Keychron Q10 keyboard short review
Published on 24 May 2023
Three weeks ago I discovered Keychron products on their website and this video on Youtube about the K10, an Alice layout ergonomic and programmable keyboard:
A few later I ordered a French AZERTY version of this keyboard. 3 weeks later I received the 2.5Kg 'dream' keyboard from China, perfectly packaged.
My first impression was the fantastic build and design. It's not really a cheap keyboard but regarding available keyboards above € 200 on the market for a not-so-amazing build quality the Keychron price doesn't seems injustified.
Dispite the ordered Q1O was clearly advertised as FR-ISO Layout the keyset differs from the French AZERTY, especially the second row and the keys close to the "ENTER" key.
Afte having installed the VIA application to configure the layout, I started to make some key modification thinking nothing was "recorded" without a "save" action. It was was an error because I was just starting to loose the French AZERTY mapping...
The first thing I should have done would have been to save the original layout.
I was realizing that the VIA application was absolutely not designed to program keys in AZERTY : if you try to replace the "Q" by "A", the result is not "A" but "Q", as if something was missing between the app there was a missing link between the VIA application, OS language and the keyboard.
To get something like that:
Here is I need to do in VIA:
My OS is Ubuntu (EN) with AZERTY (FR) layout, and the only way to retrieve an AZERTY like keyboard is to define keys with in mind QWERTY but there are still keys that I haven't managed to redefine, even with the help of online tools and docs.qmk.fm.
The Keychron support was just able to send me a basic JSON definition file (QWERTY) also available on their website.
The final words.
The build quality is superb, without any doubt if I only consider the build construction, it's the best keyboard I have never had after my TOPRE. But the ISO FR is 90 percent marketing, it's clearly not a "ready to use" keyboard.
VIA software is inconsistant for key AZERTY programmation (Ubuntu and Windows). The only way to approach an AZERTY key mapping is to program by thinking 'QWERTY' e.g. "Q" for "A" etc. You have to install a software in your mind to get some results.
Another problem : ponctuation and accentued chars. I have to do a ton of tests, sometimes by checking the key codes in the JSON file.
In my opinion, considering the keyboard is advertised as French Azerty, 1) key caps should correspond to French AZERTY and not a flavour of French AZERTY ; 2) A correct firmware should be embeded and a JSON (not a minimalist configuration) should be delivered in order to get the keyboard working as expected.