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When OnePlus announces a mechanical keyboard, does it forget that it makes smartphones?

As something of a surprise, the smartphone-focused OnePlus has revealed it would be producing—or, more accurately, co-creating—a mechanical keyboard.

OnePlus does make other kinds of gear outside smartphones, such as headphones and a wristwatch, so credit where credit is due, but we didn’t expect them to make a mechanical keyboard. The corporation assures us, however, that it is moving in this manner because of customer demand.

With the help of the ‘OnePlus Featuring’ co-creation platform, OnePlus and Keychron have begun development on a new keyboard. This is where OnePlus and its partners work together to manufacture user-requested features; the most popular first project is this keyboard.

Now, tell me, what’s the matter with the peripheral device itself? The only information OnePlus has given us so far is that the device will be “customizable,” and that further information will be released in the first few months of 2023.

Get updates on the OnePlus mechanical keyboard by signing up for the OnePlus Featuring platform.

It’s more than simply a light show

Yes, this is a departure from the norm for OnePlus. The option to select from a gazillion various RGB lighting effects and patterns, as on every other gaming keyboard on the market, is a good starting point for imagining what a “customizable” mechanical keyboard involves.

However, OnePlus may have more ambitious plans; this seems possible given that Keychron, OnePlus’s customization partner, addresses the topic at length on its website. It covers things like changing out the keycaps, using stabilisers to change the “feel” of pressing the keys, and utilising a variety of removable cables. Given that, plus the fact that customisation is obviously the highlight feature (because it’s the only thing mentioned in this initial press release), we’re anticipating far more than simply the option to fiddle with LEDs.

It’s possible that the first meaningful drop of information won’t come until any time in the first quarter of the new year, while we’re hoping to learn more in January. In the future, OnePlus will likely use this co-creation platform to release further products.