junho 14, 2024

The world’s first split keyboard with the soul of a regular keyboard, the KeyChron Q11 QMK showcases a unique design that feels like someone took a chainsaw to your existing keyboard. Designed with two halves that look like they’ve been manually split apart, the Q11 QMK’s left and right units can be used independently, or together by connecting them with the bridge cable. The split line running through them is by far the most enticing bit about the device. The line’s jagged nature makes you want to place the two halves together to complete the keyboard, and even the name ‘Q11’ is a clever way to tell people that it’s the split version of the company’s Q1 keyboard!

Designer: Keychron

Built with a hefty CNC machined aluminum body, beautifully reliable Gateron G Pro switches, and a 75% layout, the Keychron Q11 QMK is both visually and functionally a work of art. All the keys are hot-swappable, a switch on the back lets you alternate between Windows and MacOS layouts, and encoder knobs on the top left and right can be assigned to a bunch of functions or macros, from scrolling to controlling volume, zooming in/out, adjusting screen brightness, or a host of other activities.

The split keyboard’s unique build lets you position and orient your two individual boards wherever you want, for a more comfortable typing experience. I wish there was a way to magnetically snap them together in a way that felt satisfyingly tactile, but that’s just my brain searching for some gestalt.

The keyboard’s metal body is crafted with 6063 aluminum that is processed through CNC machined, polished, anodized, sandblasted, and undergoes 24 more manufacturing stages, giving you something as pristine and beautiful as the Q11. It then comes outfitted with Gateron G Pro switches and south-facing LEDs, finally being topped off with double-shot OSA PBT keycaps that remain hot-swappable. Under the hood, you’ve got a powerful ultra-low-power ARM architecture microcontroller unit equipped with 128K Flash and a polling rate of 1,000 Hz, holding its own against most responsive gaming keyboards.

As its name suggests, the Keychron Q11 QMK comes with QMK/VIA support too, giving you the freedom to easily program and remap each key on the keyboard. The open-source firmware means endless possibilities for keyboard layouts, shortcuts, backlight effects, even the knob, and more.

Although most variants are sold out at the time of writing this, the Keychron Q11 QMK split keyboard is priced at $205, and comes fully assembled with either Gateron G Pro Red or Brown switches. The keyboard’s designed to be compatible out-of-box with Windows, MacOS, and Linux computers, and ships with a power cable, adapter, the bridge cable, and switch and keycap pullers for hot-swapping your keys.

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