Can I apologise if this post triggers you in any way, these are simply my thoughts after using a ‘mechanical keyboard’ for a bit, and they may not be all positive. The people that love using these types of keyboard are plentiful online, so I may get an influx of name-calling after this, but please bear with me. I decided to have a bit of an experiment and dove in knowing absolutely nothing, so this very well is the reason behind my thoughts.
First things first, I bought a Keychron K3 v2 after some feedback online and seeing that this was reasonably cheap and approachable. This came with Optical Brown switches. I chose this because and after years of using a Magic Keyboard I felt this was a good introduction to this minefield. Your thoughts may differ on this, but I want to be transparent straight away.
So, I get it. I think that using a mechanical keyboard provides so much tactile feedback that it’s hard to understand until you use one. Known for their ‘clicky’ keys and their multitude of modifications and set-ups you can make, the world of mechanical keyboards is one that I now understand. However, I had two major issues that may be due to this specific keyboard or may just be trade-offs you have to make, I don’t know, but let’s just say I am writing this on a magic keyboard.
They’re no getting around the fact that I didn’t find the K3 very comfortable to use. To accommodate the travel of the keys, even this ‘low-profile’ keyboard is considerably chunkier than I am used to. I knew this going in so allowed it some time to get to, but the hovering my hands had to do, and the weird slant of the keys just made a long typing session painful.
Could I have become used to it, perhaps over time. Was a prepared to risk it, absolutely not. The K3 added its own ‘screw your wrists’ take on this by slanting the keyboard itself slightly toward you, but the keys slightly away. Meaning, I had no confidence in using the keyboard even after a week or so of hard use. My wrists hurt bad. I tried a wrist rest, I tried changing my posture, I tried numerous things, but it was just too different for my body to like.
As I wanted this to replace my current set up, being wireless was a big selling point. I went into this knowing that this might mean that keypresses are a little less reliable and that wired is often the preferred set up for people. The Keychron K3 was straightforward to set up, came with Mac-specific keys already on the board, but still fell down. The connect time for using the keyboard after being idle for more than 10 minutes was painful. I could change this in the setting to keep it witched on, but opted instead to use the wired mode – only this didn’t work either.
The cable that the keyboard comes with doesn’t connect to my Mac, at all. Why on earth it is a USB-A version I don’t know, but obviously if you have a Mac that’s less than 4 years old you have to use a dongle, but the cable doesn’t work with a dongle! I am not alone in finding this out. It works with a regular USB-C cable, so I could use it wired, but at this point I’d just about given up. My frustration for this issue is squarely aimed at this specific keyboard and the choices they made to provide a Mac setup keyboard without a Mac cable, so I can’t hold that against other companies.
This is just me
I can’t hold this against all mechanical keyboards, like I said before, I genuinely understand the enjoyment people get from using them. The reason I no longer have one is personal, not a slight against those that do. To sum up, I chose to return the Keychron K3 and go back to my Magic Keyboard for a few reasons.
- Comfort of typing in a position I am used to
- Connection issues with a Mac
- Not wanting to spend more money and still not be happy
- Touch ID
So that’s my update in a nutshell.
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