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The Best Keyboards For Every Occasion

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the right-touch dept.

Input Devices 523

ThinSkin writes "ExtremeTech has written an article on the best keyboards in every category, such as gaming keyboards (macro and hybrid), media center keyboards, keyboard gamepads, and so forth. Of course, the big companies like Microsoft and Logitech dominate these lists, while smaller companies like Razer, Ideazon, and others play an important role as well."

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There is only one keyboard (5, Funny)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261525)

The IBM Model M

Re:There is only one keyboard (5, Funny)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261547)

What? I can't hear you from all the clickety-click.

(Seriously though, there's only one sensible keyboard, which happens to be an IBM as well: Space Saver.)

Re:There is only one keyboard (5, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261755)

Model M was awesome. (Way) back in the day I thought typing code quickly was the same as being a good programmer.

Making my keyboard sound like a machine gun convinced me that I was God's gift to high-school programmers.

Re:There is only one keyboard (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261985)

My holy grail for a media center keyboard is a bluetooth Space Saver with media controls. I along with many others have asked IBM for just such a product but so far no luck =(

Re:There is only one keyboard (2, Insightful)

sleekware (1109351) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261549)

Definately. IBM Model M. Whenever possible.

Re:There is only one keyboard (1)

ckthorp (1255134) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261573)

It's really lame that the Model M, still available from PCKeyboard.com, didn't make the list.

Re:There is only one keyboard (1)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261587)

The only thing the Model M isn't good at is quiet computing.

Re:There is only one keyboard (0, Offtopic)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261707)

speaking of which...
Anyone know if the gamepads (thinking of the logitech) can be programmed with custom key sequences for the likes of Adobe CS3?

Re:There is only one keyboard (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261897)

Yes. the G13 [logitech.com] can do multiple keystroke macros with ease and much more.

Re:There is only one keyboard (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | more than 5 years ago | (#26262029)

I use Hot Keyboard Pro [hot-keyboard.com] to create macros.

It allows you to create app-specific bindings for any key, and can even record and play back mouse moves if you want. The macros are editable, so you can tweak them after recording.

I use the Northgate Omnikey Ultra [northgate-...repair.com], which gives me 12 extra function keys that I can use for macros.

I can't say enough good things about my Omnikey, which has been used pretty much every day of it's 15-year life. It gives me the best feel for everything but games that won't auto-repeat buttons (it's not good for fast, repeated hammering on the same key), and has a full arrow keypad instead of the nasty inverted-T.

Re:There is only one keyboard (5, Interesting)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261835)

I've been using a keyboard from PCKeyboard.com for ages, and it's gotten dirty. I took the keyboard apart, ran it under the shower, then flushed it with 95% ethanol. Put in on the windowsill for 3 days to dry, and voila - looks and feels like new.

I just bought another one, in case the company goes out of business (after all, who's crazy enough to pay $80 for a keyboard!).

Re:There is only one keyboard (4, Informative)

Stargoat (658863) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261563)

Post Up is correct. The screwnuts who wrote this article didn't include the IBM Model M, or the Unicomp replacement [yahoo.net] - the one I'm using at the moment. Do yourself a favor, get an IBM Model M.

Re:There is only one keyboard (1)

RatBastard (949) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261641)

The best keyboard ever. I use one of the newer USB derivatives as I can't find a USB adapter that works with them.

Re:There is only one keyboard (1, Informative)

DarkVader (121278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261645)

The IBM M is lame. The Apple Extended Keyboard II is the best ever built.

Much quieter, a bit less key resistance, so it doesn't wear you out. Individual keyswitches for reliability and durability.

And you can still get one built like it:

http://www.matias.ca/tactilepro2/ [matias.ca]

Now that I think about it, the Tactile Pro 2 is probably the best keyboard built today.

Re:There is only one keyboard (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 5 years ago | (#26262109)

Whoa, that looks sharp! Not sure if it's $150 sharp, but that's the first time I've heard of them. Interesting...and I was fretting over spending $35 on a new USB Lenovo keyboard....hmmmm....

Re:There is only one keyboard (1)

Bordgious (1378477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261673)

Closest you can get now is the Das keyboard. That's what I use (albeit the earlier model). It's at Thinkgeek [thinkgeek.com] .

Re:There is only one keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26262001)

Cherry make a click keyboard... I bought 8 in case they ever stop. Its the G80-3000LSCGB or G80-3000LSCUS for the american version.

Seriously, why model m? (1)

sentientbrendan (316150) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261793)

I've heard a lot of people on slashdot say the model M is awesome, but why? Supposedly annoyingly loud clicky noises are... good? Huh?

Here's what I look for in a keyboard
1. Easy to pop the keys in and out so I can keep the thing clean.
2. Thin laptop style keys.
3. QUIET, I don't need a loud click to let me know I typed a letter. I can see it on the fricking screen.
4. not too hard to press down
5. Doesn't gum up.
6. Control key, windows key, escape key are in reasonable positions.

I then take that keyboard, and remap the capslock key to be a second control key. After all, when was the last time you needed to use capslock? Never.

Re:Seriously, why model m? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261841)

After all, when was the last time you needed to use capslock? Never.

About five seconds ago, while typing some Python regular expressions that searched for "PROPERTY: value" pairs (character case as shown) from the output of a command line utility. It sure beats having to type "maxstatfilesize" while holding down shift... along with ~10 other property names.

Re:Seriously, why model m? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26261879)


Re:Seriously, why model m? (4, Funny)

PotatoFarmer (1250696) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261893)

7. Can be used to club burglars into submission.

Sure, the act of bludgeoning another person with a Model M will probably be quieter than actually typing on the damn thing, but such is the price of home security.

Re:Seriously, why model m? (5, Funny)

PotatoFarmer (1250696) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261939)

Oh, and almost forgot:

8. Reduces instances of cat-on-keyboard syndrome. They'll either weigh too little to depress the keys, or the sound of the spacebar going off like a gunshot will probably traumatize them enough that they won't try it again.

Re:There is only one keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26261891)

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these?

Re:There is only one keyboard (1)

blackjackshellac (849713) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261935)

Keytronic makes a nice keyboard too, a very good keyboard for programmers. This lenovo keyboard on which I'm typing right now is horrid, the throw for each key is about 2mm, way too shallow for serious typists.

There are a few actually (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26261943)

Want new? Try a Filco Tenless, a Happy Hacking Keyboard or a Topre 86U.

Ok with vintage? Northgate with clicky Alps, Zeniths with linear Alps.

This is just a few. Checkout http://geekhack.org/ for more. "Comparisons" like the ones in the article are just embarrassing.

Re:There is only one keyboard (1)

isaac (2852) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261969)

Better yet, the model M13 with Trackpoint. Replace the default, smooth Trackpoint II cap with a "cat's tongue" cap (standard on later trackpoints) and never take your hands off the keyboard again.


Re:There is only one keyboard (1)

yoyhed (651244) | more than 5 years ago | (#26262023)

Microsoft Natural Elite (the PS/2 white one, not the USB black one with the stupid "extra functions").

Re:There is only one keyboard (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26262131)

Since we are asking IBM to open source Notes maybe we should ask them to open source the Model M while they are at it?

No iPhone touch screen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26261535)

It's the best keyboard I ever used, and I've been using the old IBM keyboards from the 80's for decades now.

Plus, you've got a little bit of Apple magic in your pocket :)

Re:No iPhone touch screen? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26261759)

Plus, you've got a little bit of Apple magic in your pocket :)

Awe, and here I thought you were happy to see me :(

Really bad review (3, Interesting)

geophile (16995) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261557)

I suppose writers, spreadsheet jockeys, and developers all have to share the "generic" category, which doesn't seem right.

In the generic category, they are going for cool appearance (interesting materials, backlight) over functionality, key layout, tactile feedback, and durability. How else to explain the complete absence of any "clicky" keyboards? The old IBM keyboards are still available. They are fantastic, I'm using one right now. And there are newer keyboards with similar mechanisms -- I expect that they are very good but I haven't tried them.

Re:Really bad review (4, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261633)

I explain it by the fact that not everyone likes 'clicky' keyboards. Personally, I prefer to have a light-touch keyboard that I can feel the key hit the bottom of the stroke, but makes no noise doing so. It should have a little tension, but not so much that I have to work at hitting the keys.

And yes, I'm talking about office work (programming, emailing, document writing, etc in this case) and not gaming.

Re:Really bad review (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261675)

...and I don't give a shit either way if my keyboard clicks or is silent but I really hate the other people around me with the clickity ones.

Re:Really bad review (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 5 years ago | (#26262071)

...and I don't give a shit either way if my keyboard clicks or is silent but I really hate the other people around me with the clickity ones.

Well. At least you sir are honest.

Re:Really bad review (1)

RiotXIX (230569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261881)

True. I don't need work to know precisely when and for how long I've decided to take a slashdot break. Furthermore, I'm using an IBM clickly keyboard now - I used it for years because I was persuaded keyboard flamewars that oldskool heavy clickly boards were the way to go. I can actually feel myself typing slower, and exhausting pointless energy while being louder. I'm sure there's a happy medium - perhaps it's MS or logitech.

Also, someone should post a list of keyboards without the numpad column. It should be an attachment.

Weird priorities.... (5, Interesting)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261971)

Integrated audio chip might annoy those with speaker setups

What? How? Does it force you to use its own audio?

Short of hotkeys.

Ok, first of all, does anyone here find the "Home Page" key to be useful?

Alright, I can see the point of things like volume keys. What I don't see is why it's so hard to map some unused keystroke to those anyway. I tend to map various global keystrokes with the Windows key to Amarok.

Also, WTF is a "Gaming keyboard"? Last I checked, most games are built to respond to keystrokes on a normal keyboard. As for macros, why not do it in software? If it's to foil the game's anti-cheat mechanism, wouldn't this then be considered cheating? Is WASD really that hard to use?

The media center keyboards I can kind of see, but really, it's not that difficult to just use any wireless keyboard (why do you need integrated tracking?) and learn keystrokes, or use a good old-fashioned infrared remote.

As for "clicky" keyboards, at least you've got a valid reason for those -- personally, the keyboard I'm fastest with is Apple's aluminum keyboards (I prefer the wired version), which cost me $50. Most of these are much more than that, even one of the "gamepad keyboards". I just wish someone other than Apple would make one, so I could have an insert key, and not have to swap command/option.

Real computer people don't use keyboards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26261569)

They flip everything in using front-panel switches ala PDP-8 and PDP-11

What is this crap? (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261579)

Ok, so a keyboard that they describe as having "soft and cushy keys" is #1 in their "generic" category. WTF guys? And no clicky boards at all? Hell, you could have saved your time by just ranking them according to number of "multimedia" buttons and extraneous LEDs. You would have done about as well.

Get off my lawn.

Dell Bluetooth Is My Choice for HTPC KB/Mouse (1)

viking099 (70446) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261583)

The range is much better than the RF or IR kits I've tried (1 Microsoft and 1 Logitech set), and it's really very sturdy.

It's a full keyboard, with no funky key mappings, and a nice media control layout. The mouse has 6 buttons (right, left, wheel, and two on the left side, mine are mapped for FWD and Back) and horizontal scrolling.

Both have survived numerous falls to the wood floor, a growing 2 year old, a dog, and occasionally 2 adult users.

The Dell is actually a rebranded Logitech, and the Logitech software works much more reliably than the Dell software, but all in all, the kit was worth the cost many times over.

One awesome thing is that it came with a Bluetooth adapter for the PC (obviously), which also allows my computer to wirelessly transfer photos and ringtones to our phones, which saves us money since we don't have to use SMS to load content.

No Ergonomic keyboards? :-( (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26261591)

I'm still using a Key Tronic FlexPro with a PS/2 adapter.

Just as good as an IBM Model M, but keeps my RSI at bay. The split keyboard takes a little getting use to, but the alternative is to not type, i.e. to not work in the computer field.

Not sure what I'll do when computers don't have PS/2 kayboard ports any more, as the DIN->PS/2->USB adapter setup doesn't work very well. I might have to finally get serious about figuring out how to mash up a USB keyboard's electronics with the FlexPro iron.

Model M - Links! (5, Informative)

sleekware (1109351) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261593)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model_M_Keyboard [wikipedia.org] - About the keyboards. http://shop.ebay.com/items/?_nkw=model+m+keyboard&_sacat=0&_fromfsb=&_trksid=m270.l1313&_odkw=model+m&_osacat=0 [ebay.com] - Ebay availability http://www.clickykeyboard.com/ [clickykeyboard.com] - Used Model M Retailer http://pckeyboards.stores.yahoo.net/keyboards.html [yahoo.net] - Unicomp Model M Keyboards (using the same machinery that made the originals)

*Every* category? What about RSI-avoidance? (3, Interesting)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261611)

This article hardly covers *every* category. I'm a full-time translator, sometimes spending far too much time at my keyboard, and RSI is a big issue. One big help I found in working around and avoiding RSI issues is the Alphagrip [alphagrips.com].

It looks like a PS2 controller on steroids. Sure, it's a bit funky and takes a while to get used to, but its different key layout means that learning it does not overwrite your muscle memory for regular QWERTY boards, allowing you to swap back and forth with no confusion -- unlike Dvorak layouts, for instance. Plus, it's portable. :) The one drawback is no wireless version yet, but word is they're working on that. I've found the Alphagrip to be very useful in recovering from RSI induced by generic keyboards.

(Note -- I have no relation to the Alphagrip company. I am merely a satisfied customer.)


Re:*Every* category? What about RSI-avoidance? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26262039)

Two things which have worked for my RSI are:
  • Using a left handed mouse
  • Changing keyboards from time to time. I find that even changing to a crap keyboard can help.

Mac? (3, Insightful)

mbrod (19122) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261635)

Would have been nice if they said how Mac friendly each was.

Re:Mac? (2, Interesting)

raddan (519638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261889)

Well, I currently have an IBM Model M connected to my iMac at work (typing on it right now). It doesn't get less Mac friendly than that, and it works fine. Strangely, I have an old ADB Apple Extended II Keyboard connected to my Linux machine at home, and that works fine, too. I have an old AT keyboard kicking around the office (attached to ancient PBX computer)... maybe someday I'll see if I can connect that to my Mac, too.

No one makes the keyboard I want (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261639)

  • shaped like the Microft Natural
  • All the keys in their correct positions (insert, delete, home, end, page up, page down)
  • NO num lock, caps lock or "F Lock" keys
  • No extra "multimedia keys"

Re:No one makes the keyboard I want (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26261917)

  • NO num lock, caps lock or "F Lock" keys

Seriously? You want to get rid of three, sometimes useful, Lock keys and don't mind keeping the most worthless of them all, Scroll Lock, around?

Re:No one makes the keyboard I want (1)

pipboy9999 (1088005) | more than 5 years ago | (#26262003)

I normally don't like Dell products, but they do make a nice slim no frills keyboard with almost all of the features you desire. In fact, I'm using one of them right now.
http://www.npkdesign.com/projects/HomeOffice/Dell/Dell_keyboard_1.jpg [slashdot.org]

Re:No one makes the keyboard I want (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26262081)

I normally don't like Dell products, but they do make a nice slim no frills keyboard with almost all of the features you desire. In fact, I'm using one of them right now.
  http://www.npkdesign.com/projects/HomeOffice/Dell/Dell_keyboard_1.jpg [npkdesign.com]

Yuck. I used that keyboard for a while and absolutely hated it. I get in a hurry sometimes and don't hit the keys dead-center, which makes them not quite go all the way down, and that causes missed keystrokes. Especially when I highlight a block of a text and try to copy it only to replace it with a 'c', multiply that by a few dozen times per day and you get some frustration welling up.

Also, the Pause button island is way too far away from the rest of the keys. I do use the Windows+PrtScrn button combo a lot when I'm doing remote support, and this keyboard has the buttons so far apart that I can't do that with one hand, slowing me down even further.

No thanks. I replaced that thing as quickly as I could.

Integrated pointing device? (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261671)

Does anybody make an ergonomic split keyboard (e.g. Microsoft Natural) with either a TrackPoint style pointer or a trackball in the gap between the right and left sets of keys?

I want the IBM SpaceSaver II with an ergonomic design.

Re:Integrated pointing device? (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261921)

Split keyboards normally means keyboards which are literally split. Google images for "split keyboard".

I use to call "MS Natural Ergonomic" line a "butterfly keyboards."

As to your question... No, have never seen such keyboard. If you really want to have something like this, I guess your best shot is to go after producers offering highly customizable and split keyboards. Google for "split keyboard" - there are some number of producers. Also, you might want to start with image search: there are number of shops poisoning results, with image search it is easier to filter out junk.

Organization of Best-Of lists (1)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261691)

The problem with the article is the decision made by the author not to break the categories into ergonomic vs. standard. That makes it basically a list of keyboards that I could go to Amazon and see.

Ahem... (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261697)

A friend of mine wants to know what keyboard would be the best for watching p0rn.

I didn't RTFA (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261743)

The link brought a two paragraph page, designed not for useability but for page views. If a TECH publication can't do something as simple as designing a useable web page, it has no credibility with me whatever.

C|NET was always bad about this, too. Do they still use this incompetent madnes? Whatever these sites are paying their webmasters and visual designers, they're getting ripped off. The site is simply shoddy.

Lastly, does anyone have a link to a "printer-friendly" (i.e., human useable) version?

Re:I didn't RTFA (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261869)

Yes. Click the "print" link at the bottom of the second paragraph of the first page of the article. It's fairly human-usable. as was the link ;)

Re:I didn't RTFA (1)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261901)

Ill second that. If they wont produce a readable article, slashdot shouldn't link to it. They aren't getting any add revenue from me anyways, but I still cant be bothered to click through god knows how many pages to read something that would fit on one sheet of A4.

Re:I didn't RTFA (1)

77Punker (673758) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261949)

So what you're saying is that you've tried to RTFA before?

I see the 7 digit UID and figure you must be new here.

For *every* occasion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26261749)

How about a one-handed keyboard then?

am I missing something? (2, Interesting)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261799)

Let's ses...

* Best Generic Keyboards
* Best Macro Gaming Keyboards
* Best Hybrid Gaming Keyboards
* Best Keyboard Gamepads
* Best Media Center Keyboards

... And where is best keyboard for work???

For "Best Keyboard for Work" I nominate "Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000"

Pros: very reliable; mostly Linux friendly; has "Insert" key (VIM friendly).

Cons: "F Lock" nonsense; no USB hub.

15 year old keyboard (1)

Pilferer (311795) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261821)

I still use my 15 year old AT-style "Keypro" brand keyboard. It's not as loud as an IBM Model M, but feels just as nice. Better.

(I try really hard not to think about how gross it must be under the keys...)

Every other keyboard I've used feels plastic and cheap.

The same goes for my awesome 7 year old Viewsonic PF790 monitor, and my 10 year old Microsoft IntelliMouse. I'll be really sad when one of these finally die.

As I've gotten older, I've learned: if you like something a lot, buy a second one! Some day, they won't make them anymore.

My Keypro will probably last another 15 years, but I have a feeling my next computer won't have a PS/2 port. I don't know how well it will work chained with AT->PS2->USB adapters.

Well, there are other options (1)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261871)

Speaking as an old IBM Model M user, I must say I'm quite happy with my Das Keyboard. Also, the lack of markings is pretty woot.

Still, this all strikes me largely as a matter of preference.

Best Keyboard for Music? (1)

diskofish (1037768) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261925)

The article left out a very important category: the best keyboard for music. Everyone has their own personal preference, but I prefer this vintage bad boy. [vintagesynth.com]

Missing Entries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26261951)

http://www.daskeyboard.com/ ?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model_M_Keyboard ?
http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/keyboards/keyboard/devices/4740&cl=us,en ?

A very odd list in my opinion and some entries (ideazon) are actually horrible for the categories they're nominated for. Most of the Ideazon layouts are good for learning the game as a newbie but quite useless for a more 'serious'/'competitive' gamer.

I wish the numpad would die (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26261977)

Unless you're doing something requiring a ton of numeric entry work (a minority of users) then any keyboard with a numpad is stupid. I hate the numpad with a passion and it's idiotic that so many keyboard have them. It takes up space where the mouse should go. You don't want to reach too far for the mouse because that contributes to injuries and fatigue. Plus it just plain takes up desk space for no reason. If you really think you need a numpad then at least get a detachable one.

Also, I wish all keyboards would split in the middle. Using an old-style straight keyboard is doing nothing more than abusing your wrists. With modern knowledge there is no reason to keep producing crap keyboards like that... yet they keep doing it.

Currently I use a Kensis Maxim but it isn't my favorite. It's small and totally adjustable but it has a very old-school build quality to it that I don't like (very rough and blocky). I like the MS Natural and would probably go for one of those if they would chop off the whole right side of it where the cursor keys and numpad is (then squeeze in the cursor keys and home/end/etc like the Maxim does).

My Favorite Keyboard (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#26261983)

i bought a GrandTec Virtually Indestructible keyboard, i love it, best keyboard i ever owned, it is waterproof if it ever gets dirty i can just take it to the kitchen sink and wash it with hot soapy water and towel dry.

handicap access keyboards (1)

OglinTatas (710589) | more than 5 years ago | (#26262011)

keyboards for all occasions, but no handicap keyboards? (Those gaming pads don't count, they only have a subset of keys )
I got mine at frogpad [frogpad.com]
I wonder if others are better?

Media keyboard sticker shock (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26262013)

Logitech has more or less the correct idea with their Dinovo Edge: keyboard and trackpad in one. It also includes a dedicated volume control slider (much better than +/- buttons). The round trackpad is dumb, but probably works well enough. The only thing missing is an IR transmitter so you can use the keyboard as the remote to all non-computers in the media center (i.e. basically integrate a Logitech Harmony into the keyboard).
But $199? Bloody hell. I'll stick with my Apple wireless keyboard, a mouse and a Griffin Powermate volume control.
The Logitech is also pretty big. Heck, even the Apple wireless kb is larger than I'd like, which makes controlling the media center less comfortable than it could be.

Das Keyboard FTW (1)

darkhelmetlive (1425711) | more than 5 years ago | (#26262031)

My personal fave is the second gen Das Keyboard. Not the best for gaming if you need to quickly look down for a key, but for everything else I couldn't imagine using anything but.

I use the G15/G11 for everything (1)

kildurin (938538) | more than 5 years ago | (#26262037)

I run Linux at work and do gaming at home. Macros are a life saver no matter wither I am doing perl/Python/C++, managing servers or running around in LOTRO. The G15 status is great at work for monitoring ram and processor taxing (I tend to have way too many windows open) so I know when I need to shut a few things down. Basically, these keyboards have the best touch and macros to boot. I own three of the old style including one that is still in the box (just in case). Plus, I have a G11 on my second office machine (running Open Solaris).

This list is aweful... (1)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 5 years ago | (#26262041)

Best Keyboard (generic): IBM old-school
Best Keyboard (Ergonomic): Microsoft Ergonomic 4000
Best Keyboard (Gaming): Logitech G15
Best Keyboard (Gamepad): Logitech G11 OR Ideazon Fang

The last category is one of sheer preference... the G11 gives you the D-Pad which a lot of people like, because it allows you to have 4 keys on your thumb without ever moving it. However, this is detracted from the fact that you don't get as many keys as the Fang.

The reason I dismiss the Warrior MERC or whatever else, is plainly -- shitty software. The Fang is good because you can download (and PRINT) gaming profiles, so if you change your keymaps then you can look at a piece of paper to see everything. It supports all the newest games, so they have default keymaps for everything that mimic exactly what's on the keyboard. I find it very useful.

Anyway, that's the right list.. their list (and reasoning) was horrible so use mine and buy away :p

Why number pads? (3, Interesting)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#26262043)

Why is it that the number pad on a telephone is vertically mirrored from the number pad on computers and calculators? The number pads on calculators and computers pre-dates those on phones by several decades, so why did the phone guys make theirs upside-down?

RSI? Get a Kinesis Advantage (4, Informative)

Swift Kick (240510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26262049)

I've been using a Kinesis Advantage [kinesis-ergo.com] keyboard for several years now and I have to say it's probably one of the best out there, specially if you have issues with RSI.
I ended up getting two; one which I leave at home on my workstation, and one that I have at work.

Programmable, very good tactile feedback (almost as good as the Model M), can be switched to Dvorak, and their support staff is phenomenal.
It will take you maybe a week or so to get accustomed to the key positions, but once you get the hang of it, you'll never go back.

If you're in the market for a good keyboard that will last you years, definitely have a look at these. They're a little pricey (about $300 or so, depending on the model), but they'll be the best money ever spent on a keyboard.

Re:RSI? Get a Kinesis Advantage (1)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26262117)

Yup. These guys never die. I have a "Classic". A bit less expensive than the "Advantage", but the same comfort. My only complaint is the "Esc" key placement (it's in the row of chicklet keys up top that they use for function keys) which is idiotic (especially if you are a vi user). However, key re-mapping is relatively easy, too.

Full Ergonomic Keyboards (1)

xrayspx (13127) | more than 5 years ago | (#26262069)

No love for Kinesis huh?

I've never pulled the trigger on any of these, but I am interested in the old Kinesis Evolution, which they don't seem to make, but which would mount to my chair and let you just let your arms dangle.

As it is, I just use the ones that came with my Macs. I've liked Microsoft keyboards in the past, but they're all sitting in a big pile because they take up too much space.

What Type of Keyboard (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | more than 5 years ago | (#26262075)

When I read the headline the first thing that I thought of was a musician's keyboard, not the computer kind. I guess I am just not nerdy enough for Slashdot.

WTF? Included the Phantom Lapboard (2, Insightful)

sydney094 (153190) | more than 5 years ago | (#26262103)

I wish I could get the last 5 minutes of my life back. That list was bad, but so far no one has included the most telling reason that this list came out of left field... it includes the Phantom lapboard!

Dell AT101W (1)

sphix42 (144155) | more than 5 years ago | (#26262107)

A very close second to the IBM Model M, this Alps mechanical keyswitch keyboard types faster than any other due to the fast response of the Alps.

It's not as loud as a Model M but it's top of the line in clicky-clacks.

useless keys and boards (1)

Eil (82413) | more than 5 years ago | (#26262141)

And every single one of them have those useless Windows keys.

Seems like nobody makes good, quality keyboards and mice. Literally every keyboard that I've tried in the last decade was horrible to type on. And they last maybe a year or two before breaking or getting so worn as to be unusable.

My current keyboard is a Silitek SK-6000 [kbench.co.kr] (rebranded as PC Concepts). I bought it because I wanted a Microsoft Natural but was almost $50 cheaper and looked like almost the same thing. Not a great keyboard, but by far the best I've ever owned. After 12 years of daily use, the only thing wrong it it is that the keycaps are slightly worn (but far from completely smooth). They accidentally manufactured a quality product, I guess. I'd love to replace it when a normal "straight" keyboard, but in 10 years of searching I haven't found one with the same quality.

(Yes, I own a Model M but I don't have the finger strength to use it for more than a couple minutes at a time.)

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