Keychron K2 v2 after two weeks

Well, I’ve had about two weeks on this new Keychron K2 v2 on the boards now. This is a very inexpensive $79 keyboard that is wireless and works with the Mac which is nice. Net, net, for most ordinary humans, I would say it’s the right keyboard if you want something way better than the Apple keyboard (that thing is really difficult to type on).

Here are the tips, tricks and traps:

  1. The Gateron Blue keys are nice, but they don’t have the same “tactile” bump as the Cherry MX Blue. I still like the blues with the dampers that come on the WASD Code v2 (I presume the v3 is the same).
  2. But this thing is wireless which is great and it seems to work reliably with Bluetooth on Big Sur (which I cannot say for the Corsair Dark Core RGB which every week or so cannot connect and have to repair).
  3. The thing has a huge variety of backlighting and it is just about impossible to remember what the keyboard shortcuts are. They have Google Drive manual for this, but it is all over the place.
  4. The main limitation for the thing beside the keyboard is that it is pretty much impossible to tell what the battery level is. They claim 240 hours without backlighting, but mine basically ran out in the first week. Turns out there is an undocumented feature, if you hit FN+B if will give you the battery level codes in the backlight as Red is low, Blue is medium and Green is charged. Pretty obscure but it works if I can remember it. It is really nice that the Apple keyboard just communicates the charge level (hint Keychron!). If you have a white only keyboard (which is $10 cheaper at $69 and a good deal, I don’t really need the RGB), then if the whole keyboard is on, then it is above 70%, if the first row is off then it is 30-70% (the blue light for the RGB) and finally under 30%, only the first 2 rows will turn off automatically.
  5. Also the Mac to Windows mode switch is basically an invisible DIP switch on the left. Not that you need to change it.

And here mainly for my own memory are the other keyboard shortcuts. I really need to just put this underneath the keyboard was piece of paper:

  1. FN+1, 2, 3. This activates bluetooth connections for devices 1, 2 and 3 respectively.
  2. FN+Z+J. The full factory reset (hope you never need that)
  3. FN+S+O. Disables the 10 minute shutdown for the keyboard. I presume if you hit it again it turns it on again, but I’m not trying it!
  4. F5 and F6. Note that this does not need the FN key. I got really messed up on this, but with the default settings, ordinary F5 and F6 work like the MacBook Pro keyboard for which these keys change the backlight. Personally I find the backlight pretty dim in the daytime, so I normally leave it at full F6.
  5. Lightbulb key. OK I don’t know what to call it but it is way on the upperight and has a 💡icon. You hit this and get a sea of different lighting patterns. I normally just leave it as white 🙂 I do wish one of the effects was to be sensitive on what key I hit, that was pretty cool on my Whirlwind FX.
  6. FN+Lightbulb. This turns the effect off. It is actually just a shortcut, because if you go through all the Lightbuld patterns, one is off 🙂
  7. FN+ right arrow, FN+left arrow. If you hold the function key and the left and right arrow. Turns out that the Lightbulb gives you the major mode and then FN+> and FN+< gives you variants.
  8. FN+”+” and FN-“-“. If you hold FN and then the plus and minus, you can change the speed of the lighting effect. Geez, there’s a lot of programming here. Personally, I just leave that at full minus level so I can see the effect
  9. FN+L+lightbulb. This locks the keyboard effect and unlocks it too.

Anyway, I’m sure I’m going to forget these right after I hit enter on this post :-)🤣

I’m Rich & Co.

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