Lez talk mechanical keyboards

andylsun

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So if those ancient classic IBM keyboards were usually the norm before, why'd we stop manufacturing mechanical keyboards in the first place?
Because they were $160 each in the 80's - the keyboards were made more cheaply to cut costs... plus some people didn't like the noise.
 

Wallach

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So if those ancient classic IBM keyboards were usually the norm before, why'd we stop manufacturing mechanical keyboards in the first place?
They're simply more expensive to make. Membrane-based boards are incredibly cheap to produce compared to something like the old model M.
 

Deadly

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Ah I see. I've got a couple of those left in the basement. I'll bust one out and try it out later.
 

mhayze

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I bought a Corsair K60 recently. The palm rest is completely useless (except as an extra-key holder), but if you like the style (fully exposed keys, brushed aluminum) then it's pretty fantastic. Cherry MX Reds for most keys, but the Function keys and some other non-repetitive typing keys are rubber domes. I'm pretty particular / OCD about stuff like that, but after using a friend's 'board and seeing it in person, I decided it was worth it. A little louder than I'd like but otherwise fantastic.

 

Wallach

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The family (minus the other AEK II at work).

Need to spend a few hours with qtips cleaning them!
Easier to just grab some denture tabs and throw the keycaps in a bowl of warm water. Takes like 20-30 mins and boom, donezo. No work.
 

andylsun

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Easier to just grab some denture tabs and throw the keycaps in a bowl of warm water. Takes like 20-30 mins and boom, donezo. No work.
Denture tabs?? Wow - will have to try that. Any particular brand you've tried? Can't remember how easy to remove the keycaps are on my AEKII

I'd love to find some other layouts - would love a russian, korean or some other layouts. I can touch type so doesn't really matter to me what's actually written on the keycaps, and it confuses the hell out of anyone else trying to use my computer.

Any one else tried the Tactile Pro

http://matias.ca/tactilepro/

I like the idea behind it, but don't like the actual keyboard when using it - seems a bit flimsy, but maybe because I'm expecting it to weigh as much as the AEK II
 

Wallach

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Denture tabs?? Wow - will have to try that. Any particular brand you've tried? Can't remember how easy to remove the keycaps are on my AEKII

I'd love to find some other layouts - would love a russian, korean or some other layouts. I can touch type so doesn't really matter to me what's actually written on the keycaps, and it confuses the hell out of anyone else trying to use my computer.
Off the top of my head I think the ones I used are called Efferdent. Just get ones that don't have a flavor or your keys will be minty fresh when they're done.
 

Deadly

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The family (minus the other AEK II at work).

Need to spend a few hours with qtips cleaning them!

made in 93, the UK one was made in 1986
Which ones are the models with a windows key? The one I'm using doesn't have one right now and it'll be missed =(

But yeah I remember using this keyboard as a kid and it's rather funny bringing it out now. The clicks are sooo loud but I do enjoy the responsiveness hahaha. What kind of switches does the Model M use?
 

maeh2k

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I've been looking into mechanical keyboards myself, lately. Some time later this year I plan on buying one.

It's hard to choose between different switch types without ever actually using them, though. Right now I'm inclined to go with MX blue and I hope the click sound won't become annoying...


I think I'd like a Filco-like tenkeyless keyboard with blues and US layout. Not sure from where I could best buy that in Germany.
Right now I'm hoping the CM storm quickfire rapid keyboard will be released here with US layout.
 

gotee12

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It's hard to choose between different switch types without ever actually using them, though. Right now I'm inclined to go with MX blue and I hope the click sound won't become annoying...
I went to my local Best Buy (I assume they have Best Buys in Germany) and politely asked if they would take a Razer Blackwidow out of the box for me to try out. Blackwidows use blues, in case you didn't know. After messing around with it, I felt more confident in ordering my board with reds.
 

PasteyMF

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I don't know if anyone still cares about recommendations on mechanical keyboards since the thread died a couple days ago, but I just got my Filco Majestouch 2 with browns in the mail today.

It feels absolutely great to type on, even though it IS louder than I expected. I thought that this would be somewhat silent compared to the blues, but they're still pretty noisy. Maybe it's that I'm a hard typer and will get used to the sweet spot of where the actuation happens on the keys. Also, I can tell it will take some getting used to for gaming. I find myself losing track of where my home keys are for Dota 2 and HoN, where I type out messages to teammates before going back to the home keys. I still need to try out other games like The Witcher 2 and BF3 to get a full range of what it's like to game on.

All in all though, I like the the way the keys feel and respond to typing and it's a much needed improvement over my old Logitech Wave. I actually enjoy typing again. :D
 

orfax

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May 10, 2010
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I picked up an Xarmor u9bl-s about 9 months ago. It uses Cherry Browns, which I was expecting to be louder than they were. Great mech keyboard. I wanted a keyboard with browns, n-key rollover, backlit, 2 usb ports, and a headphone port and at the time this was the only keyboard that met my requirements.
 

calder

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Ohh decisions decisions.

I really want a mechanical keyboard, but I'm torn. From what I read I think MX Browns would be the way to go for me, nice mid-point between gaming and typing and I'd probably like at least some tactile feedback. But the locally available keyboards are all gaming keyboards with Blacks, and I'm too lazy to order online. I will likely just end up going to the local Memory Express and asking them to crack open a couple to see if one is clearly better, but does anyone have any impressions of the Thermaltake Meka or Meka G1?

My main choices seem to be either the Meka, Meka G1 or the SteelSeries 6Gv2. I've seen some good comments about the 6G (and a few bad ones) but not much about the Thermaltake's. Any users? Based on what I've read I have no preference between the G1 and the 6G really, although as a WhiteRa fanboy I'm embarrassed to admit that his sponsership with TT would likely be the tiebreaker. Then I could get one of the WhiteRa 'Special Tactics" mousepad, a TT Saphira mouse and nerd it up proper.
 

joshschw

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I currently use the Unicomp 'remake' of the Model M. It works great and I love the black and grey color scheme. It also has Windows keys which I use plenty often, that was a big factor in my decision to get this over a used Model M on eBay, for cheaper.

Prior to that I had an, I believe, ABS M1 mechanical. It is still around and it worked fine but it certainly used some cheapy switches and they started to wear out - which meant get stiffer on this particular model after just a year or so, I type plenty but give me a break! I keep it around as a backup and it still works fine but I wanted a new one. It was cheap, $39 I think? Maybe even less.

Just a couple days ago I picked up a Razer mechincal which uses blue switches on woot.com for $35. I think it is disgustingly ugly but for the price I wanted to have it to try. From what I have read I think they keys have less resistance than my buckling spring Unicomp. Will be fun to see. sure is ugly though, if I didn't get that point across! Ugh!

Typed on none of the above mentioned mentioned... It was probably not appropriate to write a post about keyboards on my phone but sadly I did :p

Prior to all these I had cheap membrane ones always and eventually I got tired of them and needed something nice, which I grew up typing on. Glad I did. Don't balk ay spending $90 on a keyboard, it is totally worth it, you sure use it often enough....
 

Naka

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Ohh decisions decisions.

I really want a mechanical keyboard, but I'm torn. From what I read I think MX Browns would be the way to go for me, nice mid-point between gaming and typing and I'd probably like at least some tactile feedback. But the locally available keyboards are all gaming keyboards with Blacks, and I'm too lazy to order online. I will likely just end up going to the local Memory Express and asking them to crack open a couple to see if one is clearly better, but does anyone have any impressions of the Thermaltake Meka or Meka G1?

My main choices seem to be either the Meka, Meka G1 or the SteelSeries 6Gv2. I've seen some good comments about the 6G (and a few bad ones) but not much about the Thermaltake's. Any users? Based on what I've read I have no preference between the G1 and the 6G really, although as a WhiteRa fanboy I'm embarrassed to admit that his sponsership with TT would likely be the tiebreaker. Then I could get one of the WhiteRa 'Special Tactics" mousepad, a TT Saphira mouse and nerd it up proper.
I had the SteelSeries 6Gv2 and returned it after a week. The main reason for me was the non-standard layout with a shortened right shift key, over-sized enter key and moved backslash key. Every time I tried to do a right-shift then ? keystroke I would hit the \ key as it was in between the two. It drove me nuts. Other than the keys were great though. I since have switched to a WASD Keyboard with Cherry MX browns and love it!
 

kodt

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Dec 10, 2008
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Anyone tried the Truly Ergonomic keyboard?

It seems to be one of the few ergonomic keyboards with mechanical switches (unless you go with a Kinesis or something).

http://www.trulyergonomic.com/store/

These guys took some heat for having fake reviews on their site, and not being up front with pre-order customers about when orders would ship, but now I guess they are shipping and the reviews have been good.

I am interested b/c I like the ergonomic layouts, but also want something with mechanical switches.
 

chaostrophy

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Jun 21, 2004
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Because they were $160 each in the 80's - the keyboards were made more cheaply to cut costs... plus some people didn't like the noise.
The Unicomp Classic now costs only $80 and is the same quality and design, and still made in the same factory in the USA IBM used to make them in. I guess IBM had a crazy markup on keyboards.
 

mhayze

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Aug 23, 2009
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Anyone tried the Truly Ergonomic keyboard?

It seems to be one of the few ergonomic keyboards with mechanical switches (unless you go with a Kinesis or something).

http://www.trulyergonomic.com/store/

These guys took some heat for having fake reviews on their site, and not being up front with pre-order customers about when orders would ship, but now I guess they are shipping and the reviews have been good.

I am interested b/c I like the ergonomic layouts, but also want something with mechanical switches.
I'm interested in that keyboard as well. You can find some opinions on geekhack, which is the mecca of... meccanical keyboards? (sorry, couldn't resist).
 

Hawkian

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Are cherry blues loud enough that it would be likely to annoy coworkers, sitting in a cubicle?
 

zoku88

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I don't think anyone is so sensitive to be annoyed by hearing people type at work :-/
 

MesserWolf

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I like they idea of a mechanical keyboard, but :

a) I like quiet keyboards
b) I like low profile keys - laptop like
c) I fear that on the long run a mechanical keyboard would put too much stress on the fingers.


I think I will look for a keyboard with scissor-switch membrane keys for me in the end.

I don't think anyone is so sensitive to be annoyed by hearing people type at work :-/
you are wrong. On the website of DAS they sell Reusable Earplugs not for nothing!
 

Chaos

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Feb 24, 2009
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If you go to deskthority.net forums, the guy who runs it made up a bag of various switches that you can get shipped to you to try them out and see what you like.





Here are my impressions

Cherry's

Linear

Red - Very light smooth can see why these are popular for gaming keyboards.
Black - Similar to Red but needs more force.

From the two above I preferred the Red and think it would give less fatigue when gaming.

Tactile Clicky

Blue - Light clicky but was not a fan of the sound.
Grey Alps - A little stiffer than the Blue Cherry and feels different.

In this category I liked the Grey Alps the best they felt nice and think it would be good for typing.

Tactile no clicky

Clear - Feels like a black with tactile feedback.
Brown - Light with nice tactile feedback.
White Alps - Light but for me had a mushy feel, didn't like this.
Cherry ML - Feels like laptop key, reminds me of the Dell Vostro keyboard but lighter.
Blacks Alps - Similar to the Grey Alps but slightly stiffer

From the above I liked the Browns overall.

Conclusion

Here's what I would pick -

Gaming and Typing - Brown
Typing only - Grey Alps
Mainly Gaming - Red
 

aeolist

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Picked this keyboard up today: http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/store/Product.aspx?C=1154&SC=1165&ID=1471

Mainly chose it because the Razer was really tacky looking and I like the fairly minimal style of the TT, it was a bit cheaper than the Corsair K60 and I've read about a lot of problems people have had with the tops of the keys wearing off on those and becoming unreadable really quickly.

Very nice to type on, will take me a little getting used to because it's a pretty straightforward 108-key layout and my previous keyboard was a Logitech with some slightly different key sizes and placement (some of which were good and some not so much). A few reviews for the TT said that the keys are oversensitive but I haven't noticed anything like that.
 

Zeal

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Feb 11, 2007
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Just grabbed this sweet baby. Almost $200, but I would have to call it the Bentley of keyboards. I have owned dozens, and this is without a doubt the best feeling, most durable mechanical keyboard I've ever owned. In the end, dropping the extra money is going to pay for itself in the end. They are custom made by one dude, and you can feel the love that goes into these things, not to mention it is the absolute brightest LEDs on a board I've ever seen. This fucker will illuminate the house.

If you're thinking of going mechanical, do yourself a favor and go Deck.

http://www.deckkeyboards.com/
 

Hawkian

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I don't think anyone is so sensitive to be annoyed by hearing people type at work :-/
Well I've never heard anyone type on a mechanical keyboard in person. I don't want to annoy my cubemates but I just started a new job doing a lot of writing every day and the keyboard I have there is absolutely shoddy... like a low profile ergonomic flat crap board.
 

Wallach

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KBC Poker is my main driver, I really like the FN layer setup. Still need to get some PBT keys for this one.
 

mhayze

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I like they idea of a mechanical keyboard, but :

a) I like quiet keyboards
b) I like low profile keys - laptop like
c) I fear that on the long run a mechanical keyboard would put too much stress on the fingers.


I think I will look for a keyboard with scissor-switch membrane keys for me in the end.



you are wrong. On the website of DAS they sell Reusable Earplugs not for nothing!
Several mechanical switch types are low-effort, lower than a normal keyboard. Not all switch types are 'clicky',, and with O-ring dampeners (like the kind sold by WASD Keyboards) in the US, they are fairly quiet. There are some good demo videos on WASD's site (or search on Youtube). Only problem is low-profile, but without using a mechanical keyboard, you may not realize which you prefer in the long run.
 

scogoth

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Steelseries Xai/Sensei. Everything else is second tier.
I know late reply but the CMStrom Sentinel is by far my favourite mouse. Nothing comes close in programability , not to mention its driverless with built in memory.
 

calder

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On Friday I was at my buddies house for poker and tried out his Steelseries 6Gv2, I wasn't sure how Cherry blacks would feel for games versus typing but they felt really good in a short test at least.

I won the poker so as a reward yesterday I picked up the Tt Meka G1. Loving it, very similar to the 6Gv2 in overall feel and obviously the black switches are the same. I haven't been doing a lot of hard core typing but so far just normal typing is MUCH improved on the blacks compared to my shitty old MS keyboard. And gaming is obviously night and day, played a bit of SC2, Dota2 and CS:GO and it's all been dynamite. :D
 

aznpxdd

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Das Keyboard with cherry blue switches or bust.

I've tried some mechanical keyboards before, even ones with cherry blue as well, but none of them comes close to Das' feel and quality.

Would never touch a mechanical keyboard produced by gaming brands, as they are all shitty and gimmicky.
 

Zeth

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Want to thank this entire thread for helping me discover ASMR. Pretty much cured my insomnia. Also looking into Rosewills on NewEgg. Not sure how much I want to spend. Is there a sweet spot for bang:buck ratio?
 

gotee12

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Want to thank this entire thread for helping me discover ASMR. Pretty much cured my insomnia. Also looking into Rosewills on NewEgg. Not sure how much I want to spend. Is there a sweet spot for bang:buck ratio?
I picked up the Rosewill with cherry reds earlier this year. Best dang purchase I have made in a very long time. There is no going back to membranes for me.
 

mhayze

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Aug 23, 2009
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Want to thank this entire thread for helping me discover ASMR. Pretty much cured my insomnia. Also looking into Rosewills on NewEgg. Not sure how much I want to spend. Is there a sweet spot for bang:buck ratio?
A decent new mechanical keyboard will cost close to $100, and often over that. The DAS keyboards are slightly over, the Rosewill's slightly under, and the Filco / Leopold keyboards are right around that price range. So in terms of sweet spot - they are right around $100, and a 10-20% + or - shouldn't be a big factor, IMHO - so pick based on features, reviews and looks, rather than price. I can see you not being sure about a Deck Legend at closer to $200, etc., and backlit keyboards can go for an extra $20-40 over the non-backlit version, so consider if you really want that feature.
 

1-D_FTW

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Picked up the Cooler Master Quick Fire for 64.99 from NCIX and it just arrived:) Thing is aces. It's been too long since I've used a mechanical keyboard and there's no way I'll ever go back on my PC.

Someone in the slickdeals thread even mentioned the Cooler Master is done by the same OEM as Filco. Not sure if that's true, but this thing is a rock you could bludgeon somebody with. Build quality is great. And now I know why my WPMs have been trending down. The mushier each successive keyboard has gotten, the worse my typing has.

EDIT: Apparently it's just a rebadged Leopold 10 keyless. So the 64.99 deals that are going around at the moment are a fantastic deal.
 

gotee12

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Well dang. The Rosewill cheapiness factor finally bit me.

My Rosewill Cherry Red keyboard is starting to get the loose connector that lots of folks complain about. This particular keyboard comes with separate USB cables for PS/2 and USB. I leave the PS/2 cable at home connected to my gaming rig and the USB stays at work connected to a hub. Obviously I'm taking the keyboard with me everywhere I go and this daily plugging/unplugging has weakened the jack on the keyboard.

It appears that all Rosewill did is use the actual soldering as "supports" for the jack. Sigh, I'm now leaving the Rosewill at work and have just bought a Corsair K90. It was the cheapest Cherry Red board with customer feedback I could live with. The K90 is technically a hybrid board but at least it's only the macro/function/home cluster that's still on membranes.

Dang Rosewill,
 

Izayoi

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Jul 25, 2010
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Are Clears an acceptable alternative to Browns for gaming? I'm wary because they're apparently "stiff" and I want to try and avoid fatigue over long sessions - but the Deck is the only keyboard with exactly what I want sans Browns (Dye Sublimation, NKRO, backlit, USB or PS/2). I wish that I could substitute the switches, and it'd be literally perfect for me.
 

hauton

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STILL haven't invested in a mechanical... ugh.

They're readily available at MemEx and even FS nowadays but I don't want those brands... too much gamer branding and it's offputting. Rosewill looks cheap (and that last post doesn't inspire confidence).

I should've grabbed a Filco while I was in HK... the shipping for a Leopold is pretty much the same, and I really wanted a Ninja kb.
 

Wallach

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Are Clears an acceptable alternative to Browns for gaming? I'm wary because they're apparently "stiff" and I want to try and avoid fatigue over long sessions - but the Deck is the only keyboard with exactly what I want sans Browns (Dye Sublimation, NKRO, backlit, USB or PS/2). I wish that I could substitute the switches, and it'd be literally perfect for me.
To be honest MX Clears are the last switch I'd recommend for gaming. Some people like them I guess, but I wouldn't use them on a 'board I bought specifically for gaming on.

I'd sooner get something like the backlit Noppoo PRO with the switches you prefer, and do a keycap swap on it. I don't know of anyone other than Deck that has dye sub keycaps w/ transparency for backlighting, but I wouldn't choose a 'board just because of that. Have to imagine you'd be more satisfied with better switches and lasered/etched keycaps that are still PBT or something nice.
 

Demigod Mac

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I use:

Apple Pro Keyboard A1048



Unfortunately they're expensive and Apple doesn't make them anymore.
The thing I like about this one is that the bottom row of keys is gently sloped downward, so there's never a sharp cornered edge. (you can kind of see it in those pictures)

I tried a Das for a while and while I loved the feel of it, my fingers started to get a bit worn out from touching the cornered edge of the bottom row whenever I'd do a command/control key combo.

Do any mechanical keyboards also feature this "sloped downward" shape on their bottom row of keys?