People like to make fun of the sheer number of keyboards that Keychron releases, and the company is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. It’s just put on open sale the first entry in a whole new lineup, the $109 Keychron S1, which combines the low-profile laptop-style form factor of K-series boards like the $84 Keychron K3 with the more premium build quality of a Q-series keyboard like the $170.10 Keychron Q1.
That means the Keychron S1 is more focused on being high-quality than feature-rich. It’s not wireless, and it’s not hot-swappable as standard, meaning you can’t change the switches on its entry-level model without a soldering iron. But what you do get is an aluminum construction, double-shot PBT keycaps, a 1,000Hz polling rate, and full remapping support with the excellent VIA keyboard software.
This being Keychron, both Mac and Windows users are well catered for, with a physical switch to toggle between the two layouts and included keycaps for both sets of users.
The official launch of the new Keychron lineup comes as low-profile mechanical keyboards are having a bit of a moment. The low-profile $109.95 Nuphy Air75 is everywhere right now, Razer recently launched the gaming-focused low-profile DeathStalker lineup (starting at $199.99), and even Logitech got in on the action with the $169.99 MX Mechanical and $149.99 MX Mechanical Mini earlier this year.
It’s not hard to see why. Low-profile mechanical keyboards offer a much nicer typing experience than laptop-style membrane keyboards like Apple’s $99 Magic keyboard, but unlike full-height mechanical keyboards, you don’t have to adjust your typing style to use them. Everything’s the same as a standard laptop keyboard; it just feels a lot nicer (and should be a lot more durable to boot).
The Keychron S1 is available to order now in a couple of different configurations. All come with a choice of linear red, tactile brown, or clicky blue low-profile Gateron mechanical switches. The entry-level $109 model only offers plain white backlighting, while stepping up to the $119 model gets you RGB backlighting, and the $129 model gets RGB backlighting and hot-swappable switches.