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Keychron Q6 Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Jul 21, 2022 at 09:56 am
Keychron Q6 Picture
8.5
Gaming
2.9
Mobile/Tablet
7.8
Office
8.1
Programming
5.6
Entertainment / HTPC
Connectivity Wired
Size
Full-size (100%)
Mechanical
Yes

The Keychron Q6 is the sixth iteration of Keychron's customizable Q-series keyboards. Similar to previous models in this series, it has a double gasket-mounted design, hot-swappable PCB (printed circuit board.), screw-in stabilizers, and rounded PBT keycaps. It also comes with several tools to help customize your keyboard. The major difference with this model is its size, as this is the first full-size (100%) keyboard in the lineup.

Our Verdict

8.5 Gaming

While it isn't specifically for this use, the Keychron Q6 is an excellent keyboard for gaming. It's made of high-quality materials and feels remarkably well-built. You can program macros to any key, adjust the RGB lighting, and remap buttons using the customization software. The Gateron G PRO linear Red switches on this unit feel very light and smooth, but they have a significantly longer pre-travel than most linear switches. It's a hot-swappable keyboard, meaning you can swap out the stock switches without soldering. The latency is suitable for casual gaming; however, it's a bit high for competitive gaming.

Pros
  • Incredible build quality.
  • Hot-swappable.
  • Full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys.
  • All keys are macro-programmable.
Cons
  • Latency is a bit high for competitive gaming.
  • High-profile design isn't very comfortable without a wrist rest.
2.9 Mobile/Tablet

The Keychron Q6 is a wired-only keyboard that isn't intended specifically for use with mobile devices and tablets. However, it includes a USB-C to USB-C cable. It means you can connect it to devices with a USB-C port, though this can drain your device's battery quickly, especially with the backlighting enabled.

7.8 Office

The Keychron Q6 is very good for office use. It feels incredibly well-built and offers an excellent typing quality. Layers of sound dampening foam keep it very quiet, and the Gateron G Pro Red switches on this unit make the keypresses feel very light. That said, this keyboard is also hot-swappable, which means you can change out the default switches for those of your choosing. This keyboard also has robust customization software compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux. Unfortunately, the ergonomics are only decent as it has a high profile and doesn't come with a wrist rest.

Pros
  • Incredible build quality.
  • Hot-swappable.
  • All keys are macro-programmable.
Cons
  • Wired-only.
  • High-profile design isn't very comfortable without a wrist rest.
8.1 Programming

The Keychron Q6 is a very good keyboard for programming. It's built with premium materials and feels very sturdy. The customization software is compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux, allowing you to adjust the full RGB backlighting, remap keys, and program macros to any key. Unfortunately, the ergonomics are only decent. It has a high-profile design, and you need to angle your wrists fairly sharply upwards to reach all the keys as there isn't an included wrist rest.

Pros
  • Incredible build quality.
  • Hot-swappable.
  • Full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys.
  • All keys are macro-programmable.
Cons
  • Wired-only.
  • High-profile design isn't very comfortable without a wrist rest.
5.6 Entertainment / HTPC

The Keychron Q6 is a sub-par keyboard for use with a home theater PC setup. It's a wired-only model, which limits how far you can sit from your PC. It also lacks a trackpad for on-screen navigation. On the plus side, it has full RGB backlighting, and although the key legends aren't shine-through, the LED lights are south-facing and provide enough illumination for you to read the legends in the dark.

Pros
  • Incredible build quality.
  • Full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys.
Cons
  • Wired-only.
  • High-profile design isn't very comfortable without a wrist rest.
  • Lacks a trackpad for on-screen navigation.
  • 8.5 Gaming
  • 2.9 Mobile/Tablet
  • 7.8 Office
  • 8.1 Programming
  • 5.6 Entertainment / HTPC
  1. Updated Jul 21, 2022: Review published.
  2. Updated Jul 14, 2022: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Height
1.7" (4.4 cm)
Width 17.6" (44.7 cm)
Depth
5.4" (13.8 cm)
Depth With Wrist Rest
N/A
Weight
5.48 lbs (2.485 kg)

Unlike other keyboards in the Q-series, the Keychron Q6 is a full-size (100%) keyboard, so it has a full navigational cluster, function row, and Numpad.

9.0
Design
Build Quality
Keycap Material PBT

The Keychron Q6 has remarkable build quality. The chassis is made of solid aluminum, and the baseplate is steel, so the entire keyboard is very sturdy and doesn't flex. It's also quite heavy and has grippy rubber feet to prevent it from sliding around on your desk. It has a double-mounted gasket design with two layers of sound-dampening foam, providing a springy typing experience with good acoustics. The default keycaps are double-shot PBT plastic with a smooth texture that feels nice to type on. These keycaps have a proprietary 'OSA' profile, similar to OEM profile but with rounded tops. In this photo some of the keycaps have been removed so you can see the underlying switches, metal frame, screw-in stabilizers, and hot-swappable PCB.

6.0
Design
Ergonomics
Board Design
Straight
Minimum Incline
5.2°
Medium Incline
N/A
Maximum Incline
N/A
Wrist Rest No

The Keychron Q6 has only mediocre ergonomics. It has a high profile and a fixed incline. You need to angle your wrists fairly steeply upwards to reach the keys, which can cause discomfort while using the keyboards for longer periods. Unfortunately, there isn't an included wrist rest, although Keychron does have wrist rests available on their website as a separate purchase.

9.9
Design
Backlighting
Backlighting Yes
Color
RGB
Individually Backlit Keys
Yes
Color Mixing
Good
Effects
Yes
Programmable
Yes

The Keychron Q6 has individually-lit RGB backlighting. The LEDs are south-facing, which means they're compatible with most Cherry keycaps if you're interested in replacing the stock keycaps. The keycap legends aren't shine-through, but the south-facing LEDs provide enough illumination to read the keys. You can customize the lighting settings using the companion software to change the brightness, colors, effects, and effect speed.

Design
Cable & Connector
Detachable
Yes (Wired Only Keyboard)
Length 5.9 ft (1.8 m)
Connector (Keyboard side)
USB type-C

The Keychron Q6 has a USB-C to USB-C braided cable and a USB-C to USB-A adapter. The length measurement above includes the length of the adapter (2.1cm). Overall, the cable feels high quality, although it does retain some kinks from its packaging.

0
Design
Wireless Versatility
Bluetooth
No
Bluetooth Multi-Device Pairing
No
Proprietary Receiver
No
Battery Type
No Batteries

The Keychron Q6 is a wired-only keyboard.

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

Like other Keychron boards, the Keychron Q6 has a toggle switch on the top left that switches between Windows and macOS modes. The user documentation has a list of all default hotkeys, and the media hotkeys are labeled directly on the board. The rotary knob above the backspace key controls media volume by default, but you can customize this using the VIA companion software if you like.

Design
In The Box

  • Keychron Q6
  • USB-C to USB-C cable
  • USB-C to USB-A adapter
  • 6x foam gaskets
  • 4x Windows keycaps
  • Keycap puller
  • Switch puller
  • Screwdriver
  • Hex key
  • 6x extra screws
  • 2x extra rubber feet
  • 2x adhesive stickers for feet
  • User documentation

Typing Experience
Typing Experience
Keystrokes
Key Switches
Gateron G Pro Red
Feel
Linear
Operating Force
44 gf
Actuation Force
44 gf
Pre-Travel
2.8 mm
Total Travel
4.1 mm

The pre-assembled version of the Keychron Q6 is available with linear Red, tactile Brown, or clicky Blue Gateron G Pro switches. This keyboard is also hot-swappable, meaning you can swap out the stock switches for most 3-pin or 5-pin switches without needing to solder them. The Gateron G Pro Red switches on this unit are pre-lubed from the factory and provide a very light, smooth keypress without any tactile bump. They also have a fairly long pre-travel distance, which helps reduce typos but may not feel as responsive for gaming.

8.5
Typing Experience
Typing Quality

The Keychron Q6's typing quality is excellent. Its double-gasket design helps make typing feel light and slightly springy, and the two layers of sound-dampening foam provide good acoustics. The double-shot PBT keycaps are slightly textured and have a unique 'OSA' profile, which makes them similar in height to standard OEM keycaps, but with rounded tops. It's also a full-size keyboard, so there's good spacing between keys, and the keys are very stable.

Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Noise
Very Quiet

The typing noise on the Keychron Q6 the Gateron G Pro Red switches is very quiet. There are two layers of sound-dampening foam inside the case, which keeps typing noise at a minimum. The typing noise will vary depending on the switches you have installed. Clicky Blue switches or tactile Brown switches will be louder.

7.3
Typing Experience
Latency
Latency Wired
11.6 ms
Latency Receiver
N/A
Latency Bluetooth
N/A

The Keychron Q6 has decent latency that's very capable for casual gaming, productivity, and everyday browsing use. However, it isn't recommended for competitive gaming.

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 Q6 uses the VIA software configurator, which is powered by QMMK firmware and compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux. You can download this software directly from Keychron's website. It allows you to remap keys, record macros, and customize the keyboard's RGB backlighting. There are four layers of key customization. Layers 0 and 1 are MacOS specific, and layers 2 and 3 are for Windows. To toggle between OS settings, you'll need to ensure the toggle switch on the top left-hand corner of the board is set correctly.

7.8
Software and Operating System
Keyboard Compatibility
Windows Full
macOS Full
Linux Partial
Android No
iOS No
iPadOS No

The Keychron Q6 is fully compatible with both Windows and macOS. Nearly all keys work on Linux except for the screen brightness and F3 hotkeys. Although this is a wired-only keyboard, it comes with a USB-C to USB-C cable, which means you can connect it to mobile devices with USB-C ports. On Android, all keys work as intended. However, as not all mobile devices have a USB-C port, it's considered not compatible.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Keychron Q6 is available as a fully assembled keyboard either with or without a rotating encoder knob or as a barebones version that doesn't include keycaps or switches. There are also three colorways and ISO layouts of the barebones version available. The fully assembled boards are available with a selection of stock Gateron G Pro Switches. The unit we purchased is a fully assembled version in the Navy Blue colorway with Gateron G Pro Red switches. We normally include a photo of the keyboard's label, but this model doesn't have one.

Type ISO Layout Available Color Gateron G Pro Switches
Fully Assembled No Carbon Black, Silver Grey, Navy Blue (dark keycaps only) Red, Blue, Brown
Fully Assembled Knob No Carbon Black, Silver Grey, Navy Blue (light or dark keycaps) Red, Blue, Brown
Barebone Yes Carbon Black, Silver Grey, Navy Blue (no keycaps) No switches
Barebone Knob Yes Carbon Black, Silver Grey, Navy Blue (no keycaps) No switches

Compared To Other Keyboards

The Keychron Q6 is Keychron's sixth entry into their Q-series of customizable keyboards, and this is the first full-size (100%) model. Like other entries in the series, this keyboard is designed to be easily customizable. It has screw-in stabilizers and a hot-swappable PCB, so you can easily swap these parts out for those of your choosing to change how your keyboard feels and sounds. As a customizable keyboard, it's similar to other keyboards in the GLORIOUS GMMK or Ducky One series. These options are more gaming-focused, but the Keychron Q6 has better compatibility across major operating systems and has robust customization software.

For more recommendations, see our picks for the best mechanical keyboards, the best keyboards for typing, or, if you're interested in other Keychron models, the best Keychron keyboards.

Ducky One 3

The Ducky One 3 and the Keychron Q6 are hot-swappable, customizable keyboards intended for different primary purposes. The Ducky is more gaming-focused and has significantly better latency. On the other hand, the Keychron keyboard caters more to office and productivity tasks. It has a double-gasket design that's quieter, and it has robust customization software, which the Ducky lacks.

Keychron Q5

The Keychron Q6 and the Keychron Q5 are both customizable keyboards in Keychron's Q-series. They have nearly identical build qualities, features, and appearances. However, they are slightly different sizes. The Q6 is a full-size (100%) keyboard, while the Q5 is a compact (96%) keyboard.

Keychron Q1

The Keychron Q1 and the Keychron Q6 are customizable keyboards in the same Q-series lineup. The Q1 is a compact (75%) keyboard with a single gasket-mounted design and OEM profile keycaps. It also has a coiled aviator-style cable. On the other hand, the Q6 is a compact (96%) keyboard. It has rounded OSA profile keycaps, a double gasket-mounted design, and a normal braided cable.

GLORIOUS GMMK 2

The GLORIOUS GMMK 2 and the Keychron Q6 are both hot-swappable, customizable keyboards designed for different primary uses. The GLORIOUS is more gaming-focused and has significantly better latency. On the other hand, the Keychron is more oriented towards office and productivity tasks. It has a better overall build quality and includes a small toolkit to help you customize your keyboard.

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