backlighting
- The slim shell of the battery means a short life
- Keys with exposed edges are not the best choice for travel.
- Travel pouches are $25 more
Keychron K3 Specs
|Switches||Gateron low profile mechanical or Keychron Optical|
|Lighting||Per-key RGB (as tested) or white backlight|
|Interface||USB 2.0 or Bluetooth|
|Key Caps||ABS plastic|
|Construction||Aluminum sides, plastic base|
|Dimensions (LxWxH)||12.05 x 4.57 x 0.87 inches (306 x 116 x 22mm)|
|Weight||0.87 pounds (396g)|
Keychron K2 Review
Its Keychron K2 (Version 2) is a great mechanical keyboard for beginners. Its compact and small size makes it portable, and you won’t have to worry about breaking it due to its high-quality construction. It’s made to be used with macOS people in mind; however, it has additional Windows keycaps.
It is fully compatible with macOS and Windows, but only specific function keys won’t work with smartphones running the mobile OS.
It can be connected to three devices simultaneously using Bluetooth. However, it does not have an application specifically designed for it and cannot create macros to play.
The unit we tested has oblique Gateron Brown switches, and you can have switches that click blue and Red linear switches. The latency, however, is quite high even when connected to wired connections, which could be a problem for gamers with a lot of experience.
- Compatible with all the most well-known operating systems.
- Excellent quality of writing.
- Excellent quality of construction
- The wrist rest is not there.
- Keyboard with 84 keys and function keys
- Mac layout using Control, Option, and Command keys
- It is available in white as well as RGB backlight
- Customizable using 18 RGB backlight profiles.
- Available aluminum frame
- Gateron key switches in brown, red keys, or blue
- Keycaps that can be replaced with curved profiles.
- NKRO supports (wired mode available only)
- 6-degree angle stand
- Wireless and wired (Bluetooth) capability
- Switch between three Bluetooth devices.
- USB-C port
- It also includes a USB-C cable
- PC and Mac modes
- 4000mAh battery
- White LED version of the backlight for $79 and the $99 version of the aluminum RGB version
Keychron K2 vs K3
The Keychron K3 is a good example. As seen in the photo above, the Keychron K3 (lower) is similar in style to Keychron K2 (top). Both feature an arrangement that is 75% which perfectly balances desk space and accessibility, keeping most of the keys in the places you’d expect them and offering the dedicated function row.
It’s not like models that are 60% like those from Cooler Master, SK621, that increases the number of functions rows but does away with the dedicated home, page up and down and end keys.
Many naturally can have different needs and layout restrictions; however, the 75 percent size and layout on Keychron’s is the ideal balance between compact size, familiarity, and comfort.
Similar to K2, The K3 includes keycaps for as well Apple as well as Windows devices. I don’t own an Apple laptop, so I switched out the command and option caps to accommodate Windows or alt keys. Also, since the K3 is a Bluetooth keyboard (also connected via the USB-C connection), Android is supported.
Although Keychron K3 and the Keychron K3 and K2 look identical from above, they are different in the profile. Because although they are both mechanical keyboards, the K2 is a classic mechanical keyboard. The K2 utilizes low-profile mechanical switches, making it thinner than most optical or mechanical keyboards.
In particular, the K3 measures 12.05 x 4.57 and 0.87 inches (or close to one inch in the back) if you use the raised rubber feet, which raise the rear a bit.
These dimensions are just a little smaller in width and depth than those of the K2 (12.48 x 4.84 inches); however, they are much smaller.
The K2 measures 1.58 inches taller at the back but without the flip-up feet. The K3 is also cleverly moving its USB-C port and dual toggle switches (one for wireless or wired use and another for Mac/Windows/Android and Windows/Windows) to the rear, making it easier to read because of the white letters.
The low-profile switches make it possible to make the Keychron K3 slimmer, bringing other modifications that are only sometimes positive. First, the switches sport an MX-like cross stem that allows me to put keys with standard caps onto the switches (including keycaps from K2).
However, this makes an even taller keyboard (which defeats the goal of a low profile). Keycaps with a shallow design Keychron comes with on the K3, opening areas of both the switches and keyboard.
This is fine for most times, but you’ll likely need an enclosure to transport the K3 to avoid having, at the very least, a few keys disappear and end up in your bag.
I’d like to see the company include a travel bag or pouch in the package with the K3 instead of charging an extra $25 for the 1970s-themed “Saffiano leather” pouch.
The pouch is available in grey or black in addition to the orange model the company included and our test sample. It’s nice to have color options; however, if the main attraction to K3 is that it’s K3 is its ability to travel, it’s not a pleasant feeling to pay more to take the K3 along with you wherever you go.
It’s also important to note that even though it’s true that the top plate and the sides of the K3’s frame are made of black aluminum, The bottom part is made of grey ABS plastic.
The build is cheap, but combining it with the tinny 0.87-pound weight also doesn’t seem solid or luxurious. It’s also relatively easy to move the entire keyboard. The K2 is the one that has an all-plastic frame feels more sturdy and robust, and solid, just like the smaller Cooler Master SK621.
Keychron comes with a USB-C black cable included in the box to charge and wire operations. It’s a decent cable; however, at only 4 feet, desktop users who wrap their cables behind their workstations might have to change them to a larger cable.
A nice feature is that the USB port located on one side of the keyboard is close to the frame instead of being recessive. This means that any USB-C connector will work. This is more than I’ve said about other keyboards I’ve tried lately, including Razer or Asus.
2. Gaming and typing experience
The first thing to note is that almost all the keys on K3 were exactly where my fingers would have expected to be. With a layout of 75, this is more than an absolute.
It’s nice to have a keyboard that isn’t so small and does not require any adjustment to muscle memory (at least, for me). As I mentioned earlier, I mostly used and enjoyed the blue switches on the optical, but I wouldn’t say I liked the brown’s tactile feel.
While I am a fan of the keyboard’s look and don’t have concerns about the layout or size/spacing of keys, I prefer the experience of a mechanical keyboard. It could be because I’m used to bigger keys and have been using keyboards for desktops every day for almost 15 years.
It was awkward to type on the Keychron K3 felt more like typing on a laptop keyboard, but it’s an excellent keyboard, much like the mechanical keys on the top gaming laptops. If this sounds like something that appeals to you, or if you need something tinier than other options, such as the K2 Keychron, then the K3 is a great alternative.
The K3 did not hinder me from typing, nor did it cause me to make more mistakes. It’s more that, to me, I prefer the more long journey (4mm when using Cherry MX switches versus 2.5mm with Keychron’s low-profile opticals) and the deeper, larger keycaps on a mechanical clacker to provide a better feeling.
In addition, the company could offer switches with a low profile that have an enveloping bump and clicky sound. It would make the K3 feel more pleasant. Of course, it’s entirely based on my personal preferences.
There’s little about gaming that is different from typing. There isn’t any gaming software or macro keys designed explicitly for gaming. The keyboard isn’t gaming-oriented.
However, like typing, the keys were exactly where I would have expected them to be, which means that it never felt as if the tiny size or the light switches impeded my play while playing through a game like Ancestors Legacy or whizzed through the battles of Borderlands 3, juggling weapons and trying to (and often in vain) not to die.
This RGB lighting also created an enjoyable light show when playing, even though there wasn’t any software to connect the colors of the keys with the actions displayed on the screen. If you’re not looking for any particular gaming features, this Keychron K3 should serve you just fine as a casual gaming enthusiast or as a productivity tool.
3. Battery Life
Keychron says the K3 (both the white LED and RGB versions) is expected to last at least 34 hours with lighting off for the unplugged life. As I used the keyboard through various wireless and wired scenarios, the battery never drained, so I could verify this claim.
However, there’s no doubt that a significant battery life sacrifice has been made for a slimmer appearance. the K3. The model comes with a 1400mAh battery which is insignificant compared to the battery of 4000mAh, which comes with the larger K2. The K2 comes with a runtime of up to 240 hrs.
If you use this Keychron K3 for work and play, be prepared to recharge it a few times per week if you leave the backlighting off. It’s probably every few days if you want to light it on.
Although it’s not as efficient as using an additional keyboard with a larger battery, I felt it was easy to connect it to any USB-C port even when I wasn’t connected to my computer. If you’re comfortable connecting that cable to your computer using the keyboard, the K3 is also a wired keyboard.
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What is better?
When things return to the point where I can go regularly, I’d prefer to add an inch or so to carry Keychron K2 (opens in a new tab) Keychron K2 (opens in a new tab)than the K3. The taller switches feel better on my fingers, but the bigger battery means I can charge less often.
The more solid frame is the K2. Also, it will last longer when I travel frequently. Both keyboards look attractive on desks, no matter where your desk is.