Sit down, kids, and I’m gonna tell you what keyboards were like back in the day. They were big, they were blocky, and they made this loud clacky noise when you used them. Not like your modern new-fangled keyboards with your “butterfly switches” and your shallow travel. No, these keyboards were solid-state, mechanical-keyed things of beauty. It’s a shame no one makes them like that anymore.
What’s that, you say? Keychron does? OH, DO THEY EVER.
Witness the glory that is a customizable, mechanical wireless keyboard. While aimed at Mac users, you can switch to “Windows Mode” (and can swap out keys for Windows keys). When I call the Key2 customizable, I mean it. You can get three different types of switches. Red is linear and the least clacky. Brown is the middle ground. Then there’s Blue, aka Clacky AF. I went with brown to be considerate of my co-workers and they still whined, the big babies. So I had to relegate the Key2 to my Home Lab.
The compact 84-key keyboard (sorry, num pad lovers) can connect to up to 3 devices at once, which means one could theoretically connect to one’s tablet, phone, and desktop and not have to re-pair constantly. The trick is Function+1 (or 2 or 3) to cycle through. The K2 is very portable, with a decent battery and a USB-C to A charging cable.
The lighting modes (there are over 18!) can be controlled by the lightbulb key on the upper left. It’s very customizable and cool. Here’s a video from KeyChron that gives a pretty good walkthrough
The K2 unit I tested (RGB Backlight) is normally $79, which is not a horrible price for a high-end keyboard with all the above features. (Nor is the $89 for the aluminum frame model, but that’s a little rich for my blood right now.) If that price scares you, good news! You can take advantage of their special Black Friday-Cyber Monday savings. From 11/28-12/2 the K2 (and the K1) are 20% off. That is a good deal, my people.
So if you want to make a Gen Xer happy this holiday season, get them the gift of the keyboard that will bring them happy, clacky memories.
(Just maybe make sure they have their own office.)
Note: Keychron sent me the K2 for review purposes. Co-worker torture is not part of the design.