We’re massive followers of Keychron’s premium keyboard designs right here at PCWorld. They persistently stomp the competitors by way of options and construct high quality, all whereas coming in at costs considerably decrease than comparable high-end builds. However there’s a evident omission in Keychron’s sprawling lineup: Whereas it affords a rising number of wi-fi choices, they’re all Bluetooth, leaving players out within the chilly if they need a high-speed cable-free possibility. Enter the Lemokey L3, the primary board in a brand new Keychron sub-brand.
The L3 affords a well-known suite of choices for anybody who’s seemed on the fashionable Q collection. We’re speaking full aluminum body, gasket mounting, RGB lighting, inner foam, hot-swap change sockets, PBT keycaps commonplace, and programming with the favored cross-platform VIA software. You understand, all that stuff your favourite keyboard nerd (responsible) received’t shut up about. However the design has three massive adjustments designed particularly to attraction to players.
First and most significantly, you get each 2.4GHz and Bluetooth wi-fi, with 1000Hz polling on the previous, all of which have N-key rollover. That makes the connection speedy sufficient for all however essentially the most caffeinated of eSports professionals. The dongle + Bluetooth wi-fi setup is frequent from main manufacturers like Razer, Logitech, Corsair, et cetera — in actual fact it’s additionally on the SteelSeries wi-fi gaming board I’m reviewing proper now! — so this can be a dependable improve. The opposite tweaks are 4 devoted macro keys on the appropriate aspect beneath the radial dial and a chunkier, faux-military look to the keyboard case. Once more, each fairly commonplace selections for a gaming-specific keyboard.
The one potential pitfall I’m seeing is reliance on QMK/VIA. Now, VIA is superior as a software for personalization on a typical keyboard and one which’s definitely preferable to a number of the terrible customized software program supplied up on most gaming keyboards. ( you, Asus.) And I imagine most players will prefer it as a result of it doesn’t really require any software program in any respect: You possibly can load up customized layouts and macros proper in a browser. However with out an energetic Home windows program, the Lemokey L3 received’t have the ability to change profiles on a per-game foundation. That’s much less important for a keyboard than a mouse since most PC video games supply customized structure choices anyway. Even so, I can see it being a difficulty for a small slice of PC players.
The Lemokey L3 shall be supplied in three colours: white, black, and blue, with Keychron’s normal contrasting keycap choices on prime. It’s accessible for preorder on Kickstarter as we speak, with the most cost effective “barebone” package deal (no switches and solely 4 keycaps for the macro keys) for $189. The total package deal is $209, with estimated supply in October.
Editor’s observe: This text was up to date when preorders went reside.