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Keychron Q5 Max review: Solid and premium

Keychron Q5 Max review: Solid and premium

Keychron Q5 Max

I'll be honest. While I have tested my fair share of mechanical keyboards, I haven't gone down the rabbit hole of building a custom keyboard. You could certainly do that with the Keychron Q5 Max that I have been using for over a month now. But I opted for the fully assembled version, which is an outstanding, premium 96% compact keyboard that feels great to type on, with a gentle, almost comforting sound.

Quick specs

  • 2.4GHz, Bluetooth, and wired modes
  • CNC aluminium body with double-gasket design
  • KSA double-shot PBT keycaps
  • 4,000mAh battery, up to 100 hours (lowest brightness)

The Keychron Q5 Max oozes quality. For starters, it weighs around 2.2kg when fully assembled. My shell white version looks old-school. But the chassis is CNC aluminium, and the build quality is amazing. While I had expected dust and dirt to show up easily on this mostly-white keyboard, it actually looks fairly pristine to my naked eye after a month of use without any cleaning.

Keychron is one of the few mechanical keyboard makers to have macOS media keys. In fact, my review unit is pre-assembled with Mac key caps, which I had to manually swop to the Windows version. You can also use the web-based VIA software to save two different layouts, one each for Windows and macOS. A toggle at the top left edge lets you switch between the two operating systems.

Keychron Q5 Max
Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

My favourite thing about the Keychron Q5 Max is how it sounds, it's like keyboard ASMR. The keys make this soft, muted, and relaxing sound that doesn't draw attention. Keychron says the Q5 Max has a double-gasket design along with silicone pads that dampen the sound. I also noticed that the Backspace and Enter keys make a slightly different sound when pressed compared with the smaller alphanumeric keys.

My review set has the Gateron Jupiter Brown switches which are tactile, and require slightly more force. The doubleshot PBT plastic keycaps feel really nice — textured and seemingly grease-resistant. The keycaps are also contoured, and feels comfortable to rest my fingers. There's hardly any wobble in the keys, even the longer space bar.

Keychron Q5 Max
Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

A control knob (for volume and mute) is conveniently located at the top right corner. There are also three macros keys (square, triangle and circle) here that you can program using the VIA software, for example, I assigned one for Windows HDR (Windows Key + Alt + B). You also use this software to customise the RGB lighting. Note that you'll need to download a file for the VIA software to recognise the Keychron Q5 Max.

The keyboard offers wired, Bluetooth, and 2.4GHz wireless connectivity. The latter features a 1,000Hz polling rate compared with 90Hz for Bluetooth. But you can also connect the keyboard to a maximum of three devices at the same time using Bluetooth. I didn't notice any lag with the 2.4GHz wireless dongle.

See Also
Razer Blade 14 (2023)

Keychron rates the battery at up to 100 hours with the backlight at its lowest level. Turning that off may get you up to 180 hours. Overall, the Keychron Q5 Max offers a premium typing experience with its solid build, quality materials, and excellent sound dampening. The VIA software is also fairly easy to use, even for a first-timer like me. And the fact it's web-based is another plus.

But given the height of the keyboard, (and its price), it would have been great if a wrist rest had been included, too. You can get it directly from Keychron for around S$300. It's also available on Shopee, and Lazada. Need help picking the right mechanical keyboard? Check out our guide.

Note: Review unit provided by Keychron.


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Verdict



CAN BUY

Feels and sounds great to type on

Buy it at Shopee
Buy it at Lazada

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