Main Differences of Keychron Low-Profile Series
1. Keychron Low-Profile Keyboard Classifications
Keychron low-profile keyboard contains 3 different series: K series, K Pro series, and S series.
K series low-profile keyboards: K1, K3, K5, K7
K Pro series low-profile keyboards: K3 Pro
S series low-profile keyboards: S1
2. Summary of the Main Differences
|K Series||K Pro Series||S Series|
|Keycap type||ABS shine-through||Double-shot PBT non-Shine-through||Double-shot PBT non-Shine-through|
|Switch type||Low-profile Gateron mechanical/ Keychron optical||Low-profile Gateron mechanical||Low-profile Gateron mechanical|
|Case material||Aluminum frame + ABS bottom case||Aluminum frame + ABS bottom case||Steel plate + Full CNC Aluminum body|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.1 / Wired||Bluetooth 5.1 / Wired||Wired|
|Stablilizer stems design||Triangle position||Straight line||Straight line|
|NKRO support||Cable: NKRO|
3. Detailed Introduction of the Differences
3.1 Keycap Type
Double-shot PBT keycaps that are made of durable non-backlight shine-through PBT material with excellent oil resistance and prevent legends from fading.
Non-shine-through PBT Keycaps
ABS shine-through keycaps provide a clearer view of the characters in the dark. Therefore, it is more suitable for dim typing environments.
Shine-through ABS Keycaps
3.2 Switch Type
Low-profile Keychron Optical switch uses light sensors to trigger the keystrokes. When you press the key, the stem of the switch blocks the light and the signal is sent to the computer. It is faster than the mechanical switch.
Low-profile Keychron Optical Switches
A low-profile Gateron mechanical switch is triggered by contact between two different conductive materials. If you select the hot-swappable low-profile Gateron mechanical switch version, you can experiment with different switches and typing feels very easy.
Low-profile Gateron Mechanical Switches
3.3 Case Material
The K series and K Pro series are equipped with an ABS bottom case and Aluminum frame.
The S series comes with a full CNC Aluminum Body and steel plate, it weighs more and looks more advanced and of higher quality.
Both the K series and K pro series support Bluetooth 5.1 and wired modes. They can connect to three different BT devices and you can easily switch between them.
The S series supports wired mode only.
3.5 QMK/VIA Support
The K Pro series and S series support QMK and VIA. You can program or remap the keys, create macros, and customize the backlight. The changes even remain if you change computers.
The K series doesn't support QMK/VIA, you will need to download a third-party app to remap the keys, such as Karabiner (For macOS) and Sharpkeys (For Windows).
3.6 Stabilizer Stems Design
For the K series, the large keycap stems (e.g.: space bar, left Shift, backspace, and Enter key) are triangularly distributed.
As for the K Pro series and S series, they are seated on the same level instead.
3.7 NKRO Support
What is NKRO and 5KRO/6KRO?
If your keyboard supports NKRO, you can press all the keys simultaneously, they will not interfere with each other.
For 5KRO/6KRO, the keyboard can register 5/6 keys at the same time.
All 3 series support NKRO on cable mode but differ on BT mode. The K Pro series does, however, support NKRO on BT mode as well.
4. Buying Suggestions
1. If you need to travel frequently, go with the K series or K Pro series. The S series comes with an aluminum body and steel plate and is heavier than the K series or K Pro series. it also only supports wired mode, so you have to carry an additional cable.
2. If you want to fully customize the keymap but don't want to change the computer system settings, the K Pro series and S series will better meet your needs.They support VIA/QMK and the changes are saved in the keyboard chip.
3. If your goal is getting optimal cost performance, choose the K Pro series. Compared to the S series, it is cheaper and supports Bluetooth mode. Compared to the K series, it supports QMK/VIA with endless possibilities；
4. If you are a high-end player, you should look into the S series, it has a full aluminum body and steel plate to add a more premium look and feel.