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Keychron K8 Pro Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Jul 05, 2022 at 10:07 am
Keychron K8 Pro Picture
8.7
Gaming
6.6
Mobile/Tablet
7.4
Office
8.4
Programming
7.2
Entertainment / HTPC
Size
TenKeyLess (80%)
Connectivity Wireless
Mechanical
Yes

The Keychron K8 Pro is a TenKeyLess (80%) wireless keyboard. It's an upgraded version of the Keychron K8 and features a few notable differences from its predecessor. Namely, it departs from the traditional grey and orange ABS keycaps found on most K-series models and instead uses the rounded PBT keycaps used on the Q-series, which come in a wider selection of color schemes. This keyboard also has a hot-swappable PCB, screw-in stabilizers, and an included toolkit to help you customize and modify it to fit your preferences.

Our Verdict

8.7 Gaming

The Keychron K8 Pro is a great keyboard for gaming though it's better suited for casual gaming rather than competitive or fast-paced reaction titles due to its latency. Otherwise, it's a solidly built board with full RGB backlighting. Since this has a hot-swappable PCB, you can change the stock switches without having to solder. Also, every key is macro-programmable, and the companion software is available on all major operating systems. Unfortunately, it lacks a wrist rest, which would improve the overall comfort as it's a high-profile board.

Pros
  • Excellent build quality.
  • Full RGB backlighting.
  • Hot-swappable PCB.
Cons
  • No included wrist rest.
6.6 Mobile/Tablet

The Keychron K8 Pro is an adequate board to use with mobile devices and tablets. It connects with up to three devices using Bluetooth and is compatible with mobile operating systems, though a few function hotkeys don't work. Typing feels nice, and the keyboard feels well-built thanks to the premium materials used. Unfortunately, it's not very portable as it's heavy, and the TKL form factor is a bit big for tight workspaces.

Pros
  • Excellent build quality.
  • Outstanding compatibility across operating systems.
Cons
  • No included wrist rest.
  • Not very portable due to its weight.
7.4 Office

The Keychron K8 Pro is a decent office keyboard. It's a wireless model that connects with up to three devices over Bluetooth. It offers great typing quality and has a layer of sound-dampening foam inside the board to reduce noise. However, the noise levels with the clicky Gateron G Pro Blue switches are louder than they will be for linear or tactile ones. Overall, it feels very well-built and is fully compatible with Windows and macOS, thanks to the toggle on the left side to change operating systems. Also, its software is available on all major operating systems. Unfortunately, it feels uncomfortable to type on for long periods as it lacks a wrist rest and has a high profile.

Pros
  • Excellent build quality.
  • Hot-swappable PCB.
Cons
  • No included wrist rest.
  • Not very portable due to its weight.
8.4 Programming

The Keychron K8 Pro is a great keyboard for programming. It feels well-built and offers a nice, satisfying typing experience. You can connect it with up to three devices using Bluetooth, and it's fully compatible with both Windows and macOS, and only a few function hotkeys don't work on Linux. The companion software is available on all major PC operating systems, so you can program macros and customize the key mapping regardless of your setup. It also has full RGB backlighting, though the key legends aren't shine-through. Unfortunately, it lacks a wrist rest, which would improve the overall comfort during use as it's a high-profile keyboard.

Pros
  • Excellent build quality.
  • Full RGB backlighting.
  • Hot-swappable PCB.
Cons
  • No included wrist rest.
7.2 Entertainment / HTPC

The Keychron K8 Pro is a decent keyboard to use with a home theater PC setup. It connects wirelessly via Bluetooth with up to three devices, meaning you can easily switch between a laptop or HTPC. It has media hotkeys along the function row for easy control, and there's full RGB backlighting to help make your keys easier to see in the dark, though the legends aren't shine-through. While it's very well-built, it unfortunately lacks a trackpad for on-screen navigation, so you'll have to use an additional peripheral.

Pros
  • Excellent build quality.
  • Full RGB backlighting.
Cons
  • No included wrist rest.
  • No trackpad for on-screen navigation.
  • 8.7 Gaming
  • 6.6 Mobile/Tablet
  • 7.4 Office
  • 8.4 Programming
  • 7.2 Entertainment / HTPC
  1. Updated Jul 05, 2022: Review published.
  2. Updated Jun 29, 2022: Early access published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Keychron K8 Pro comes in multiple configurations outlined in the table below. We bought and tested the fully assembled version with an aluminum frame with clicky Gateron G Pro Blue switches installed. You can see the label of our unit here.

Assembly Backlighting Aluminum Frame Color Scheme Gateron G Pro Switches
Barebones (Hot-Swappable)  RGB  No None  None
Fully Assembled (Hot-Swappable)  White, RGB  No Black Keycaps  Red, Blue, Brown
Fully Assembled (Hot-Swappable) RGB Yes A - Blue Keycaps
B - Black Keycaps
Red, Blue, Brown

Compared To Other Keyboards

The Keychron K8 Pro is the upgraded version of the Keychron K8. Overall, it performs very similarly to its predecessor and uses Bluetooth to connect with up to three devices. However, it does feature notable upgrades to its build quality, the most important of which is the PBT keycaps with the OSA profile, the same keycaps found on the more premium Q-series boards. The K8 Pro also takes a few more pages from the Q-series, including a hot-swappable PCB, screw-in stabilizers, and compatibility with the VIA companion software. Like other Keychron keyboards, you can use this board for gaming, but its latency isn't as low as dedicated gaming keyboards.

If you're interested in more options, check out our recommendations for the best wireless keyboards, the best keyboards for typing, or the best Keychron keyboards.

Keychron K8

The Keychron K8 Pro is the upgraded version of the Keychron K8. While the performance remains similar, Keychron made notable improvements to the build quality on the K8 Pro, including OSA profile PBT keycaps, screw-in stabilizers, and two additional layers of foam inside the case for better acoustics. The K8 Pro is also the first wireless keyboard from Keychron to be compatible with the VIA companion software, so you can fully customize your layout, macros, and RGB backlighting.

Keychron Q3

The Keychron Q3 and the Keychron K8 Pro are both TenKeyLess (80%) keyboards with a hot-swappable PCB. However, they have some notable differences. The K8 Pro is wireless, while the Q3 is wired-only. The Q3 also has a gasket-mounted design, offering a better overall typing feel and better acoustics.

Keychron K2 (Version 2)

The Keychron K2 (Version 2) and the Keychron K8 Pro are two similar wireless mechanical keyboards, but the K8 Pro comes with PBT keycaps and it comes in a TenKeyLess (80%) size, while the K2 V2 has a compact (75%) form factor with ABS keycaps. Notably, the K8 Pro is compatible with the VIA companion software for customization, while the K2 V2 doesn't have any companion software.

Ducky One 3

The Ducky One 3 and the Keychron K8 Pro are customizable keyboards with a hot-swappable PCB. However, they have some notable differences. The Ducky is wired-only, and it's designed to be a versatile option for both work and play, while the Keychron is wireless and is meant more for office or productivity use.

Keychron Q1

The Keychron Q1 and the Keychron K8 Pro are both customizable keyboards with a hot-swappable PCB. However, there are a few notable differences. The K8 Pro is wireless and comes in a TKL form factor, while the Q1 is wired-only and has a compact (75%) form factor, which is even smaller. However, the K8 Pro doesn't have a gasket-mounted design like the Q1, so even though the K8 Pro is larger, the Q1 is heavier.

Keychron Q6

The Keychron K8 Pro and the Keychron Q6 are similar keyboards with the same rounded PBT keycaps. The K8 Pro is a wireless, TenKeyLess (80%) model that connects up to three devices via Bluetooth, and it has a hot-swappable version available. On the other hand, the Keychron Q6 is a full-size wired keyboard with better overall build quality. It has a hot-swappable PCB and is available in either a pre-assembled or barebones configuration.

Keychron C1

The Keychron K8 Pro is very similar to the Keychron C1, except the K8 Pro is wireless, while the C1 is wired-only. The K8 Pro has a much better build quality with specialized PBT keycaps, sound-dampening foam inside the case, and a hot-swappable PCB. The C1 also has a hot-swappable variant, but it's more expensive.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Size
TenKeyLess (80%)
Height
1.7" (4.3 cm)
Width 14.1" (35.8 cm)
Depth
5.1" (13.0 cm)
Depth With Wrist Rest
N/A
Weight
2.95 lbs (1.336 kg)

The Keychron K8 Pro has a TenKeyLess (80%) form factor. It doesn't take up too much space on your desk as it lacks a Numpad.

8.5
Design
Build Quality
Keycap Material PBT

The Keychron K8 Pro has excellent build quality. The outer frame and base plate are solid metal, while the bottom of the keyboard is hard plastic, so it exhibits no flex at all. The keys feel stable with only a bit of wobble in the larger keys, but as the stabilizers are screw-in, you can easily change them if you want. Like the original Keychron K8, this keyboard keeps the plate-mounted switches, but the K8 Pro now adds a layer of sound-dampening foam and a silicone bottom pad for better acoustics. Another notable upgrade is the OSA-profile PBT keycaps, the same keycaps found on Keychron's more premium Q-series boards. Overall, it feels higher quality than the original K8 since it uses many of the same materials and features as the customizable boards in the Q-Series.

6.5
Design
Ergonomics
Board Design
Straight
Minimum Incline
Medium Incline
Maximum Incline
10.5°
Wrist Rest No

The Keychron K8 Pro has mediocre ergonomics. There are two incline settings to improve comfort, but it doesn't include a wrist rest. As it's a high-profile board, a wrist would enhance the comfort since you won't have to angle your wrists as high to type. Keychron sells wrist rests separately on their website if you want one.

9.7
Design
Backlighting
Backlighting Yes
Color
RGB
Individually Backlit Keys
Yes
Color Mixing
Ok
Effects
Yes
Programmable
Yes

The Keychron K8 Pro has individually-lit RGB backlighting. The LEDs are south-facing, so they're more compatible with a wider range of keycaps should you want to change your keycaps out. Although the key legends aren't shine-through, you'll still get adequate lighting to read them in a dark environment. You can use the companion software to customize the brightness, colors, effects, and effects speed.

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

The Keychron K8 Pro comes with a detachable braided USB-A to USB-C cable. It's on the shorter side and retains some kinks from the packaging but feels nice overall.

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

The Keychron K8 Pro has an advertised battery life of up to 300 hours with the backlighting off and up to 100 hours with the backlighting on its lowest brightness.

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

The Keychron K8 Pro doesn't have too many extra features. The media keys and backlighting controls are accessible through hotkeys outlined in the user documentation. Like most other Keychron boards, this keyboard has a toggle to switch between Windows and macOS systems. Next to the operating system toggle, there's the charging port and the power switch. There are three small lights above the arrow keys that light up to indicate when Caps, Scroll, or Num lock are enabled. Additionally, this keyboard is hot-swappable, so you can swap out the stock switches for any 3-pin or 5-pin switch you want.

Design
In The Box

  • Keychron K8 Pro
  • USB-A to USB-C cable
  • 4x Windows-specific keycaps
  • Keycap puller
  • Switch puller
  • Screwdriver
  • Hex key
  • User documentation

Typing Experience
Typing Experience
Keystrokes
Key Switches
Gateron G Pro Blue
Mechanical
Yes
Feel
Clicky
Operating Force
57 gf
Actuation Force
43 gf
Pre-Travel
2.3 mm
Total Travel
4.5 mm

The pre-assembled version of the Keychron K8 Pro comes with your choice of Gateron G Pro switches in linear Red, clicky Blue, or tactile Brown. It's also hot-swappable, so you can swap out the stock switches without having to solder. The clicky Blue switches are light to type on with a smooth tactile bump, and the pre-travel distance is a good length for avoiding typos.

8.0
Typing Experience
Typing Quality

The Keychron K8 Pro provides a very good typing experience. The double-shot PBT keycaps have a smooth texture that feels nice on the fingertips. The keys have a standard placement, so they don't feel cramped to type on. There's a bit of wobble in the keys, but it's not too noticeable or distracting during use. The tactile bump of the clicky Gateron G Pro Blue switches feels very smooth throughout the keypress as these switches come pre-lubed. However, you're likely to experience wrist fatigue while using this keyboard as it has a high profile. You can offset this discomfort by purchasing a wrist rest separately.

Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Noise
Loud

With clicky Gateron G Pro Blue switches installed, typing on the Keychron K8 Pro is loud. However, the typing noise will be quieter with tactile or linear switches installed.

7.4
Typing Experience
Latency
Latency Wired
11.2 ms
Latency Receiver
N/A
Latency Bluetooth
22.1 ms

The Keychron K8 Pro has decent latency. With a wired connection, it's fast enough for casual gaming or daily use. Although Bluetooth isn't recommended for gaming, you won't notice a delay using it for daily typing or productivity tasks.

Software and Operating System
9.6
Software and Operating System
Software & Programming
Software Name VIA
Account Required
No
Profiles
6+
Onboard Memory
Yes
Cloud Sync
No
Macro Programming
Software
Ease Of Use
Easy
Software Windows Compatible
Yes
Software macOS Compatible
Yes

The Keychron K8 Pro uses VIA software, and it's QMK supported. You can download the software and all necessary files directly from Keychron's website. The VIA software is easy-to-use and allows you to remap keys, set macros, and customize the RGB backlighting. There are four layers of profiles. Layers 0 and 1 are for Mac systems, while layers 2 and 3 are for Windows, and you'll have to have the toggle on the left set to the correct operating system to access the layers.

9.1
Software and Operating System
Keyboard Compatibility
Windows Full
macOS Full
Linux Partial
Android Partial
iOS Partial
iPadOS Partial

The Keychron K8 Pro has outstanding compatibility. The VIA software is available on Windows, macOS, and Linux, and every key works as intended on Windows and macOS, as long as you have the toggle on the left side set to the proper operating system. On Linux, only the brightness hotkeys and the FN+F3 toggle didn't work. On mobile operating systems, the F3 hotkey doesn't work. On iOS and iPadOS, the F4 hotkey also doesn't work.

Discussions