(Pocket-lint) - If you've ever looked into mechanical keyboards, you more than likely will have found yourself inundated with big, chunky black numbers designed to please the masses of gamers out there. In fact, check our list of the best gaming keyboards and you'll get a good picture of the state of the current market.
In almost every case, the keyboards are wired, designed for Windows PCs and take up considerable space, and aren't particularly slim. For Mac users who want a mechanical keyboard, it's slim pickings, particularly if you don't want a number pad, and especially if you want the option to go wireless.
Just when we'd given up searching ourselves, the Keychron K1 presented itself to us, and it may just be the perfect mechanical keyboard for Mac users. We've only had it in the office for a day, and we're already in love.
It's marketed as the slimmest mechanical wireless keyboard, and it is genuinely slim. Rather than use the chunky keycaps found on most other mechanical keyboards, it uses thin square ones similar to those you might find on an Apple keyboard, except, they're sat on top of some mechanical switches, rather than Apple's much-maligned butterfly switches.
The blue switches underneath are low profile, and almost half the thickness of traditional mechanical switches, and still offer that tactile response you'd expect from a soft mechanical key. Choosing this softness means easy, quick typing, without the extra strain that often comes with mechanical keys.
Combined with the 18mm thin compact aircraft-grade aluminium body, it makes for a package which is sleek and compact and instantly usable. It's as convenient and unobtrusive as any non-mechanical wireless keyboard.
Size aside, there are plenty of other features that make the Keychron K1 an exciting product for us.
Firstly, it's available as a Mac option, meaning you get Mac specific keys if you want them. That includes the function row along the top, as well as the option and command keys at the bottom.
What's more, there are even three dedicated keys in the top right corner for specific Mac functions. You get a button to take a selective screenshot, so no more cmd-shift-4. There's also a voice dictation button and a Siri key.
PC users need not fear; there's also a Windows version that has a Cortana button and all the relevant other keys. If you use both Windows and Mac, there's a switch on the back that lets you switch between them.
Oh. My. Days pic.twitter.com/tICKvBeh70— Cam Bunton (@CamBunton) January 28, 2019
If you like a splash of colour, there's an RGB model - the one we've been sent - that lets you cycle through 18 different animation effects, and choose from four levels of brightness. These range from sweeping constantly-changing effects, to light up effects that are activated by each key press.
With Bluetooth 3.0 onboard, you can pair to your Mac wirelessly, and for those who use multiple devices, you can pair with up to three different gadgets individually. If you want to use it wired up, there's an included Type-C cable to connect it to your Mac or PC.
Perhaps the only concern her from a wireless perspective, is battery life. Keychron claims up to 10 hours of use with the RGB model, or up to 15 hours if you go with the single white backlit model. Those who type all day every day will likely need to charge it fairly often, or just use it with a cable for simplicity.
It's available to order now, with shipping starting from 25 February with prices ranging from $74 (approximately £56) through to $94 (£71) depending on whether you want the 87 key or 104 key (with number pad) models. Our unit is the 84 key RGB version for Mac which would set you back $84 (£64).
Compared to a lot of big-name keyboard brands then, this is very affordable too.
They're available to order from Keychron direct now.