Keychron Q5 is here: 96% double gasket, QMK/VIA support

Keychron is on a roll with their Q series of high quality boards for competitive prices. After their recent success with the Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4 they now launched the Q5. The Keychron Q5 is a 96% or a 1800- style layout board. This layout is perfect for those who want to have a numpad without the bulk of a full-size keyboard on their desk.

The Keychron Q5 has, like all the other Q series so far, full VIA and QMK support. This is great for those who wish to be able to program their boards to their liking.

Build

Just like the other members of the Q series the Keychron Q5 is made out of a full metal CNC machined body. The Q5 comes with a double gasket design which not only uses gaskets on the plate but also between the top and bottom cases. According to Keychron this reduces the sound resonance between the metals. The board has hot-swappable sockets so its easy to change switches. Both 3 pin and 5 pin MX switches are supported. So you can use Cherry, Gateron or maybe some of those lovely Jelly Purples or Jelly Blacks from Akko! The Keychron Q5 comes with Screw-in stabilizers which is great for stability. Afterparty stabilizers from Cherry and Durock are supported as well. Enthousiasts will be happy to hear the board has a south-facing RGB layout. This makes the board compatible with Cherry-style keycaps.

All the guts of the Keychron Q5 in full view
Exploded view of the Keychron Q5

Perfect size for numpad-lovers

The 96% or 1800 layout is perfect for those who love their numpad but don’t want the bulk of full-size. Basically the layout is very close to a full size. Some keys right of the spacebar are shrunken down like alt, shift and control. This and a smaller zero on the numpad make the left and right side of the board crawl closer to the arrow-island. The INS, Page UP and Page down buttons have been sacrificed on the knob version but these are still accessible through shortcuts. The version without knob only lacks an INS key. Of course with the Keychron q5 running with QMK and VIA you can re-program this to your liking. After owning both full size and TKL boards I currently use an Akko 3098B with the 96% and I find it to be the perfect middle ground.

Choices, Choices everywhere!

One of the hardest part buying the Keychron Q5 will be choosing version. There are three colors to choose from; Carbon Black, Silver Grey and Navy Blue. All three come in a fully assembled version or as a bare-bones option. When choosing the barebone version it is possible to get a ISO-layout as well, which is great for European customers! All models are Windows and Mac compatible!

To Knob or not to knob the Keychron Q5

Both the barebone kits and fully assembled options can be had with or without a knob. The knob by default controls volume but just like the rest of the board, this can be reprogrammed. Choosing a model with a knob sacrifices some dedicated keys on the board, so pick your poison here.

Keycaps and switches

Colors come in Carbon Black, Silver Grey and Navy Blue. All three have matching keycaps while choosing a fully assembled board. The keycaps are double shot PBT, OSA profile. The OSA profile are sculpted keycaps with a OEM hight with the curvature of the SA profile. For more on different profiles, read this article on mechlounge.com

When going for the complete package you get to choose from a selection of 3 switches. These are the linear Gateron Red, clicky Gateron Blue or tactile Gateron Brown. All three are the of the G Pro line-up. These switches come pre-lubed (except the Blue) and should produce less wobble then standard Gateron switches.

Pricing and availability

The Keychron Q5 is available now. Check for all models and pricing on Keychron.com

Or check out some great alternatives from Akko at the Akkogear.de store and use code RIEZ1984 to get 10% off!

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