We’re large followers of Keychron’s premium keyboard designs right here at PCWorld. They constantly stomp the competitors by way of options and construct high quality, all whereas coming in at costs considerably decrease than comparable high-end builds. However there’s a obtrusive omission in Keychron’s sprawling lineup: Whereas it gives a rising number of wi-fi choices, they’re all Bluetooth, leaving avid gamers out within the chilly if they need a high-speed cable-free possibility. Enter the Lemokey L3, the primary board in a brand new Keychron sub-brand.
The L3 gives a well-known suite of choices for anybody who’s appeared on the standard Q sequence. We’re speaking full aluminum body, gasket mounting, RGB lighting, inside foam, hot-swap change sockets, PBT keycaps commonplace, and programming with the favored cross-platform VIA instrument. , all that stuff your favourite keyboard nerd (responsible) gained’t shut up about. However the design has three large adjustments designed particularly to enchantment to avid gamers.
First and most significantly, you get each 2.4GHz and Bluetooth wi-fi, with 1000Hz polling on the previous, all of which have N-key rollover. That makes the connection speedy sufficient for all however essentially the most caffeinated of eSports professionals. The dongle + Bluetooth wi-fi setup is widespread from main manufacturers like Razer, Logitech, Corsair, et cetera — in truth it’s additionally on the SteelSeries wi-fi gaming board I’m reviewing proper now! — so this can be a dependable improve. The opposite tweaks are 4 devoted macro keys on the correct aspect beneath the radial dial and a chunkier, faux-military look to the keyboard case. Once more, each fairly commonplace decisions for a gaming-specific keyboard.
The one potential pitfall I’m seeing is reliance on QMK/VIA. Now, VIA is superior as a instrument for personalization on an ordinary keyboard and one which’s definitely preferable to a few of the terrible customized software program provided up on most gaming keyboards. (Taking a look at you, Asus.) And I imagine most avid gamers will prefer it as a result of it doesn’t really require any software program in any respect: You may load up customized layouts and macros proper in a browser. However with out an lively Home windows program, the Lemokey L3 gained’t be capable to change profiles on a per-game foundation. That’s much less important for a keyboard than a mouse since most PC video games provide customized format choices anyway. Even so, I can see it being a problem for a small slice of PC avid gamers.
The Lemokey L3 might be provided in three colours: white, black, and blue, with Keychron’s typical contrasting keycap choices on prime. It’s obtainable for preorder on Kickstarter immediately, with the most affordable “barebone” package deal (no switches and solely 4 keycaps for the macro keys) for $189. The complete package deal is $209, with estimated supply in October.
Editor’s be aware: This text was up to date when preorders went stay.