Recently, we have noticed that some of our users have been curious about why the legends on the black keycap on the K2 hot swappable keyboard is not as clear as the legends on the white keycap. We want to take this opportunity to explain it here and hope to eliminate any confusions you may have.
The short answer to the question would be it was a color matching problem. The transparent material of the legends/text shown on the black material is just a little bit blurring compared to the transparent material shown on the white material. We want to clarify that we're not using lower quality material for the black keycaps. The black and the white keycaps for the K2 hot swappable versions are used with the same producing technology and materials. These keycaps are made by the same supplier, who are highly regarded in the keyboard market. It is worth mentioning that keycaps of other renowned keyboard firms such as Chexxy, Duxxy, Corsxxr are made by the same supplier as well.
The black and the white keycaps are Double-shot ABS keycaps. What is Double-shot? You might ask. Unlike printing, this keycap type is produced when two layers of plastic are molded into each other. Here, in the Keychron K2 hot swappable version, the first layer is molded for the legend of the keycap by using a transparent plastic in which the legend will be shown transparently on the keycap surface. Then, the second mold injection is for the keycap hull/body. When it comes to the legend/text durability, nothing beats the Double-shot. However, the legend is noticeably clearer when the keycap hull was injected in the white color, but a bit blurry in black color because darker colors sometimes can impact the clarity of transparent material in the first layer. The color contrast is also one of the reasons.
It is common to encounter this situation though. See the pics below from other keyboard companies. They are also black keycaps that used transparent material in Double-Shot ABS, which also looks a bit blurry.
You may ask, why you didn't see this problem on the other boards. Some solutions that's widely used by keyboard manufacturers to avoid this problem are:
- They apply laser engraving technology to make legends look clearer on the keycaps surface. This method is also what we use on our keyboards. All our stock keycaps preinstalled on the K1,K2,K4,K6,K8 use this technique. The legends/text is very clear for this kind of keycaps. But it can be worn out after a long term usage.
- The other way is using non transparent material for the legends/text. This will also result in very clear fonts, but the problem is this cannot let the light pass through the text. For people that may not care about the backlight that much, this is ideal. This technique has been adapted by over 80% double shot PBT keycaps on the market.
- Don't use mix colored double shot shine through keycaps. This will make the keyboard's keycaps very unified. Usually, it’s not noticeable if there is only a single color with no other comparison colors. That's why on the market, you will see full white shine through keycaps, full black shine through keycaps. There isn't a mixed version out there.
- There is another method to avoid the blurry legend problem. That is bolding the font or legend of keycaps. If you try to compare our Double-shot to others, you will find it has one of the thinnest texts.
We just wanted to do something different with the mixed colors and this was the result. We learned a new lesson and this is a color matching issue, but it will not affect the keyboard using experience. If most of you guys are not happy about it, we will gladly change it by making it less transparent or just make it with the full white color.
Hopefully this blog helps with your confusion. We truly appreciate any feedback about our keyboards from you guys. As always, we are happy to answer any questions from you and your feedback to help us upgrade Keychron keyboards is greatly appreciated.