The Keychron Q1 HE is an incredibly versatile mechanical keyboard that takes everything great from previous models and adds gaming functionality

Keychron but for gamers?

Keychron Q1 HE
(Image: © Future)

iMore Verdict

Build on everything great about the Q1 Pro and adds gaming functionality with excellent hall effect magnetic switches. If you're looking for a mechanical keyboard that excels in productivity and gaming, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better option.


  • +

    Customizable Hall Effect switches are awesome

  • +

    Amazing build quality

  • +

    Easy to customize


  • -

    Keycap height is not for everyone

  • -

    Battery life with RGB still sucks

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Just over a year ago, I reviewed the Keychron Q1 Pro and I praised the mechanical keyboard for its gorgeous build quality, great battery life when using wireless (RGB aside), and the fact that it gives you everything in the box to get a fantastic custom experience. 

Now, a year later Keychron is back with the brand new Q1 HE as the company looks to cater to people who not only want a brilliant productivity device but also features for gaming at the same time.

You’d be hard-pressed to notice a difference between the models at first glance but does the Keychron Q1 HE innovate on top of an already accomplished product? And is the 75% keyboard equipped with Hall Effect Gateron 2.0 magnetic switches worth the $219 price tag?

Keychron Q1 HE: Price and availability

Keychron Q1 HE

(Image credit: Future)

The Keychron Q1 HE is available for pre-order directly from Keychron and will start shipping in May 2024. The Q1 HE is available in Carbon Black and Shell White (the color I received) and costs $219 for the Fully Assembled Knob version which is ready to use out of the box. There’s also a Barebone Knob version which comes in an ANSI or ISO layout and costs $199 but doesn’t have keycaps or the Gateron Double-Rail Magnetic Nebula Switches which are the whole selling point of this Hall Effect keyboard.

The Keychron Q1 HE is likely to be available on Amazon once the product is made readily available following the pre-order period as Keychron offers most of its products there.

Keychron Q1 HE: What I love

Keychron Q1 HE

(Image credit: Future)

The best compliment I can give the Keychron Q1 HE is that it’s just like the Q1 Pro, only a better fit for gamers. In terms of build quality and features, everything from the Q1 Pro carries over. It’s a weighty full metal body with PBT keycaps, RGB lighting, and a brilliant gasket mount design that makes typing a joy. All the keys are programmable via QMK and modes for Mac and Windows make the keyboard perfect for those who own both platforms. In short, if you’re looking for a top-of-the-range typing experience, very few readily available keyboards can match Keychron’s Q series.

Keychron Q1 HE

(Image credit: Future)

In this review, I’m going to focus on the HE aspect of the Q1 HE as I touched on every other aspect in my Q1 Pro review. I advise you to check out the Q1 Pro review to find out more about the general features. 

So what’s so special about the Q1 HE? Well, Keychron has taken its popular Q1 mechanical keyboard and made a version ideal for gamers. With Bluetooth, wired, and 2.4GHz connectivity just like the Q1 Pro, the Q1 HE comes with a new technology in the world of mechanical keyboards: magnetic hall effect switches.

The Q1 HE is all about these Gateron Double-Rail Magnetic Nebula Switches and it’s easy to see why Keychron wants to make a big deal about the differences these switches bring to the keyboard.

The optical magnetic sensors in the switches have a sensitivity of only 0.1mm making them perfect for quick feedback when gaming. With fully customizable actuation points, you can determine how much of a press each individual key on the Q1 HE needs to activate — you can even assign multiple actions to a single key based on travel depth. In my testing, this feature worked exactly as advertised and while I don’t have a reason to use it, those who want multiple actions in a single key will be happy with its inclusion.

For first-person shooters, the switches are capable of Dynamic Rapid Trigger, allowing you to quickly activate a key by reducing the travel distance needed to register each press. All of this customization is possible via Keychron’s Launcher web app and it’s very easy to use.

Mechanical keyboards have never been associated with gaming, but these new developments with Hall Effect switches from companies like Gateron make the style of keyboard a real option for gamers. If you’ve ever wanted to try a mechanical keyboard but heavily rely on a gaming keyboard, now, products like the Keychron Q1 HE have you covered.

Keychron Q1 HE: What I don’t love

Keychron Q1 HE

(Image credit: Future)

Most of my complaints with the Keychron Q1 HE are the same as I found with the Q1 Pro last year. First of all, I have a personal disdain towards Keychron’s keycap profile, and while the Q1 HE has OSA profile instead of KSA (not quite as tall) I still find them too tall for my preference. With no adjustable angle, if these keycaps are too tall for you then you’ll need to fork out for another set which can add to the cost of the package anywhere from $20 to $200 depending on the keycap quality.

Keychron Q1 HE

(Image credit: Future)

The other qualm continues on from the Q1 Pro and that’s battery life when using your Q1 HE wireless via Bluetooth with the RGB lighting on. If you opt to use RGB lighting with Bluetooth you’ll get at most a few days of usage from your keyboard, it’s no deal breaker because you can just plug in a cable but I’d like longer battery life in future models.

Keychron Q1 HE: Competition

Keychron Q1 Pro

(Image credit: John-Anthony Disotto)

The Keychron Q1 Pro offers a similar experience without magnetic hall effect switches and is $20 less. So if you’re not a gamer and want a similar experience then you can save a few bucks by opting for the Pro.

Elsewhere, the Meletrix Boog75 gives you a similar magnetic experience but, with a lack of Mac mode, it may be better suited for Windows PC owners. The Boog75 is also harder to come by, as it’s sold in batches from the Meletrix website.

Finally, the Asus ROG Azoth gives you an excellent gaming experience but again some of its best features don’t work on Mac and it’s more expensive than the Q1 HE, at $250.

Keychron Q1 HE: Should you buy it?

You should buy this if…

  • You want a keyboard for work and pleasure
  • You specifically want a wireless mechanical keyboard
  • You want customization

You shouldn’t buy this if…

  • You don’t intend to game
  • You’re on a budget
  • You don’t like high keycaps 

Keychron Q1 HE: Verdict

The Keychron Q1 HE has everything we loved in the Keychron Q1 Pro with even more customization options thanks to fantastic magnetic hall effect switches. Ideal for anyone who wants to work and game on their Mac, the Q1 HE is easy to recommend and will probably be one of the best mechanical keyboards for Mac you’ll ever use. 

John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself. Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings. John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019.  John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.