As a brand born from enthusiasts, it looks like OnePlus is ready to enter a different enthusiast niche with a recent announcement that they’re going to be making a mechanical keyboard with Keychron.
Now, we don’t have a whole lot of official information about this new product, but we do know a couple of things for sure. For starters, the keyboard will feature technology from Keychron, it will be fully customisable and that we will learn more on the 15th of December 2022. That’s not a super long time from now.
If you’re unfamiliar with Keychron, they’re a very popular keyboard maker that offers a whole host of keyboard options from pre-built stuff to individual switches and components. From my personal experience they’re particularly popular with Mac users because it’s typically really easy to switch between OS configurations on their keyboards.
Plus, they look good and have a very easy-to-follow, yet extensive customisation checklist when you order something like their customisable boards.
That being said, a community post by OnePlus product manager Percy does share some insight on what you can expect from the upcoming mechanical keyboard. Apparently, this keyboard was developed with the help of the community members participating in OnePlus’ Open Ears Forum. From that, he distilled the participants’ complaints down to a couple of major pain points.
The first was around the office setting and how when combine with the other peripherals and gadgets, it would make their desk messy and that was something they wanted to avoid. Next had to do with the ergonomics where a keyboard that was “overly-high” might hurt their wrists. Third was a point about customisability especially when it came to key switches. And finally, price point.
These are mostly valid points that I think any keyboard user would be down to get behind. Customisable mechanical keyboards are typically expensive and if a big company can bring the cost down to something more affordable, that’d be great.
Percy says that the new OnePlus Keyboard is meant to fix that, and that he is confident that the upcoming keyboard will accomplish a number of objectives. These include a design that combines “durability with a soft-to-the-touch contact”, a keyboard that is “suitable for all major working requirements” and something that is “durable even after long-term usage”.
If you couple those with the useful features Keychron usually brings to their keyboards, there is cause for excitement. The only worry on my end is that it would end up being a rebadge of an outgoing Keychron model. While there will probably be some overlap, I hope the OnePlus board has enough to stand out as a separate good option rather than a cheap marketing exercise (aka Keychron keyboard with OnePlus stickers).
In the meantime, if you’re interested in getting started in the mechanical keyboard world, you can do so right now. Not only can you build your own for a relatively affordable price, but you can also get in contact with prebuilt mechanical keyboard makers which in my experience can do a pretty good job. I recently got a 65% board with linear switches from local outfit MKB.my and have been very happy with my purchase especially considering how much I paid for it.