The Keychron Q0 is the company’s first mechanical numpad that has an aluminum case, and compatibility for both Windows and MacOS. Since it is just a numpad, it’s an added accessory to your current main keyboard. Depending on your use case, you may or may not need it. It’s great for those who don’t always need the numpad, but don’t want to fully get rid of it either.
We received a fully assembled version from Suncycle, so big shout out to them for making this review happen. Let’s take a look at what’s in the box before getting into the review.
What’s In The Box?
- Keychron Q0 Numpad
Broken Down Into: (Fully Assembled Models Only)
- 1 x Aluminum Case
- 1 x PCB
- 1 x Steel Plate
- 1 x Sound Absorbing Foam
- 1 x Case Foam
- 3 x Sets of Stabilizers
- 1 x Set of Keycaps
- 1 x Set of Switches
- Type-C to Type-A Cable
- Type-A to Type-C Adapter
- Switch Puller
- Keycap Puller
A lot of people may think this is just a numpad, what could be so good about its features? Well, the Keychron Q0 feels like an over-engineered number pad. It has almost all of the features you’d find in your own custom keyboard. The numpad features both QMK and VIA support, it has a 1,000Hz polling rate, hot-swappable, south-facing RGB, complete with OSA profile PBT keycaps, enclosed in a fully CNC aluminum body.
That’s a mouthful, I know. But what that means is, you’re getting a similar experience of Keychron’s finesse, much like its other Q series boards. It also uses screw-in stabilizers for added stability. The company even made it compatible with third party stabilizers like Cherry’s and Durock’s, which are crowd favorites.
The QMK/VIA support is really useful, even if you don’t want it to be a numpad, you can totally reconfigure every key to be its own key/command. It could even be configured to be a streamdeck, or even a quick access shortcut tool for your editing suites like Photoshop, Premiere Pro etc.
I think these features are really great to have, and with it being hot-swappable, the Keychron Q0 might even be a neat little test bench for all your switches before you mount them on your main board.
When it comes to design, apart from the CNC aluminum body, the rest you can pretty much switch it up with your preferred switch and keycaps. The top has the USB-C port for connectivity, and the bottom is skid-proofed with the rubber feet. That’s pretty much all there is to the exterior, so nothing much to say there.
But it’s on the inside that’s interesting. In such a small body, Keychron is still able to fit in so many layers of sound dampening. You get the top layers like the keycap, switches, and plate. Then, you’ll get the sound absorbing foam, PCB, which is layered under with a case foam, and lastly, the bottom case itself.
I’ve opened it up and took the sound absorbing foam and case foam out to hear the sound difference, each keypress sound hollow and tinny. The dual layer of foam did help in terms of noise reduction, allowing the switch to have a slightly deeper clack.
I’m sure you’ve noticed as well that the Keychron Q0 doesn’t have a knob, that can be both a good and a bad thing. If it did have a knob, it’d be much easier to have your media controls programmed in the knob. But since it doesn’t, you can always set any key on the numpad to be media control keys. They’re the same thing, just one doesn’t have a rotating scheme to it (which would’ve been cooler).
Software And Customization
Continuing from the previous section, in the software department, the Keychron Q0 supports both QMK and VIA, where it allows you to remap any key or commands to each of the key on the Q0. Certain keyboard manufacturers have their own software for key mapping, but QMK and VIA just makes it a whole lot easier to use and access. Depending on your experience in the keyboard scene, these two software are great for beginners, as well as experts that are familiar with complicated key mapping.
As for customizing and tuning, I personally think the Keychron Q0 already sounds great out of the box. But if you want it to sound a certain way, you could definitely mod it further. You can always try tape modding the bottom of the PCB, changing the case foam with other materials, or even changing the stabilizers with Durock or Everglide ones if you already have them (you’ll need three). You can also lube the switches to make them sound better, press smoother. Lubing the stabilizers will also make keypresses a lot better too, and to remove wobble and rattles.
Well, not so much typing experience but rather the whole experience of using the Keychron Q0 as it is, without modifications. For me, the Gateron Yellow Pro switches in the numpad are an excellent choice of switches, as I am a linear switch user and generally love smooth switches. The sound profile is also up to my standard, and there’s very little rattle sounds too.
The Keychron Q0 would be great for those who want a smaller layout keyboard but still want to keep the numpad around. Full-sized keyboards are too long, and sometimes you don’t even use the numpad on it that often. With the Keychron Q0, you have the option of keeping the numpad at bay, while still maintaining that mechanical goodness of your preferred switch.
The Keychron Q0 is a very well built mechanical number pad, and although the price may be a little steep for some, I’d say it’s a good investment because of its versatility. Would’ve been perfect if it had a knob, but oh well. On the surface, it may look like a numpad, but you can turn it into a macropad if you want. And there’s so many ways you can configure the numpad to your liking.