OnePlus forgets it makes smartphones and announces… a mechanical keyboard?

OnePlus has announced that it’s making, or rather co-creating, a mechanical keyboard, which is a bit of a curveball for a firm that is best known for its smartphones.

To be fair, OnePlus does produce kit other than smartphones – like earphones, and a smartwatch – but we didn’t see a mechanical keyboard coming. However, as the company tells us, it’s taking this direction due to popular demand.

The keyboard will be made in conjunction with Keychron, and the project has been fired up as part of the ‘OnePlus Featuring’ co-creation platform. This is basically where the company works with partners to produce stuff that OnePlus users have voted on, with the first most popular project being this keyboard.

So, what’s the deal with the actual peripheral itself? We were told precious little about the product by OnePlus, save that it’ll be ‘customizable’, and, well, that’s all the company has disclosed at this stage, save that more details will be revealed early in 2023.

If you’re keen to learn more about the OnePlus mechanical keyboard, you can sign up for the OnePlus Featuring platform where you’ll be provided with alerts on new developments.

Analysis: More than just a feast of lights, no doubt

This is certainly something a bit different for OnePlus, for sure. As to what a ‘customizable’ mechanical keyboard entails; theoretically, that could be as simple as the ability to choose from a million and one different RGB lighting effects and patterns – you know, like every other gaming keyboard out there.

OnePlus could be planning something more in-depth, though, and that seems very likely seeing as partner company Keychron discusses customization in-depth on its website. It touches on topics such as replacing keycaps, stabilizers (dictating the ‘feel’ of the keypress), and different detachable cables. Given that, and the fact that customization is evidently the standout feature – because that’s the only thing this initial press release mentions – we’re expecting much more than just the ability to mess about with LEDs.

Hopefully, we’ll find out more in January, though the timeframe of ‘early next year’ for the first proper info drop could really mean anytime in the first quarter. Expect to see other projects delivered by OnePlus via this new co-creation platform in the future, too.

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