OnePlus, mostly known for making smartphones like the OnePlus 10 Pro, is working on its first mechanical keyboard. The company faces a crowded market, but boasts keyboards that feature macOS-ready legends and a tentative focus on customization, including open-source software.
OnePlus first launched its keyboard in December. It is taking customer feedback to help design the product before testing it next month. An official reveal is expected in February, followed by mass production between March and April. OnePlus already sells a variety of non-phone technology, including monitors, outside the US. As of writing, OnePlus’ upcoming keyboard is listed on the company’s US website.
A community post today by OnePlus Product Marketing Manager “Percy T.” revealed that the keyboard will have a “MacBook layout”, suggesting there will be no number pad. Despite the legends of the slanted keyboard on macOS, OnePlus has said that it will also be a Linux keyboard and will work with Windows PCs.
The post says it would be easy to switch between operating systems. OnePlus can do this with a switch on the side of the keyboard that you slide depending on the OS you’re using, just like the Keychron K14 does. Keychron helps OnePlus design its mechanical keyboard.
OnePlus’ first keyboard will also use a CNC-machined aluminum chassis, while many premium keyboards opt for a plastic body and metal top plate. This means we can expect a heavy duty peripheral from OnePlus. For example, the Keychron Q2 has only 65 percent deployment, but weighs about 3.63 pounds. However, OnePlus’ first post about its foray into keyboards says that its users want a keyboard that isn’t too tall, which could affect the thickness of the keyboard and its keyboard.
With the Keychron, it’s reasonable to assume that OnePlus is taking cues from the company’s more popular designs; However, Percy T. stated that OnePlus smartphones inspired the choice of “silky-smooth” aluminum.
“We knew that aluminum worked great to give our old rigs a crisp feel. Thanks to CNC aluminum manufacturing, we can promise the best hand feel while keeping the weight and durability for long-term use and stability,” wrote Percy T.
Still, we can’t help but get the Q2 (and other Keychron keyboard) vibes, especially since OnePlus announced today that its keyboard will also feature a double-gasket design to try to reduce keyboard noise and hate from those around you. you This design worked well in the Q2 to eliminate metallic sounds and the distracting sound of stabilizers. Although some of the larger keyboards hardly sounded different from the rest of the Q2.
The keyboard will have hot switches for customization and will work with the VIA app to configure the keyboard’s open source QMK firmware. VIA tends to be less intuitive to begin with than the finely polished software from big peripheral makers like Razer Synapse. But the app allows users of different operating systems to use the open source method of programming the keyboard, from creating macros and FN layers to lighting (if the OnePlus mechanical keyboard decides to offer it) and without updating the keyboard’s firmware.
We were fans of Keychron’s Q2 with its quieter dual gaskets and solid aluminum construction. But hopefully OnePlus has come up with something that goes beyond the Keychron clone and gives mechanical keyboards a unique identity and value.