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Keychron K7 Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Oct 22, 2021 at 10:23 am
Keychron K7 Picture
7.9
Gaming
8.7
Mobile/Tablet
7.8
Office
7.6
Programming
6.5
Entertainment / HTPC
Connectivity Wireless
Size
Compact (65%)
Mechanical
Yes

The Keychron K7 is a 65% compact wireless board with low-profile switches and keycaps. The Gateron Low Profile Brown switches on our unit are quiet and feel light to type on, but some people may not like the feel of the low profile switches. Also, it's available with a few different switch types, and there's a hot-swappable variant that lets you install any low-profile switches you prefer. You can pair it with up to three devices via Bluetooth, and it's compatible with most common operating systems, though some keys don't work on some devices. Like all Keychron boards, it comes with OS-specific keycaps for both Windows and macOS. Also, there's a switch to toggle between Windows/Android mode and Mac/iOS mode. Unfortunately, there's no proprietary customization software, so you can't remap the keys without installing a third-party program.

Our Verdict

7.9 Gaming

The Keychron K7 is good for gaming, but it isn't designed for this use. It has RGB backlighting and decently low latency, but it may not feel responsive enough for gaming. The Gateron Low Profile Brown switches on our unit have a shorter pre-travel distance than standard-sized tactile switches, which helps them feel responsive, but some people may not like how the low-profile switches feel. Unfortunately, you can't set macros or remap the keys without using third-party software, which may be annoying to some gamers.

Pros
  • Short pre-travel distance.
  • Low operating force.
  • Feels well-built.
Cons
  • Can't remap keys without third-party software.
  • Latency is somewhat high.
8.7 Mobile/Tablet

The Keychron K7 is excellent for mobile devices and tablets since it's light to carry around and compact enough to easily fit into a laptop bag. That said, you can pair it with up to three devices via Bluetooth. It's compatible with most common operating systems, and only a few function keys don't work on iOS, iPad, and Android.

Pros
  • Lightweight and compact design.
  • Can pair with three devices via Bluetooth.
  • Compatible with most operating systems.
  • Feels well-built.
Cons
  • ABS keycaps may develop shine over time.
7.8 Office

The Keychron K7 is good for office use. It feels well-built, and while it doesn't come with a wrist rest, the board is low enough that you shouldn't feel wrist fatigue without one. It has two incline settings, although the first one isn't much higher than the base height. The Gateron Low Profile Brown switches on our unit are quiet, feel light to type on, and provide nice tactile feedback, although some people who are used to standard-sized switches may not like the feel of the shorter pre-travel distance. Like all Keychron boards, it comes with OS-specific keycaps for both Windows and macOS.

Pros
  • Can pair with three devices via Bluetooth.
  • Compatible with most operating systems.
  • Feels well-built.
Cons
  • Can't remap keys without third-party software.
7.6 Programming

The Keychron K7 is good for programming, though you can't set macros or remap the keys without third-party software. That said, it feels very well built, and while it doesn't come with a wrist rest, you shouldn't need one since the board isn't very tall. The Gateron Low Profile Brown switches on our unit feel light to type on and provide a good typing experience, but some people may not like the feel of the low-profile switches' shorter pre-travel distance. You can adjust the RGB backlighting brightness level and cycle through effects directly from the board. Like all Keychron boards, it comes with OS-specific keycaps for both Windows and macOS.

Pros
  • Can pair with three devices via Bluetooth.
  • Compatible with most operating systems.
  • Feels well-built.
Cons
  • Can't remap keys without third-party software.
6.5 Entertainment / HTPC

The Keychron K7 is only okay for a home theater PC setup. It's wireless, you can pair it with up to three devices via Bluetooth, and it's compatible with many desktop and mobile operating systems. There are media hotkeys to control volume and playback, and it has RGB backlighting to help you see the legends in a dark room. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a built-in trackpad, so you need to use a mouse on the side, and you can't set macros or remap keys without using third-party software.

Pros
  • Can pair with three devices via Bluetooth.
  • Compatible with most operating systems.
  • Feels well-built.
Cons
  • No built-in trackpad.
  • Can't remap keys without third-party software.
  • No volume control wheel.
  • 7.9 Gaming
  • 8.7 Mobile/Tablet
  • 7.8 Office
  • 7.6 Programming
  • 6.5 Entertainment / HTPC
  1. Updated Oct 22, 2021: Review published.
  2. Updated Oct 20, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Height
0.9" (2.3 cm)
Width 12.0" (30.5 cm)
Depth
3.8" (9.7 cm)
Depth With Wrist Rest
N/A
Weight
0.89 lbs (0.403 kg)
8.0
Design
Build Quality
Keycap Material ABS

The Keychron K7 feels well-built and sturdy, thanks to its aluminum chassis and solid-feeling plastic base plate. It has five rubber pads on the underside that do a good job of keeping the board in place, and the rubber ends on the incline feet are also good. The keys feel stable and have only a small amount of wobble that isn't noticeable while typing. The larger keys rattle a bit more, though. Unfortunately, its keycaps are ABS plastic, prone to developing shine from finger oils after long-term use.

7.5
Design
Ergonomics
Board Design
Straight
Minimum Incline
Medium Incline
Maximum Incline
Wrist Rest No

It has good ergonomics. It's a straight board with a very low profile and two incline settings, although the first one isn't much higher than the default height. It doesn't come with a wrist rest, but you shouldn't need one since the board isn't very tall.

9.3
Design
Backlighting
Backlighting Yes
Color
RGB
Individually Backlit Keys
Yes
Color Mixing
Ok
Effects
Yes
Programmable
No

Our Keychron K7 unit has full RGB backlighting with individually lit keys. You can adjust the RGB backlighting brightness level and cycle through effects directly from the board. Unfortunately, there are hints of other colors when you set the RGB to white; however, there's a variant with white backlighting only that won't have this problem.

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

It comes with a USB-C to USB-A braided charging cable.

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

Keychron claims the 1550mAh li-polymer battery can last up to 34 hours in a single charge.

Design
Extra Features
Media Keys
Hot Keys
Macro Programmable Keys
No
Trackpad / Trackball No
Wheel No
USB Passthrough
No
Numpad No
Windows Key Lock
No
Lock Indicator Caps Lock

The Keychron K7 has two switches: one to swap between Bluetooth and Wired Mode, and another to switch between Windows/Android and Mac/iOS Mode. Also, it comes with specific keycaps for Windows and macOS, meaning you can match your keys to your PC's operating system. There are media hotkeys on the number row to control the volume and playback. Unfortunately, you can't set macros or remap any keys without using third-party software.

Design
In The Box

  • Keychron K7
  • USB-C to USB-A cable
  • Keycap puller
  • Alternate Windows keycaps
  • Keyboard layout guide
  • User manual

Typing Experience
Typing Experience
Keystrokes
Key Switches
Gateron Low Profile Brown
Feel
Tactile
Operating Force
55 gf
Actuation Force
50 gf
Pre-Travel
1.8 mm
Total Travel
2.7 mm

The Gateron Low Profile Brown switches on our Keychron K7 unit feel light to type on. They provide nice tactile feedback when actuated, and since the low-profile switches aren't as tall as standard-sized switches, they have a shorter pre-travel distance. The board is also available with Gateron Low Profile Red and Blue. Also, you can get the hot-swappable variant that lets you use whichever switches you prefer, or you can choose between Keychron Low-Profile Optical Red, Blue, Brown, Banana, and Mint switches. However, keep in mind that the keystroke feel will be different if you have other switches installed.

7.5
Typing Experience
Typing Quality

The Keychron K7's typing quality is good. The ABS keycaps have a soft feel to them, though they might eventually get shiny from finger oils, and the keys feel mostly stable with only a bit of wobble. The Gateron Low Profile Switches on our unit feel light to type on and provide nice tactile feedback, but some people may not like the shorter pre-travel distance of the low-profile switches. While it doesn't come with a wrist rest, the board is low enough that you shouldn't feel wrist fatigue without one. Your typing experience will vary if you have different switches installed.

Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Noise
Quiet

The Gateron Low Profile Brown switches on our Keychron K7 unit are quiet to type on. However, the noise level will differ if you have different switches installed.

7.0
Typing Experience
Latency
Latency Wired
14.6 ms
Latency Receiver
N/A
Latency Bluetooth
28.7 ms

The Keychron K7 has decently low latency. You won't notice any delays when using it for office tasks, but it may not feel responsive enough for gaming.

Software and Operating System
0
Software and Operating System
Software & Programming
Software Name No Software
Account Required
No Software
Profiles
No Profile
Onboard Memory
No
Cloud Sync
No
Macro Programming
No
Ease Of Use
No Software
Software Windows Compatible
No
Software macOS Compatible
No

The Keychron K7 doesn't come with customization software to remap keys. Keychron recommends using Karabiner for macOS and SharpKeys for Windows. Since these aren't proprietary, we don't count them as software.

8.5
Software and Operating System
Keyboard Compatibility
Windows Full
macOS Partial
Linux Partial
Android Partial
iOS Partial
iPadOS Partial

The Keychron K7 is fully compatible with Windows, but the screen brightness keys don't work on macOS. Also, the F3 and F4 functions don't work on Linux, iOS, or iPadOS. On Android, the ESC, F2, F3, and F4 all do nothing, and the F1 key opens keyboard shortcuts instead of dimming the screen.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the Keychron K7 with RGB backlighting and Gateron Low Profile Brown switches. There are a few variants, with differences in backlighting color and switch types, and there are also two hot-swappable variants. You can see the variants and their differences listed below.

Backlighting Hot-Swappable Gateron Low Profile Keychron Low Profile Optical
RGB No Brown, Red, and Blue -
White No Brown, Red, and Blue -
RGB Yes Brown, Red, and Blue Red, Brown, Blue, Banana, Mint
White Yes Brown, Red, and Blue Red, Brown, Blue, Banana, Mint

If you have a variant of the K7 that doesn't correspond to our review, let us know in the discussions, and we'll update it. You can see our unit's label here.

Compared To Other Keyboards

The Keychron K7 is a 65% compact wireless mechanical board designed for office use. Unlike many office keyboards, this model is available with mechanical and optical low-profile switches, which are much shorter than standard-sized switches and have a shorter pre-travel distance. It's very similar to the Keychron K3, but the K7 is much more compact and lacks the dedicated F-row. Unfortunately, like most Keychron keyboards, you can set macros or remap keys without third-party software, which may disappoint some users.

See our recommendations for the best wireless keyboards, the best mechanical keyboards, and the best Keychron keyboards.

Keychron K3

The Keychron K3 and the Keychron K7 are very similar wireless keyboards, but the K3 has more keys. The K3 is a 75% board with a dedicated F-row and a Control button on its right side, which the K7 lacks because of its second Fn key. On the other hand, the K7 is a 65% board with two incline settings, unlike the K3. Both boards are available with Gateron Low Profile and Keychron Low Profile Optical switches. The K3's hot-swappable variant is compatible with Keychron Low Profile Optical switches only, while the K7 is also available with Gateron Low Profile switches.

Keychron K2

The Keychron K7 and the Keychron K2 are compact office keyboards with similar features. The K7 is a 65% board available with Gateron Low Profile switches and Keychron Low Profile Optical switches. Since it has fewer keys, it lacks the dedicated function row and right Control key that the K2 has. On the other hand, the K2 is a 75% compact board available with standard-sized Gateron switches only. Both boards have a hot-swappable variant so that you can use whatever switches you prefer without having to solder them in yourself.

Keychron K6

The Keychron K7 and the Keychron K6 are similar 65% compact keyboards, except the K7 has low-profile switches while the K6 has standard-sized ones. The K7 is slimmer and lighter, and it's available with Gateron Low Profile switches and Keychron Low Profile Optical switches. The Gateron Low Profile Brown switches on our unit feel heavier than the standard Gateron Brown switches on our K6 unit, but the pre-travel distance is much lower, which some people may prefer. On the other hand, the K6 is available with standard-sized Gateron and LK Optical switches.

Keychron K1

The Keychron K1 and the Keychron K7 are comparable wireless keyboards, but the K1 has more keys. The K1 is a TenKeyLess board with a dedicated F-row, spaced-out navigation keys, and a Control button on the right side. On the other hand, the K7 is a 65% board with two incline settings, while the K1 doesn't have any incline options. The K7 lacks the right Control key because of its second Fn button. Both boards are available with Gateron Low Profile, but only the K7 is available with Keychron Low Profile Optical switches and in a hot-swappable version.

Apple Magic Keyboard 2017

The Apple Magic Keyboard 2017 and the Keychron K7 are both compact office boards, but the Keychron uses mechanical switches. The Apple is much lighter and slimmer, and it doesn't have any incline settings or backlighting. It uses scissor switches that feel a bit heavy, but this should help reduce unintended keystrokes. While it has Bluetooth, you can only pair it to one device. On the other hand, the Keychron has low-profile mechanical switches that require less force to actuate your keys but have a higher pre-travel distance. The Keychron has a USB-C connection for charging, while the Apple uses a proprietary lighting connection. Also, you can pair the Keychron with up to three devices and easily switch between them.

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