Keychron K14 evaluation: The uncommon Mac-ready wi-fi mechanical keyboard

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Keychron K14 with no backlight (top) and an RGB backlight (bottom).
Enlarge / Keychron K14 with no backlight (prime) and an RGB backlight (backside).

Scharon Harding

A typical criticism about mechanical keyboards is that they are too costly. Choices are restricted additional for budget-minded patrons if they need a wi-fi system, particularly in the event that they’re on the lookout for a Mac-specific board. However the market has come a great distance, and now you can choose up mechanical keyboards, together with cable-free choices, for beneath $100. And never solely can you purchase a wi-fi mechanical keyboard that works with Apple computer systems, however within the case of the Keychron K14, you will get one which comes with a Mac format out of the field (don’t fret, Home windows keycaps are additionally included).

The K14 is a 70 % wi-fi mechanical keyboard, that means that it ditches the numpad (however not the navigation keys) and forgoes a devoted operate row. The result’s a compact clacker with an possibility for white or RGB lighting and hot-swappable switches to get the precise typing really feel you need.

The K14 even throws in some wi-fi luxuries, like the power to pair the board with as much as three Bluetooth units and toggle between them, plus USB-C charging and the choice to make use of the keyboard with a cable. At $59–$99, the K14 is an effective candidate for somebody looking for a budget- to mid-priced wi-fi keyboard with mechanical switches, and it is even higher for many who need Apple-ready legends. For keyboard lovers looking for the best craftsmanship from sight to sound, although, a few of the K14’s options fall quick.

Specs at a look: Keychron K14
Worst Finest As reviewed
Switches Keychron Crimson, Blue, or Brown Gateron Crimson, Blue, or Brown, hot-swappable Keychron Crimson, Blue, or Brown, hot-swappable
Keycaps Doubleshot ABS plastic ABS plastic ABS plastic
Connectivity choices Bluetooth 5.1, USB-C to USB-A cable
Backlighting None RGB None
Dimension Plastic:
13.11×4.09×1.53 inches
(333×104×38.85 mm)
Plastic with aluminum:
13.27×4.25×1.53 inches
(337×108×38.85 mm)
Plastic with aluminum:
13.27×4.25×1.53 inches
(337×108×38.85 mm)
Weight  Plastic: ~1.34 lbs (611 g) Aluminum: ~1.62 lbs (735 g) Aluminum: ~1.62 lbs (735 g)
Guarantee 1 12 months
Worth (MSRP) $59 $99 $79
Different perks Additional keycaps: 1x Esc, 1x Home windows, 2x Alt; 1x USB-C to USB-A cable; 1x keycap puller  Additional keycaps: 1x Esc, 1x Home windows, 2x Alt; 1x USB-C to USB-C cable; 1x keycap puller; 1x swap puller  Additional keycaps: 1x Esc, 1x Home windows, 2x Alt; 1x USB-C to USB-C cable; 1x keycap puller; 1x swap puller

Otherwise priced choices

Pricing for the K14 varies relying on the options you select. The function set may also have an effect on the colour scheme: white with gentle grey and purple or darkish grey with gentle grey and orange. You may get the K14 with a white or RGB backlight, however solely with the darkish grey keycaps. Keychron sells keycaps individually, however they do not have the identical format because the K14, which lets the quantity row function a operate and media key row.

The most cost effective model of the K14 has no backlight (aside from a purple indicator gentle for Caps Lock), and it comes with Keychron-brand switches which might be soldered in. Which means you would wish a soldering iron and a variety of endurance to alter the keyboard’s mechanical switches. Costlier SKUs, together with the mid-priced K14 I examined, allow you to add hot-swappable mechanical switches so you possibly can simply pop them out with an included instrument. Gateron Crimson, Blue, or Brown switches are additionally obtainable.

Oddly, a backlight ends in a keycap downgrade. K14s with a backlight have ABS plastic keycaps, and people and not using a backlight use harder doubleshot ABS plastic.

Lastly, with a view to get Gateron-brand mechanical switches as an alternative of Keychron’s, you will have to order the K14 with the darker keycaps.

Disappointing keycaps

Keychron despatched me a non-backlit K14 with white keycaps in addition to the priciest possibility, which has darkish grey keycaps and RGB backlighting. I a lot desire the looks of the non-backlit model. Each shade schemes really feel retro, however the white one is much more so. Plus, the white/non-backlit model has a vivid look that allows you to see the thicker legends with ease—even the grey legends for the operate row and media keys.

The non-backlit version comes in white (top), and the backlit version comes in dark gray (bottom).
Enlarge / The non-backlit model is available in white (prime), and the backlit model is available in darkish grey (backside).

Scharon Harding

The white model means no backlight, however the keys are so vibrant that I did not miss the lighting. Plus, skipping a backlight helps lengthen the keyboard’s battery life, and the non-backlit keys have doubleshot legends, so they will not fade (the grey legends on the highest row are laser-engraved).

Nonetheless, it is unlucky that Keychron forces you to make the choice as an alternative of providing a white model with a backlight.

The K14 is likely one of the few mechanical keyboards—and even rarer, wi-fi mechanical keyboards—that caters to Mac customers. The keyboard helps each macOS and Home windows, in addition to iOS and Android. However all K14s are shipped with a Mac format, that means that there are Possibility and Command keys the place Home windows and Alt are on Home windows-based keyboards. Keychron consists of the Home windows alternate options within the field.

The keyboard comes with two Esc keycaps, plus caps for Mac (top right) and Windows (bottom right) layouts.
Enlarge / The keyboard comes with two Esc keycaps, plus caps for Mac (prime proper) and Home windows (backside proper) layouts.

Scharon Harding

In the meantime, Keychron presents a consumer group “to assist with the expertise” for Linux customers.



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