OnePlus' First Mechanical Keyboard launches soon
When people think of OnePlus, images of Android devices may come to mind first. OnePlus, which is a China-based subsidiary of Oppo, was founded in 2013 to manufacturer high-end smartphones. The company changed that approach in 2020 when it started to manufacture mid-range Android smartphones.
The company announced its first mechanical keyboard earlier this month. Called the OnePlus Featuring Keyboard 81 Pro, it is a co-production with premium-keyboard maker Keychron.
The mechanical keyboard comes in two versions: winter bonfire and summer breeze. The main differentiating factor between the two versions of the keyboard is the dominant color.
As far as main specs are concerned:
- Mechanical Keyboard with 81 keys and aluminum frame.
- 4000 mAh battery that lasts up to 100 hours (lowest brightness).
- Charging time about 5 hours.
- Type-C to Type-C cable, and Type-A to Type-C Adapter included in the package.
- Backlight can be changed to different RGB lighting effects.
- Supports Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS.
OnePlus Featuring Keyboard 81 Pro
OnePlus Featuring Keyboard 81 Pro will work on all desktop systems it is connected to and on Android and iOS. OnePlus users could use it to improve typing on their devices, but the keyboard is not limited to OnePlus' range of Android devices.
OnePlus Featuring is OnePlus' relatively new innovation platform that attempts to bring together "cutting-edge technology with the best experience". OnePlus notes that the keyboard was developed with the help of OnePlus fans, and that it is matching the premium style of its other products.
The company worked together with Keychron to design the mechanical keyboard. Keychron is a well known manufacturer of high-quality mechanical keyboards. Dozens of keyboards have been created by Keychron already using various layout sizes and connection types.
OnePlus Featuring Keyboard 81 Pro coincidentally has the same layout as Keychron's latest mechanical keyboard, the Keychron Q1 Pro. It is currently listed on Kickstarter and available there at a price of $199 U.S. Dollars. The two devices are not entirely identical though.
The OnePlus Featuring Keyboard 81 Pro includes several design features. There is a keyboard holder, for instance, that allows users to put the keyboard into a standing position on the desk to free up space on it. Users may use knob at the top right of the keyboard to silence notifications with little effort.
The keyboard itself has a CNC aluminum body and a robust build quality. The keyboard layout matches the MacBook keyboard, but it may also be used on Windows and Linux devices. There is even a Win-Mac switch at the back of the keyboard. The mechanical keyboard supports hot-swappable switches and open-source firmware, including QMK and VIA.
Preorders of the OnePlus Featuring Keyboard 81 Pro start in April. There is an option to get notifications about price and when the pre-orders start.
OnePlus has yet to reveal the price of its first mechanical keyboard, and much will depend on it. If it is priced too high, people may instead pick a Keychron keyboard directly, or a comparable keyboard from another manufacturer. If priced right, it could become a viable alternative, but there would still be uncertainty regarding OnePlus's long-term commitment to the keyboard.
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