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Keychron Q8 review: High-end split keyboard

Keychron Q8 review: High-end split keyboard

The Keychron Q8 mechanical keyboard uses the less-common, split Alice “semi-ergonomic” layout that puts your wrist in a more natural position. Like others in the brand's customisable Q-series, the Q8 has a metal body and gasket design, which gives it a great typing sound.

Quick specs

  • 65% Alice layout
  • Gasket-mounted design
  • Double-shot OSA PBT keycaps
  • Also available as barebones kit without switches or keycaps

With a fully metal body, the Q8 is heavy at over 1.8kg, and will stay solidly in place on your desk. The edges of the top case are attractively chamfered, but feel slightly sharp when you run your fingers across them. The bottom case is removable, held in place by eight screws. A tool to remove these screws come with the Q8, for those who want to customize the parts inside. You can make basic modifications like changing keycaps and switches without opening the case.

Switches can be easily replaced, no soldering required. The keyboard comes with a braided USB-C to USB-C cable. Credit: John Chan/Can Buy or Not

The Q8 is a wired keyboard, with one USB-C port. It has a physical toggle to switch between Windows and macOS layouts. The gasket mount design simply means that rubber pieces cushion the top and bottom of the keyboard plate. In use, this leads to a more muted typing sound due to reduced resonance. I opted for Gateron Blue switches for my Q8. Compared to my previous experience with these clicky switches, it sounded more subdued, and pleasant on the Q8.

Extra screws, gaskets, keyboard feet, and keycaps for MacOS layout. Credit: John Chan/Can Buy or Not

Our wrists tend to angle outwards when using a regular keyboard. The Q8's split design Alice layout allows the wrists to remain in a more natural position. For those who spend long hours at the computer, this can help with comfort, and help prevent long-term problems. However, this is not a “full” ergonomic solution. Fully-split keyboards that are raised in the middle offer an even more neutral wrist position. For further customisation, users can program or remap keys to their preferences using QMK/VIA.

See Also
Apple iPhone 14 Plus

At S$280 for a fully-assembled kit (including Gateron switches, PBT keycaps), the Keychron Q8 isn't a budget keyboard. However, getting all these features in one keyboard have generally been reserved for the build-it-yourself keyboard crowd, who spend hundreds for a case, custom keycaps and so on. Users who have no desire to go the DIY route will enjoy the Keychron Q8's enthusiast benefits without the hassle or expense. Get it from Shopee or Keychron.

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Split keyboard that sounds great.

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