Hot Swappable keyboard

Best Hot Swappable Keyboards 2022

Learn all about the best hot swappable keyboards and what makes them unique. This detailed review will help you choose the best keyboard that will suit your needs.
Learn all about the best hot swappable keyboards and what makes them unique. This detailed review will help you choose the best keyboard that will suit your needs.

The term ”hot-swappable” for a keyboard means that the users don’t need to always switch the keys on the keyboard by soldering and desoldering; instead, the keys can be removed and put back on with a single press. These keyboards are widely used and popular now as they are tailored to suit the user’s needs and this detailed review will help you choose the best hot swappable keyboard that will fit your needs.

What are hot swappable keyboards

In the mechanical keyboard world, hot-swappable keyboards are becoming increasingly widespread. This makes it very simple for beginners to check out different switches, evaluate their preferences, and decide which switches they want to utilise in the long run. The Hot swappable keyboards are ideal for those who desire a completely personalised mechanical keyboard due to its modularity and compatibility with a wide range of switches and most aftermarket keycaps. Here , we’ll look at the top hot-swappable keyboards on the market right now. The list excludes keyboards that are difficult to discover and purchase, only models that can be easily obtained online. 

Table of Contents

5 Best Hot-Swappable Keyboards

1. Drop Alt Keyboard

Drop Alt Keyboard

The Drop alt mechanical keyboard is probably one of the best looking hot swappable keyboards out there as of now and it comes with a wide variety of switches which is upon the user’s discretion to decide what to use, full RBG backlighting as well as individually lit keys of which each of these keys is macro-programmable making this an excellent gaming keyboard.

Features and Specifications :

It’s a 65 percent keyboard, which means it does not come with a number pad or any function row present in normal keyboards, although it has some navigational keys and arrows. The entire case of the keyboard is made from aluminium with plastic present on the sides and perimeters of the keyboard. It allows the keyboards rim lighting to open up and show itself nicely, and not only just this, but every key of the keyboard also has RGB lighting, which can be customized according to the user’s taste and needs. 

The quality of the keycaps is also great as they are available in PBT and are extremely clean and textured and feel quite rougher than most other keycaps, and also are oil-resistant. 

 

The keyboard is wired and has 2 USB-C ports, of which one is located on the top right corner of the keyboard and the other on the top left; it’s up to the user to decide from which port he or she wishes to use while the other can act as low energy charging point for mobile phones or other accessories.

The keyboard has rubber feet on its bottom to keep it flat on the desk, but for the users who don’t like flat profile, you can simply attach magnetic feet that are included and come with the keyboard. 

The users can use this keyboard as it is or can further customize it by switching up the keys like using Kalh Box White ( which tend to be somewhat more sticky and clicky ), Halo True ( which is one of the smoothest ) or Halo Clear ( a bit stiffer ), Speed Silver ( which gives you no bump or clicky noises and has a light spring). If the users have their own switches, they can just opt-out and choose no switches, saving you around $40.

 

The hot swappable keyboards switches work perfectly as the users can easily replace and use any other switch that is compatible with the CherryMX profile, using the tool which is included like the grabber tool. Just remember not to get any PCB switches and just plate ones. This will enable the users to customize the keyboard and all its switches for gaming or if they want to some work-related things.

The users will have to use the brand’s dedicated website for creating LED lighting patterns or Custom layouts. The users can use its QMK program as well, but it’s not for beginners as it’s a bit difficult to understand, but hey, you can always google.

2. Keychron K6

The keychron K6 is a great hot swappable keyboard whether you want it for your gaming purposes or office use and will serve you well with its great build quality and latency, which provides a good typing experience and its cool RBG backlighting. The users can choose its aluminium variant, which gives the whole keyboard a nice look and feel to its overall durability and sturdiness. However, it does cost a bit more for this variant it’s still worth it. 

Features and Specifications :

The keychron is also a 65 percent Hot Swappable mechanical keyboard that does not come with standard function keys that you would normally see in other keyboards, but it does have arrow keys for simple navigation. It is more compact and small-sized, so the users will have more control over it and save some desk space.

The keyboard comes with two modes, one being wireless and the other wired, along with the option to choose between mechanical and optical switches; their arent a lof switches the users can choose from and will have to stick with only a few compatible ones if you go with optical variant, but the good part is that the users will have improved speed and latency. Whereas if you go for a mechanical one, you can choose from many different switches. 

 

The keychron is compatible with both windows and mac and also can be connected to 3 devices via Bluetooth. The wireless feature of the keyboard lasts long enough with a good battery of about 4000mah.

The RGB lighting of the keyboard has over 18 effects, but it does not have lighting on each of its keys or software with which the users can remap or record macros. However, users can download third-party apps or software to remap and record macros for their windows or Mac devices; you can use Karabiner for mac devices and Sharp Keys for windows.

 

The sockets of the keychron are 5-pin and not 3-pin and are more reliable and better than 3-pin as the 3-pin switches only accept 3-pin whereas the 5-pin accept 5-pin as well 3-pin. The keyboard has ABS plastic keycaps, which are good enough and can be replaced as well as they are a bit small to see which some users might not prefer at day time or when they are not using the RBG lights.

3. Redragon K530

The Redragon K530 is a good mechanical 65 percent Hot Swappable keyboard that also has wireless capabilities that I am sure some users want in their keyboards. The switches on this keyboard are Oetemu, and because of this, they cannot be hot-swapped with many other brands of switches like KALIH, GATERON, CHERRY MX.

 

Features and Specifications :

The Bluetooth on the keyboard can connect up to 3 devices, and the users can interchange between the devices by pressing or toggling the different options available on the side of the keyboard. 

The keyboard uses USB type C to connect to devices. It comes with different cool RGB effects that the users can change and adjust according to their taste and preferences using the keyboard’s software and remap the keys or record different macros. 

 

The keyboards price is low and will be under budget for most of the users looking for these types of keyboards, but this doesn’t mean it performs any less; it has certain limitations like the users who want their custom layout for the keys or switches cannot do as the keys are incompatible with most other keys. However, it is still a good choice for beginners who are learning to use different types of keyboards and getting a grip on their uses and what they are more familiar with.

The keyboard is especially light-weighted even though it is wireless and has a battery inside it, and the battery runs a long time as well while using RGB alongside.

 

It has a power button on the side and a button to switch between different connected Bluetooth devices. The switches on the board are pretty decent, which are tactical enough, making the keyboard-less noisy. It comes with four extra switches that are : 

  •  Red (linear, which are smooth, no noises and give no ”bumps” or any feedback to the users).
  • Blue (these are the clicky ones for the users who like a little ”bump” and loud audible clicks).
  • Black (linear, but these have strong springs in them, making them stiffer)
  • Spare Brown

The keyboard also has a switch puller and keycap puller allowing the users to test all the switches and their functions out and experiment with them.

4. GMMK Compact

GMMK Compact

The GMMK, also known as Glorious Modular Mechanical Keyboard, is an excellent keyboard for gaming and many more features like hot-swappable, RGB lighting, macro-programmable keys. Still, it does have one issue, which is high latency. The switches that it comes with are Gateron Brown switches, and they have a little more pre-travel than what we have seen in other keyboards, although this shouldn’t be much of a bother to the users.  

Features and Specifications :

The GMMK comes in three different sizes which are :

  • Tenkeyless
  • Full-sized Keyboard
  • Compact 60 percent Keyboard

The keyboard is well-built and feels clean and premium. The keyboard’s frame is made of plastic backing with a metal edge, allowing it to be straight, rigid, and unable to bend to tilt easily.

The keyboard’s keycaps are Doubleshot ABS plastic which is textured and nice enough so that they won’t pick up on the user’s fingerprints or any oiliness. It has a full aluminum plate, of which the top case is aluminum. The bottom case is plastic; the plates are mounted in a top-facing manner, which makes pressing the keys a bit shaky, which isn’t noticeable it’s more consistent throughout its use.

Many different lighting modes in the keyboard can be used and selected by using the key combination provided on the keyboard itself or using its software, which the users can use to customize the lighting according to their liking.

 

The keyboard sits at an inclined position that can be adjusted to your liking by adjusting the two single-angle kickstands making the keyboard’s front edge very thin, so most users might not need any wrist pads.

The cable for the keyboard is long enough for it to reach your PC and is detachable as well. The users can easily remap and use their custom macros for every key by using its software, and it has media keys on its Fn keys.

5. GK61 Keyboard

GK61 Keyboard

The GK61 gaming keyboard by HK gaming is quite popular and is a great Hot-swappable keyboard for users who want features like space-saving, hot-swappablility, and a 60 percent keyboard within their budget. The keyboard offers optical switches only, which can be a downer for a few users but considering its price, it’s not that big of a deal, to be honest.

Features and Specifications :

The GK61 is made up of an aluminum plate upon which the PCB is mounted, and the case of the keyboard is covered in thick plastic, which makes it strong and sturdy enough not to bend easily and can even take a fall or two if it so happens. There are rubber feet at the back of the keyboard which stops it from moving around too much and sliding, but there’s no kickstand on the keyboard as it is already adjusted to an inclined angle which I think does a good job of providing the users with adequate comfort. There is a USB-C port which is located on the top-left part of the keyboard and performs nicely.

The keycaps of the keyboard are ABS Doubleshot injection which means that the legends on the keycaps will be very hard to fade as we all know; most of the time, the legends start to fade slightly on other basic keyboards, so you don’t have to worry about that with this keyboard. They also offer an OEM profile which leads to a better and more comfortable typing experience for the users. The users always have the option to change the different keycaps of the keyboard whenever they want.

The stabilizers of the keyboard are also pretty nice as they are CHERYYMX and come pre-lubed for the users providing them with a good satisfying feeling upon pressing the keys and also reducing the wobbliness of the keys. The included optical switches that the keyboard comes with are all gateron switches, namely :

  •  Black
  • Brown
  • Yellow
  • Red
  • Blue
  • Silver

The gateron switches are smooth and feel light when you type, which is great for gaming or doing any work. The users can also customize the RGB lightning-like, adding features like static, pulse, and wave lighting on the keyboard using the company’s software and setting different macros for all the different keys.

Best Tenkeyless Keyboard

1. Apex Pro TKL

Apex Pro TKL

The Apex Pro TKL comes in different sizes, but the one we will discuss here will be its TKL ”tenkeyless” version. The apex pro isn’t hot-swappable, so the users have to stick with the switches that it comes with, but it is not a big deal for the users who just want a good tenkeyless mechanical keyboard.

Keys and Switches :

The keyboard comes with ”omnipoint” switches which are capable of giving the users the ability to control the ”actuation point” for each of the keyboards keys. It means when a keystroke is registered on the computer as the user presses it, and this means that the users do not have to press down the key fully to get the keystroke to register, which naturally leads to faster typing and pressing timing, which as all we know can make a split-second difference in gaming. 

 

These can all be controlled and set according to the user’s needs by using the software. These keys do have feedback as they are linear, so they feel quite stable when typing, and since they are smooth and produce no bumps while typing, they are not loud or clicky when compared to some other keyboards. The keycaps of this keyboard are made up of excellent quality and are ABS Doubleshot which makes it highly durable as well.

Keyboard Build Quality and Other Features :

The keyboard’s frame is made out of aluminium which makes it look great and feel good. It has dedicated buttons for controlling volume, a wheel that controls the playback, and a menu button. Each of its keys can be programmed according to the users want by using its software, along with its OLED screen. This screen can be used by the users to show whatever they want, whether it is a GIF or a normal image which I think is pretty cool.

A few other things that the users get from the box are :

  • Magnetic wrist rest
  • A Keyboard manual

It comes with a non-detachable cable and is rubber-coated, which is long enough for most setups; it has two USB plugs at the end, which are needed for the USB passthrough on the keyboard, and has fully customizable RBG lighting which can be customized on the board itself by choosing among provided different set of lighting features or by using the software which is easy enough to use. The frame of the keyboard, which is black, makes and mixes well with the RBG and looks great in a dimly lighted environment, and makes the keys easy to read.

Abhishek
Abhishek is a Digital marketing graduate with extensive experience in writing for finance, lifestyle and tech. He has worked with numerous marketing and advertising agencies throughout his professional career. His interest in the world of Gaming and technology motivates him to stay informed about every little detail and write with passion.