For years, laptop and keyboard manufacturers trended towards slimmer designs and less travel, but that’s starting to change. Even Apple moved back towards a keyboard with better travel and a more tactile feel after the failure of the Butterfly Keyboard. But for many typers, that’s not quite enough. The mechanical keyboard has experienced a renaissance over the past few years, lead by companies like Keychron, which recently released the wireless Keychron K8 Pro.
The K8 Pro isn’t your basic wireless keyboard though. Not only does it offer the mechanical feel that enthusiasts love, but it can wirelessly connect to up to three devices, supports both Mac and PC (with included matching keys), and more. It even has RGB lighting! Should this be your next mechanical keyboard?
- Great design
- Excellent typing experience
- Premium features
- Good customization options
- A bit heavy
Keychron K8 Pro design
The Keychron K8 Pro offers a tenkeyless layout, and I really like the look of it. It has a black keyboard bed, with keycaps with rounded edges, and while not everyone appreciates those rounded edges, I don’t mind typing on keycaps with this shape, and really like the look.
The keycaps offer a nice color scheme too. The keys are mostly a light blue and grey, however there are red accents in the Enter and Escape keys, which I think look awesome.
Our review model comes with RGB backlighting, but you can get it with white backlighting instead. There’s a button on the top right of the keyboard to cycle through the lighting settings, and there are hefty 19 options to choose from. Alternatively, you can turn the backlighting off, if you so choose.
On the left side of the keyboard, you’ll get connectivity controls. There’s a USB-C port for charging and for wired connectivity, along with a switch to change between Mac, Android, and Windows modes, and a switch for Cable, Off, and Bluetooth mode.
The Keychron K8 Pro is a little heavy, but I didn’t mind that at all. The heft ensures that the keyboard stays nicely in place when you type, and as someone who doesn’t really move my keyboard from my desk much, I never really worried about the weight. Others may have a different experience. The keyboard is built out of a combination of plastic and aluminum and generally feels very sturdy.
Keychron K8 Pro customization options
The Keychron K8 Pro offers a number of customization options for those who want to tweak their typing experience. Our review model came with Gateron G Pro brown switches, but you can buy it with blue or red switches instead. You can hot-swap the switches with most 3-pin or 5-pin MX mechanical switches too, making it easier to customize after buying, if you so choose.
Keychron K8 Pro typing experience
Typing on the Keychron K8 Pro is an excellent experience — though obviously, the overall feel will vary depending on things like the switches you go for. I really liked the overall spacing of the keys, and the switches felt clicky and tactile. As someone who types for a living, I felt very comfortable typing on the K8 Pro — and in fact, have written many of my reviews over the past month or so using the keyboard.
The fact that the keyboard supports wireless connectivity is super helpful. It means you can use the keyboard with a device like an iPad, or as a living room keyboard for a gaming PC.
Keychron K8 Pro software
The Keychron K8 Pro works with some software that makes the keyboard more customizable. The VIA software is available for Mac, PC, and Linux, and lets you customize an impressive four layers of keys. Layer 0 is reserved for MacoS, and Layer 2 for Windows. Layers 1 and 3 are customizable in the software.
The VIA software offers other features too. For example, it has a key tester, and lets you program your keyboard. I didn’t delve too far into that, but it’s nice to have there.
The software is generally well-designed and simple to navigate, though I suspect many won’t need to download it at all.
The Keychron K8 Pro may be a little pricey, but I find it to be worth the cash. It’s an excellent keyboard with a great typing experience, and a range of extra features that you often wouldn’t get from a mechanical keyboard. The ability to use the keyboard with a wireless connection, in particular, is helpful.
Much of the competition to this keyboard comes from Keychron itself. For example, the Keychron Q1 is the go-to for many users, but doesn’t have things like wireless connectivity. For my purposes, the Keychron K8 Pro is a better option — but others may prefer the Q1.
Should I buy the Keychron K8 Pro?
Yes. It’s an excellent mechanical keyboard with tons of premium features.