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Keychron K2 vs. K3 vs. K6 vs. K8: Differences and Reviews 2024

Keychron K2 vs. K3 vs. K6 vs. K8: Differences and Reviews 2024

    Mechanical keyboards are all the rage these days, regardless of whether you're a gamer or not, at some point you’ve been tempted by a mechanical keyboard right? Keychron is one of the more well-regarded purveyors of mechanical tactile goodness which specializes in making uncommon and unique style mechanical keyboards. Their most popular keyboard series is K series, including the K2, K3, K6, and the K8 etc.. All Keychron K series keyboards have similar features such as wireless and Mac compatibility, but they also have some differences. So what are the main differences between these models? Which one should I choose? Here I will be comparing the K2 vs K3 vs K6 vs K8 models in detail. If you're on the fence and can't decide which one fits your needs, this article should answer all of that and more.

Cover Photo:keychron.com

Overview of Keychron K2, K3, K6 and K8 Keyboards

| #1 Keychron K2 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard (Version 2)

Google Users Rating: 4.5/5

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The Keychron K2 is probably one of the most heavily reviewed and talked about keyboards the Keychron produce.  This is a super tactile wireless or wired keyboard giving you all the keys and function you need while keeping it compact. It can last up to 240 hours typing (backlight off) with a 4000 mAh big battery. K2’s 84 key design by retaining all the essential function keys like Page Up/Down, Home, End, and Screen capture (cmd+shift+4) which are important for your productivity. With N-key rollover (NKRO on wired mode only) you can register as many keys as you can press at once without missing out characters.

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Source:keychron.com

The K2 is designed to fit your dedicated typing experience. No matter what you like, linear, clicky or a little in between, the company have got you covered with three Gateron G Pro switches options (Blue, Brown, Red). Engineered with more than 15 types of RGB light and comes with different styles (flashing, breathing, or static etc) , It will match up to your mood. Simply press the lightbulb key or fn + right arrow to achieve it.  The K2 can connect with up to 3 devices via Bluetooth and switch among them easily. Compatible with all operating systems from Mac to Android to Windows, it is one of the few mechanical keyboard featuring Mac layout media keys.

PROSCONS
Great overall build qualityNo PBT keycaps
84-key keyboard with function keysNot a Slim Design, a little bit heavy

Mac layout with Control, Option, and

Command keys

Slightly high latency
Customizable with 18 RGB backlight profiles
Gateron red, brown, or blue key switches
NKRO support (wired mode only)
6-degree angle stand

Switch between up to three Bluetooth

devices


Great battery life

| #2 Keychron K3 Ultra-slim Wireless Mechanical Keyboard (Version 2)

Google Users Rating: 4.3/5

Keychron K3 Ultra-slim Wireless Bluetooth Mechanical Keyboard version 2 has included keycaps for both Windows and macOS, and you can hot-swap every switch in seconds with the hot-swappable version.  Crafted for productivity, the K3’s 75% layout is a compact version of tenkeyless layout. It allows users access to all the essential multimedia and function keys, but with a smaller footprint. The redesigned low profile switch is 40% slimmer than conventional switches. Together with the streamlined aluminum body makes the K3 one of the thinnest and lightweight wireless mechanical keyboards in the world.

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Source:keychron.com

Featuring Bluetooth 5.1 chipset, the K3 offers flawless connectivity whether you’re working at home or the office while connecting with your smartphone, laptop and iPad.It also comes with various RGB backlight settings, you can adjust the keyboard brightness to sync with your mood. Various backlight patterns are also available on the K3 White Backlight version.Two level adjustable rubber feet makes the new K3 more comfortable to type on.Compatible for both macOS and Windows, Keychron  K3 is also one of only a few in the market that comes with a Mac multimedia keys layout for Mac enthusiasts.

PROSCONS
Ultra-slim and super lightweightSlim shell means short battery life
Ultra low profile chiclet style keysLimited keycap compatibility
Hot-swappable switches
Works wirelessly and with a cable
Works with multiple platforms

Able to switch quickly between multiple

devices


0.2ms ultra-low latency
Come with many backlighting options
Mac and Windows-centric keycaps included

| #3 Keychron K6 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard

Google Users Rating: 4.4/5

The Keychron K6 is a compact 65% layout white backlight Bluetooth wireless mechanical keyboard made for Mac and Windows.  It offersonvenient accessibility to all the essential multimedia and function keys through the combination of key presses.The Keychron K6 crafted to maximize your workspace with an ergonomic design, while retaining all necessary multimedia and function keys. Inclined bottom frame makes the K6 more comfortable to crank out emails or write a novel. Its hot-swappable version offers the freedom to easily personalize your typing experience without soldering. It can connect with up to 3 devices via Bluetooth and switch among them easily.

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Source:keychron.com

Its durable Gateron G Pro mechanical switch with a 50 million keystroke lifespan to provide an unrivaled tactile responsiveness. Designed with gamers in mind, the LK optical switch enables every key trigger to have a latency of only 0.2ms on linear Red switches / clicky Blue switches / tactile brown switches and an lifespan longevity of 100 million keystroke with an unrivaled tactile responsiveness. The K6 has enchanting RGB backlight with modern keycap legends to help you type in dim environments; available in 18 types of flashing light mode as well as a static white backlight. It  can last up to 240 hours typing (backlight off) with a 4000 mAh big battery.

PROSCONS
Attractive and clean designCheap ABS caps
Innovative 65% layout with 68 keysNo software yet for remapping

Comes with durable and long-lasting

mechanical switches


Great typing quality
Multi-device connectivity
Great battery capacity of 4000mah
Hotswap switchesity
Can connects with up to 3 devices
Enchanting RGB backlight

| #4 Keychron K8 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard

Google Users Rating: 4.4/5

The Keychron K8 is a versatile wireless mechanical keyboard engineered to maximize your productivity, with the most popular tenkeyless layout among keyboards. It offers convenient access to all the essential multimedia and function keys for Mac and Windows in a compact size.  The K8 is compatible with both Mac and Windows systems and best supports multitasking needs by offering the capability to connect with up to 3 devices via the latest Bluetooth 5.1. Designed with versatility in mind, you can access your smart assistant with the dedicated Siri or Cortana key on the K8.The two adjustable angled rubber feet are greatly enhanced productivity.

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Source:keychron.com

The Keychron K8 offers Gateron or Optical switch. The Gateron (Hot-swappable) and Gateron Optical keyboard versions support altering switches.Socket of Gateron (Hot-swappable) is compatible with almost all the MX style 3pin and 5pin mechanical switches on the market (including Gateron, Cherry, Kailh, etc.).The hot-swappable option allows you to personalize your typing experience, making the K8 the perfect tenkeyless keyboard. The K8 comes with a battery capacity of 4000mAh. The K8 can last up to 240 hours typing (backlight off). The K8 is engineered with more than 15 types of RGB backlight options as well as a static white backlight. A keyboard that is always in sync with your mood, easily cycle through the different backlight themes using the Light Effect key.

PROSCONS
Surprisingly solid build qualityTerrible keycaps
Tenkeyless layoutTall height of the keyboard
Variety of Gateron switch options
Well-designed hot-swap sockets
Mac & Windows Compatible
Wireless/Wired (Bluetooth 5.1)
RGB Lighting with 15+ Types
Dedicated Virtual Assistant Key
Insane battery life

Keychron K2 vs. K3 vs. K6 vs. K8: Side by Side Comparison

The below comparison table will show you a short overview of these four Keychron keyboards .You can see the difference between their all key specs at once.  


Keychron K2Keychron K3Keychron K6Keychron K8
Dimension (Plastic frame version)313 x 123mm306 x 116mm313 x 104mm355 x 123mm
Weight About 663g / 23.4oz About 483g / 1.06lbs
About 530g / 18.6ozAbout 740g / 26.1oz
Dimension (Aluminum frame version)317 x 129mm/ 317 x 107mm359 x 127mm
WeightAbout 794g / 28oz/ About 664g / 23.4oz
About 887g / 31.2oz
Height with keycap (front)30mm17mm30mm 35mm
Height with keycap (rear)40mm22mm37mm 42mm
Number of Keys 84 keys 84 keys68 keys 87 keys
SwitchesGateron G Pro blue/red/brown switchesLow profile Gateron mechanical / Low profile Keychron OpticalGateron G Pro mechanical / LK opticalGateron G Pro Mechanical / Gateron Optical
Number of Multimedia Keys12
12
12
12
Keycap MaterialABS
ABSABSABS
LayoutANSIANSIANSIANSI
Backlit Types18
18
18
18
BacklitAdjustable 4-level RGB backlitAdjustable 4-level RGB backlitAdjustable 4-level RGB backlitAdjustable 4-level RGB backlit
SystemWindows/Android/Mac/iOSmacOS/WindowsmacOS/WindowsmacOS/Windows
Battery4000mAh Rechargeable li-polymer battery1550mAh Rechargeable li-polymer battery4000mAh Rechargeable li-polymer battery4000mAh Rechargeable li-polymer battery
ConnectionBluetooth and Type-C cable
Bluetooth and Type-C cableBluetooth and Type-C cableBluetooth and Type-C cable
Latency Wired15.7 ms14.3 ms7.7 ms11.0 ms
Latency Bluetooth
25.3 ms22.2 ms27.1 ms22.9 ms

Design

K2 - The Keychron K2 (Version 2) is essentially a bigger version of the Keychron K6. The K2 is a 75% keyboard with a row of dedicated function keys.

K3 - The K3 combines the low-profile design of the K1 with the compact 75 percent layout of the K2. The result is a keyboard with a slim and compact form factor, with a height that sits somewhere between a typical mechanical keyboard and a keyboard with laptop-style switches. The K3 has a total of 84 keys complete with function row and arrow keys. It measures 2.7cm thin, with a weight of a mere 400g. This makes it a great keyboard for portability and mobility, because of thin and lightweight it is.

K6 - The 65% compact design of K6 is tiny in comparison to the K2, but still retains the essential multimedia and function keys. Keep in mind that the compact nature of the K6 is due to the combination of key presses for function and multimedia keys. You will need to use the fn1 and fn2 keys A LOT.

K8  - The Keychron K8 is what's known as a "tenkeyless" keyboard. It downsizes the full-sized layout by skipping the number pad. It comes with a new design for the rubber feet which is a big upgrade from the previous models. Instead of two thin rectangular rubber feet, the K8 has two larger, more-rounded feet, which keeps the keyboard from sliding around.

All the four Keychron keyboards have is their thickness and height. This may cause wrist pain. I recommend getting a wrist rest.

Switch Options

K2 - The Keychron K2 offers both hot-swappable and none hot-swappable version. No matter what you like, linear, clicky or a little in between, the company have got you covered with three Gateron G Pro switches options (Blue, Brown, Red).

K3 - In terms of switches, you have the choice of a set of low-profile switches made by Gateron or a set of Keychron’s hot-swappable optical switches. Keychron claims these optical switches are more responsive and durable, but more important is that, unlike the Gaterons, they’re hot-swappable, meaning you can remove and replace them without having to do any soldering. Varieties of these optical switches include linear (white, red, or black), tactile (brown), or clicky (blue or orange) switches.

K6 - The K6 comes with a variety of switch types, including LK optical, Gateron hotswappable, and standard Gateron switches; coming in brown, blue and red colors.The variety of switches really let you choose what sort of feel you want to go for, whether that be linear, clicky, or tactile.

K8  - The Keychron K8 comes with your choice of Gateron/Optical Red, Blue, and Brown switches. These determine how the keys feel when you press them — whether they feel smooth or clicky, for instance. Gaterons are essentially clones of the popular Cherry MX switches but come in cheaper.

Connectivity

K2 - The Keychron K2 has wireless compatibility via the Bluetooth 4.1 chipset that works great with all operating systems. Customers can pair up to three external gaming devices, such as headphones, speakers, and smartphones.

K3 - The Keychron K3 can connect via Bluetooth 5.1 or through a wired connection.The wired connection is a bit more reliable and is preferred for gamers as there is a lower input delay.The Bluetooth connection is quite convenient as it allows you to connect up to three devices and switch between them easily. This is perfect if you want to connect to your phone, tablet, and PC.

K6 - You can connect multiple devices via Bluetooth 5.1 and USB-C. It works well on Linux, Windows, MacOS, and also on Android phones and tablets (via bluetooth).

K8 - The K8 uses Bluetooth 5.1 for connectivity, allowing to connect up to 3 devices at the same time. It has both Windows and MacOS compatibility with included keys for each OS.

Battery Life

K2 - the K2 has a 4000mAh battery inside (hence why it's a little tall), it can last for around 240 hours if there is no backlight, or around 72 hours if you're using a backlight or RGB effects or around 7-days of regular use.

K3 - With the backlight off, Keychron says the K3 should last around 99 hours, down from 240 hours with the K2. With the backlight on, battery life drops as low as 34 hours (down from between 68 and 72 hours). That’s likely because the K3’s slim form factor means Keychron can only fit in a 1,550mAh battery rather than a 4,000mAh one like the K2.

K6 - The Keychron K6 features a 4000 mAh battery. The battery can last up to 4 weeks without a charge, if you're not using the backlighting.

K8  - Keychron says you will get around 240 hours from the K8’s 4000mAh battery if you turn the lighting off. Using a single LED color plummets the battery life to 68 hours, while using RGB drops you 72 hours.

Bottom Line

Between all of the four Keychron models, my favorite was the K3. I found the 75% layout of the K2 to be the most efficient and fun to use, making it the best.  It's a better choice for mobile devices than the Keychron K2 or Keychron K6 or Keychron K8 because it's smaller and lighter to carry around. Moreover, The K3 comes with two versions -- Mechanical or Optical switches, making it suitable for home, office, or even light gaming. The Keychron K3 also has better ergonomics because its lower profile makes it comfortable to type on even without a wrist rest.

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2023-01-16 19:411114