The Keychron Q1 HE Keyboard’s Magnetic Personality Can Make You Type Faster

05.02.24 | By
The Keychron Q1 HE Keyboard’s Magnetic Personality Can Make You Type Faster

When mechanical keyboard specialists Keychron reached out about their newly launched model, emphasizing it was the brand’s first keyboard outfitted with Hall Effect magnetic switches, the proposition was met with some confusion. At a quick glance the Q1 HE looks nearly identical to the Keychron Q1 Pro. And that’s because it is identical on a surface level. Now that we’ve got the new Keychron Q1 HE at our fingertips, we can say the difference must be felt and heard to be fully appreciated.

Keychron Q1 HE mechanical keyboard set in front of a MacBook on stand on a desk with an iPad and white mouse to the right and pens, files, and pen holder to the left.

A stylish Keychron Q1 HE mechanical keyboard with white and teal keys on a green desktop, surrounded by sunglasses, a camera, and a small chair.

Before we go any further, we should explain what the “HE” stands for: Hall Effect. A new technology, the Hall Effect magnetic switch differs from membrane and mechanical switches found in the majority of keyboards in how it registers a keystroke. Unlike those two standard switch designs, a Hall Effect switch comprises a small magnet and a sensor beneath each keycap. When a key is pressed, the magnet produces a magnetic field detectable at varying strengths by the sensor, informing the keyboard controller chip you’ve pressed a key.

A Keychron Q1 HE mechanical keyboard with white and red keys on a desk, flanked by a small white statue and a vase.

What’s great about this technology is keystrokes are registered immediately and precisely. Furthermore how that keystroke is registered can be customized; a keyboard outfitted with Hall Effect switches can be tweaked for shorter or longer distance travel, depending on user preference. So whether you’re a quick twitch shortcuts master of gaming or typing impresario, a Hall Effect keyboard can result in more responsive typing – down to a minute 0.1 mm sensitivity with adjustable actuation points ranging from 0.5 to 3.8 mm (if this sounds all like gobbledygook, this all just means you can type anywhere between a suggestion of tap or with more forceful pressure).

Keychron Q1 HE mechanical keyboard with custom keycaps on a yellow surface, surrounded by disassembled computer parts.

Setting the actuation point to 0.8 mm or 1.0 mm shortens the trigger and increases sensitivity. The reset occurs once you release the key, ensuring a faster response. Another interesting feature made possible by magnetic switches is the ability to assign up to four actions to a single key, all dependent upon on the depth of the press. For example, a light press could compel a game character to walk forward in a game, with a deeper press of the key making the protagonist run.

A diverse tech setup featuring a smartphone, tablet, Keychron Q1 HE mechanical keyboard, and laptop, displaying "Always Create More" across the span of each screen.

The Keychron Q1 HE shares the Q1’s 75% layout and wireless capabilities, with a 2.4G connection mode boasting a 1000 Hz polling and Bluetooth connectivity allowing up to 3 devices to connect. And like its predecessor, the HE edition feels significant and durably constructed, with a metal case and double-gasket design that deliver ASMR-satisfying feel and sound. Key strokes register just short of thocky, but quiet enough to furtively send out an email during Zoom calls without distracting anyone.

Screenshot of Keychron Q1 HE mechanical keyboard software interface showing keyboard customization options including profile settings, key mapping, and switch tester tool with various parameters adjustable.

The Q1 HE works perfectly fine right out of the box connected to an Apple, mobile device, or Windows device. But if you want to get into the nooks and crannies of customization Keychron now offers a configurator called Launcher designed exclusively for their keyboards. The web-based configuration app eliminates the need to download an application, providing access to customization options galore, including key remapping, macro key setup, and LED color customization.

Two Keychron Q1 HE mechanical keyboards on a desk surrounded by loose keycaps, camera lenses, and a silver teapot, against a black background.

The Keychron Q1 HE QMK Wireless Custom Keyboard is available in two colorways, Carbon Black and Shell White. Configured as fully assembled with knob dial and Hall Effect Gateron 2.0 magnetic switches, expect to part with $219 before the Q1 HE begins shipping this month.

Gregory Han is a Senior Editor at Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at