Unicorn? 65/68 key | BLE/Bluetooth 4 | Hotswappable/no solder switches | QMK programmable or similar
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G’day - I’m after something that I think may exist, or if it doesn’t, it’s on the cusp of existing. If you know of the unicorn of which I seek, I’d really appreciate a pointer to what it is and where I can get one! In short, I’m looking for the following for use in my open plan, multi-device office setting, and would like all of the following in one keyboard:
  1. Form factor - 65/68 key. Like the MagicForce 68, the Leopold FC660M - must have arrow keys, don’t care if it doesn’t have an F1-F12 row.
  2. Bluetooth 4 / Bluetooth Low Energy BLE multi-device pairing . Modern, multi-device BT pair switching, like the Logitech K480 or K380 and predecessors. Most keyboards with this functionality have the ability to link to at least three devices - in my case I want one keyboard to swap between at least two paired devices - a PC laptop and an iPad Pro; and it’d be nice to also be able to connect to a third item (an iPhone), but not essential.
  3. Hotswappable switches. Nope, I’m not hardcore and do not give a rat’s about learning to solder. Hey, I’m late to the buy-your-own-switches party, but now with some heavy Halos, Zealios, Hakos, Box Royals and some others on hand to deal with the not-so-keen-on-clicky open plan office, I really like the option to use my own switches. Hell, if the GK-68 can do hotswap for $142 and the Glorious Modular Keyboard for $85 (and it’s a great keyboard for the money), then it can be done!
  4. QMK Programmable (or similar). Usually this isn’t a factor, although always nice to have - buuuuut now with a locked-down work Windows laptop, on-keyboard QMK-ish editability to swapping the functions of CTRL / WIN / ALT to act pretty much like CTRL / OPT / CMD is now front and centre.
I have or have on order the following related keyboards, which tick some of the boxes, but not one of them ticks ALL the boxes in one package: Are these worthwhile options? I’ve looked at a few others, but they all seem to have no more than three out of the four things I want: {EDIT - I have tried the USB-Bluetooth adaptor that Massdrop has up a while ago - I bought this one https://www.massdrop.com/buy/handheld-scientific-bt-500-bluetooth-adapter. It’s a bit hit and miss with connection, and clunky. Hey, the fact it exists is good, however ideally BT built-in with multi-pairing is much, much better.} Lonnnnnng story short - there’s a really obvious one (or seven) keyboards with all four attributes that I’ve missed by being inattentive, right? Help much appreciated! {EDIT2 - looks like the answer to this question is ‘it almost exists but not quite yet’. Thanks to everyone who replied, and I’ll keep an eye on KBDFans.} {EDIT3 - Might have found it on Kickstarter... So, this looks interesting enough on all criteria that I backed it... for those wondering, I went with the version that includes a battery. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/woo-dy/woo-dy-a-67-keys-mechanical-keyboard-that-is-breathing }
(Edited)
thumb_upjacob.vu, Itslinxhere, and 10 others
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hairball2020
1
Oct 12, 2020
I'm a little late to the conversation, but I did just find this and thought it might check all of your boxes. https://epomaker.com/collections/epomaker/products/gk64xs
(Edited)
shitsdead
2
Aug 22, 2020
Have you looked at the Kemove 64 key version? They recently updated the software so it's not as buggy which was the main downside. I know this is a bit late, but I hope you find your 🦄.
5ur3br3c
0
Jun 9, 2020
If you're still looking, there is a campaign running on Kickstarter now that is basically a GK68 with bluetooth: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/epomaker/epomaker-gk68xs-mechanical-keyboard
(Edited)
Gugic
1
Jun 10, 2020
Well, I actually have a GK64s which is almost perfect of course, BUT. 1) Software is awful and QMK is not supported. Almost everything is programmable and there are layers and stuff but still. 2) GK64s is actually NOT using BLE. GK64s with bluetooth 5 is not always working even for a full day (without RGB) on standard 750mah battery. When ANNE PRO 2 with bluetooth 4.2 but with BLE support is actually working for the entire week. And have much better software.
Markim
0
Sep 17, 2020
Thanks for that, I thoght the GK68Xs software and bluetooth were good. I'm trying to check reviews on the RK68, but no luck so far. And not hotswapabble by default, I was looking into putting the mil max sockets to convert it to hot swapable, but I can't find them at a good price It seems to be an updated version of the RK855 but with programmable software. I don't know if it gets any close to QMK though. I am also not a fan of the GK68 altered backspace layout. Anyway, let's keep looking. One day someone will hear us.
Spikeophant
50
May 26, 2020
Did you ever find this? I have a GK64 and Keychron K6. I'd love the GK64 to have the extra row from the K6, but have that row layout be ins, home, pg up, pg dn, end. I think that layout would be perfect for a balance of compact but still have dedicated physical keys for everything I need. I like the GK64 the best of all the compacts I've had, and will probably end up with more of those, the K6 is so close to being exactly what I want, but far enough away it's frustrating, I don't understand the wasting of a key to be a dedicated light control...
Gugic
1
Jun 10, 2020
GK64s, even with claimed BT5 support does not use BLE and battery life is awful. (one full day basically on 750mah battery) Keychron somehow managed to use BT3 without BLE support in 2020 and basically having same issue (but they including much bigger battery in stock (like 5 times bigger) and claiming a week or so of wireless work). So my personal unicorn is still heavily modded Anne Pro 2 (mill-maxed to be hotswappable, new switches/case/keycaps, bigger battery) as it actaully works over BLE and lives for a week or so on stock 750mah battery (translating to ~1 month+ on 4500mah which is doable).
Spikeophant
50
Jun 10, 2020
I only use bluetooth in a few limited applications, usually my keyboards are hardwired so I haven't felt that battery pain. Next time I travel for work I will though, the K6 was to be the travel keyboard, I have the GK64s in a solid aluminum case+top plate so it's around 4lbs. I guess I'll just keep my eyes open for something that does tick all the boxes with good bluetooth battery life. Another irritating thing about the K6 is the dedicated light key instead of delete, and no software to change it yet.
chinh
2
May 6, 2020
Also check the KEMOVE Keyboards which have recently launched on Amazon they have 2 keyboards with bluetooth and hotswap, their SW is still a bit buggy but I think the support is responsive and will get better. They also have a Mac OS version of their SW which will launched in a few months, was told will be available for testing in a week.
bvachman
0
May 6, 2020
Good news with Keychron! Since it’s the unicorn minus programmability (which I need for Colemak-CAW): “We’re working on our Keychron software so users can remap their Keychron keyboard. Our goal is to launch it this year for both Mac and Windows OS.” i just hope Wood-y works out tho that’s the true unicorn with wood
bvachman
0
May 6, 2020
You can also piece it together with the NJ68 kit on AliExpress since it’s sold out on here. Then all you’d have to do is put in whatever switches and key caps and you’re set! https://m.aliexpress.com/item/4000937592116.html
MQTThings
2
Mar 8, 2020
Could this be it? 65%, hot swap, BT4.1 and QMK Discover all the details about the Keydous NJ68 Bluetooth Hot-Swappable RGB Mech Keyboard on Drop! https://drop.com/buy/keydous-nj68-bluetooth-hot-swappable-rgb-mechanical-keyboard?utm_source=appshare&referer=U8UWNM
Vahn84
5
Apr 19, 2020
Have you had the chance to put your hands on this keyboard? What’s your opinion?
Cods
190
Apr 24, 2020
@Quizer @Vahn84 Looks like the NJ68 won’t ship to me from Massdrop until 20 May, COVID-19 and all. Before then I should have the Keychron K6 from Kickstarter (https://www.keychron.com/products/keychron-k6-wireless-mechanical-keyboard) so I can report on its Unicorn Score™... In other Unicorn news, updates to iOS / iPadOS mean that I can remap the keys of my MagicForce 68 BT in software, and working from home I’ve been constantly switching between work Win10 PC, iPad Pro and Mac Mini. It works well, recommended, the only thing missing is hotswap switches, so I’d give the Cherry White MagicForce 68 BT a Unicorn Score™ of around 6.5 out of 10.
(Edited)
mimsyborogove923
20
Jan 18, 2020
Like others here, I'd thought I'd finally found this exact unicorn in the Woo-dy, but alas, it does seem to be turning out too good to be true. This guy just popped up recently and is pretty dang close to the same unicorn, and also pretty much guaranteed to ship since it's a very well established company at this point. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/keytron/keychron-k6-a-compact-65-wireless-mechanical-keyboard?ref=section-homepage-view-more-recommendations-p1
(Edited)
xanaos
0
Feb 17, 2020
the K6 is BT 3.0 unfortunately.
yguo17
0
Feb 20, 2020
I think this one is a scam by this point
Adonancireng
3
Jan 7, 2020
iGK64s-bt RGB LED programmable, Hot Swap, Bluetooth 5.0, USB Type C and this one is the cheapest version ($75) with abs case, though the plate is aluminum. So many option for switch, keycaps and case. https://www.epathbuy.com/product/60-wireless-bluetooth-keyboard/
TheOldCrowTV
15
Feb 3, 2020
is epathbuy reliable? the site just looks kind of sketchy to me lol. But are the a reputable distributer of stuff?
Cods
190
Feb 12, 2020
Thanks - that looks interesting, will take a look!
Cods
190
Sep 18, 2019
So, this looks interesting enough on all criteria that I backed it... for those wondering, i went with the version that includes a battery. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/woo-dy/woo-dy-a-67-keys-mechanical-keyboard-that-is-breathing
Chiefethan
1
Dec 25, 2019
Yo this seems the be the only thing to fit what I'm looking for too, any updates on it? I see it's also on listed here https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/woo-dy-a-67-key-wooden-mechanical-keyboard#/ and the current comments on there and kickstarter don't seem promising
Cods
190
Feb 12, 2020
Supposedly it looks like it was a scam - I need to get on to my bank!
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