A keyboard is perhaps the most important peripheral and an absolute requirement for you to be able to use a computer. With the myriad of options available today, picking one can be especially difficult.
While most people default to using the keyboard that came with their computer or laptop or picking the cheapest one they could find from Amazon, anyone who spends a fair amount of their computer time typing knows that a mechanical keyboard is a way to go to up your typing experience.
In this article, we’re reviewing the Keychron K2 V2, a sub-$100 wireless, mechanical and hot-swappable keyboard that might be the perfect beginner’s entry into the world of mechanical keyboards.
Watch the Keychron K2 V2 review in English or Hindi below or continue reading the article.
Also read: Optical vs Mechanical switches
Build quality and design
From the get-go, the build quality on this keyboard is rather good for a $90 mechanical keyboard. There’s little to no flex in the body and the entire package is rather well put together. The keycaps are PBT and let the RGB shine through so visibility in the dark won’t be a problem.
That said, the black and orange accent switches aren’t as good in terms of RGB passthrough so you might consider a keycap replacement, but the stock keycaps work pretty well.
There are plastic feet on the button to angle the keyboard up with two levels of adjustment. You’ll find a USB-C charging and connectivity port on the side with switches to control the keyboard’s behaviour, that is, switching from iOS to Android/Windows and setting the mode for the keyboard as wired, wireless or off.
All other functionality, including pairing and RGB control, are taken care of using dedicated macros on the keyboard which are rather easy to remember and are properly explained in the quick start guide provided in the box.
Features and Battery life
First up, the keyboard is hot-swappable, so the typing experience will vary based on what switch you have installed on the keyboard. By default, it comes with your choice of Blue, Red or Brown Gateron switches. We have the blue switch version and it works rather well with low actuation force switches which are rather satisfying to type on with sharp tactile feedback. More on the typing experience later.
The keyboard can connect to up to three Bluetooth devices at the same time, which can be switched between using the Fn + 1/2/3 key shortcut There’s basically no input latency, something that often happens with Bluetooth peripherals, so you’re well of using this keyboard if you type exceptionally quickly or want to use it for gaming.
Even though the keyboard uses Bluetooth 5, it doesn’t show the battery level on connected devices, at least in the case of Windows and Android. However, this can be quickly checked using the Fn + B shortcut, which shows green, blue or red colours based on the battery level.
The keyboard works well across platforms, meaning you can have it paired with a Windows, Android and iOS device at the same time and switch seamlessly at the press of a button.
For battery saving, there’s an inbuilt off-timer that switches the keyboard off after 10 minutes of inactivity. Pressing any key on the keyboard wakes it up immediately and it takes a second to pair, with another couple of seconds for the RGB to come on. The feature can be turned off too, but we recommend leaving it on for better battery life.
Since this is a mechanical keyboard, there’s an n-key rollover, but Keychron claims it only works over a wired connection. That said, we could easily use over 20 keys even over Bluetooth so that’s not going to be a problem.
As for the RGB, while the keyboard does have per-key RGB, you won’t be able to customise it to your liking due to the absence of any firmware. You can try flashing the keyboard with custom firmware paired with OpenRGB, but that’s beyond what a regular consumer would do.
Finally, battery life is pretty much as advertised. We were able to get nearly 70 hours on a full charge with the RGB on full brightness, which can cover nearly a week based on your usage. Disabling RGB will bump up the battery life significantly – as much as 240 hours according to Keycrhon. A full charge using the provided USB-C cable takes nearly three hours from 0 to 100%.
As mentioned before, the keyboard is hot-swappable, meaning you can put in any switch you want and change the typing experience completely. One thing to note is that the switch puller provided in the box is rather finicky and can damage your keyboard or switch if not used properly.
Considering this is likely going to be the first hot-swappable keyboard for most buyers, we recommend investing in a better switch puller to keep your keyboard and switches safely.
That said, if you do intend to keep the factory switches, the experience is rather good. They come pre-lubed from the factory so you don’t need to make any extra modifications to get better typing or sound out of these.
Pricing and Availability
The keyboard starts at $89 and can go as high as $109 based on whether you want the white backlight or RGB version and whether you want the optional aluminium rails around the keyboard for a more premium look. If you’re looking to save a buck, you can also go for the non-hot swap version which starts at $79. If you want to go even lower, Keychron also has a non-backlit version of the keyboard starting at just $57.20 at the time of writing.
Overall, the keyboard is a great value for anyone looking to get into the world of mechanical keyboards without making a rather big dent in their wallet. It has all the essential features required for a good, compact keyboard while also having the flexibility of swapping your switches out so you can experiment with different things and tune your keyboard to your liking.