You are reading the article Keychron Q1 Pro Keyboard Review: Simply Unbeatable updated in November 2023 on the website Minhminhbmm.com. We hope that the information we have shared is helpful to you. If you find the content interesting and meaningful, please share it with your friends and continue to follow and support us for the latest updates. Suggested December 2023 Keychron Q1 Pro Keyboard Review: Simply UnbeatablePros
Excellent wireless performance
Bluetooth only wirelessOur Verdict
The Q1 Pro seamlessly adds Bluetooth to one of the best premium keyboards on the market. It’s absolutely without equal in this product category.Best Prices Today: Keychron Q1 Pro Keyboard
Keychron started out making wireless, Mac-focused mechanical keyboards that were, at least for me, pretty underwhelming. Then the company shifted into high-end, enthusiast-focused keyboards, such as the Keychron Q5, which has all the trappings of a small-batch boutique build, but at about half the price. This is the company’s sweet spot, and it’s been improving on that ever since. Now we’ve come full circle: The Q1 Pro is Keychron’s first high-end, all-metal board to add Bluetooth.
Note: See our roundup of the best wireless gaming keyboards to learn about competing products, what to look for in a wireless gaming keyboard, and buying recommendations.
And damn it if it isn’t just about perfect. The Q1 Pro combines the ultra-popular 75% layout, high-end materials like an all-aluminum case and a rotary dial, and boutique features like gasket mounting and VIA/QMK programming. And it’s wireless. It’s everything you want in a high-end build, with almost no sacrifices. And as usual, the value is beating the absolute pants off of the competition.
There are only two reasons I can think of to not recommend the Q1 Pro to a mechanical keyboard fan. One, you demand 2.4GHz, gaming-grade wireless. Or two, you simply want to wait for Keychron to bring Bluetooth to one of its other, many Q-series keyboard layouts. For everyone else: go buy one.A familiar look
If you’ve read any of our previous Keychron reviews here on PCWorld, you know what to expect. The Q1 Pro features a compact 75% layout with full arrow keys and function row, plus an optional rotary dial upgrade. It’s clad in an aluminum case that feels like it could stand in for any of the murder weapons in a game of Clue. (Read: It’s really heavy and tough.) And typing on it, especially with the included high-profile PBT keycaps, is heavenly.
There are only two major departures from the main Q series. One, there’s a very clear antenna section on the upper part of the case. This is basically just a hole in the aluminum to hold the Bluetooth antenna—you can see the cable going to the wireless chip if you crack it open. And two, Keychron replaced the metal support plate underneath the switches with a plastic one, presumably to boost wireless range yet again.
Typing on the Q1 Pro, especially with the included high-profile PBT keycaps, is heavenly.
The change makes the keys flex much more noticeably under heavy typing. That might be a plus if you really like the squishy give of a gasket mount, the little bits of foam that “suspend” the plate in between the metal parts of the board. If not, that might be the one change from the older Q1 that you really don’t like in the Pro.
Other changes from the standard Q1 are harder to spot. There’s a massive 4,000mAh battery hidden underneath everything, which you won’t notice unless you disassemble everything. And Keychron removed the option for Gateron Pro switches, instead offering K Pro switches in linear Red (as in our review unit), tactile Brown, or stiffer tactile Banana (which also removes the stabilizing hall effect). The new switches feel a little less smooth than the Gaterons, but since Keychron offers the keyboard in a barebones kit without any switches at all, I’m loath to complain about it.Dedicated antenna for Bluetooth
Let’s take a look at the work Keychron did to facilitate Bluetooth in that massive metal case. Unlike similar all-metal wireless keyboards that just sort of deal with the lowered range, Keychron’s dedicated antenna makes this a keyboard designed from the ground up for wireless. The Q1 Pro maintained its Bluetooth connection to my desktop two rooms away, and even when I stepped out on my front porch, a solid 40 feet and three walls from the computer. Keychron took the wireless upgrade seriously.
The other component in a wireless build is the battery, and Keychron didn’t skimp there, either. The 4,000mAh unit hidden beneath the keys can handle a solid couple of weeks with the RGB lighting on, and with them off…I have no idea, because my review period doesn’t last that long. Months, at the very least, if my experience building wireless boards is anything to go by. When you need to charge up, the package includes a handsome braided USB-C cord, along with alternate keycaps, extra gaskets, disassembly tools, and keycap and key switch puller.
You might want to plug in if you’re using the Q1 for gaming, by the way. While its wireless powers are perfectly fine, even for switching between multiple machines, they’re not particularly fast. A typical lag and occasional stutter is noticeable, and entirely typical for Bluetooth. Plugged in, the keyboard operates at 1,000Hz, good enough for everyone except a “pro” gamer. A dedicate 2.4GHz dongle would have alleviated this…but to be fair, Keychron has never marketed its wireless boards as meant for gaming.Incredible features, incredible value
There are just too many features in the Q1 Pro to describe in prose. Here’s the bullet-point version:
Double gasket mount—this gives the keys a little flex and “bounce”
Doubleshot PBT KSA-profile keycaps—tall, old-fashioned keycaps that will never wear the legends down
Two layers of sound-absorbing foam
Hot-swappable switches—swap out the key switches for anything in the Cherry MX format
QMK and VIA programming—easy custom programming for all keys and lighting, no proprietary software necessary
Most of this stuff is standard in the premium keyboard space at this point, minus the wireless option. For example, the GMMK Pro has pretty much all of these features, plus RGB side-lighting. But that board lacks wireless, and its barebones version is almost the same price as the non-tricked out Q1 Pro. With switches and keycaps, it’s more than $100 more expensive, more in line with the boutique boards these designs are based on. Ditto for the Drop Sense75. Other alternatives in this form factor, like the Keydous NJ80 or the Epomaker TH80, use far cheaper materials, and programming is a chore if it’s possible at all.
In short, Keychron once again has the most features in a premium keyboard for the lowest price. There aren’t a lot of keyboards on the market that directly compete with the Q1 Pro, but even so, it stands head and shoulders above other options.Simply unbeatable
I’m a self-confessed keyboard snob. I’ve put hundreds of hours and an embarrassing amount of money into the hobby, including more than $500 on my primary, self-built board. And saying all that, the Q1 Pro is probably better than what I can build for myself.
It’s solid as can be, filled with high-quality hardware from top to bottom, stuffed full of premium features, and yet somehow is still cheaper than every comparable option. The barebones version starts at $179, if you want to use your own key switches and caps. The fully assembled version is $200, and just about untouchable (figuratively—you can touch it all you want!) for a high-end wireless board.
The Q1 Pro is simply the best premium Bluetooth keyboard on the market.
Gamers who demand high-speed wireless will lament the lack of a dedicated dongle, and those who want a larger or smaller form factor might want to wait for new entries in the Q Pro series. But for everyone else, the Q1 Pro is simply the best premium Bluetooth keyboard on the market.
You're reading Keychron Q1 Pro Keyboard Review: Simply Unbeatable
If you’re looking for a wireless mechanical keyboard for your Mac, then look no further than the Keychron K2, the follow up to the original K1 that we reviewed earlier this year. While not as low profile as its predecessor, the K2’s sleek, minimalist design is a far cry from the bulky mechanical keyboards you may be used to. Watch our hands-on video review for the details.Specifications
84-key keyboard with function keys
Mac layout with Control, Option, and Command keys
Available in white backlight and RGB backlight
Customizable with 18 RGB backlight profiles
Available aluminum frame
Gateron red, brown, or blue key switches
Replaceable curved profile key caps
NKRO support (wired mode only)
6-degree angle stand
Wired and wireless (Bluetooth) capability
Switch between up to three Bluetooth devices
Includes USB-C cable
Mac/iOS and PC modes
$79 white LED backlight version and $99 aluminum RGB versionKeychron K2 video review
Subscribe to 9to5Mac on YouTube for more videosDesign and build
Let me start by saying that I’ve never actually used the original Keychron K1. 9to5Mac’s Michael Potuck had good things to say about the original in his hands-on review, and Keychron seems to have built on the momentum from the first iteration of its keyboard when creating the K2.
As you’ll see, the K2 features a design that’s more in line with your typical mechanical keyboard, although it too features a smaller footprint than some of the popular wired mechanical keyboards that I’ve used over the years. More importantly, the K2 features curved keycaps and Gateron key switches, that offer a better tactile feel.
The Keychron K2 config I’ve been testing features a black aluminum frame with slim bezels wrapping around the perimeter of the keyboard. The keys feature a mixture of dark and light gray keys, along with a single orange ESC key. I ended up replacing the ESC and arrow keys, with keys pilfered from my WASD custom mechanical keyboard, in an attempt to make them stand out more.
Before swapping out key caps
The aluminum chassis provides a solid, weighty feeling to it, and the keys look great. It’s a fairly minimalist keyboard, which is largely what I prefer. Underneath the keyboard you’ll find rubber feet that can be adjusted to provide you with a 6-degree angle for comfortable typing.
After swapping out caps
The biggest complaint I have with the Keychron K2’s build quality is the small Bluetooth toggle and device switches on the left side of the unit. It’s not that the switches themselves are terrible, but the labels for the switches are impossibly small and you’ll almost need a magnifying glass to identify them. Once you learn what each button does by memory, this will be less of an issue.Switches and tactility
The most important characteristic of any keyboard is the tactile response, and mechanical keyboards traditionally have that in spades. Tactility is heavily influenced by the type of switches found underneath the keycaps. Different types of switches result in a different feel when pressing a key.
The original K1 features low profile switches with 3±0.5mm of total key travel, while the K2 features a significant increase, measuring 4±0.4mm of total travel. If you’re coming from the original, you’ll notice a big jump in the overall travel distance between the two.
I opted for the brown switches, because they require less actuation force than a blue switch, with a gentler tactile bump. Key switch preference is highly subjective, so if you’ve never experienced a mechanical keyboard before, I think you should start with the brown switches as they provide a good middle ground experience.
I also suggest watching this video to hear a comparison between the three key switches.
Besides the switches, the key caps feature a curved profile, which makes them easy to identify and rest your fingers on. Overall I’m quite satisfied by the sound, look, and feel of the keyboard in relation to key cap and key switch design.Connectivity and battery life
Up until a few years ago, it was nearly impossible to find a mechanical keyboard with built-in wireless Bluetooth connectivity, that’s one of the things that made the original K1 so nice. Recently I’ve seen more keyboards adopt wireless Bluetooth, but it’s still a rarity.
The Keychron K2 features the ability to connect to a Mac or iPad Pro via a wired USB-C connection or via wireless Bluetooth without any help from external Bluetooth dongles. The unit will also work with Android devices and Windows machines by toggling the device switch on the side.
The keyboard will automatically go to sleep after 10 minutes of inactivity to help save on battery life. Auto sleep mode can be disabled via a simple key combination on the keyboard, but doing so will cause the battery to exhaust faster.
I found auto sleep mode to be annoying, because I often leave my desk for minutes at a time, and it takes a few seconds for the keyboard to wake up from sleep and reconnect to Bluetooth. If your workflow is similar to mine, I recommend disabling auto sleep mode and just charging the keyboard when needed. Of course, you can always manually turn it off to save battery when not in use for extended periods of time.
With auto sleep mode enabled I was able to get somewhere in the ballpark of three weeks of usage out of the keyboard before needing to charge it again. Keychron notes that you should expect to get 10-15 hours of total usage depending on the type of RGB lighting employed. Expect to obtain longer life with the backlight disabled.
Overall, I was able to garner about a full week of typing with auto sleep and the backlight disabled, but I’m admittedly not the most prolific typer during the week.
When the battery gets low, simply use the included right-angle USB-C cable to connect your computer directly to your Keychron K2. Not only will this serve as a means to recharge the internal battery, but it will also allow you to switch over to cable mode via the switch on the left side of the keyboard.
The Keychron K2 includes a low battery indicator light next to the charging port. The light will flash rapidly when the battery level is below 15%, and stay solid while charging. This is fine, but I wish there was a more elaborate battery indicator that provided you with a better idea of current battery life, even at higher levels.RGB backlight
Like many popular keyboards today, the Keychron K2 features an RGB backlight option with multiple switchable light effects. Be sure to watch our video for a demonstration of all of the lightning effects on hand.
Users can quickly cycle through the effects by pressing the dedicated light effect key in the upper right-hand corner. Additionally, users can use the Function + arrow keys to cycle through solid background colors of their choosing.
I don’t have a strong opinion about RGB lighting either way, but I know that it can be a polarizing feature. Some users will love it, others will be indifferent, while some will absolutely hate it. Count me in the indifferent category. I find some of the effects to be distracting, but a few of them I don’t mind, particularly the solid colors that are devoid of animation.
If RGB lighting isn’t your cup of tear you can dim the backlight up to four levels, or disable it altogether, if desired. Keep in mind that the RGB backlighting plays a role in battery life performance, so that may factor into your decision on how you use it as well.
Keychron also makes a version of the K2 devoid of RGB, featuring just a white LED backlight. It’s cheaper, and I recommend this option if you know you’ll never use RGB.Pairing and switching between devices
The K2 is able to switch between up to three different devices simply by pressing the function + 1-3 keys.
Because the Keychron K2 is relatively portable, I find that it makes for a pretty good iPad Pro companion, although it comes with limitations. Even though it’s tiny for a mechanical keyboard, it’s still large enough and heavy enough to make it awkward to travel with.
I also found the keyboard limiting in the sense that not all of the default keyboard shortcuts seem to work with iOS. For example, I could use all of the shortcuts available within apps, but I wasn’t able to use system shortcuts to go back to the Home screen (Command+H) or switch between apps (Command+Tab) while in an app. Update: This issue appears to be a bug in iPadOS. When connected to the Smart Keyboard Folio, the shortcuts to go to the Home screen or switch between apps will not work when in an app. When disconnected from the Smart Keyboard Folio, the shortcut work as normal. In other words, this doesn’t appear to be an issue with the Keychron K2. Thanks to @Thetransferblog for informing me about this.
Yet, despite these limitations, I enjoy using the K2 around the house with my iPad when typing long-form content, as it provides a way better tactile typing experience than Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio, or even the Magic Keyboard.9to5Mac’s Take
There aren’t many wireless mechanical keyboards on the market, but the Keychron K2 is the best that I’ve tried. Forgetting its wireless capabilities, the K2 is a solid offering from a pure tactility standpoint. This keyboard is able to stand alone on the merits of its mechanical key switches and excellent tactile key caps.
Having a built in backlight is a nice feature to have on a wireless mechanical keyboard, but Keychron went all out by giving it RGB backlighting with complex responsive lighting effects. Not every user will appreciate this, but it undeniably helps the K2 to stand out among other third-party keyboards.
I love the minimal design of the Keychron K2, and I value the fact that it can easily switch between three Bluetooth devices with just a few key presses.
If you’re looking for a great wireless mechanical keyboard, this could be the one for you. It’s not perfect, but the Keychron K2 generally excels as a mechanical keyboard, and it’s pound for pound my favorite keyboard given its feature set. It’s made all the better thanks to its build quality, built-in wireless capability, Mac-centric key caps, and its ability to quickly switch between up to three devices.
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Logitech have announced their second generation Cordless Desktop Wave Pro keyboard, with a curved profile that the company suggests has many of the benefits of a split ergonomic keyboard but without requiring users to relearn how to type. It’s been paired with the Logitech MX1100 cordless mouse that has up to 1,600dpi resolution and eight programmable buttons.
Logitech are citing three elements of the keyboard that add up to ergonomic superiority: the wave shape, the U-shaped constant curve, and the cushioned, contoured palm-rest. Meanwhile the MX1100 can be recharged for a full day’s use in just fifteen minutes, courtesy of the USB cable, while a 7-hour charge provides enough juice for up to six weeks.
The Logitech Cordless Desktop Wave Pro bundle will be available in the US, priced at $129.99, in October, with European availability following in mid-November. A battery-powered version of the MX1100 mouse will also be available, in the US this month and Europe in mid-September, priced at $79.99.
Logitech Offers You Its Highest Level of Comfort with Cordless Desktop Wave Pro
Popular Wave Keyboard Now Available with New, Exceptionally Comfortable MX1100 Mouse
FREMONT, Calif. –(Business Wire)– Aug. 19, 2008 Logitech (SWX:LOGN) (NASDAQ:LOGI) is now offering you its highest level of comfort with the introduction of the Logitech(R) Cordless Desktop(R) Wave Pro(TM) keyboard-and-mouse combination. The second-generation Logitech Cordless Desktop Wave Pro combines the field- and laboratory-tested comfort of the Logitech(R) Wave Keyboard(TM) with the exceptionally comfortable, rechargeable Logitech(R) MX(TM)1100 Cordless Laser Mouse. If you’re looking to upgrade your mouse only, a battery-powered version of the MX1100 mouse will be sold separately.
“Independent research clearly demonstrates that the Wave Keyboard can help improve the comfort of your typing experience,” said Denis Pavillard, vice president of product marketing for Logitech’s keyboards and desktops. “The keyboard’s wave-like shape is popular because it provides comfort without requiring people relearn how to type, unlike traditional ergonomic keyboards. And with the addition of the MX1100 mouse, which was designed according to ergonomic principles, our new desktop gives you even more comfort than the original Logitech(R) Desktop Cordless Wave(TM).”
Wave Keyboard Improves Comfort
According to an independent study by Peter W. Johnson, Ph.D., of the University of Washington, the Logitech Wave Keyboard improves comfort. Combining three distinctive elements, the newest Logitech keyboard offers you an innovative wave key frame, a U-shaped constant curve and a cushioned, contoured palm rest. In comparison to ergonomic keyboards, you can use a Wave keyboard immediately – there is no learning curve. The Comfort Wave Design guides your hands and cradles your fingers to create a naturally comfortable typing experience.
MX1100 Cordless Laser Mouse
A perfect complement to the Wave keyboard, the MX1100 mouse is designed to support the naturally curved shape of your hand. Logitech’s newest mouse features an elegantly contoured, full-size shape that fits your hand for maximum comfort, providing exceptional palm support.
When sold in the desktop bundle, with its included USB plug, the MX1100 mouse allows you to fully recharge your mouse while you’re working – you don’t need to stop what you’re doing. A 15-minute charge gives you enough power for up to one day. A 7-hour charge provides up to six weeks of power. Or, for your convenience, plug the USB cable into the included AC adaptor and recharge your mouse using any available wall outlet. (When sold separately, the stand-alone MX1100 offers up to nine months of battery life and uses two AA batteries.)
The mouse’s MicroGear(TM) Precision Scroll Wheel has two scrolling modes, including hyper-fast scrolling for flying effortlessly through long documents and Web pages. Eight programmable buttons allow you to get to the information, the Web pages, the files and the applications you want – fast. With software installed, a stealth thumb button makes application switching easy and zoom controls allow you to zoom in and out of documents with the press of a button. The mouse also features adjustable dpi (up to 1,600 dpi), which can come in handy when editing an image at the pixel level or, alternatively, when you need to move the cursor quickly within a document.
Logitech’s Advanced 2.4 GHz Wireless Technology
By optimizing the power management system, the improved wireless technology delivers a 3-year keyboard battery life – Logitech’s longest lasting – effectively eliminating the hassle of changing batteries.
Pricing and Availability
The Logitech Cordless Desktop Wave Pro is expected to be available in the U.S. beginning in October and in Europe beginning in mid-November for a suggested retail price of $129.99 (U.S.). When sold separately, the Logitech MX1100 Cordless Laser Mouse is expected to be available in the U.S. beginning in late August and in Europe beginning in mid-September for a suggested retail price of $79.99 (U.S.).
Decent Wi-Fi 6 speeds
Four Ethernet ports
Supports mesh networkCons
Blocky and bulky design
Similar performance to last year’s Linksys MR7350Our Verdict
Small, but packed with potential, the Linksys Hydra Pro 6 is a competent Wi-Fi 6 router that’s well priced (in the UK at least), and can be expanded into a mesh Wi-Fi system later. But that approach isn’t necessarily the cheapest way to get mesh Wi-Fi.
It’s an AX5400 device, meaning it ought to give you faster 5GHz Wi-Fi speeds than other Wi-Fi 6 routers for a similar price. Indeed, the Linksys Hydra Pro 6 is essentially an upgrade of last year’s Linksys MR7350 router, which is an AX1800 device.
Like the MR7350, the Hydra Pro 6 is a router that can form part of a mesh Wi-Fi system. It can work as a standalone router, or you can pair it with mesh Wi-Fi satellites from Linksys’s Velop range.
This means if you want whole-home coverage in the future, but your budget can’t currently extend to cover a multi-device mesh Wi-Fi system such as the Linksys Atlas Pro 6 (which ranges from £320-£430 / $349-$449 for 2-pack and 3-pack bundle respectively), then the Linksys Hydra Pro 6 might be the ideal stand-in for the time being.
Alternatively, if your coverage needs are a bit more modest, you’re living in a flat (apartment), or somewhere with thin walls, and you merely want a decent Wi-Fi 6 router for around £200 / $300, then the Hydra Pro 6 should cater for your needs.Design and build
The Linksys Hydra Pro 6 looks a lot like the router from last year it’s effectively replacing, the Linksys MR7350.
It features the same basic blocky design, the same staggered rectangular mesh covering on the top, and vents on the bottom and sides in the same places. The only immediately noticeable difference is that the Linksys ‘L’ logo is stamped onto the external antenna. The antennas can be rotated and tilted 180 and 90 degrees respectively.
Turning the Linksys Hydra Pro 6 around, you’ll see five gigabit Ethernet ports, one WAN (helpfully labeled ‘Internet’) and four LAN (helpfully labeled ‘Ethernet’) .
It’s likely that you’ll be setting this device up in your living room, or somewhere close to your modem (this router doesn’t contain one) and master socket, and it’s therefore also likely that you’ll have games consoles, TV set-top boxes, smart TVs and maybe a soundbar, all of which could benefit from wired Ethernet connections, so four ports should come in handy.
The only other physical connection on here is a Type-A USB 3.0 port, which you can use to connect a hard drive which can then be accessed through the Hydra Pro 6’s admin portal.
Despite being made of fantastic plastic, the Linksys Hydra Pro 6 doesn’t feel cheap: it feels reasonably sturdy.Setup & features
Linksys has done a good job of making the Hydra Pro 6 easy for newcomers to set up from scratch. The Linksys mobile apps (iOS, Android) do a good job of guiding you through the process, covering the basics of router placement – ‘Place out in the open’, ‘Avoid hiding inside of behind furniture’ – to making sure your modem’s turned off before you power the router on and connect it to the modem. Once the connection’s established and you have internet access, the app will ask you whereabouts in the home it’s placed (e.g. living room, kitchen), which basically paves the way for you to add Linksys Velop mesh satellites in the future.
Setting up the Hydra Pro 6 took less than ten minutes, although the longest part was waiting for internet access to be available – so your mileage may vary here, depending on your provider and service.
Once everything’s set up, the Linksys mobile apps also let you dive into the Hydra Pro 6’s settings and check on the devices currently connected.
You can choose to prioritise up to three devices on your network, which is helpful if you’ve got lots of devices all straining for bandwidth at the same time. You can also rename devices as they appear on the dashboard, and apply parental controls, which can restrict certain devices from accessing specific domains, and apply homework hours. You can quickly and easily create Guest Wi-Fi networks for times when you have people over and you don’t want to hand out your regular password.
The Linksys Hydra Pro 6 broadcasts one SSID by default, but if you want to separate the bands and have the router broadcast two names, one for 2.4GHz and one for 5GHz, you can, but you need to open up the desktop control panel for this, as you can’t do it in the mobile app. You can also enabled WPA3 encryption instead of WPA2 (or a mixture of the two) if you have any devices which support the newer encryption standard.Performance
Overall performance of the Linksys Hydra Pro 6 is good. If you’re working in the same room as the router, you’ll be able to enjoy some fast wireless speeds, especially if you’re using a recent phone or laptop that supports Wi-Fi 6. If you’re living and working in a large home, and want coverage in every room, you will want to invest in some Velop satellites, however.
The Hydra Pro 6 is a slightly upgraded version of last year’s Linksys MR7350. While the routers look very similar, the main difference is that Wi-Fi speeds in the higher 5GHz band should be faster (thanks to the Hydra Pro 6 being an AX5400 device), although the top speeds on the 2.4GHz band should be the same.
Interestingly, in my speed tests the results I got were either on par with what I observed with the MR3750, or in some cases, slower. As you’d expect, they were considerably faster than Virgin Media‘s Super Hub 3.
One interesting observation was that the Hydra Pro 6 was better was at connecting to my (old) Huawei Mate 10 Pro, a Wi-Fi 5 device, in more areas around the home, suggesting better coverage than the MR3750.
For example, in the upstairs office (located roughly 15 metres away and one floor up from the router) and in the garden (stood 20 metres away, with two walls and two shut doors between the client and the router), the Mate 10 Pro struggled to connect to the Linksys MR3750. But there were no such problems connecting to the Hydra Pro 6 on the same device in those locations.
I also found that the Hydra Pro 6 automatically shunted the Mate 10 Pro to Channel 11 (a 2.4GHz channel) when performing speed tests upstairs or out in the garden, whereas the other two phones – Realme X50 and Pixel 6 – were kept on Channel 44 (a 5GHz channel). This is an example of the Hydra Pro 6’s band steering in action, choosing the best radio frequencies on a per-device basis.
Rather than use separate SSIDs and force the Hydra Pro 6 to use 2.4GHz or 5GHz, we used the default settings, as most buyers will, and ran speed tests in four locations and allowed the router and phones to decide which frequency to use. Here are the results:
Wi-Fi 5 test (Huawei Mate 10 Pro)Virgin Media Super Hub 3Linksys Hydra Pro 61m693Mbps836Mbps5m with a wall312Mbps437MbpsUpstairs, near the rear of the house21Mbps40MbpsGardenn/a26Mbps
Wi-Fi 6 test (Realme X50)Virgin Media Super Hub 3Linksys Hydra Pro 61m634Mbps870Mbps5m with a wall276Mbps399MbpsUpstairs, near the rear of the house18Mbps38MbpsGarden1Mbps12Mbps
Oddly, the speeds recorded on the Realme X50 (a Wi-Fi 6 phone) were not as good (except at 1m), and while the Google Pixel 6 (see below) recorded faster speeds, they were barely any different to what I recorded on the MR3750 last year.
The only exception was when stood 1m from the router. On occasion, it would move from channel 44 to 100 and use 160MHz to boost speed to 1161Mbps. The 920Mbps figure is the average from all tests. Note that you cannot enable or force the Hydra Pro 6 to use 160MHz all the time.
Wi-Fi 6 test (Pixel 6)Virgin Media Super Hub 3Linksys Hydra Pro 61m674Mbps920Mbps (1161Mbps max)5m with a wall392Mbps695MbpsUpstairs, near the rear of the house28Mbps25MbpsGarden6Mbps44Mbps
Regardless of speeds actually achieved, the Hydra Pro 6’s range is surprisingly good considering it’s a solo device. It was able to deliver 5GHz coverage in areas of my home where I often struggle to get a useable connection on either radio band.
While it’s not really capable of delivering useable whole-home coverage in my two-up, two-down terraces home in South London, it’s not intended to, so it’s not really fair to mark it down for that. And, naturally, in larger homes, you’ll want to consider mesh Wi-Fi to get a fast connection throughout.
If you wanted to use the Hydra’s mesh capabilities, you will need to invest in a separate Linksys Velop node, perhaps something like the Velop MX5300 or Velop MX4200.
It then becomes about whether you value the ability to manage your home network through Linksys’ app which is probably better than your older ISP-supplied router.
The Velop, though, isn’t the only mesh Wi-Fi system. Something like the Amazon Eero 6, or the Netgear Nighthawk Mesh Wi-Fi 6 system might be better suited to your needs, although these devices don’t give you much in the way of Ethernet ports.
There are cheaper options if you don’t need such fast speeds. And, arguably, if you have relatively slow broadband (under 100Mbps, say) then a pricey Wi-Fi 6 mesh system is probably overkill. For recommendations, see our separate roundup of the best mesh Wi-Fi systems.Price & availability
The Linksys Hydra Pro 6 is available to buy now, for around £180 in the UK. Oddly, it’s much more expensive – $300 – in the United States.
Linksys has a web page for the Hydra Pro 6 on its UK site, but you can’t but it from the company directly.
Instead, you can purchase Hydra Pro 6 from Broadband Buyer for £197, eBuyer (out of stock), Ballicom for £194, or Amazon UK for £125. Obviously, Amazon is the obvious place to buy one, then.
You can buy a Hydra Pro 6 directly from Linksys in the US, where it’s normally priced at US$299.99, but was – when we reviewed the router in May 2023 – on sale for $249.99.
Best Buy also sells the Hydra Pro 6 for $299.99, but Amazon is again the place to look, with the router costing under $180 when we checked..
As far as we know, it is not available in Australia.Verdict
The Linksys Hydra Pro 6 offers good performance, has a lot of useful features and represents good value for money.
The option to expand your home network’s coverage using Linksys Velop mesh Wi-Fi units might appeal to some, especially those that can’t afford the upfront cost of such a system right now.
However, there are plenty of affordable mesh systems that can replace your existing router’s Wi-Fi for not much more money than the Hydra Pro 6, and they are a better choice if your priority is huge Wi-Fi coverage but not outright speed.Specs
802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) 2×4 dual-band
MU-MIMO & OFDMA
4 x gigabit Ethernet LAN ports
Remote control and management with the Linksys app (iOS, Android)
WPA 2/3 hybrid
The Honor 20 Pro goes all out on cameras, and it’s a great choice if you love taking selfies in particular. The fact that it costs so much less than the Huawei P30 and OnePlus 7 Pro makes it even more tempting.
Many of Honor’s phones are priced low, and the Honor 20 Lite which sits at the bottom of the series costs £249.99. That was launched at the end of April, and Honor left around a month before releasing the 20 and 20 Pro, the latter of which we’re reviewing here.
These two phones are incredibly similar, save for the cameras but although we were given early access to the Pro model, Honor kept the prices under wraps until the launch itself.
Note: The Honor 20 and 20 Pro aren’t affected by the restrictions imposed by the US on new Huawei phones because they were already certified by Google. This means there’s no issue with Android security updates or access to Google apps such as Gmail, Google Play and YouTube on these phones.Price & availability
The Honor 20 Pro originally had an RRP of £549/€599 and went on sale in the UK on 1 August 2023. That undercut stiff competition, including from the £649 OnePlus 7 Pro or the £699 Huawei P30. It was, however, a decent chunk more than the regular Honor 20, which had an RRP of £399/€499.
Since launch, these prices have tumbled and – as of May 2023 when Honor opened the virtual doors of its UK-specific online store – the 20 Pro now costs only £399, with the Honor 20 at £299 and the Lite at just £189.99.
From 21-28 May, there’s a sale where you can get the Honor 20 Pro for just £329.99, making it extremely good value.
Of course, you may not want to buy the phone outright. There are contract offers available from Carphone Warehouse, which has the exclusive on the Phantom Blue colour. (It’s not the usual Honor blue – it’s more teal / turquoise).
There’s another phone which is even more similar to the Honor 20 Pro: Honor’s own View 20. This launched back in January 2023 .
The 20 Pro is sold as a 256GB model.Features & design
Similar to View 20
No headphone jack
Side-mounted fingerprint scanner
Punch-hole front camera
Put the 20 Pro next to the View 20 and apart from the smaller screen – 6.26in versus 6.4in – they both look the same with a small ‘pin-hole’ camera in the top-left corner of the screen.
Despite the fact that the 20 Pro isn’t water-resistant, there’s no headphone jack as you’ll find on top of the View 20. Another difference is the fingerprint sensor which has been integrated into the side power button – like several Sony phones – and the camera arrangement is completely different.
It’s now much more like the Huawei P30 and Pro, complete with camera bump. We’ll get to the specifics of the cameras shortly.
The SIM tray is found on the left-hand side and takes two nano SIMs – but not a microSD card. Storage is not expandable. While there are two speakers, only the bottom-firing one is used for music, game and video audio. The top one is just for phone calls and – usefully – has a notification LED hidden behind its grille. That’s something you won’t find on the P30 Pro.
If you like to control your TV and other set-top boxes with your phone, then you’ll appreciate the 20 Pro’s IR blaster, though we couldn’t find any pre-installed app that works with it.
Even at this price, you shouldn’t expect wireless charging, but there’s 22.5W Super Charge which fills up the 4000mAh battery in about an hour.
Design-wise, Honor is making a big deal about the world’s first Dynamic Holographic ‘glassback’. And it does look good, with a real depth thanks to the Triple 3D mesh technology used. But it doesn’t catch the light as well as the ‘V’ design on the rear of the View 20.
The 20 Pro is a fraction thicker than would be desirable and there’s a hollow sound when you tap the back with your nail. Neither of these are a big deal, but they mean the 20 Pro doesn’t quite feel the premium phone that it is.Screen
HDR not supported
This is the one area where the Honor 20 Pro hasn’t gone all out. It’s a completely flat LCD screen, unlike the OLED displays with curved edges on some competitors, notably the OnePlus 7 Pro.
With a 1080p resolution, it’s nothing really special: it’s perfectly adequate for most people. But it’s worth noting that it doesn’t support HDR, and doesn’t have an always-on clock option.
The thin bezels mean there’s a 91.6 percent screen-to-body ratio, meaning that the Honor 20 Pro isn’t as large as you might expect. It’s still a fairly big phone, but it’s not unwieldy.Cameras
48Mp f/1.4 main camera
This is what the Honor 20 Pro is all about, and why Honor uses the tagline ‘Capture Wonder’ for the phone. There are four cameras on the back, a 48Mp main camera with OIS, 16Mp wide-angle and an 8Mp 3x telephoto, again with OIS.
The fourth appears to have been put there just to bump up the numbers, as it’s a 2Mp macro camera which isn’t something many people will want to use very often and feels a bit gimmicky. It does take reasonable photos though.
Returning to the main camera, it uses a Sony IMX586 sensor which is found in a fair few phones now, including the View 20 and OnePlus 7 Pro, whose camera setup is extremely similar to the 20 Pro’s. But Honor has paired it with an f/1.4 lens, which is one of the widest apertures we’ve seen on a phone.
It uses pixel-binning as do most of these very high resolution sensors, so defaults to a 12Mp mode. But if you do want the full 48Mp resolution, not only can you have it, but you also get the AI Ultra Clarity mode found on the View 20.
So it’s no surprise that image quality is basically the same, which is to say it’s excellent. By default, the AI mode is switched off, and you may well prefer it that way. Turn it on and everything gets a saturation boost, plus sharpening so images are Instagram-ready.
We noticed some strange artefacts in some photos, possibly due to the AI or heavy-handed compression, but in most cases, photos are sharp, detailed and have great colours.
It’s likely the 3x zoom is the same as in the Huawei P30 and Mate 20 Pro: we took some side-by-side shots and really couldn’t tell the difference between them. Again, this is great news as it means you can get plenty of detail on those occasions where you can’t get closer to your subject. You also get the 5x hybrid mode which uses detail from the 48Mp sensor to zoom in even further.
It’s a shame HDR is – as with many Huawei phones – not automatic. It’s a separate mode you’ll find under ‘More’, along with Super Macro and the Pro mode.
For those concerned about video quality, the default mode is 1080p30 and there’s good stabilisation. You can use the three main lenses while shooting, and there’s freedom to switch between them at will. 4K is limited to 30fps, and stabilisation isn’t nearly as effective.
One of the other big features is the Super Night mode which works like the long-exposure Night mode on the P30, keeping shots sharp even if you have shaky hands. It’s good, but not amazing on the Honor 20 Pro, and certainly not as good as the OnePlus 7 Pro’s new night mode.
It’s still worth using though, and gives noticeably better results than the standard photo mode. Usefully, Super Night mode can also be used with the ultra-wide lens.
As mentioned, the selfie camera is excellent. And it’s great to have basically the same 32Mp camera you get on the much more expensive Huawei P30 Pro. In bright light detail is wonderful. It’s best not to use the portrait mode which doesn’t do an amazing job of separating wisps of hair from the background, but it’s there if you want it.
Portrait mode works a lot better on the rear camera and we were able to take some great-looking photos with it.Performance & hardware
With the Kirin 980 on board and 8GB of RAM performance was never in question. It’s a fast chip and more than up to the job, as well as competing with the Snapdragon 855. It’s great to see this level of power in phones a lot cheaper than Huawei’s flaghips, and it’s also great for gaming.
Battery life is also excellent, but as ever, how long you get between charges depends on how much you use the phone and how many apps you have running in the background. There are various power-saving modes, but you’ll prefer not to use them in order to ensure you’re not left waiting for emails and notifications to come through.
256GB of storage is generous at this price, but we can’t help but wonder if a cheaper 128GB version would make the 20 Pro a more tempting proposition. The rest of the hardware includes Bluetooth 5, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, NFC and GPS.Software
Magic UI 2.1
Honor calls it Magic UI these days – version 2.1 – but it’s hard to tell the difference between it and Huawei’s EMUI 9. There’s no shortage of reminders that Honor is a subsidiary of Huawei, with many references in the settings – the audio effects are still called Huawei Histen.
One gripe, which might be directed at Android rather then Magic UI, is that no matter whether in standard nav mode or the new full-screen gestures, we were too often thrown out of apps and back to the home screen as our palm came into contact with the bottom-left corner of the screen. That’s one of the problems with having virtually no bezels: you need a palm rejection feature to detect that it’s not a finger tapping a button or swiping.Verdict
The Honor 20 Pro stacks up well against its rivals, and is a great alternative to the OnePlus 7 Pro – especially if you love taking selfies.Related stories for further reading Specs Honor 20 Pro: Specs
Android 9.0 Oreo with Magic UI 2.1
6.26in 2340×1080 touchscreen, 412ppi
Kirin 980 octa-core processor
Quad lens rear camera – 48MP f/1.4 + 16Mp f/2.2 wide + 8Mp f/2.4 telephoto + 2Mp f/2.4 macro
In-screen front camera – 32MP f/2.0
Fingerprint sensor in power button
802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi dual-band
Dual nano-SIM (microSD shared with second SIM)
USB-C (USB 2.0)
4,000mAh non-removable battery
154.6 x 74 x 8.44mm
Fully built and ready to print
Built-in monitoring camera
Print & control via Wi-FiCons
Small build volume
Relatively expensiveOur Verdict
The Sermoon V1 Pro makes 3D printing accessible to the masses, and delivers very good results out of the box. You’ll pay a premium for it, though, and its print volume is quite small.
Creality’s Ender 3 is one of the most popular 3D printers around, and the Sermoon V1 Pro represents a slight departure for the company. That’s because it’s one of the first enclosed models it has released, a printer that’s ready to go out of the box and supports printing using ABS as well as PLA filaments.
Typically, 3D printers aren’t very user friendly and have a steep learning curve. Some people expect them to be a 3D version of their inkjet printer, but the reality is very different. 3D printers aimed at consumers usually print in a single colour and need assembling and adjusting before they can print anything.
The Sermoon V1 Pro might have an odd name, but it’s one of the most user friendly 3D printers you can buy. It has a touchscreen, a built-in camera and can pause printing if someone opens the door.
This makes it ideal if you’re buying it for your kids to enjoy, or even as a first 3D printer for anyone who doesn’t want the hassle of assembly.Features & design
175 x 175 x 165mm build volume
400 x 380 x 430mm machine dimensions
250°C max nozzle temperature
80°C max bed temperature
The Sermoon is about the size of a small laser printer, and doesn’t require a huge amount of space. Just remember that the spool of filament hangs on a fold-out arm on the outside of the printer, which adds another 120mm to the width.
The maximum print size is considerably smaller: models can be up to 175 x 175 x 165mm (WDH). That’s a lot less than the similarly priced Creality Ender 3 S1, which has a 220 x 220 x 270mm build volume.
When you unpack the Sermoon, the quick-start guide shows all the foam packing pieces that need removing from the inside of the printer, and all the cable ties that have to be cut off.
Once that’s done and you’ve checked the voltage switch is set correctly for your country, you can use the included snips to cut the end of the also-included spool of white PLA to a point, then feed it through the hole on the side of the printer.
When you first power it on, the Sermoon V1 Pro’s screen also guides you through loading the filament which is a simple job of pushing it through the tube until it reaches the extruder.
This has dual gears, a more reliable setup than single-gear extruders and, because it’s mounted directly on the print head as opposed to somewhere on the frame of the printer (a so-called Bowden setup), it’s direct drive.
Direct drive is beneficial if you want faster, more accurate printing, but in practice it doesn’t really matter which type your printer has.. each has pros and cons.
What’s important here is that the Sermoon V1 Pro is designed with ease of use as the top priority. Creality says the printer is “levelling free”, which is what beginners need, as levelling (or, more accurately, tramming) is a huge pain point.
Unless the print bed is perfectly level and the correct distance from the nozzle – the part the filament extrudes from – then prints will fail.
If you know about 3D printers you might think this is “automatic levelling”, but that’s not the case. What it means is that Creality has levelled the bed at the factory so – theoretically – the user can hit print and never worry about levelling.
In my experience, that isn’t true. Although some prints, particularly those with a fairly large footprint, would complete successfully, those that involve lots of small parts in contact with the print bed would fail as some pieces came unstuck before the model had finished printing.
Fortunately, it is fairly quick to use what I am calling the “assisted levelling” process. On the touchscreen, in the settings menu you’ll find an “Auto levelling” option. Armed with a small piece of paper, you need only to move it back and forth under the nozzle in five different positions, and use the up/down controls on the screen to fine-tune the height of the bed until you feel slight resistance when moving the paper.
It takes a few minutes, but solved all the problems I was having with prints failing to adhere to the bed. That bed is a plastic ‘tray’ that has a heated magnetic surface on which is a removable, flexible, textured sheet.
This is much more desirable than a glass sheet as the filament sticks much better to it without needing any painter’s tape or glue stick, and you can take it out of the printer and bend it to easily remove finished prints.
It’s worth noting that the print bed moves up and down, while the print head can move side to side and back to front. Usually, this type of 3D printer has a bed that moves backwards and forwards while the print head moves side to side and up and down.
Importantly, the bed is attached only on the right-hand side to a long worm screw (a single lead scew) which moves it up and down. For greater accuracy, many 3D printers have dual lead screws, one on either side of the printer.
However, unless you are printing tall models at high speeds, this doesn’t cause any problems.
Creality includes a few models on an SD card which you can pop into the printer and print straight away.
The touchscreen shows the temperature of the bed (which goes up to 80°C) and the nozzle, which is capable of 250°C.
It also shows the time elapsed, a blue progress bar and the percentage completed so far. While printing you can adjust temperatures, increase or decrease the print speed and turn the built-in light on and off.
Instructions and animations on the screen are very helpful for things like loading and unloading filament, and it makes the Sermoon V1 Pro very easy to use.
If you like, you can also enable a setting which automatically pauses printing if the front door is opened. It’s a safety feature to help prevent little hands getting hurt, but it can’t instantly cool the nozzle or bed which will be very hot.
This and the built-in web cam are the only two features that make this the Pro model different from the non-Pro.
But it’s the 720p camera that is worth spending the extra to get. Using the Creality Cloud app, you can watch the Sermoon V1 Pro print and make sure everything is alright. Video quality is fairly poor, so you won’t be using it to record amazing time-lapse videos that you can share on YouTube, but it does allow you to check printing progress without having to go to the printer.
You can view it full-screen when you rotate your phone to landscape, too.
The app also allows you to see print progress as a percentage and change key settings as you can from the touchscreen, only remotely.
You can also download models created by the community and the built-in cloud slicer allows you to resize objects and print them from your phone.
A handy viewing window on top of the printer makes it easy to see printing progress from another angle, and this is removable to make it easier to access the print head, should you need to remove it to change the nozzle or clean it more easily.Performance
First, let’s talk about noise. Creality says that the Sermoon V1 (and Pro) have ‘Silent Operation’ and produce less than 45dB. That figure, whether you know your dB scale or not, is definitely not silent.
I used a free sound meter app to see whether it showed 45dB because, to my ears, the printer seemed considerably noisier than my dishwasher, which also claims to be around 45dB, and which, generally, I cannot hear.
Even without the two additional case fans running, the app showed around 50-54dB. While I’m sure it isn’t as accurate as an expensive tool for measuring loudness, it’s probably close to the real figure.
It might seem close to the claimed figure, but remember that the dB scale isn’t linear: it’s logarithmic. Subjectively, the Sermoon is a bit quieter than open 3D printers, I’ve tested but not by much. It’s possible to work with the Sermoon whirring away in the same room, but you certainly wouldn’t want to sleep in a room while it’s printing.
Turn on those case fans, and noise levels jump to around 60dB, around the level of normal conversation or background music – or a laptop with the fans running at full speed. You might not care how loud a 3D printer is, but you will care about print quality. And the Sermoon V1 Pro is very good overall, when using PLA.
Prints are generally nice and clean and free of stringing, which is where different parts of the print have unwanted wisps of filament between them. The first Benchy I printed, at 100%, was one of the best I’ve seen, though as with all the prints I tried, there was a visible Z-seam (easy to see in the photo above on the hull).
This looks like a vertical join in each print, and exists where the nozzle begins and ends each layer. The default settings in Creality’s slicer are to put this join on the ‘Back’ of models, but there is no back – no side which isn’t seen – on models like this.
You can set it to randomise the location which will make the seam a lot less visible, and you can also calibrate the printer’s e-steps to ensure exactly the right amount of filament is extruded, which can also help.
Aside from this, prints are impressive. I tried printing various print-in-place articulated models and even at 0.2mm Standard quality, they were able to articulate after any stuck-together sections were freed with some careful application of force.
With 3D printing, you always trade off quality and speed. This means you can have more precise, better quality prints, but you’ll have to wait considerably longer for them to finish.
The only other issue was that the Sermoon V1 Pro doesn’t handle overhangs as well as other printers we’ve seen recently, including the Anycubic Vyper and Voxelab Aquila S2. The photo below shows the problem: filament droops where – on rival printers – it remains level, on the whole.
You can add supports to counter this, but that adds print time and they can be difficult to remove cleanly.
The fact the Sermoon is enclosed allows heat to be retained to increase the ambient temperature and keep it consistent. This is why Creality says the V1 Pro can print ABS.
Creality kindly supplied a reel of white ABS to test with, and I used the recommended slicer settings and preheated the bed to 80°C for 10 minutes before starting the print job itself.
Unfortunately, whether a small model or large, simple or complex, they all warped and wouldn’t stick to the bed as well as PLA does. This also happened when adding a brim, suggesting that despite the enclosure the Sermoon V1 Pro isn’t the best choice if you need to print using ABS. Indeed, many people recommend using a bed temperature of over 100°C for PLA, but the Sermoon’s bed tops out at 80°C.
ABS is notorious for warping, so it’s best to stick to PLA with this printer.Price & availability
The Sermoon V1 Pro costs $539 from Creality, which is $120 more than the non-Pro version.
Both models are available from Creality’s UK website at £489 and £419 respectively.
However, you’ll find it on sale from other retailers at lower prices. For example, chúng tôi was selling the V1 Pro for a much cheaper £349 in the UK at the time of review, though it wasn’t in stock.
For the same price you could buy the Ender 3 S1 which has true auto bed levelling and a bigger print volume.
Or, for less, you could opt for something like the excellent Anycubic Vyper or the Voxelab Aquila S2 which is even cheaper, prints up to 300°C but lacks auto bed levelling.Verdict
The Creality Sermoon V1 Pro might have a strange name, but it’s a genuinely good little 3D printer for anyone who wants to print straight out of the box without having to build and fettle it first.
Aside from a few minor print issues, print quality with PLA is excellent and the only real drawback – aside from the fact it costs more than non-enclosed printers – is the relatively small build volume.
It’s worth thinking about the largest object you might want to print and ensuring you wouldn’t be better off opting for an open design that allows for larger models.
Assuming it is enough for you, the V1 Pro’s built-in camera and Creality Cloud app are genuinely useful and make an already easy-to-use printer, even more convenient.Specs Creality Sermoon V1 Pro: Specs
FDM 3D printer
requires 1.75mm PLA/ABS filament
Printer size: 400mm×380mm×430mm
Max print size: 175x175x165mm
Prints from SD (card provided) or over Wi-Fi
Layer thickness 0.1-0.4mm
Nozzle diameter 0.4mm
Positioning accuracy: 0.1mm
Max nozzle temperature 250°C
Max bed temperature 80°C
AC 110-230V input
150W power consumption
Machine weight 11.5kg
Filament runout sensor: Yes
Pause printing: Yes
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