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Thread: Seeking Keyboard Advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    275

    Default Seeking Keyboard Advice

    Hi everyone,

    I have been a proud and happy user of IBM / Lexmark Model M keyboards for many years now. However, I've decided that it is time for me to join the modern era and get a keyboard that uses one of those newfangled USB interconnects and a Windows key. So I am soliciting suggestions for a new keyboard.

    I think a nice, rigid, clicky mechanical keyboard is very important to productivity. My usage is general typing and programming. I do not game. No, really, I'm serious: I haven't fired up a PC game since 2012.

    What is important to me:
    •Requires some force to actuate (rigid keys that don't sink at the lightest touch)
    •A tactile feel to when the key has actuated
    •3KRO (or at least 3KRO when a modifier key is part of the combo)
    •Wired (I don't like messing with batteries!)
    •Moderate travel time to actuate; I'm also willing to try a keyboard with a short travel time, as I can see the advantages of that
    •Numeric keypad - I usually have several computers hooked up to my displays, and I use the keypad to switch input between them (see: http://synergy-foss.org/)

    What I like but aren't deal breakers:
    •Audible clicks
    •Heavy keyboard so that it doesn't slide around - if I can't get heavy, I'll figure something else out, so it's not a big deal

    What I don't care about:
    •Programmable keys
    •Backlit / illuminated keys - I like to work in a well-lit area so being able to see the keys is a non-issue
    •NKRO, or really anything more than 3KRO

    I've never owned any kind of "ergonomic" keyboard, so I don't really know how important that is. That's why I don't mention anything about ergonomics in my list of features. It is an area I could use some advice on.

    Based on my likes, I've figured that a keyboard with Cherry MX Blue switches would be ideal for me, but the problem is those all tend to be gaming keyboards with all these other features that I really don't need. I don't mind spending over $100 on a keyboard if I have to. I just don't like the idea of spending that much money because it's packed with features I don't need. But I'll live with it if that's all that is available.

    Does anyone who feels the same or similar to me about keyboards have experience with modern mechanicals that they can share? Or any advice at all, really, would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Toronto-ish
    Posts
    7,540

    Default

    I picked up a compact Corsair gaming keyboard (Vengeance K65) and really like it. Until I started using it, I hadn't realized how mushy the typical "comes with the PC" keyboards had become. I think it has red Cherry switches, which are pretty light, but the travel is longer and the audible feedback is more pronounced.

    I just use it for programming/typing, not gaming, but I find that better keyswitches really make a difference. Then again I grew up on IBM 327x terminals where there was a clicker solenoid built into the keyboard...
    Last edited by bridgman; 02-20-2014 at 05:08 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Toronto-ish
    Posts
    7,540

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    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    Then again I grew up on IBM 327x terminals where there was a clicker solenoid built into the keyboard...
    ... and teletypes and DECwriters, but we won't talk about that. Teletype keyboards really sucked for programming.

    Forgot to mention... what I liked about the Corsair K65 was that it didn't really have any gaming-specific stuff... it was just a nice compact keyboard that didn't cost too much and fit in the space I had. Built a 6 foot wide keyboard/mouse/display table for 2 PCs and ended up needing 3, so space was at a bit of a premium.
    Last edited by bridgman; 02-20-2014 at 05:17 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    275

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    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    I picked up a compact Corsair gaming keyboard (Vengeance K65) and really like it. Until I started using it, I hadn't realized how mushy the typical "comes with the PC" keyboards had become. I think it has red Cherry switches, which are pretty light, but the travel is longer and the audible feedback is more pronounced.

    I just use it for programming/typing, not gaming, but I find that better keyswitches really make a difference. Then again I grew up on IBM 327x terminals where there was a clicker solenoid built into the keyboard...
    Thanks for the suggestion, bridgman. I probably want something else for my primary desktop, but this model could be useful as a secondary because of how compact it is. I also like the way it looks. I'm definitely gonna keep this model in mind.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    276

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    I own a ducky shine keyboard, even though I forget to turn on the LED's from time to time. You can choose between a plethora of options for your switches: blue, brown, black, red. Also the keyboard is somewhat cheaper than Filco brand. The design is minimalistic and the use of a function key for extra shortcuts (but not too many) were the reasons I bought it. You'd probably want to go with a Ducky zero DK2108 but ultimately it's up to you to decide.
    NCIX carries them keyboards in Canada at least, not sure about US.

    Here's the official webpage: duckychannel.com.tw

  6. #6
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    Feb 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by BSDude View Post
    I own a ducky shine keyboard, even though I forget to turn on the LED's from time to time. You can choose between a plethora of options for your switches: blue, brown, black, red. Also the keyboard is somewhat cheaper than Filco brand. The design is minimalistic and the use of a function key for extra shortcuts (but not too many) were the reasons I bought it. You'd probably want to go with a Ducky zero DK2108 but ultimately it's up to you to decide.
    NCIX carries them keyboards in Canada at least, not sure about US.

    Here's the official webpage: duckychannel.com.tw
    Very nice. Thank you for steering me in this direction. I'm gonna have to check these guys out more thoroughly when I have a chance (gotta run right now), but first glance seems like this is exactly what I'm looking for.

    Their website is hilarious.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    1,116

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    I use a QPAD-MK80 with Cherry MX Blue switches, audible and tactile feedback with 50g actuation force. It is with backlight, but there are versions available without backlight (QPAD MK-60). Nice keyboard, about 1250g heavy, with 6KRO when used via USB and NKRO when used iwth PS/2 connector.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    37

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    I always wanted a Das Keyboard

    http://www.daskeyboard.com/

    I'm not sure it's exactly what you are looking for but you can check it out.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2013
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    275

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vim_User View Post
    I use a QPAD-MK80 with Cherry MX Blue switches, audible and tactile feedback with 50g actuation force. It is with backlight, but there are versions available without backlight (QPAD MK-60). Nice keyboard, about 1250g heavy, with 6KRO when used via USB and NKRO when used iwth PS/2 connector.
    Unfortunatley, the QPAD MK-60 isn't on their site and Google didn't turn anything up useful. Seems like that model's not around anymore. The MK80 is a very nice keyboard, though, so thanks for pointing me there. It's a model I will keep in consideration.

  10. #10
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    Feb 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by corebob View Post
    I always wanted a Das Keyboard

    http://www.daskeyboard.com/

    I'm not sure it's exactly what you are looking for but you can check it out.
    Yeah, I've read about their keyboards before. They're a bit expensive, but what I've read certainly makes their keyboards sound like they're worth the money. Thank you for reminding me about them, though.

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