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Thread: Seeking Keyboard Advice

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serge View Post
    I would have thought that if you were going to change your preference, it would have been after at least several weeks of use.
    That's what I was expecting too, but it didn't work out that way. I liked the red keyswitches a lot more than what I had been using before, but I already like the blue keyswitches a lot more than the reds. I'm not typing quite as fast with them as with the reds, but my error rate is much lower so on balance I definitely get more work done with the blue switches.

    I'll update this thread if anything changes, but at the moment I think this is a done deal. I'm going to be swapping systems around so that the systems where I do the most typing have the keyboards with blue switches, and will probably pick up a similar KB for the office.

    Other notes :

    The Corsair K65 also has a detachable USB cable, and nicely protects it by routing it through a small channel then out the back.

    Moving the switch on the back of the K65 to the "8" position (it came set to 1, with choices of 1/2/4/8) makes the caps lock light work, but then the scroll lock light flashes constantly. Need to try the Razer KB on Linux (I plugged it into the Windows box yesterday) to check the caps lock / scroll lock lights there.

    I still prefer the looks of the K65 over the Razer and CM Storm, but at the moment I would take even an ugly keyboard with blue switches over a nice looking keyboard with red switches, even though the red switches are a huge improvement over run-of-the-mill keyboards.

  2. #42
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    OK, final update. I swapped the Razer and Corsair keyboards, putting the Razer on my primary Linux box (Trinity) and the Corsair was on my old Win 7 admin box (the one that Q will never forgive me for, with an AMD CPU and NVidia IGP).

    After booting up the Windows box the caps lock and scroll lock lights now work on the Corsair with the switch in the stock "1" position. Windows installed a PNP driver for "USB input device" and told me to reboot, but behavior seemed the same before and after the driver update.

    The Razer (on a Ubuntu 13.10 system) now behaves similarly to the CM Storm on the test box (also Ubuntu 13.10 but KV instead of TN)-- caps lock light works fine, scroll lock light does not work. No problem.

    I'm still a bit surprised how fast my fingers want to type on the Corsair (red switches) but error rate is definitely much higher as well. It's very weird.
    Last edited by bridgman; 02-25-2014 at 02:58 PM.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    I had not heard of Revoltec, but looks like they make some really nice products. The "lightboard" might even make me rethink my position about putting lights in keyboards

    The picture of the Chocolate keyboard makes me think the key travel would be really short -- but sounds like that's not a problem.

    One more comment on the compact keyboards I just picked up -- just realized that the caps lock key lights up when it's pressed (a bright light in the key itself, not a tiny light in the opposite corner of the keyboard), which IMO is a really great feature. Slight preference for the Razer again, since the "caps lk" letters light up rather than just a light in the front of the key, but both are better than having the light over where you don't look.
    Revoltec is actually a small company, just this model is really spot-hitting.
    I have a mouse from them, and unlike K107, it has an older longer dongle, that was never perfect and seems to start dying out completely when it comes to range now.
    The K107 on the other side is unaffected, new small dongle, about 10 meters range, dongle direction/placement plays no role.

    The key travel is about 0.5 cm, however the relatively high resistance and notebook-style key fixation (four monting points under each key) result in pretty mechanical feel.
    One also can't type silently on that keyboard. Found technology definition for it - its a ultra light(300 gr incl batteries) RP wireless laptop-sized chicklet keyboard with scissor technology(large scissor joint version).

  4. #44
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    May 2008
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    Default Mechanical gaming keyboard minefield on Linux

    I recently got a Gigabyte Osmium mechanical keyboard with Cherry Brown switches. It's a really nice keyboard to type on, has white LED backlit keys with integrated scrollwheel dimmer, an audio volume scrollwheel, and a decent sized wrist/palm rest. It also has a USB3, headphone and microphone passthrough ports, plus an integrated USB2 port.

    Anyway, it has issues on Linux right now (up until Ubuntu 14.04 at least). The main issues are that the backslash key does not repeat when held down, but if it is held down, it will repeat spuriously as other keys are pressed. There is a kernel hack that fixes that behaviour at least (see my (lem79) post at https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=151852 from February 25, 2014 for the kernel patch), but it's a pain to have to patch/compile kernels all the time (I only bothered doing it once, and have held off kernel upgrades since). There are a few Corsair Vengeance keyboards that also exhibit the backslash key issue (I'm thinking they use the same controller chip).

    Another issue with this keyboard is the same as what bridgman was saying.. the caps/scroll/numlock lights on the keyboard don't change state, but the actual state does indeed change. i.e. pressing caps lock will result in uppercase letters, but the caps lock status light wont light up.

    Lastly, pressing any of the G1-G5 keys, and the big Aivia button (which cycles through the macros bound to G1-G5) will cause the keyboard to become unresponsive (perhaps the kernel gets stuck in a loop or something). This gets fixed by unplugging and replugging the keyboard.

    I noticed someone in this thread talk about plugging one of these (mechanical gaming) keyboards into a Windows laptop, then trying the integrated keyboard's caps lock. I tried this myself on my AMD E-350 based HP DM1 netbook under Windows 8. The caps lock on the integrated keyboard would cause the caps lock light to change on the Gigabyte keyboard. This didn't happen in Ubuntu 13.10 (stock kernel with that single patch mentioned above). However, the state did indeed change as expected; the Gigabyte keyboard began producing uppercase input. Pressing the caps lock on the Gigabyte keyboard failed to change the caps lock LED state on the netbook keyboard though. So, the netbook keyboard's caps lock light was on, but both keyboards were producing lowercase input.

    Linux just doesn't seem to handle these keyboards well at all, and I dare say it's bugs in the Linux kernel. As far as I've tested, this Gigabyte keyboard works fine within BIOS, Windows 7, Windows 8, and also under FreeBSD 10. I'd love to submit a bug report to the kernel, but I'm not sure how to go about that, and what information I should provide (e.g. USB dumps).

    For the record, Gigabyte were unhelpful in connecting me with their upstream chipset provider (to get spec sheets or something that might assist in understanding why the Linux kernel doesn't deal with these keyboards very well). Also for the record, lsusb for the Gigabyte Osmium (devices that show up when it's connected):

    Code:
    Bus 001 Device 007: ID 05e3:0610 Genesys Logic, Inc. 4-port hub
    Bus 001 Device 008: ID 0665:6000 Cypress Semiconductor 
    Bus 001 Device 009: ID 1044:7a03 Chu Yuen Enterprise Co., Ltd
    Suppose I'll put the patch here for posterity too: (by Beijmn from the Corsair forums, http://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?p=698944 ; The line numbers are slightly different for Ubuntu 13.10's kernel)
    Code:
    --- drivers/hid/hid-core.c 2014-01-19 16:27:37.674829730 -0500
    +++ hid-core_patched.c 2014-01-19 16:24:39.992006709 -0500
    @@ -1130,6 +1130,14 @@
    {
    struct hid_driver *hdrv = hid->driver;
    int ret;
    + static bool skip = false;
    +
    + if (skip) {
    + skip = false;
    + return;
    + }
    + if (usage->code == KEY_BACKSLASH && value == 1)
    + skip = true;
    
    if (!list_empty(&hid->debug_list))
    hid_dump_input(hid, usage, value);

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    I have a Filco Majestouch without numerical keys. But a alternative with numerical keys exist. It has a cable.
    My keyboard has brown switches. The color is matt black. It has no unnecessary functionality. It is stable and heavy. I really like the keyboard.
    I has full rollover or whatever they call it. As I understands it that means you can press whatever keys in the same time.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    275

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akka View Post
    I have a Filco Majestouch without numerical keys. But a alternative with numerical keys exist. It has a cable.
    My keyboard has brown switches. The color is matt black. It has no unnecessary functionality. It is stable and heavy. I really like the keyboard.
    I has full rollover or whatever they call it. As I understands it that means you can press whatever keys in the same time.
    Thank you for the suggestion, Akka, but unfortunately I already placed my order two days ago. The model I settled on was the CM Storm QuickFire Rapid. I chose that model mainly based on availability and price. I mainly wanted a full-sized keyboard with a ten-key numpad, but when I saw the price of the Rapid, I convinced myself that a compact keyboard is worth a try and could be a welcome change to my desk layout. =)

    In about a week or so, I'll post an update here for anyone curious about how I like it.

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    275

    Default CM Storm QuickFire Rapid

    This is my final update to anyone who was reading this thread and curious about how things turned out. Before I get into my impressions of this keyboard, let me first say that I am very satisfied with this keyboard, and let me also thank everyone who contributed their advice in this thread. I am, of course, grateful to the posters who pointed me to CM Storm keyboards in the first place, but I also must express gratitude to everyone else who contributed their thoughts, as this has helped me make a more informed decision, as well as given me some ideas for what I'd like to purchase next if I want to pick up a second keyboard.

    As I wrote previously, the keyboard that I settled on was the CM Storm QuickFire Rapid with Cherry MX Blue switches (http://www.overclock.net/t/491752/me...e#post_6009482 is my favorite introduction to Cherry and other mechanical switches). The primary drivers that led me to choose this keyboard were availability - keyboards that I had ranked higher in my personal search were either more limited in terms of which online retailers offered them or were out of stock at the time that I placed my order - and price. I did not have any desire for fancy bling like backlighting or key lockouts. I was seeking a full-sized keyboard. The Rapid is a pretty straight-forward design without much in the way of "bling", but it is, however, a compact design that is missing the numeric keypad, also known as the "Ten Key" or "TK" by some keyboard manufacturers.

    I have been using the keyboard for about six days now. The functionality I had previously mapped to keypad keys I have mapped to multi-key combos instead, and so far I have not been missing the keypad one bit. With my old full-size Model M, I had to put the keyboard flush with the right edge of my desk's keyboard tray in order to sit centered with my home row keys, which meant that I had to put my mouse on the desktop proper. With this compact model, I can keep the mouse on the keyboard tray, which means I do not have to reach as far when I need to move my hand from keyboard to mouse. Based on this experience, I would say that unless you do a lot of numeric data entry or work in some other field that heavily relies on the keypad, go with a compact design.

    I am extremely satisfied with the Cherry MX Blue key switches. Keep in mind that I am a long-time user of Model M keyboards, which use the IBM buckling spring key switch design. I have read keyboard reviewers comment that they type faster with buckling spring switches than they do with Cherry MX Blue or etc., but personally for me it has so far been the other way around, with my performance on typing tests being 7 % to 10 % faster with this new keyboard than the Model M it replaced. I think that whether Cherry MX Brown, Blue, IBM buckling spring, Alps White, Topre hybrids, or whatever switch design is faster is going to be more up to the individual typist. In other words, YMMV.

    Although this keyboard is smaller than what I am used to, it is nonetheless a very nice, solid weight. I haven't weighed it, but it feels almost as heavy as a Model M, and definitely heavier than common keyboards. Additionally, there are inch-long rubber feet under the keyboard that help keep it from shifting or sliding.

    In a TTY, both Caps Lock and Scroll Lock LEDs work correctly. However, in X, the Caps Lock LED works fine, but the Scroll Lock LED does not. xev reports three events per press of the Scroll Lock key (normally it should report two - a press event and a release event), so maybe that has something to do with it. xset led 3 causes the Scroll Lock LED to light up, and xset -led 3 turns it off, so at least that much is working fine. Ultimately, I'm not gonna explore this any further, as it simply is of no consequence for me, but I suspect that this is a bug that would be trivial to fix or write some work-around for if someone with X input knowledge really wanted to.

    In summary, I am happy with this keyboard, and would recommend it to anyone else seeking a mechanical keyboard without bling or gamer features. Once again, thank you to all who assisted me in this decision.

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