Hi all -
The battle of the “Full Size Keyboards” that seems to be unanswered.
As far as I know there are really only 2 keyboards with full aluminum fame/case-body that I can find.
- Keychron Q6 Pro and Monsgeek M5
I am trying to decide what is better over all.
In both cases I want the barebones.
- Is there a difference for the actual build quality and parts?
- Both seem to be aluminum frame and case (body).
- The only glaring difference is the “knob” on the Q6. I don’t really care about the knob.
- Wireless is not important.
- Poling rate for both are 1000Hz In wired mode.
There is a $50+ difference between the two.
Welcome to Keebtalk!
You’re right that there aren’t a ton of options for full size aluminum boards. It’s possible there are other options, but I’m not aware of any (though I haven’t been in the market for one). I don’t own either board, so I have no idea on how the quality is, but YouTube likely has a couple in-depth reviews for both.
It seems like only the “international” version of the Monsgeek M5 ships with QMK/VIA (so if that’s important to you, you may want to confirm that before buying).
I could not find a polling rate for the M5 either; if gaming is something you’d want to do, it may be worthwhile digging up that spec to confirm. The Q6 Pro lists a 1000 Hz polling rate in wired mode only. It’s a sluggish 90 Hz in wireless mode. That’s probably fine for normal typing, but I could see it being an issue in fast-paced games. It is nice that the Q6 Pro has a wireless BT mode, which the M5 lacks.
The M5 is also 2.5kg where the Keychron Q6 Pro is 2.1kg. That could translate into a more solid feel or less case ping sounds, but IMO they’re both so chonky that the mass and included foam kits would likely minimize hollow sounds.
I think this will come down to how much wireless mode means to you. If you don’t plan to use that feature or the knob and you can confirm QMK/VIA on the M5 or don’t plan to re-map any keys, I’d go with the M5. Slightly more solid case and $50 less.
Wow you are awesome!!!
Appears both have a 1000Hz In wired mode.
Isn’t it crucial to have QMK/VIA?
I guess you helped me choose. I will sleep on it and see if anyone else has any different feedback.
On a full-size, probably not. I’d put it down as a nice-to-have unless you have very specific keys you want to change (like swapping the placement of your caps lock with the control key).
QMK and VIA are extremely helpful on 65% and smaller boards since so many keys are missing and VIA in particular is very easy to use. Additionally, both QMK and VIA are open source and not some questionable manufacturer software you need to install on your computer.
On something like a 40% board, it’s pretty much required unless you’re happy with the default mapping–and nobody with a 40% board is happy with the default mapping.
I’m not personally familiar with the two boards, but have done comparison shopping for them in the past.
User comments seem to indicate that the Monsgeek M-series is more of a ‘DIY’ keyboard. They may expect you to assemble the stabilizers, for instance, or adjust dampening within the board.
The Q-series is supposed to be more ready-to-go out-of-box.
The Monsgeek comes with dampening materials, and reportedly a lot of dampening potential. The Q-series can also be ordered with extra dampening add-ons. If going for a dampened board, you might be able to cram slightly more into the Monsgeek, but that’s a guess.
From on-line sound tests, the Monsgeek seems to have a flexible sound profile. I haven’t heard many examples of silenced Q-series keyboards. They might be good for chasing the opposite.
I have seen the Monsgeek M5 go down to $150 CAD + shipping during big sales on AliExpress, and the M3 go down to $150 total. It was too bad I had no budget during those sales!
I just wanted to note that some simple key remapping is also possible with OS settings, which can be convenient for working with every keyboard. In many common Linux distros, it’s a simply a configurable option to choose how the caps lock key behaves (and a ton of other common keyboard customization options):
On Windows, there’s PowerToys, which allows some degree of keyboard customization.