Following months of teases, OnePlus has officially revealed its debut mechanical keyboard today. It’s called the OnePlus Keyboard 81 Pro, and the company says it’ll be available to order in April at a price that’s to be announced. News of the keyboard came during the company’s international launch for its OnePlus 11 smartphone and OnePlus Buds Pro 2 earbuds.
OnePlus says it’s partnered with mechanical keyboard manufacturer Keychron to produce the Keyboard 81 Pro, which bears a striking resemblance to the Keychron Q1 Pro. That just so happens to be the wireless mechanical keyboard I have in front of me right now (expect a full review of the Q1 Pro in the coming weeks). Both keyboards use a 75 percent laptop-style layout that is hot-swappable (meaning you can replace their switches without needing to desolder them) with a small programmable rotary dial on the top right of both. You can change the dial’s function — along with the rest of the keys on the keyboard — using the excellent remapping software VIA.
Naturally, OnePlus has made a couple of tweaks to justify putting its name on the box. The Keyboard 81 Pro has a set of keycaps in OnePlus’ trademark gray and red colors, and its rotary dial is transparent. There’s also what appears to be a height adjust bar on the top edge of the keyboard, which would theoretically allow it to be tilted to an angle of your choosing.
Amusingly, OnePlus is also claiming to have integrated a “keyboard first” “alert slider” into the Keyboard 81 Pro, but from what I can tell, this is just referring to a redesigned toggle slider on the side at the top of the keyboard, which is used to switch it between USB and Bluetooth modes. Otherwise, its specs are similar to the Q1 Pro, including support for RGB lighting, a double-gasket construction that typically makes a keyboard feel nice and light to type on, and an aluminum case.
There’s no word on battery life in OnePlus’ press release, but Keychron advertises that the Q1 Pro offers up to 300 hours of use with backlighting off and up to 100 hours with backlighting on. Given the Keyboard 81 Pro has the same-sized 4,000mAh battery, I’d expect battery life to be similar.
OnePlus says the keyboard is available with two kinds of switches, tactile “Winter Bonfire” switches and linear “Summer Breeze” switches, both of which it’s claiming are original designs. Its keycaps are double-shot, with an OEM profile and (with the Winter Bonfire model at least) made of durable PBT plastic. With the Summer Breeze version of the keyboard, OnePlus is claiming the keycaps are made of a “brand new material” called “Marble-mallow.” I guess we’ll have to wait and see what this actually ends up looking and feeling like in practice because I have absolutely no idea what this means.
I’m being snarky, but honestly, if you’re going to rebadge any keyboard and sell it as your own, then you could do a lot worse than one from Keychron. There’s a reason the wired Keychron Q1 and V1 keyboards are featured so prominently in our guide to the best mechanical keyboards. If OnePlus can stay close to Keychron’s $199 price point for the fully assembled Q1 Pro, then its Keyboard 81 Pro could be a neat alternative for fans of OnePlus’ muted aesthetic.
Update February 7th, 10:07AM ET: Updated to note April launch date.