Last Updated on March 30, 2023
When it comes to mechanical keyboards, Keychron has quickly become a well-known name in the market. Their keyboards are known for their quality and durability, making them a popular choice among gamers, typists, and professionals alike. Keychron offers a variety of keyboard models to choose from, with the K3 and K1 being two of their most popular offerings.
In this article, we will be comparing the Keychron K3 vs Keychron K1 to help you make an informed decision on which one is the best fit for you.
Keychron K3 vs Keychron K1 Specs
Both keyboards are made by Keychron and are wireless mechanical keyboards that use Bluetooth and USB-C for connectivity. They are compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems and have backlit keys for typing in dim environments. However, there are some differences in the specs and features of the two keyboards, which I’ll outline in the table below:
|Feature||Keychron K3||Keychron K1|
|Keyboard Layout||75% (84 keys)||Tenkeyless (87 keys)|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.1 and USB-C wired||Bluetooth and USB-C wired|
|Compatibility||Windows, Mac OS||Windows, Mac OS|
|Switch Type||Low-profile optical switch||Gateron low-profile red switch|
|Backlit||Yes, RGB||Yes, RGB|
|Battery Life||Up to 34 hours||Up to 42 hours|
|Number of Devices||Connects up to 3 devices||Connects up to 3 devices|
|NKRO||No||Wired mode only|
|Material||Aluminum and plastic||Aluminum and plastic|
Design and Build Quality
When it comes to the design and build quality of the Keychron K3 and K1 keyboards, there are some notable differences to consider. Starting with the Keychron K3, this keyboard is a 75% keyboard, which means that it has all of the standard keys that you would find on a full-sized keyboard but in a smaller form factor. This compact size makes it an excellent choice for users who want a portable keyboard that can be easily transported without sacrificing functionality.
In terms of design, the Keychron K3 has a minimalist aesthetic that is both sleek and modern. Its aluminum frame gives it a lightweight feel and adds an extra layer of durability to the overall build. One of the standout features of the K3 is its customizable RGB backlighting, which can be tailored to your personal preferences using Keychron’s software. This feature not only adds an element of visual appeal to the keyboard but also makes it easier to use in low-light conditions.
Turning to the Keychron K1, this keyboard is a low-profile keyboard that shares a similar design to Apple’s Magic Keyboard. It comes in both a 75% and 96% layout, allowing users to choose the one that best suits their needs. Like the K3, the K1 has a durable aluminum frame that adds an extra layer of protection to the keyboard. However, unlike the K3, the K1 has a plastic base, which may be less premium in feel for some users.
In terms of build quality, both keyboards are well-built and sturdy, with no noticeable flex or wobbling. However, the K3’s aluminum frame feels slightly more premium than the K1’s plastic base. The Keychron K3 also has a larger range of customization options with its RGB backlighting, which may be a deciding factor for users who value visual customization.
Overall, both the Keychron K3 and K1 are well-designed and well-built keyboards that offer a high level of functionality for their respective form factors. Whether you prioritize portability, visual customization, or a low-profile design, both keyboards have something to offer. It ultimately comes down to personal preference when choosing between the two.
These two keyboards are designed to provide a comfortable and efficient typing experience for users who type for long durations. They have a low profile design which means the keys are relatively flat and not raised high above the keyboard surface.
One thing to note is that you cannot adjust the tilt on these keyboards. The tilt angle is fixed, which means you won’t be able to adjust it to your preferred typing angle. However, some users may find the fixed angle to be comfortable enough for typing without needing any adjustments.
Another feature of these keyboards is that they do not come with armrests. Armrests are commonly found on larger keyboards, but they’re not always necessary on low profile ones like the Keychron K3 and Keychron K1. However, to improve your overall comfort while typing, we recommend using an XL sized mousepad that can provide more surface area for your arms to rest on.
When it comes to typing, we prefer the travel distance on the Keychron K3. Travel distance refers to the distance the key travels when pressed down. The Keychron K3 has a shorter travel distance than the Keychron K1, which means it requires less effort to move your fingers from one key to another. This may seem like a small thing, but it can make a big difference in your typing speed and comfort over long durations of typing.
Overall, the Keychron K3 and Keychron K1 are both great options for those looking for a low profile keyboard that can provide a comfortable and efficient typing experience. While they don’t have all the bells and whistles of some high-end keyboards, they offer a solid balance of features, price, and functionality.
If you’re looking for a keyboard with some amazing RGB backlighting, you might want to check out the Keychron K3 and Keychron K1. These two keyboards are really impressive when it comes to their lighting, as each key can light up individually with a range of colors to choose from. You can also adjust the brightness and lighting effects using the Fn and function keys, which are conveniently located on the keyboard.
What’s great about the RGB on these keyboards is that they are quite bright, which makes them perfect for use in low-light settings such as your workspace. Whether you’re working late into the night or just prefer a darker environment, the Keychron K3 and Keychron K1 have got you covered with their eye-catching backlighting.
However, one downside to these keyboards is that they are not supported by software that allows you to set the RGB backlight. Despite this setback, the Keychron K1 has an advantage over the K3 in terms of RGB settings. This is because there is a handy button located on the top right of the keyboard that lets you adjust the RGB in addition to using the Fn and function keys.
All in all, if you’re someone who loves colorful and vibrant RGB backlighting, then the Keychron K3 and Keychron K1 are definitely worth considering. With their individual key backlighting, brightness adjustment, and cool lighting effects, you’ll surely love the way these keyboards light up your workspace.
These two keyboards are great options if you’re looking for a keyboard that can connect to multiple devices at once via Bluetooth. This means you can easily switch between typing on your computer, tablet, or phone without having to constantly disconnect and reconnect your keyboard.
Another convenient feature of these keyboards is their built-in rechargeable batteries. Instead of having to constantly replace batteries, you can simply plug in a Type C cable to charge up the keyboard’s battery.
But that’s not all – these keyboards are also designed to last a long time on a single charge. In fact, they can last up to an impressive 34 hours when in a live RGB state!
If you need to switch between Windows/Android or Mac/iOS mode, the bluetooth controller switch is located on the front of the keyboard near the ESC button. This makes it easy to switch between different devices or operating systems as needed.
Overall, the Keychron K3 and Keychron K1 are excellent options for anyone looking for a versatile and reliable wireless keyboard.
These keyboards are not loaded with a lot of extra features like software support or programmable macros, making them perfect for individuals who prefer a more minimalistic approach to their typing needs.
It’s worth noting that both the Keychron K3 and K1 come with a unique button feature that allows users to call Siri or Cortana with ease. However, it’s important to adjust this feature with your device before using it.
Overall, the Keychron K3 and K1 are excellent options for individuals who prioritize simplicity, sleek design, and high-quality typing performance in their keyboard. Despite not having many extra features, both keyboards have proven to be reliable and efficient, making them a popular choice among many tech enthusiasts.
Keycaps & Switches
These keyboards have keycaps that are made of a type of plastic called ABS, which makes them feel soft and a bit thin. However, if you want to upgrade to keycaps made of a different material called PBT, you can purchase them through the Keychron website.
Both the Keychron K3 and Keychron K1 keyboards have switches from a company called Gateron, which is a brand that makes high-quality switches for keyboards. Specifically, the Keychron K3 uses a switch called Gateron Low Profile Brown, while the Keychron K1 uses Gateron Low Profile Red.
In our opinion, both of these switches feel really good to type on because they have a low profile, which means the distance between the keys is very fitting. This makes it easy to move your fingers from one key to another without having to put in too much effort. The Gateron Low Profile Brown switch on the Keychron K3 is tactile, which means it has a soft, fast, and quiet feel. However, if you want a switch that gives you a clicky sensation, we suggest you go with either the Gateron Low Profile Blue or Red Linear switch options.
On the other hand, the Gateron Low Profile Red switch on the Keychron K1 provides linear feedback, which means it feels responsive and accurate when you type on it. But if you want a different feel, we suggest you choose either the Gateron Low Profile Brown or Low Profile Blue switch options, which will give you a clicky sensation.
Overall, both of these keyboards are great options if you’re looking for a keyboard with a low profile and high-quality switches. And if you want to upgrade to PBT keycaps, you can easily do so through the Keychron website.
The Keychron K3 is a keyboard that boasts a long battery life, thanks to its 3000mAh battery. This battery is quite powerful, and it has been designed to last for extended periods of time, even with the RGB backlighting turned on. Specifically, the K3’s battery can last up to 15 hours with the RGB backlighting on, which is an impressive feat for a keyboard of its size and functionality. Furthermore, if you’re looking to extend the battery life even further, you can choose to turn off the RGB backlighting entirely, and the battery will last up to 72 hours in this mode.
Comparatively, the Keychron K1 has a slightly smaller battery capacity than the K3, with a 2000mAh battery. However, this does not mean that the K1 has a significantly shorter battery life. Instead, the K1 can still last for quite a while on a single charge, even with the backlighting turned on. Specifically, the K1’s battery can last up to 10 hours with the backlight on, which is still a solid amount of time for a keyboard of its size and functionality. Additionally, if you decide to turn off the backlight entirely, the K1’s battery life can extend up to an impressive 200 hours.
When it comes to choosing between the Keychron K3 and the K1, battery life is undoubtedly an essential consideration. Both keyboards have impressive battery lives that will allow you to use them for hours on end without needing to recharge. However, the K3’s larger battery capacity gives it a slight edge over the K1, as it can last for a few hours longer with the backlighting turned on. Ultimately, the choice between the two keyboards will depend on your specific needs and preferences, but it’s safe to say that you won’t be disappointed with either option when it comes to battery life.
When it comes to the typing experience, the Keychron K3 mechanical keyboard is a great option to consider. The keyboard has a Gateron Low Profile Brown switch that provides quality and responsive feedback. The typing experience, however, may vary depending on the type of switch you choose. While the keys on the keyboard may feel a bit wobbly, they are still acceptable. The keyboard layout is a bit tight, but you will eventually adapt to it. The Keychron K3 has a better finger transfer experience compared to the Keychron K1, but the right shift key is smaller than the left shift key. If you prefer PBT keycaps, you can purchase them on the official Keychron website.
On the other hand, the Keychron K1 mechanical keyboard is another great option for typing. This TKL-sized keyboard provides a solid feedback feel due to its Gateron Red-Linear switch. The keyboard has an ergonomic and comfortable low profile design, which adds to the typing experience. However, the ABS keycaps may feel slippery when typing, so it is recommended to use PBT keycaps which you can purchase separately from the Keychron website.
Comparing the two keyboards, the Keychron K3 has a slightly better typing experience due to its layout and finger transfer experience. Nonetheless, the Keychron K1 still provides a good typing experience with its low profile and Gateron Red-Linear switch. It’s important to note that the distance between the keys on the Keychron K1 is very tight, so it may be challenging to use for individuals with larger fingers.
Overall, both the Keychron K3 and Keychron K1 mechanical keyboards offer good typing experiences with their unique features and switch options. Depending on your preferences and needs, either keyboard could be a great option for you to consider.
One of the switch options available for the Keychron K3 is the Gateron Low Profile Brown switch. This switch is known for its tactile bump, which means you’ll feel a slight resistance when you press down on the key. This gives you feedback that the key has been actuated, making it easier to type accurately. Additionally, the Gateron Low Profile Brown switch is relatively quiet compared to other mechanical switches, making it a great choice for those who prefer a quieter typing experience.
On the other hand, if you prefer a more linear feel when typing, the Keychron K1 with Gateron Low Profile Red-Linear switches may be a better fit for you. These switches have no tactile bump, which means they are smoother to press down on. This can make typing faster and more fluid, but it may also lead to more typos if you’re not used to the lack of feedback. In terms of sound, the Gateron Low Profile Red-Linear switches are slightly louder than the Brown switches, with a more pronounced click sound.
Overall, the Keychron K3 and K1 are great options for anyone looking for a compact mechanical keyboard. Whether you prefer a tactile bump or a linear feel, there’s a switch option for you. And with the added convenience of wireless connectivity, the Keychron K3 and K1 are versatile keyboards that can be used in a variety of settings.
It’s important to note that these keyboards do not come with supporting software. This means that any customization and settings must be done using the keys on the keyboard itself. However, there is no need to worry as there are third-party software options available that can support these two keyboards.
In case you are wondering about the options available for customizing your Keychron keyboard, the guidance provided in the manual and on the Keychron website recommends using Karabiner Software for MacOS and SharpKeys for Windows operating systems. These software options provide an intuitive interface that will enable you to modify and adjust the keys on your keyboard with ease.
Karabiner Software for MacOS and SharpKeys for Windows are excellent third-party software options that can help you to customize your Keychron keyboard according to your preference. These software options offer a variety of features that can enhance your typing experience, such as the ability to remap keys, change key functions, and adjust the backlighting of your keyboard.
By using these software options, you can truly make your Keychron keyboard your own and tailor it to meet your specific needs. So, if you are looking to take your keyboard customization to the next level, then Karabiner Software for MacOS or SharpKeys for Windows could be just what you need to get started.
Both the K3 and K1 are compatible with both Windows and MacOS operating systems, which is really convenient for people who use both systems. However, there are some keys that do not work on certain devices. For example, the F3 and F4 keys do not work on iOS, iPad, and Linux for the K3. And for the K1, the Cortana key does not work for Windows and the Siri key does not work for MacOS. Additionally, the Printscreen button only works on Windows, but not on MacOS. The F1 and F2 keys do not work in both Windows and MacOS operating systems.
So, if you are using a Keychron keyboard and switch to a device with a different operating system, it is important to change the mode by moving the switch in front close to the ESC button. This will ensure that all the keys work properly on your device. It’s a small step, but it can save you a lot of frustration later on.
Overall, Keychron keyboards are a great option for people who use multiple operating systems. With their compatibility and easy mode-switching, they make it easy to seamlessly switch between devices without having to worry about keys not working.
When considering the aspect of price between the Keychron K3 and K1 keyboards, it can be observed that the former is slightly more expensive than the latter. The starting price for the K3 is set at $89.99, whereas the K1 is available for purchase at a lower price point of $65.00. This price difference may be due to the fact that the K3 offers additional features and benefits over the K1, such as a more compact design and a variety of switch options.
It should be noted that while the K3 is pricier than the K1, its higher cost may be justified by its enhanced functionality and performance. Moreover, the K3 is designed to cater to a wider range of users with its customizable RGB lighting, Bluetooth connectivity, and the ability to switch between up to three different devices seamlessly. These added features can make the K3 a more appealing option for those who require a keyboard that is versatile and can adapt to their specific needs.
However, for those who prioritize affordability over additional features, the K1 may be a more suitable choice. The K1 still boasts a sleek design and reliable performance, and its lower price point can make it an attractive option for those on a tight budget. Ultimately, the decision between the two keyboards will depend on the user’s personal preferences, requirements, and budget.
In conclusion, while the Keychron K3 may be slightly more expensive than the K1, it offers additional benefits and features that can make it a more appealing choice for certain users. However, those who prioritize affordability may still find the K1 to be a reliable and suitable option. Ultimately, the choice between the two keyboards will depend on the user’s individual needs and preferences, as well as their willingness to invest in additional features and functionality.
Keychron K3 vs Keychron K1 Pros And Cons
|Full RGB backlighting.||No dedicated software to remap keys.|
|Lightweight and compact design.||Doesn’t come with a wrist rest.|
|Good typing quality.||Some function keys don’t work on mobile devices.|
|Bluetooth support.||No macro-programmable keys.|
|RGB backlighting.||Compact and tight key layout.|
|Great build quality.||No companion software.|
If you’re in the market for a new mechanical keyboard, you might be considering the Keychron K3 and the Keychron K1. These two keyboards are both great options with unique features and designs to fit your needs.
The Keychron K3 is a 75% layout keyboard with 84 keys, making it a bit smaller than the K1. It’s ultra-slim and lightweight, making it easy to take with you on the go. It has a variety of connectivity options, including Bluetooth 5.1 and USB-C wired mode, allowing you to connect to up to 3 devices seamlessly. The K3 also has hot-swappable optical brown switches, allowing you to customize your typing experience without any soldering. It has ergonomic LED backlighting, making it comfortable to use in any lighting situation. And with a built-in rechargeable battery, it has a long-lasting battery life of up to 34 hours.
On the other hand, the Keychron K1 is a 87-key keyboard with a unique Mac layout that’s also compatible with Windows. It also has Bluetooth 5.1 and USB connectivity, allowing you to connect to up to 3 devices easily. It has charming RGB backlighting, making it easy to type in dim environments, and it also supports N-key rollover (NKRO) on wired mode or 6KRO on wireless mode. The K1 has durable Gateron low profile mechanical switches that provide a great tactile typing experience.
Overall, both keyboards have their own strengths and features that may make them a better fit for you. The Keychron K3 is a great option if you’re looking for a smaller, more portable keyboard with hot-swappable switches, while the Keychron K1 is a good choice if you’re looking for a keyboard with unique Mac layout and charming RGB backlighting. Regardless of your choice, you can’t go wrong with either of these excellent mechanical keyboards.
What is the Keychron K3?
The Keychron K3 is a mechanical keyboard that is slim and lightweight. It has 84 keys and a 75% layout which makes it very compact, saving you desk space. It has both wireless and USB-C wired connectivity options and can connect to up to 3 devices simultaneously. It has hot-swappable low-profile Keychron optical brown switches, which means you can easily customize your typing experience. It has an ergonomic design with LED backlighting, and is compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems.
What is the Keychron K1?
The Keychron K1 is also a mechanical keyboard that is ultra-slim and has 87 keys. It has wireless Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity and can connect to up to 3 devices simultaneously, as well as a USB-C wired option. It has a unique Mac layout but is compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems. It has an RGB backlight with modern keycap legends and supports N-key rollover or 6KRO. It has durable Gateron low profile mechanical switches that are slim and provide ultimate comfort.
What are the main differences between the Keychron K3 and the Keychron K1?
The Keychron K3 has a 75% layout and 84 keys, while the Keychron K1 has 87 keys. The Keychron K3 has hot-swappable low-profile Keychron optical brown switches, while the Keychron K1 has Gateron low profile mechanical switches. The Keychron K3 has an ergonomic design with LED backlighting, while the Keychron K1 has an RGB backlight with modern keycap legends. The Keychron K3 has both wireless Bluetooth 5.1 and USB-C wired connectivity options, while the Keychron K1 has wireless Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity and a USB-C wired option.