Mobile device maker OnePlus threw a curveball earlier today, with a surprising announcement (opens in new tab) that it is preparing to enter the mechanical keyboard business. There are a number of eyebrow-raising claims about this keyboard, shared in a community post by OnePlus product manager Percy (opens in new tab). Firstly, there’s the vague promise that the new OnePlus keyboard will “bring something new and something exciting.” Secondly, it will provide a solution that will “help you be more productive (or a better gamer).” Hopefully, OnePlus isn’t overpromising, but we won’t have long to wait, as an official unveiling is planned on December 15.
As is the nature of many teaser announcements, we don’t have a lot of concrete information or tech specs to share with you today. Apparently, the keyboard was conceptualized with the help of community members participating in the OnePlus Open Ears Forum (OEF). Thus the product that emerges will be designed to address the wants and needs of these community users. Percy’s blog post outlined a few of the directional statements drafted from the OEF, which give us an idea about what kinds of features might be present in the product showcased on the 15th.
In summary, the new OnePlus mechanical keyboard is designed to address a number of its community members’ preferences, which include:
- Facilitating a tidy desk
- Providing a low-profile ergonomic solution
- Offering a wide choice in keyboard feel via keyswitch selection
- Delivering affordability
In addition to the above, OnePlus is seeking to ensure its upcoming mechanical keyboard is suitable for all work environments and long-lasting. OnePlus’ Percy boldly states that his firm’s keyboard design addresses the above concerns and directives and will enhance both productivity and gaming, where previous mechanical keyboards have left users unsatisfied.
From the bullet points and statements above, we can reasonably expect a few of the following features; a compact and low-profile design, multi-platform wireless and/or Bluetooth connectivity, and options for a wide range of mechanical switch types. We aren’t sure how meeting any of these needs will make the OnePlus keyboard “new and exciting,” or improve your productivity or gaming compared to rival offerings. There may be some other aspect of the design which is being kept hush-hush for now, like some integrated touch control or game controls, so users don’t need a mouse (desk clutter?) and, given the OnePlus community profile, this might appeal to mobile gamers and users of Android desktop modes.
Hopefully the keyboard isn’t too mobile-centric, so it has some appeal to the average PC user and reader of Tom’s Hardware as well. The only other hint about the new keyboard is a link provided by Percy which states that OnePlus is working closely with Keychron (opens in new tab) on this project (see below).
While you wait for the OnePlus announcement, swing round and check out the Tom’s Hardware guide to the Best Wireless Keybaords. Keychron’s low-profile K3 occupies a spot on that list as our favorite travel keyboard, and we’ve liked a few of the company’s other offerings over the past few years. So perhaps OnePlus picked the perfect partner for its first keyboard. We’ll know more in 10 days.
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