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Keychron V Series review: A top-quality affordable mechanical keyboard

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £100
(From) inc VAT

A cheaper take on Keychron’s superb Q-Series, the V Series is a highly adaptable and magnificently well-made keyboard for the price


  • Outstanding build quality
  • Lovely typing action
  • Windows, Mac and Linux support


  • No wireless option
  • No USB passthrough
  • Sits rather high

Keychron is not a household name in the UK but the Hong Kong-based keyboard maker has established an enviable reputation for quality, reliability and performance in the USA since its establishment in 2017. Luckily, some of its products are becoming available on this side of the Pond. The Keychron V Series sits in somewhat of a sweet spot: it’s a range of wired-only mechanical keyboards that take some of the key elements from the highly regarded premium Q Series and delivers them at a more pocket-friendly price.

The V series consists of seven standard models and two split “Alice” layouts, usefully labelled V1 – V7 for the traditional models and V8 and V10 for the Alice layouts, and it ranges in size from a 60% model all the way to full size.

All can be had with either a solid or translucent black case, and can be supplied as fully assembled or barebones models with Keychron’s K Pro Red, Blue or Brown switches. I’m typing this on the smallest, and cheapest, 60% size, the Keychron V4.

Keychron V4 review: What does it do well?

As soon as you open the box, it’s clear that Keychron offers more than the norm with its keyboards because each one comes with eleven replacement keycaps for proper Windows-Mac conversion as well as switch and keycap pullers, a screwdriver and an Allen key so you can disassemble the entire thing. There are even a few spare screws and bolts should you lose anything.

The build quality is superb. The entire assembly is solid and well-screwed together thanks to the eight bolts that hold the various levels of the keyboard sandwich in place. Remove the keycaps and switches and those bolts and the rest of the chassis comprising the top case, steel baseplate, PCB, silicon pad and bottom case easily come apart in separate layers.

That underlying solidity is one reason the typing action feels so accurate. The top and base parts of the case may be ABS plastic but the steel plate in the middle is very stiff, and it’s why the V4 weighs a pretty hefty (for a 60% keyboard) 730g. You can set the keyboard at three angles using the two-position stands at the rear of the keyboard.

The keycaps themselves are of a unique design that Keychron calls OSA (for OEM spherical angled) which means they taper to a more rounded top than with regular keyboards. It’s a design I like a lot. The per-key RGB backlight meanwhile is described as “south-facing” meaning the LEDs are angled toward the user, giving a slightly more dramatic lighting effect.

My sample came fitted with Keychron’s K Pro Brown switches, the best general-use option (compared with the more linear Red and more clicky Blue switches) and has a lovely clean typing action with just the right amount of resistance and noise. The 4mm of travel and 50gf of operating force felt just about perfect to me, while the box stems inside each keycap did a great job of negating key wobble.

Modifying the keyboard’s software is very straightforward thanks to the use of QMK firmware and this, in turn, means you can use the VIA and Vial keyboard configuration software. Not only does this allow for the extremely granular modification of the keys, right down to five individual layers (two Windows, two Mac and one Function level) with all the keys macro-programmable, it also means that the Keychron V Series is fully at home in a Linux environment.

Impressively, there are 13 levels of backlight intensity as well as half a dozen lighting effects and speeds, all of which can be accessed directly via various Fn key combinations. Use VIA and you get 22 lighting effects.

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Keychron V Series review: What could be improved?

The obvious thing missing from the V Series is wireless functionality. There’s really nothing more to say about that. If you want a wireless keyboard, you can’t have a Keychron. Sorry.

Another feature that’s missing is USB passthrough, which like wireless is presumably a feature that Keychron doesn’t regard as vital to the keyboard experience. And it may have a point. Every time I write a keyboard review I put the lack of passthrough as a “Con”, despite the fact that I’ve never used passthrough on a keyboard.

My last reservation regarding the V Series is that it has quite a high profile, the tops of the bottom row of keys sitting a good 4mm higher off the desk than they do on the Cherry G80 which is my usual keyboard and hardly a slender thing itself. That could be an issue for some users, especially as Keychron doesn’t supply a wristrest. Of course, good wrist rests cost less than a tenner (this is the one I use and can recommend) and Keychron itself makes a range of lovely, if rather more expensive, wooden rests if you want something a little more stylish.

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Keychron V Series: Should you buy it?

The Keychron V Series is one of the most comprehensive keyboard ranges available from any manufacturer. The various different sizes and style options, the choice between Red, Brown or Blue keys, the ease with which you can swap between Windows and Mac layouts, and full support for Linux, all combine to make these keyboards supremely adaptive.

Of course, if the typing action was not particularly good, that would be irrelevant but the V Series excels in this area, while the build quality is superb for something costing £100. All in all the V4 is an outstanding affordable mechanical keyboard.

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