It’s tough to find a full-size keyboard in the custom keyboard scene, which is one of the reasons why getting a dedicated numpad can be a good idea. If you’re looking to get one, consider these two: the Glorious GMMK Numpad and Keychron Q0.
Both of these numpads have their own winning qualities, and depending on your preference, you may prefer one over the other. There’s also the fact that the GMMK Numpad sits at a higher price point than the Q0, though you do get more features too. Read on to find out more about these two numpads!
Priced at $130 (about RM615) in the US, the Glorious GMMK Numpad is a decidedly higher-end option. Not only does it work wired and wirelessly, it also has a programmable slider and rotary knob. Besides that, it uses a gasket mount system too with an aluminium case and hotswap PCB.
As for the Keychron Q0, it is much more affordable. Here in Malaysia, the fully assembled model with switches and keycaps goes for RM289, while the barebone version is priced at RM269. For that kind of money, you’re also getting an aluminium case with a hotswap PCB, though it doesn’t have wireless connectivity.
But the Keychron Q0 does have one distinct advantage: it supports QMK and VIA to easily customise the mapping of the numpad. After all, these two software are used by the majority of custom keyboards, so many folks in the scene will feel right at home when customising the Q0.
Of course, the GMMK Numpad’s key mapping can also be customised, but this can only be done through the Glorious Core software. It’s…an okay software that gets the job done (for the most part), though it doesn’t feel particularly intuitive to navigate around.
What the GMMK Numpad lacks in software support is made up by its more complete feature set. As mentioned, it is a wireless numpad that works over Bluetooth 5.0, so if you’re building towards a wire-free setup, the GMMK Numpad will be right up your alley.
Besides that, there’s also the added functionality of a knob and programmable slider with the GMMK Numpad. The knob can be used for general volume adjustment, while the slider can be set to change the volume of specific applications, though I can’t get it to work with Genshin Impact, oddly enough.
Design wise, I’m quite a fan of the LED strips on either sides of the GMMK Numpad. It gives the product a nice bit of accent, and the per-key RGB lighting pairs well with the shine-through ABS double shot keycaps too.
Though the Keychron Q0 doesn’t have a knob, slider, or wireless connectivity like the GMMK Numpad, it is a good wired numpad, especially for the money. It has extra keys above the regular numpad keys for added functionality – easily remappable with VIA – and I much prefer the sound profile of the Q0 over Glorious’ offering.
Compared to the GMMK Numpad, the Keychron Q0 has a quieter, lower-pitched sound signature; it is a “thocky” numpad, basically. This can be attributed to the keycaps’ taller, more sculpted OSA profile, not to mention the fact that they are PBT double shot keycaps. PBT plastic is typically deeper-sounding than ABS, which is the material used for the GMMK Numpad’s keycaps.
As for typing feel, both the GMMK Numpad and Keychron Q0 are largely similar in this aspect. Even if the former uses a gasket mounting system, it’s still as stiff as the tray-mounted Q0. This can either be a positive or a negative quality, depending on your preference.
Stabilisers on pre-built keyboards can be a bit of a hit-and-miss, but for these two numpads, they are tuned relatively well. There is still a bit of ticking on certain keys, but they do sound relatively good with minimal rattling. I’m positive injecting a bit of lube to the stabilisers with a syringe can eliminate the ticking.
And then we have the switches, and the GMMK Numpad certainly has the edge over the Keychron Q0 in this department. Its Glorious Fox linear switch is noticeably smoother than Keychron’s regular Gateron G Pro switch, and it wobbles slightly less too.
It’s worth noting that both the GMMK Numpad and Keychron Q0 feature a hotswap PCB, but the former has north-facing LED lighting, which will cause interference with lower-profile keycaps like Cherry. Glorious does offer a south-facing LED PCB for the Numpad that will eliminate this completely, but it is (curiously) sold separately.
The Keychron Q0, despite its more affordable RM269 starting price, is still a refined numpad. It doesn’t have wireless support or a fancy knob and slider, but it does offer a deeper, “thockier” sound signature, QMK/VIA compatibility, and a hotswap PCB with south-facing LED for best compatibility with different keycap profiles.
In contrast, the Glorious GMMK Numpad is more feature-rich, but it also cost more than twice as much as the Q0 with its $130 price tag. You do get a more complete numpad, of course, but it also has its fair share of shortcomings.
At the moment, only the Keychron Q0 is officially available in Malaysia through Sun Cycle. The GMMK Numpad is not sold here yet, but expect it to be available locally sometime in the near future.