Initial Review: Keychron K8 Pro Keyboard for macOS (JIS)

Having a major report to finish for work today, I was required to spend significant time typing on the new keyboard even on the weekend (the downside to being very much “deliverable” based remote work is… when you’re behind, your supposed 9-5 M-F job becomes… not that). This has allowed me to test the keyboard for what functions I can on the Mac Pro.

The keyboard replaces my venerable Fujitsu Happy Hacking Keyboard Lite 2 for macOS (JIS). A great keyboard, but smaller than the K8 Pro, with combined multi-function keys and a different center of typing.

The K8 Pro is a chonkster. Being all metal construction, it solves one problem my HHKB L2: movement when aggressively typing. This thing ain’t goin nowhere, friends. Do a few reps on it each day, and there’s your upper body strength conditioning.

I don’t care about the RGB, honestly, and would rather have back-lit letters, but ultimately, I am rarely looking at my keyboard as a touch-typist, so that’s probably fine. The key caps themselves feel much better than the keys on the HHKB and given that they are truly user replaceable (and we all know how I destroy key caps), this is a welcome change. The key press is firmer, feels more solid, and has a more substantive thunk with the switches, as opposed to the higher-pitched less solid sounding clackity-clack of the HHK2 L2. Price comparison, HHKB L2 was about US$60, whereas the K8 Pro was $94 (on sale from I think $115).

In addition to its weight by being metal, it also has very strong rubber feet. While I am using a desk-wide mousepad, it shouldn’t slide on slicker surfaces.

Some of the function keys won’t work unless you are on a machine which supports them (particularly the F1 and F2 brightness controls). I also found that the keyboard backlight controls do nothing (F5 and F6), but this may be because it is running through an RGB program and I have to go in and alter it in software or something. I also haven’t tested it for Japanese input yet, because Mac Pro patched OSes break Japanese input. I haven’t tested wireless yet either, but wired has zero latency that I can detect. Haven’t tested it on Linux or Windows, but I basically only use Windows if my job requires it, but I will test it on Linux soon, as I need to reinstall Linux on the Mac Pro, then I can also do the wireless test, since I have a Linux compatible BT card.

EDIT: Wireless works just fine.