OnePlus has been around for 10 years, and during that time, it has mostly made smartphones and smaller accessories like wireless earbuds. But this year, the company made some changes. It released its first Android tablet and announced the Keyboard 81 Pro, which is its first keyboard. You might have thought there would be a lot of talk about this product, but there wasn’t. It didn’t help much that it wasn’t available to buy for almost five months.
Well, we’ve finally got our hands on the OnePlus Keyboard 81 Pro, and boy, is it big. It’s strong, heavy, and well-made, and the keys were still comfortable after I typed for eight hours straight. But, as much as we’d like it to be completely new, we can’t help but notice how much this keyboard looks like the popular Keychron Q1 Pro. Even though neither OnePlus nor Keychron says that this is just a reskinned Q1 Pro, it’s clear that the partnership between these two companies has led to a familiar keyboard.
Is the OnePlus Keyboard 81 Pro worth more than $200? I think there are better options for that price, like the Q1 Pro, which is a little cheaper. There are, of course, cheaper mechanical keyboards out there if you’re on a tight budget. But OnePlus fans who want the best typing experience need not look any further.
Pricing and availability
The OnePlus Keyboard 81 Pro comes in two different styles: Summer Breeze and Winter Bonfire. Both keyboards have dark gray, light gray, and red keycaps, which is a similar color scheme. In the Summer Breeze model, most of the keys are light gray, while in the Winter Bonfire model, most of the keys are dark gray.
The OnePlus Keyboard 81 Pro can be bought on the websites of both OnePlus and Keychron. It comes in two different styles, Winter Bonfire for $219 and Summer Breeze for $239. No matter where you buy it, you won’t be able to change the switches or the keycaps.
At the time this was written, the Winter Bonfire model was still available, but the Summer Breeze model was sold out. OnePlus also seems to offer different deals at different times. For example, the current deal gives discounts on wireless earbuds.
Design and features
Most of the time, the Keyboard 81 Pro looks pretty simple, but the red keycaps add a nice touch of color and excitement. As we’ve already said, there are two models to choose from: Winter Bonfire and Summer Breeze. Both keyboards have dark gray, light gray, and red keycaps, so the color scheme is the same. The letter and number keycaps on the Summer Breeze model are light gray, while the rest of the keys are dark gray. The Winter Bonfire model does the opposite. Since this is a preconfigured keyboard, you won’t be able to change its look or switches, but you can if you want to after you buy it.
If you’re a diehard OnePlus fan and want the finest typing experience, look no further.
Design details that are unique to OnePlus set the Keyboard 81 Pro apart from the Q1 Pro. The Esc and Enter keys on the keyboard are bright red, but if you look closely, you’ll see that the Esc key has the OnePlus logo on it. It’s not a big deal, but if you don’t like it, the package doesn’t come with a traditional Esc key replacement. The keyboard also has a transparent knob that can be set to control the volume, zoom, brightness, and other things. Even though the knob feels great, it is made of plastic. That doesn’t mean it feels bad, though. It just doesn’t feel as high-quality as some of the other parts.
Even though OnePlus hasn’t made keyboards before, it didn’t take any shortcuts with this one. Instead, it made sure that the typing experience was top-notch. What surprised me the most was how heavy the keyboard was. It weighed about 4.16 pounds (1.87 kg), which is a lot. Aluminum was used to make both the bottom and the top case, which is why it is so heavy. Thank goodness, this weight gives it a solid base, and even after hours of pounding on the keyboard, it doesn’t move.
After using the keyboard for a few weeks, the keycaps and switches feel good and make the right amount of sound and response. It’s what I wanted, especially since OnePlus and Keychron worked together to make their own custom switches. The model we tested here has linear switches, so you won’t hear the traditional clicky sounds that can be satisfying. However, each keystroke did give the right amount of feedback, and the Marble-mallow keycaps were soft but firm to the touch.