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We like mechanical keyboards here at Knapsack. While I didn’t get it at first, once I started using one, I came around. I mean, it just feels like you’re GETTING THINGS DONE (TM) when you use a mechanical keyboard. I’m sure gamers have their reasons, but for me, doing database code and writing emails, it just is a satisfactory experience, in terms of feel and sound. Well, crowd favorite Keychron is back with their latest, the Keychron K12.

The big thing that the Keychron K12 has going for it isn’t actually big – it’s a 60% layout. Sure, that means you lose the keypad and things are a bit more squished, but it also means it needs less space on your desk (or your lap, as this can do wireless). In my experience, a 60% keyboard does take some getting used to, but that’s the same for any change of keyboard you do, really. So, what’s got my attention with this keyboard, aside from the compact size?

For me, I have to look at what it offers that my current board doesn’t. First and foremost, it’s wireless. Bluetooth isn’t absolutely necessary for typing day-to-day on the work laptop, but having it gives you the flexibility to switch over and do some writing on an iPad, which certainly helps that to be even more computer-like. Additionally, having that one less wire to run assists in cleaning up your desk, and gives you the flexibility to just move the keyboard out of the way when you need a larger work surface. And, again, if you really want or need to, you can hook a USB-C cable in, and you’re typing on a wire.

Secondly, this is more of a “fun” thing, but having the option for RGB backlighting in a keyboard is appreciated. My work laptop lights up the keys, and that’s something I sort of miss on my mechanical keyboard, especially working later in the evening or in a darker room. And hey, who does’t like a light show?

Thirdly, they’ve got a whole mess of keyswitch options, and some of them look to be a bit quieter than what I’m currently driving. For myself, I really don’t mind. However, if you’re trying to bang out an email while on a conference call, the typing comes through in a hurry. At least, my Soundcore Q30s seem to really pick up the noise. So, I either need to mute, or type very slowly/carefully if I need to look something up to answer a question.

Anyways, those are some of the reasons I myself might consider the Keychron K12 (though, going to the optical switches, RGB lighting, and aluminum case does drive the pricing up a bit). The campaign is going now, and earlybird tiers start at $49 for a non-backlight, $59 for a white LED backlight, and then tops out at $89 for an RGB in the aluminum base with Gateron switches. There are some intermediate stops in those tiers as well, so you can fine tune your costs based on the components. The campaign itself is already fully funded, and runs until April 23, 2021. campaign page

Tech Specs from Keychron


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By Patrick Kansa

A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview, Knapsack.News, and Slushpile. If you're on Twitter and/or Instagram, you'll find me there as @PatrickWatches.