Keychron K2 Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Jan 06, 2021 at 10:21 am
Keychron K2 Picture
7.4
Mixed usage
7.0
Gaming
8.9
Mobile/Tablet
7.5
Office
7.5
Programming
Connectivity Wireless
Size
Compact (75%)
Mechanical
Yes

The Keychron K2 is a decent entry-level mechanical keyboard. Its small and compact design makes it fairly easy to carry around, and you shouldn't have to worry about damaging it thanks to its excellent build quality. It's designed with macOS users in mind, but it comes with extra Windows keycaps as well. It works fully on both macOS and Windows, and only certain function keys don't work on mobile operating systems. It can connect with up to three devices at once via Bluetooth. Unfortunately, it doesn't have dedicated software, and you can't program any macros for gaming. Our unit has tactile Gateron Brown switches, and you can also get it with clicky Blue and linear Red switches. The typing quality is great, but the ABS keycaps feel slippery. Luckily, you can also purchase extra PBT keycaps directly from Keychron's website. It also doesn't come with a wrist rest, but this is something you can buy separately.

Our Verdict

7.4 Mixed usage

The Keychron K2 is decent overall. It's excellent for use with mobile devices because of its multi-device pairing, compatibility with most operating systems, and its small design. It offers great typing quality with the Gateron Brown switches we tested, and it's also available with Blue and Red switches. Unfortunately, you can't reprogram any keys and it lacks dedicated software.

Pros
  • Compatible with most popular operating systems.
  • Multi-device pairing with three devices.
Cons
  • No dedicated software or macro-programmable keys.
  • Lacks wrist rest.
7.0 Gaming

The Keychron K2 is decent for gaming. The Gateron Brown switches on our unit have a low pre-travel distance and don't require much force to actuate. You can also get it with Gateron Red and Blue switches. It has full RGB backlighting, but without dedicated software, you can't reprogram any keys. Its ergonomics are just okay, but there's no wrist rest.

Pros
  • Full RGB backlighting.
  • Light actuation force.
Cons
  • No dedicated software or macro-programmable keys.
  • Lacks wrist rest.
8.9 Mobile/Tablet

The Keychron K2 is excellent for mobile use. It can be paired with up to three devices at once, and except for some function keys, it works properly on most common mobile operating systems. It's small, light, and it has an excellent build quality, so you shouldn't have to worry about damaging it during travel.

Pros
  • Compatible with most popular operating systems.
  • Multi-device pairing with three devices.
  • Small and compact design.
Cons
  • Certain function keys don't work on mobile devices.
7.5 Office

The Keychron K2 is good for office use. The unit we tested has Gateron Brown switches, which provide a great typing experience, and you can get it with other switch types if you prefer. It's well-built and has okay ergonomics with two incline settings, but it doesn't come with a wrist rest. It's also fully compatible with both macOS and Windows.

Pros
  • Compatible with most popular operating systems.
  • Great typing quality.
  • Excellent build quality.
Cons
  • Lacks wrist rest.
7.5 Programming

The Keychron K2 is good for programming. The keys are stable and the Gateron Brown switches on our unit provide a great typing experience. It's well-built with a solid aluminum frame and has two incline settings, but it doesn't come with a wrist rest. Sadly, it doesn't come with dedicated software, and you can't reprogram any keys.

Pros
  • Full RGB backlighting.
  • Great typing quality.
  • Excellent build quality.
Cons
  • No dedicated software or macro-programmable keys.
  • Lacks wrist rest.
  • 7.4 Mixed usage
  • 7.0 Gaming
  • 8.9 Mobile/Tablet
  • 7.5 Office
  • 7.5 Programming

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Height
1.7" (4.2 cm)
Width 12.4" (31.6 cm)
Depth 5.0" (12.7 cm)
Weight 1.7 lbs (0.8 kg)

The Keychron K2 is a small, 75% compact keyboard that has a function row, Page Up/Down, Home, End, and arrow keys. It's light and won't take up much space on your desk.

8.5
Design
Build Quality

The Keychron K2 has an excellent build quality. The aluminum frame helps keep the entire board very sturdy and there's no flex or loose parts. The keys are stable, except the spacebar wobbles a bit more than other keys, but it's not very noticeable. Also, the larger keys with stabilizers don't rattle at all. The ABS keycaps are thin and seem to develop oil shine easily, which is disappointing. However, you can buy extra PBT keycaps from Keychron's website. Lastly, the feet feel sturdy and shouldn't collapse when you push the keyboard.

6.5
Design
Ergonomics
Board Design
Straight
Incline Settings
2
Wrist Rest No

The keyboard has okay ergonomics. It has two incline settings, and it has a fairly high profile. It doesn't come with a wrist rest, but you can buy a wooden one from Keychron's website.

10
Design
Backlighting
Backlighting Yes
Color RGB
Brightness Settings
Yes
Individually Backlit Keys
Yes

The Keychron K2 has full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys. You can cycle through brightness settings and lighting effects using the Fn and function keys. It doesn't get bright enough to make the colors stand out in a well-lit room.

Design
Cable
Detachable
Yes (Wired Mode and Charge)
Length 3.9 ft (1.2 m)
Connector (Keyboard side) USB type-C

It comes with a detachable USB-C cable, and the keyboard connector has a 90-degree angle, so you don't bend the wire when it's plugged in. The cable is braided and retains kinks from the packaging.

10
Design
Wireless Versatility
Bluetooth
Yes
Proprietary Receiver
No
Multi-Device Pairing
3
Battery Type
Rechargeable

The Keychron K2 can connect with up to three devices at once via Bluetooth, or you can use it wired while charging. The battery is advertised to last up to 240 hours with the backlight turned off, but this isn't something we test for.

Design
Extra Features
Media Keys
Hot Keys
Macro Programmable Keys
No
Extra Controls
No
USB Passthrough
No
Numpad No
Windows Key Lock
No

The Keychron K2 doesn't have many extra features. There are media hotkeys, but you can't reprogram any buttons. Keychron recommends using third-party software to remap the keys, but this isn't something we test for. There are switches on the left side to use it in the Windows/Android or the mac/iOS modes and to use it wirelessly or wired.

Design
In The Box

  • Keychron K2 wireless mechanical keyboard
  • USB-C cable
  • Keycap puller
  • 4x gray keys (2x Alt, Esc, Windows)
  • 1x Orange 'Light Bulb' key
  • Manual

Typing Experience
Typing Experience
Keystrokes
Key Switches
Gateron Brown
Feel
Tactile
Actuation Force
38.1 gf
Pre-Travel
2.36 mm
Total Travel
4.11 mm

The unit we tested has tactile Gateron Brown switches, but it's also available with clicky Gateron Blue and linear Red switches. It's similar to the Gateron Brown switches on the Keychron K6 and Keychron K8. They don't require a lot of force to actuate, and they provide good tactile feedback. If you prefer something with low profile switches, then look into the Keychron K3.

8.0
Typing Experience
Typing Quality

The Gateron Brown switches on our unit provide a great typing experience. They offer good tactile feedback, and it's also available with Gateron Red and Blue switches, so you can get the ones you prefer. The keys are stable, but the spacebar wobbles just a bit. The compact 75% size may take some time to get used to, especially if you use non-alphanumeric keys, such as Page Up and Page Down, which are positioned differently than on standard full-sized keyboards. The right Shift key is smaller than the left Shift, so that may cause an increase in typos when you first use it. The function row is the same height as the number row instead of being slightly taller like on most keyboards, so it may feel different for some, but shouldn't be too much of an issue. The ABS keycaps feel slippery, but you can get an extra set of PBT keycaps. The keys are light to press and despite having a high profile, it shouldn't be too tiring typing on them for long periods. If you notice some fatigue, you can also get a wrist rest separately.

Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Noise
Quiet

Our unit with Gateron Brown switches is quiet and shouldn't bother those around you. However, we expect the Gateron Blue switches to be louder, similar to the Cherry MX Blue switches on the Ducky One 2 SF.

Software and Operating System
0
Software and Operating System
Software
Software No Software
Account Required
No Software
Profiles
No Profile
Onboard Memory
No
Cloud Sync
No
Backlight Programming
No
Macro Programming
No
Software Windows Compatible
No
Software macOS Compatible
No

Keychron K2 doesn't come with dedicated software to customize the RGB lighting or reprogram keys. However, Keychron recommends using third-party software to remap keys. In the manual, they recommend Karabiner for macOS and SharpKeys for Windows, but we don't test for these programs.

9.2
Software and Operating System
Keyboard Compatibility
Windows Full
macOS Full
Linux Partial
Android Full
iOS Partial
iPadOS Partial

The Keychron K2 Wireless is fully compatible with both Windows and macOS, as long as you set the keyboard to the proper mode with the switch on the left side. The F3 and F4 keys don't work on iOS or iPadOS. You should set the OS slider to 'mac/iOS' if you're using it with Linux, but the display brightness up/down keys don't work. If you set the keyboard to the 'Windows' mode on Linux, all of the function keys, as well as the display brightness up/down, don't work.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the Keychron K2 with an aluminum frame, RGB backlighting, and Gateron Brown switches. It's available in few different variants, including a hot-swappable version that allows you to quickly change the switches without soldering. The differences between the versions are listed below, and the build quality, typing experience, and typing noise may change depending on which model and switch type you get.

Keychron sells extra accessories for this keyboard. You can get a wrist rest and a set of PBT keycaps directly from their website, so your experience may vary with these extra parts.

Model Keycap Color Backlighting Frame Material Gateron Switches
Keychron K2 Light/Dark Gray RGB Aluminum Red, Brown, Blue
Keychron K2 Light/Dark Gray White Plastic Red, Brown, Blue
Keychron K2 Light/Dark Gray RGB Plastic Red, Brown, Blue
Keychron K2 Hot-Swappable White/Black RGB Aluminum Red, Brown, Blue
Keychron K2 Hot-Swappable White/Black White Plastic Red, Brown, Blue

If someone notices that their unit doesn't correspond to our review, please let us know in the discussions and we'll update the review. You can see the label for our unit here.

Compared To Other Keyboards

The Keychron K2 is a decent, entry-level mechanical keyboard, and it's a better choice for mobile devices than the Keychron K4 or Keychron K8 because it's smaller and lighter to carry around. You can get it with a few different switch types, but sadly, you can't reprogram any of its keys, which is disappointing if you're a gamer. Also see our recommendations for the best keyboards for writers, the best mechanical keyboards, and the best keyboards for Mac.

Keychron K6

The Keychron K2 is better for most uses than the Keychron K6, but they're similar overall. The K2 is slightly bigger because it has a function row, and it's fully compatible with macOS and Android. However, the K6 is also available with optical switches, so you have more options to choose from.

Keychron K8

The Keychron K2 is better overall than the Keychron K8, but they have similar features. Each unit we tested has Gateron Brown switches with great typing quality, but the K8 is also available with optical switches. The K2 is fully compatible with Windows, macOS, and Android, but the K8 is TKL sized so it has more function keys and the arrow keys aren't as condensed.

Keychron K1

The Keychron K2 is better overall than the Keychron K1. The K2 feels better-built, the Gateron Brown switches we tested has a much better typing experience, and it's fully compatible with Windows, macOS, and Android. On the other hand, the K1 has a lower profile and since it's full-sized, it has a NumPad.

Keychron K4

Our unit of the Keychron K2 is slightly better overall than the Keychron K4. The K2 we tested has full RGB backlighting, while the K4 we tested has white backlighting, but you can get it with RGB backlighting as well. The K2 is smaller and lighter, so it's a better choice for use with mobile devices. However, the K4 is full-sized and is available with optical switches.

Keychron K3

The Keychron K3 and the Keychron K2 are two very similar keyboards, except the K3 has low profile switches while the K2 has normal-sized ones. The K3 has better ergonomics because of its lower profile. It's also available in a wider range of switch types, including optical ones. However, the K2 offers better typing quality and it feels better-built.

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