×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Cherry MX Mechanical Keyboard Switches Compared

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the so-it's-back-to-scouring-thriftstores dept.

Input Devices 223

crookedvulture writes "Keyboards with mechanical key switches are enjoying a renaissance of sorts. They're prized by gamers, coders, and writers alike, and Cherry's MX switches are the most popular on newer models. There are MX blue, brown, black, and red switches, each with a different tactile feel and audible note. This comparison of four otherwise identical Rosewill keyboards details how each switch type feels and sounds, complete with audio recordings of the various colors in action. Recommended reading for anyone considering a mechanical keyboard or one of the Rosewills, which cost about $100. Looks like the removable USB cord on these particular models is prone to breakage."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

223 comments

geekhack.org is ultimate keyboard site (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40983663)

Sounds like an ad, but seriously I found the best advice there.

Re:geekhack.org is ultimate keyboard site (1)

cruff (171569) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984553)

Except it doesn't seem to be a very usable site for drilling down into the various categories of keyboards.

I bought one (5, Informative)

nimbius (983462) | about a year and a half ago | (#40983673)

from the company that holds the original design patent from IBM for the Model M, and inhereted the process from Lexmark. The keyboard is still built and serviced in Lexington, Kentucky. They ship internationally. have a nice rennaissance.

http://www.pckeyboard.com/ [pckeyboard.com]

Re:I bought one (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40983765)

I bought one about 4 years ago. I was pleasantly surprised to see it was made in Kentucky. I love typing on that thing. People know you're serious.

Kentucky? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40983823)

Kentucky is the home of the fark dot com, mortal enemy of the slashdot dot org. We have 2 traitors in our midst!

Re:Kentucky? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40983969)

Slashdot won't be around in 10 years so we better start looking now. Sooner if things keep going the way they are.

Re:Kentucky? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40984137)

Slashdot has been a shambling zombie barely resembling its former self for years now.

Re:I bought one (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about a year and a half ago | (#40985065)

>>>I love typing on that thing. People know you're serious.

Reminds me of a line from a movie:

George Clooney: "Are you angry with your laptop?"
girl: "I type with purpose."
George:"Keep that up and you'll be typing with carpal tunnel."

I couldn't hear an IBM Type M keyboard even if I had one. I listen to radio or audiobooks while at work, so I just use whatever keyboard comes with my computer. It's pretty quiet.

Re:I bought one (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#40983835)

Reading the review, it sounds like the Model M is still going to be superior.

Re:I bought one (2)

Nimey (114278) | about a year and a half ago | (#40983901)

I'm typing on a Unicomp right now. It feels a little lighter than a classic M and there were a couple minor cosmetic issues (mainly with keycaps needing a slight trim) but it's still a solid keyboard and IMO a good buy for $79.

I've been considering buying one for home so that I can use the Super/Windows key now that more programs are using it, and eventually the PS/2 port is going away.

Re:I bought one (4, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984015)

A real IBM M can be had for less. Real PS2 to USB adaptors, not converters, are available and work great.

My keyboard weighs more than my laptop.

Re:I bought one (2)

ctheme (2694307) | about a year and a half ago | (#40983837)

I collect keyboards and own both vintage Model M's and Unicomp's reproduction, and am typing this on a 1993 IBM unit. The buckling springs are analogous in design, although it seems to me that they keystems on the Unicomp version are a bit softer and the springs a bit less tensioned. I prefer the originals, as they have a more definite click to them, while Unicomp's are somewhat softer feeling. Of course, both are far and above conventional membrane keyboards. Now if only I could afford a Happy Hacking or Rosewill keyboard...

Re:I bought one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40984325)

The Unicomp's not really a reproduction. They basically licensed the tech and bought the plant from Lexmark when Lexmark decided to get out of the keyboard business.

Re:I bought one (1)

Applekid (993327) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984711)

The Unicomp's not really a reproduction. They basically licensed the tech and bought the plant from Lexmark when Lexmark decided to get out of the keyboard business.

They may have licensed the technology, but they're not deploying it to it's original specs. I'd call that a reproduction, close and licensed, but still a reproduction.

Thankfully, I'm not picky with keyboards. Just like not having the golden ear, I save a lot of money that way.

Re:I bought one (2)

CensorshipDonkey (1108755) | about a year and a half ago | (#40983897)

I found this very interesting. I work on a Model M at work, and a Das Keyboard with the Cherry MX Brown switches at home. I was always a little disappointed in the Cherry switches, they feel slightly "gritty" or not as snappy, as the author of this article found as well. My next keyboard is likely to come from Unicomp now that you pointed it out!

Re:I bought one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40984109)

I am typing on Das Keyboard now, after wearing out (due to often dropping them :) ) two Unicomp keyboards. I find the Cherry switches in Das Keyboard slightly faster to type with.

Re:I bought one (3, Informative)

Svartalf (2997) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984391)

That's due to the switch design. An MX is a wiping gold plated contact design. Going to be feeling a bit "gritty" for starters. The bucking spring design was superior for tactile feedback- which is why I prefer a Model M "Clacker" over a Cherry keyswitch design- but I'll take a Cherry over the membrane contact and bubble switch designs since it's still superior over those.

Re:I bought one (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#40983975)

Which version are they based on?
The later lexmark units are inferior to the older 1391401.

Re:I bought one (1)

CaptBubba (696284) | about a year and a half ago | (#40983985)

I use this same keyboard for work and it is wonderful. It is slightly lighter than the Model M I was using before but feels the same while typing.

Re:I bought one (1)

BaldingByMicrosoft (585534) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984045)

I've bought 3 ... it's the only thing I want to type on. I've had one for over 3 years and it seems indestructible. The key printing isn't rubbing off either.

What's great is how they've become viral at work since I've brought mine in. It's great to hear the clickety-clack coming from other offices.

Relevant to this article, I bought a Rosewill to try. The build quality is less-than-desirable, and I suppose I'll be trying out their warranty service with the referenced USB port issue. I've stopped buying Rosewill -- it seems that too many of their products have some fatal flaw on an otherwise okay and cheap component. Such a waste of good switches.

Re:I bought one (1)

Svartalf (2997) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984285)

Heh... When I found out about Unicomp I bought one of their keyboards- on the spot. Hoping to get it back out of storage soon. Keyboard I've got is nice, but the clacker's better by leaps and bounds.

Re:I bought one (1)

greg1104 (461138) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984367)

At this point the Unicomp keyboards are a medicore Model M clone as far as I'm concerned. The build quality of the Model M keyboards was already slipping while being released under the Lexmark name. There is a noticable drop in keyboard feel if you compare a 1994 and 1995 model; there was a 1995 redesign to lower costs [thefreelibrary.com]. And judging from the two Unicomp samples I've tried, the quality kept dropping under their watch.

Re:I bought one (3, Funny)

maztuhblastah (745586) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984687)

All the old stuff is better. They just don't make it like they used to. Why back in $YEAR, they were durable and built to last, now $COMPANY's really gone down the drain...

Or maybe that's just nostalgia... I always get those things confused.

The "did the Model M quality drop" issue has been covered in depth at Geekhack and other places, and apart from a reduction of the metal back plate by (IIRC) a couple hundred grams, there aren't any substantial differences. (There was also a change in plastic makeup, for what people speculated to be regulatory reasons, but that's about it.) The reduction in weight corresponded in some people's minds -- yours included, apparently -- to a "reduction" in durability, but that's psychological. People perceive heavier things as being sturdier; it's the same reason why some audiophile companies add weights to their products.

For me the reason to get a Unicomp board in addition to my used Ms was simple:

Unicomp 0) still makes durable, reliable keyboards 1) actively employs people in the US 2) offers a warranty and repairs any Model M you bring them. None of those things are true if you buy a used Model M.

who needs a warranty? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40984909)

Ive been using the same IBM model M keyboard for just shy of 20 years

If it was a car it could wear antique-car plates. So why would I care about a warranty for a product that is *that* durable?

Re:I bought one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40984877)

I still use my IBM Model M daily (and have a cache of like 3 more that I saved when the company I was working for went belly up.) Best keyboards ever made.

Hands down best site.. (5, Informative)

ZiakII (829432) | about a year and a half ago | (#40983707)

Hands down the best set of information have ever seen about mechanical keyboards was this forum post [overclock.net] on the topic it has everything you want to know about the subject.

Re:Hands down best site.. (2)

bdbr (1882500) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984219)

The guide is nicely technical, but doesn't describe usability very well. I used that guide to buy a Rosewill keyboard with MX Blue (for typing only) at work. It really misses the key points of this evaluation - particularly the way it will "pelt you with shrill, high-pitched clicks". I'm surprised my cube neighbors haven't asked me to stop using it because it's so damned noisy. Also that they're "almost too crisp" - they have such a light touch (compared to the IBM M that I still use at home) that after six months I still have to type more slowly to avoid accidental keypresses.

Re:Hands down best site.. (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984707)

That would very much be my assessment of the Cherry key switches over the IBM buckling springs - the IBM is heavier, and louder, but the key sound is probably less irritating (even if people do comment about the machine gun noise on conference calls...)

In addition, they don't have the longevity of the IBM switches, the switches on my G80-3000 are slightly less reliable now. While I have confidence in my current keyboard lasting me a few more decades, I really wish I'd bought the other one from the same vendor while I could - it's all but impossible to get hold of genuine vintage UK-layout Model Ms now.

Re:Hands down best site.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40984769)

The guide is nicely technical, but doesn't describe usability very well. I used that guide to buy a Rosewill keyboard with MX Blue (for typing only) at work. It really misses the key points of this evaluation - particularly the way it will "pelt you with shrill, high-pitched clicks". I'm surprised my cube neighbors haven't asked me to stop using it because it's so damned noisy. Also that they're "almost too crisp" - they have such a light touch (compared to the IBM M that I still use at home) that after six months I still have to type more slowly to avoid accidental keypresses.

You used the guide to go blue? But the guide overwhelmingly points to the brown as the best.

I have an IBM Model M (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40983715)

Except it's a PS/2 so I only use it with my beater PC.

You need one of these (2)

Comboman (895500) | about a year and a half ago | (#40983833)

You need one of these: PS/2 to USB Adaptor [dealextreme.com]

Re:You need one of these (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40983971)

I doubt it, those things only work if the keyboard itself is able to output USB signals. The Model M does not do this. You need an actual device that reads the PS/2 keystrokes and outputs them as a USB peripheral would.

Re:You need one of these (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984053)

Correct, the device linked is a converter. What is needed for this task is an adapter.

Re:You need one of these (3, Interesting)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984189)

Not so. You're thinking of the little green USB -> PS2 adapters like the ones that used to come with the MS Intellimouse, which were purely electrical because the PS/2 circuitry was in the mouse.

Why would any keyboard with a PS/2 plug on it (and without it's own USB plug) be able to output USB signals?

These little dongles contain a USB HID device for both mouse and keyboard and bridge the input from the PS/2 devices, as you describe. There are some concerns with a genuine old Model M because they draw a lot of current, and some of these adapters can't cope with it, but I've been lucky so far (my Model M is a '96, so it's a relatively late model, I suspect the keyboard controller is not as hungry).

I've got both a Cherry G80-3000 and a Model M hooked up to these adapters and both seem to be fine. The only downside is that you lose the N-key roll-over, and who uses that?

The Cherry is showing signs of age - some of the switches are getting a little unreliable. The Model M is still going strong, and looks like new after you strip it down and wash the casing and keycaps. I'd still buy another Cherry in a heartbeat - the Model M is just too loud to take into an open-plan office.

Re:You need one of these (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40985023)

Errrr, you're agreeing with me.

The Loner's Keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40983731)

Great for the user, horrible for anyone else within 300ft who hasn't yet punctured their own eardrums.

Re:The Loner's Keyboard (2)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984111)

I'm a considerate coworker, and so when I brought my Loner to work I passed out icepicks, iodine solution and cotton balls to everyone within earshot.

I don't like any of these. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40983743)

They all have too much travel distance and too high actuation force. I like quiet, springy, low-force, low-profile laptop-style keys. Oh, and the concave-trapezoid shape - none of that crappy Apple-esque flat/square key crap.

Bluetooth? (1)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about a year and a half ago | (#40983777)

Does anyone make a Bluetooth keyboard with mechanical switches, or is it all just USB or PS/2? (And why would anyone want to use PS/2 in a new design, anyway?)

Re:Bluetooth? (1)

Ben Esacove (22025) | about a year and a half ago | (#40983807)

Re: PS2 over USB -- from my understanding, USB has limitations on the number of keys that can be pressed at one time, whereas PS2 does not.

Re:Bluetooth? (5, Informative)

RobbieCrash (834439) | about a year and a half ago | (#40983849)

PS/2 has unlimited simultaneous keypresses (n key rollover/NKRO). USB, depending on where you look, either cannot, or needs a workaround to do more than 6 keys and a certain number of modifiers, generally 4 (shift/alt/ctrl/super).

Re:Bluetooth? (5, Informative)

somarilnos (2532726) | about a year and a half ago | (#40983933)

Accurate, and, on top of that, USB is polling based, while PS/2 is interrupt based. USB will check the port every "n" milliseconds to see if there's data waiting, while with a PS/2 keyboard, when you press a key, an interrupt is generated. The delay is very short (depending on how often a given keyboard's driver polls, it might only be 10 milliseconds or so), but it's worth noting.

PS/2 is still significantly better than USB for keyboard technology. But USB is usually good enough if you're not a gamer.

It is worth noting too, that just because you have PS/2 doesn't mean you have NKRO automatically, as depending on the technology 'underneath the hood' of a keyboard, it might not allow certain combinations of simultaneous keypresses. But that's an issue that's resolved by getting a mechanical keyboard, since they have the individual switches.

Shameless plug: Steelseries 7G. It's a big investment for a keyboard, but it provides NKRO, is a native PS/2 keyboard, is well constructed, and has audio jacks and USB ports on the keyboard, as well as a removable plastic wrist rest.

Re:Bluetooth? (1)

RobbieCrash (834439) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984049)

Thanks for pointing out the interrupt bit, didn't know that.

PS/2 has the downside of sketchy hot-plug support, which is of debatable importance. Not very if you're a gamer and leave your system set up. But it is something that hits people who never really used PS/2 keyboards/mice and are used to being able to hotswap all external hardware without issue.

Re:Bluetooth? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40984505)

It's a software (bios) issue. Many older motherboards kept the keyboard port active regardless of if one was plugged in on boot (although almost all of them disable the ps/2 mouse port if a mouse isn't detected on startup. Especially annoying with 'passive' vga/ps2 kvm switches, where you have to switch over and wait for bootup on any system you reboot/power on or else find out you need to reboot when you switch over later and the mouse isn't working). But if the ports are 'always on' in the bios, you can swap around with impunity.

Sadly the only way you're likely to get this is running an intentionally hacked bios, or a copy of coreboot, since I've never in 20+ years seen a PC that allows it (most assumed if a PS2 mouse wasn't hooked up that you'd manually configure a com-port based one, and thus disabled the PS2 mouse port so it wouldn't interfere, if I'm remembering correctly.) Not really an issue for modern systems, but like so much cruft in the bios it's still there because nobody got off their ass and fixed it.

Re:Bluetooth? (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about a year and a half ago | (#40983965)

I also understood that USB required some polling whereas PS/2 is a straight hardware interrupt type affair.

quick google... [overclock.net] yes, PS/2 is less intensive on your system, faster and doesn't suffer keypress limits and it also doesn't get delayed because some other USB device is hogging the USB bandwidth (which is more important if you've plugged your keyboard into a USB extension port on your monitor)

Re:Bluetooth? (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984039)

Nuuuuuuuuuuuuu! My EMACS session!

I haven't even seen a computer with a PS/2 adapter in about a decade...

Re:Bluetooth? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984059)

I think if you're typing and pressing more than 6 keys at a time, you're doing something wrong.

Re:Bluetooth? (1)

RobbieCrash (834439) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984145)

Typing, sure. Gaming? Happens rather frequently.

Re:Bluetooth? (1)

Asmor (775910) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984499)

How often does this really happen in gaming? I mainly do MMOs and FPSes, which AFAIK are the most keyboard-intensive types of games, and I have a hard time figuring out how you'd hit more than 6 at a time.

I can really only think of the following "sustained" keypresses:

1. Movement forward/backward
2. Strafing
3. Turning
4. Crouching or Jumping (if jump height is tied to how long the key is held)
5. Display info (e.g. scoreboard)

Everything else you would do is a momentary keypress, which assuming you're doing all 5 of the above simultaneously, maxes you out at 6 keys. I'm not aware of any MMOs where you'd hold down a key to attack, and although that does happen in FPSes, you'd be using a mouse button, not the keyboard.

I'm genuinely curious, how would you end up hitting more than 6 keys at once? Maybe flight sims?

Re:Bluetooth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40983927)

This is why I got a Noppoo Choc Mini http://www.overclock.net/t/902905/review-noppoo-choc-mini-mechanical-keyboad-cherry-mx-brown-nkro-under-usb (most links are to e-bay when I Google, and I don't want to spam).
Cherry blues and NKRO over USB. It doesn't work on OSX though, but you're fine in Linux and Windows (something funky with how it's identified to the os to get past the key limit).

Re:Bluetooth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40983843)

PS2 has some techincal advantages still. The biggie is n-key rollover. I have a Das Keyboard which allows every key to be pressed at once when used ps2 but only 6 simultaneous presses with usb. (Granted, since I don't game anymore, I rarely press more than four)

Re:Bluetooth? (2)

petermgreen (876956) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984405)

And why would anyone want to use PS/2 in a new design, anyway?

Some users of KVM switches or older computers may find it useful and I doubt there is any signficiant cost difference between a chip that can scan a keyboard and output over USB and one that can scan a keyboard and autodetects USB or PS2.

Also IIRC there is a design flaw in the USB keyboard specs which limits the number of keys that can register as down at the same time.

Maybe if you're deaf (1)

PPalmgren (1009823) | about a year and a half ago | (#40983829)

People like to swear by mechanical keyboards. However, mechanical keyboards make me start swearing. I find it hard to concentrate when suffering that cacophanous sound constantly and it ruins any semblance of a tranquil work environment for me.

To each their own, I guess

Re:Maybe if you're deaf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40984337)

Not all mechanical keyboards are noisy. Try a cherry brown or a HHKB. While not completely silent they aren't as
noisy as a buckling spring.

Re:Maybe if you're deaf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40984937)

Honestly I found the click-clack when typijng calming. To each their own.

So these are budget high-end keyboards (1)

hattig (47930) | about a year and a half ago | (#40983839)

If you're going to spend $110 on a keyboard... then why not wait a little longer and spend $150 on the best one that best matches your requirements?

And one that doesn't have a cranky USB port either.

Personally I'm not a fan of the numeric keypad, I never use it myself and it gets in the way most of the time. However I do like having a full-size cursor key setup. I hate media keys. Rarely use function keys. What is the best mechanical keyboard for these requirements (UK layout, screw that tiny return key on US keyboards)?

Re:So these are budget high-end keyboards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40983947)

http://www.keyboardco.com/keyboard_details.asp?PRODUCT=933

I have this model. Cherry brown switches. The key symbols are printed on the front of the keys not the top, which is quirky but I like 120 quid (inc. VAT).

Best keyboard I ever had.

Re:So these are budget high-end keyboards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40983989)

Whoops! I should add that this is a "UK Filco Ninja Majestouch-2, Tenkeyless, NKR, Tactile Action, Keyboard"

Define "mechanical keyboard". (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40983883)

Isn't any keyboard with moving parts, i.e., anything that's not touch sensitive a "mechanical keyboard"?

Why do nerds reserve this term for I'm-an-annoying-asshole-who-likes-everyone-to-know-how-fast-and-frantic-I-can-type style noisy keyboards?

I like mechanical keyboards, as in ones that move, but I don't like noisy ones.

Re:Define "mechanical keyboard". (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40984027)

Most keyboards are rubber dome, so whilst the key moves, the dome itself isn't really "mechanical" than "a compressable bubble with contacts on either side".

Re:Define "mechanical keyboard". (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984099)

Because they have a clean key press, dome keyboards are too squishy. If you can make a clean break feeling without the noise do it.

Re:Define "mechanical keyboard". (1)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984301)

It might be more accurate to say keyboards with mechanical switches.

It's true that keyboards with dome switches are mechanical in the sense of being based on moving parts, but they are essentially a mechanical key put on top of a membrane switches [wikipedia.org], similar to how the buttons you find on microwaves operate. Switches where the switch action is based on moving rigid parts, rather than a flexing membrane, are usually the ones called "mechanical switches".

Re:Define "mechanical keyboard". (4, Interesting)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984589)

The mechanical keyswitches are better to type on.

Anecdotal : my dear grey-haired mother used to be a legal secretary, so she would type most of the day for all of her professional career. When I saw that she was getting arthritis in her finger joints, as any good son would, I replaced the shitty generic standard-issue membrane keyboard that came with her office computer with a decent Cherry. Her arthritis improved significantly within weeks. (Both keyboards were non-ergonomic standard layout). When she retired, she took the keyboard with her and continues to use it even today.

The main problem with a membrane keyboard is a lack of positive feedback. You have to wait until a character appears on screen and your brain has processed this event to know whether you have successfully hit the key. For a fast typist, this is way to slow, so instead, they start to mash the keys harder than necessary in order to be sure of positive contact. Hence the finger joint arthritis.

With a mechanical keyswitch, there are two forms of positive feedback that you have successfully hit the key. First, there is the characteristic "click" sound. Secondly, there is the moment in the keystroke when the key switch "gives". This means that your finger can sense precisely how much effort is required to achieve positive contact, which means you only expend as much effort as necessary. In my humble opinion, ergonomic keyboards are a really stupid response to most typing RSI issues, and it's probably a better idea to get a keyboard with proper keyswitches - all the ergonomic boards I've touched still have the same shitty membrane switches.

The thing that got to me the most was her IT departments disgruntled response about having to install a new keyboard - "Why do you need a special keyboard?" (she shut them up by informing them her son was both a doctor and a computer professional). A professional typist (whether you're typing code, or legal papers) should use a professional keyboard. IBM understood this when they developed the Model M. It's a shame that we've lost that in the quest for cost savings..

Re:Define "mechanical keyboard". (2)

cduffy (652) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984889)

In my humble opinion, ergonomic keyboards are a really stupid response to most typing RSI issues, and it's probably a better idea to get a keyboard with proper keyswitches - all the ergonomic boards I've touched still have the same shitty membrane switches.

This isn't true of Maltrons -- I have a friend who's a huge fan, owning 3 generations of the product. According to Wikipedia, [wikipedia.org] they use Cherry MX switches.

What? (2)

FilmedInNoir (1392323) | about a year and a half ago | (#40983893)

I have no idea what the hell any of this is about. Mechanical keyboards?
So you have to start them up like a chainsaw or something?
Are they like the old C-64/VT100 keyboards. Cause you needed kung-fu death fingers to type on those.

Any ergonomic mechanical keyboards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40983937)

Has anyone run across any ergonomic mechanical keyboards?

I currently use the Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboards and could never go back to non-ergo, but unfortunately have never seen any ergonomic mechanical ones.

Any recommendations ?

Re:Any ergonomic mechanical keyboards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40984115)

See ZiakII's comment [slashdot.org]. The link he provides covers some.

Das (2)

MikeyTheK (873329) | about a year and a half ago | (#40983951)

I have a DAS Keyboard with brown Cherry switches. They are 45g to activate, and not clicky. The keyboard is not silent, but it is certainly not noisy, either. This is the best feeling keyboard I own, and maybe the best feeling one I have ever owned. I have pounded the crap out of it for over a year and it still works, as one would expect. Every time I shop for a laptop, I just cringe when I feel the keys and I think about spending all day using it.

Re:Das (1)

Tyler Eaves (344284) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984261)

What's the key stroke depth like? Have you ever typed on a Model M for comparison? I like the feel of a model M (and I have two - an original and a Unicomp) - but the key travel is a bit long for my tastes.

Re:Das (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40984569)

I have Model M at work and Das Keyboard with Cherry MX Browns at home. They're both great. If I had to chose one, I would chose the Browns over the buckling springs. It's just a little easier to type all day without fatigue, and they are much easier on your co-workers' ears. They are slightly lighter to actuate and just a shade less springy.

However, you do give up the extra-ordinarily crisp and precise actuation point that the buckling spring has. The spring has the most fluid and crisp motion of any of the switches. I like the feel of that one the most, but still prefer the Browns for straight typing and gaming. They also have a clear actuation point, mechanical and audible feedback and are a million times better than fucking rubber domes.

Re:Das (1)

Asmor (775910) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984265)

I've got two of the Das Ultimate keyboards, one at work and one at home. I love them.

Using the blue cherry switches. They're really not all that loud at all, despite the company selling earplugs for your coworkers. :)

Re:Das (1)

sed quid in infernos (1167989) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984941)

Yes, I'd love to see a laptop with a mechanical-switch keyboard. No idea how viable it is weight-wise. And since thinness is the new end-all-be-all of laptop design, it's very unlikely to ever happen.

105th key? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40984003)

No, thank you.

thnkpad keyboard better. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40984007)

Meh, a thinkpad keyboard works just as well, costs about $50 from lenovo, and doesn't sound like a mechanical typewriter. Plus it doesn't come with a useless numeric keypad that serves only to uncenter my keyboard relative to my monitor.

Never understood the love affair with mechanical keyboards - I dumped mine a long time ago.

"Truly Ergonomic" : Ergonomic with Cherry MX Brown (1)

corsec67 (627446) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984069)

The Truly Ergonomic Keyboard [trulyergonomic.com] is a smaller ergonomic keyboard that currently only comes with Cherry MX Brown switches.

There are other, larger, keybards like the Maltron or Kinesis that are ergonomic with mechanical switches, but they tend to be enormous, while the "Truly Ergonomic" is similar in size to the "Happy Hacker" keyboard.

Eh, fuck it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40984215)

I'm sticking with my Topre and there's nothing that you can do about it!

Another advantage (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984217)

Another advantage of my decades old model M is the keys don't stick. I have a POS dell mushboard at work and my biggest annoyance is you need to hit the keys, especially the larger keys, precisely up and down or they stick half way or slip-stick-slip-stick before they hit. So unconsciously the poor quality makes repetitive stress injuries more likely.

Mini USB is a poor choice (1)

Matt_Bennett (79107) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984227)

Using a mini-B connector was a poor choice. The Mini-B was not designed for many plug-unplug cycles, Micro-B is designed for many more cycles, in addition, the portion that wears is the plug-end, not the soldered down jack.

Re:Mini USB is a poor choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40984663)

Anecdotally, I've used phones with both mini-B and micro-B ports, and the mini-B ones have had a much greater longevity than the micro-B ones. I suspect Rosewill was just stingy with the solder.

Filco? (1)

wytcld (179112) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984231)

These come in variants with the various Cherry keys, and also without the keypad, which is very good if (1) you don't use a keypad and (2) you're right handed and don't want the mouse too far away. Here [amazon.com] - anyone tried them? I haven't. Tempted though.

Re:Filco? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40984557)

I own one, and love it. Be warned though that they are a "premium" product, and so are by definition not a good value.

Mac Users (0)

mholve (1101) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984311)

For Mac users, check out the Matias "Tactile Pro" keyboard. All the Model M clickiness you can stand, but with all the Mac symbols printed on the keyboard. I've got one myself, and it's a real pleasure.

http://matias.ca/tactilepro/

Re:Mac Users (1)

nbvb (32836) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984669)

Our friends at Unicomp also have a Mac version of their keyboard - the Spacesaver M. Freakin' awesome.... feels like '92 all over again.

This post was brought to you by the Unicomp Spacesaver M.

Re:Mac Users (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40984923)

Yeah, I like mine. My wife, on the other hand....

Why buy shitty overpriced models ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40984497)

when you can just buy good old Cherry-G80s? They have the same switches, you can also chose which one you want, and cost you 60€ at most ...

Commodore C64x (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40984533)

The new C64x from Commodore USA uses the Cherry BLUE switches..

Wish it came without the numpad (1)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984575)

I wish I could get a buckling spring design without the numpad. (or with the numpad on the left) Who has room for that? Looks like you can get a keyboard with those CherryMX switches without the numpad (for substantial cost) but I've never actually tried one of those before. I wish I could give it a shot first.

Re:Wish it came without the numpad (1)

wytcld (179112) | about a year and a half ago | (#40984797)

Here's one with the Cherry Browns [elitekeyboards.com] and no numpad for $99 + approx. $14 shipping. Haven't tried it.

Re:Wish it came without the numpad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40985069)

I have that one. Got it about a month or so ago.
Very nice. Very light keystroke too. The build quality is high and there
is a noticeable weight about it.
Only downside is had to put some lithium grease on the backspace key as it was squeaking a bit.
Aside from that...very nice.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...