Keyboard advice: thinking of getting a mechanical

  • Page

    of 5 First / Last

    Previous
  • gamingdave 8 Mar 2012 16:22:59 4,216 posts
    Seen 5 days ago
    Registered 10 years ago
    I am looking to get a new keyboard, for both work (coding) and gaming (mainly FPS when it's keyboard based, but the odd bit of Silent Hunter too).

    There is a massive range out there from a couple of quid to well over a hundred and I think I have gone and overwhelmed myself (not the first time when looking to buy something new!)

    Originally had been thinking of spending a bit more than basic, to get something a little nicer than standard that may be better for gaming, but also just more enjoyable to type on. I probably spend half the working day tapping away on the keyboard, which is why I have started looking at maybe treating myself to something nicer, that will also last longer. This is led me on to mechanical keyboards.

    I can't really see myself use macros that frequently, but can see the benefit of a backlit keyboard. However, if this is going to be a keyboard to last me years, and I am using it everyday for work, then I'm sure I will learn where all the keys are in no time.

    Noise isn't an issue, as I work in an office on my own, and when I game on the big screen I either have the volume well up or headphones on.

    It would seem that Cherry MX Blue based keyboards are the choice of the typist, Blacks the choice of the gamer, with Browns being a very happy mid ground for both. Realistically I will spend more time typing on it than gaming, but if I am going to splash out, it may as well be good at both.

    Yesterday I was thinking of spending 20 on a simple keyboard, and today have been looking at the Filco, BlackWidow and DasKeyboard which are all 100 more than that!

    Is anyone using a mechanical keyboard, and if so how do they find it? If not what are you using, and have you compared it to one?

    Edited by gamingdave at 16:58:13 08-03-2012
  • coastal 8 Mar 2012 17:04:55 5,382 posts
    Seen 7 days ago
    Registered 8 years ago
    I love this Logitech diNovo keyboard. It's got a shallow angle and the keypress depth is very short. It's a lot nicer than the more modern dinovo. Separate numeric pad gets stored away leaving a bit more desk space. Mouse is worth replacing though.

    I'm sad enough to have a backup keyboard when the current one dies. gf is very pleased with my hoarding.

    bf3: sergeant_shaftoe

  • Dirtbox 8 Mar 2012 17:07:15 77,680 posts
    Seen 35 minutes ago
    Registered 12 years ago
    Best keyboard ever made.

    +1 / Like / Tweet this post

  • pauleyc 8 Mar 2012 17:12:28 4,447 posts
    Seen 55 seconds ago
    Registered 13 years ago
    @Dirtbox

    The legend lives on thanks to Unicomp. Also a bit cheaper than Das Keyboard.
  • gamingdave 8 Mar 2012 17:15:03 4,216 posts
    Seen 5 days ago
    Registered 10 years ago
    I hear you Dirtbox, which is why I am looking at mechanicals (even though the Model M isn't/wasn't the same mechanism)

    Have you tried any of the modern boards I mention? I'm ruling out the BlackWidow now, as from reading around sounds they are good but not great. Have added the Cherry G80 into the mix as a mid price (well mid between a standard priced and the Filco or Das) keyboard.
  • Concrete 8 Mar 2012 17:32:48 574 posts
    Seen 2 hours ago
    Registered 13 years ago
    I've got one of those IBM keyboards in the attic at my parents house. I stopped using it when everyone took the piss when I started going to LAN parties with it 17 years ago, are they considered cool again?
  • Khanivor 8 Mar 2012 17:34:52 40,520 posts
    Seen 8 minutes ago
    Registered 13 years ago


    Got one of these for work then one for myself for Xmas. The keyboard I like the best out of all those I've used.
  • gamingdave 8 Mar 2012 17:43:08 4,216 posts
    Seen 5 days ago
    Registered 10 years ago
    I had been looking at those too Khanivor, along with the Logitech MK520 wireless keyboard/mouse package, which led me to the G110 and on and on.

    Not got anywhere round here to try them out. Could you describe the feel compared to other keyboards?
  • Mekanik 8 Mar 2012 17:45:51 3,469 posts
    Seen 16 hours ago
    Registered 10 years ago
    I was tempted to get myself a mechanical keyboard just after xmas time. Always fancied them.

    Mrs Mek however went out and bought me one of these as a direct replacement because the key lettering had worn off my current/last blue glowy Saitek.

    Must say great keyboards and, if given a wee clean every few months, will last for years (my last one still worked fine, other than the lettering wear, for 4+ years).

    Doesnt help for mechanical switches though. If you find a good one let us know in here please for future reference :)
  • Dirtbox 8 Mar 2012 18:15:37 77,680 posts
    Seen 35 minutes ago
    Registered 12 years ago
    Concrete wrote:
    I've got one of those IBM keyboards in the attic at my parents house. I stopped using it when everyone took the piss when I started going to LAN parties with it 17 years ago, are they considered cool again?
    They were never uncool, your 'friends' are just idiots. I suggest you kill them all and retrieve that beast.

    +1 / Like / Tweet this post

  • Deleted user 8 March 2012 18:24:58
    I had one of these 20 function key monstrosities:

  • Dirtbox 8 Mar 2012 18:28:18 77,680 posts
    Seen 35 minutes ago
    Registered 12 years ago
    Lovely. I'd switch the cursor keys about so the middle one is at the bottom, but otherwise that's a pretty awesome thing.

    +1 / Like / Tweet this post

  • Deleted user 8 March 2012 18:31:53
    It was awesome, but also had an AT connector. Worked fine on our Olivetti(do they even exist anymore?) 486sx, but my upgrade to a Cyrix(do they even exist anymore?) 300 made it run screaming.
  • Deleted user 8 March 2012 18:33:23
    Also, bring back desktop form factor. They're nicer than tower units.
  • ming 8 Mar 2012 18:35:38 275 posts
    Seen 2 months ago
    Registered 8 years ago
    I have one of these http://www.keyboardco.com/keyboard_details.asp?PRODUCT=12 It was the cheapest mechanical keyboard I could find at the time, and possibly still is.

    I have had quite a few keyboards including 2 MS naturals, a cheaper Cherry, a scissor action keyboard by Benq and a few more.

    I work from home so use it every day as well as for gaming. I prefer keyboards with very light actions, and this has the lightest action I have ever used. Also I have found that other keyboard are often 'sticky', where if you press the key from the side it takes more force to press which irritated me immensely.

    The noise is a bit too much for me, and if I could buy one again I would go for a brown switched keyboard. Have a look for some videos, as even these are not silent.

    In random shops I have tried a razor keyboard, and I though it was quite good, but whenever I have done this sort of test and then bought the keyboard afterwards, it never felt the same and was often heavier.
  • PearOfAnguish 8 Mar 2012 18:36:13 7,201 posts
    Seen 38 minutes ago
    Registered 9 years ago
    @Concrete

    Flog it on Ebay if you're not going to use it, they go for a fair bit now.
  • Khanivor 8 Mar 2012 18:41:17 40,520 posts
    Seen 8 minutes ago
    Registered 13 years ago
    gamingdave wrote:
    I had been looking at those too Khanivor, along with the Logitech MK520 wireless keyboard/mouse package, which led me to the G110 and on and on.

    Not got anywhere round here to try them out. Could you describe the feel compared to other keyboards?
    It's sublime. A light touch but solid, with a nice springiness to the return and an excellent and very comfortable angle and rest. The keyboard almost feels like it isn't there as in it's close to hitting keys directly on your desk. I also find it very compatible with my own version of touch-typing, which is stabbing keys with index fingers.

    Subjectively, I just love it.
  • monkehhh 8 Mar 2012 18:49:25 3,294 posts
    Seen 16 hours ago
    Registered 6 years ago
    I have a Razer Tarantula that's getting on a bit, definitely in the market for something new. This keyboard isn't the greatest, the keys have quite a lot of 'wobble' to them and the glowing snake doesn't really add anything to the equation. Though I have spilled tonnes of crap in to it and it keeps on working :)

    Edited by monkehhh at 18:49:32 08-03-2012
  • Khanivor 8 Mar 2012 19:08:43 40,520 posts
    Seen 8 minutes ago
    Registered 13 years ago
    It's also rather tough. Been used here in the factory's office for well over a year without any signs of wear or tear.
  • Dirtbox 8 Mar 2012 19:23:16 77,680 posts
    Seen 35 minutes ago
    Registered 12 years ago
    meme wrote:
    It was awesome, but also had an AT connector. Worked fine on our Olivetti(do they even exist anymore?) 486sx, but my upgrade to a Cyrix(do they even exist anymore?) 300 made it run screaming.
    Both are still around, Olivetti is in telecoms now and Cyrix (I've still got a Cyrix PSU running an old file server) is now part of VIA, the motherboard chipset manufacturers.

    You can get AT to ps/2 connectors that work great. Sadly though, you can't stick a ps/2 to usb adapter on it as well.

    Edited by Dirtbox at 19:28:04 08-03-2012

    +1 / Like / Tweet this post

  • gamingdave 8 Mar 2012 22:33:27 4,216 posts
    Seen 5 days ago
    Registered 10 years ago
    @ming - I have been looking at the standard Cherry G80, but that's only with blue or blacks, and the more I read, the more I think I would suit the brown. Still, the blue G80 does seem like it would be a very good introduction to mechanical keyboards. I do wonder at twice the price if the Das or Filco would offer twice the enjoyment and ease.

    @Kanivor - The more I read about the Logitech, the better it sounds. Looks like I have it down to a final 4.
  • Khanivor 8 Mar 2012 22:37:43 40,520 posts
    Seen 8 minutes ago
    Registered 13 years ago
    Keyboard gets covered in dust and grime and has been my mine work keyboard (main EG keyboard, IOW) for well over a year and not one key shows any sign of having the paint worn down.

    I loves it!
  • gamingdave 8 Mar 2012 22:58:49 4,216 posts
    Seen 5 days ago
    Registered 10 years ago
    How solid are the keys, any wobble?

    Have you used a MBP keyboard, or one of the silver mac keyboards and can you compare?

    I am used to the MBP (apart from the dodgy position of a few keys) though I wouldn't say it was perfect. My work laptop is an HP EliteBook and that has a fairly nice keyboard, but the keys on that are closer together and require a little more force to start moving than they do on the Mac has a nicer action.
  • Khanivor 8 Mar 2012 23:05:15 40,520 posts
    Seen 8 minutes ago
    Registered 13 years ago
    I've not used an MBP keyboard in a while or for long, so can't really compare. They keys are comparable to a high quality laptop keyboard. They have some wobble.

    As far as force is concerned, I find my fingers glide over the keyboard as it requires just the right amount of pressure and is very responsive.

    I prefer it to the C64 keyboard!

    One thing I will say is that Caps seems magnetic, as even though it's smaller than the left shit I seem to engage it fairly often. I think that has more to do with my lazy pinkys than anything wrong with the board.
  • mal 8 Mar 2012 23:30:28 22,445 posts
    Seen 11 hours ago
    Registered 13 years ago
    I have an old Dell AT102 which is fantastic. It uses ALPS switches, no idea what type, but it makes a fair racket and the feedback is a-ok.

    I also bought a new Majestouch keyboard with brown Cherries, and it's a hell of a lot quieter, but the feel isn't quite the same as the clacky ALPS switches. Dunno how they compare to Cherry blues - never tried them.

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • mal 8 Mar 2012 23:32:07 22,445 posts
    Seen 11 hours ago
    Registered 13 years ago
    Hmm, just read the FP. I think I'd prefer the Cherry browns for gaming and the ALPSes for typing, but YMMV.

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • gamingdave 8 Mar 2012 23:54:24 4,216 posts
    Seen 5 days ago
    Registered 10 years ago
    @mal, what made you go for the brown Majestouch, did you consider getting blue?

    Am a little concerned that whilst at work the noise wouldn't be an issue, if I was late night gaming the noise may become an issue with the wife asleep as our bedroom is directly above the living room. If we still lived in London it wouldn't be an issue, but one of the drawbacks of living in the countryside is even slight noises travel.
  • mal 9 Mar 2012 00:11:38 22,445 posts
    Seen 11 hours ago
    Registered 13 years ago
    Yeah, I went for the brown cos it's intended for home use and I didn't want to be click-clacking away. I can't compare it to the blue, but the ALPS is the loudest thing in my office, but at least that proves I'm working (or at least posting on EG)

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • mal 9 Mar 2012 00:20:54 22,445 posts
    Seen 11 hours ago
    Registered 13 years ago
    I should mention that Cherry blues and ALPS switches aren't directly comparable. The former are designed to emulate the old IBM mechanical keyboard with separate switch and click-clack mechanisms (although both do affect the feel). The ALPS switches just clack cos they're made that way.

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • gamingdave 9 Mar 2012 00:22:02 4,216 posts
    Seen 5 days ago
    Registered 10 years ago
    How long have you had it, and would you buy it again?
  • Page

    of 5 First / Last

    Previous
Log in or register to reply