Discussion about
frankspin

Let's talk keyboards and what you're currently using



Recently I was thinking about keyboards (that's normal right?) and I started to remember the good ole Optimus Maximus. The big ole hunkin keyboard that let you customize the keycaps for different shortcuts. Definitely ahead of its time, but probably led to the inspiration behind Razer's Synapse software.

This of course spiraled out of control into me researching mechanical keyboards. I've never owned one, but as I keep spending more time at the computer I'm beginning to consider saving for one. Trying to find a 10-key less one for OSX is pretty tough with the only option I know of being WASD's custom boards. They're expensive though, a bit more than the Ducky Shine III, but they're certainly awesome looking. Plus I gotta consider the clicky-clacky aspect of them, considering I want the blues over the browns.



I know it'd be an upgrade over my crappy Apple Wireless one which is what I've been typing on full-time for the last 2 1/2 years. The only other keyboards seeing my fingers are the ones on my MacBooks, the Logitech Ultrathin and Logitech K400 for my HTPC.

What are you rocking for your daily driver? Those of you who moved onto mechanical, is it as nice as everyone makes it out to be?

sort by

31 replies
TgD

I despise my Logitech k400. It only gets media use (works with PS3, and my Surface Pro nicely). The trackpad on it feels awful to me. Perhapd I have been spoiled by 8 years of MacBook Pro trackpads but I have never really liked other trackpads.

I really don't require too many bells and whistles in my daily life, so my home office keyboard is the Cooler Master CM Storm Trigger (with Blue switches). This keyboard feels nice to me, and types very loudly. Like, I can hear the echo of my key clacks off my walls when I really get going. This doesn't bother me nor anyone else since I live alone, but I wouldn't want to use this in an office environment.

At work I use a generic Lenovo keyboard with no bells or whistles. It suits my purpose fine

For my Surface Pro I have a touch cover 2, which gets the job done for something so portable.
2 like dislike
frankspin

The trackpad on the K400 is terrible, but it serves it's small purpose of allowing me to have a mouse when I need one on my HTPC.
1 like dislike
legendarypoet

I've got it too. It makes me so mad that I have to both love it and hate it...lol. As you said though, it gets the job done.
0 like dislike
MichaelBerry

Absolutely agree with your assessment of the K400. Just spent 2 weeks with one and returned it, unsatisfied. Bought it because it's very well-reviewed on Amazon. But found the trackpad terrible (cheap and finicky with tons of phantom inputs). Still looking for a trackpad-keyboard combo with a trackpad of comparable quality to my MPB.
0 like dislike
needmoretech

www.daskeyboard.com­/daskeyboard­-4­-professional/

Currently using a Das Keyboard 4 Professional with Cherry MX Brown switches. The deck is substantial and feels great. The typing experience far surpasses my old keyboard, Logitech MX5500.

The thing that really should give anyone pause is the price on this thing. I paid $171 for the thing and, it didn't even come with lube!

Another consideration for people interested in the keyboard is that it's a pure typing keyboard. It does not have any backlight illumination nor does it have programmable macros. Lacking these features might alienate the gamer demographic.
2 like dislike
frankspin

I really like the Das lineup, but I don't need a keyboard that big. I rarely use a number pad and the USB hub is not a big seller for me. Still, I think they're awesome little boards but just not what I need.
1 like dislike
needmoretech

I won't sell you on any particular brand, but my personal opinion is mechanical keyboards are the best type of keyboards that you can buy. Not only are they made well, the typing experience makes the investment worth it. My hands and wrists are much less stressed now that I've converted. I'm sure you will find many anecdotes supporting this opinion floating around the enthusiast circles.

Here are a few other 10-key less choices:
www.duckychannel.com.tw­/en­/ducky­-mini/
gaming.coolermaster.com­/en­/products­/keyboards­/quic...

A whole listing of Mac compatible keyboards:
mechanicalkeyboards.com­/shop­/index.php­?m­=­&c­=36...
0 like dislike
Elfboy26

www.wasdkeyboards.com/ Your wallet will hate you, but your fingers will love you. I have a full size V2 with MX Browns for work and a Full size CODE with MX greens for home.
1 like dislike
frankspin

I mention that it's high on my list because not a lot of 10-key less ones support OSX.
2 like dislike
Elfboy26

I think a 10-key less of some kind is in my future. I use the number pad a lot a work but not at home.
0 like dislike
jerquiaga

I've always liked ergonomic keyboards, and I'm using the Microsoft Ergonomic Sculpt set. Love the keyboard and the mouse, and I like that the ten key is a separate piece. I stash it away when I don't need it (most of the time), but can pull it out when I do.
1 like dislike
groovechicken

As a writer, I am obsessed with keyboards and have purchased more than I reasonably should have over the years. :) I haven't tried all the really good ones, but I have tried a lot of different ones. My favorite of all the ones I have tried is the Apple Extended II. During a time when I was rarely using keyboards at home aside from whatever was built into the laptop I was using, I let my wife use my Apple Extended II with its ADB to USB adapter and she is still using it. I can't help but feel a little jealous when I hear her typing on it. I don't think she really understands what a sacrifice that was. :)

At work, where I do a ton of typing, I have a Razer Black Widow, which I like a lot. Cherry Blue keyswitches are a close 2nd to the old springs of the Apple. I also have a ThinkPad USB keyboard with Trackpoint, and that thing is about the best 10-key-less keyboard I have used. It is the older model that used the same keys as the T series ThinkPads, not the newer ones. Good luck finding one of those at a reasonable price, though. I was shopping around for another one last week and the going price at Amazon was $380 Used!!!

At home, since my wife has my good keyboard, I am using a tolerable Lenovo dome keyboard and an older IBM dome keyboard with a PS2 to USB adapter. They aren't great but they are good enough.

In the entertainment center, I have an IOGear with built-in trackball. It's not bad, but the trackball sometimes doesn't want to cooperate, requiring constant thumb licking to get it moving. I wish the Logitech K400 had been around when I bought that.

For my portable devices, I have the Logitech Bluetooth for Android and I love it, even though I rarely use it. I tried the Motorola with Trackpoint, but it just wasn't that good, so I gave it to the kids to use with their tablets.

I have always wished that Apple would have made a USB version of the keyboard ni the last 12" PowerBook, because that keyboard was so good that I have been considering buying a new battery for mine and using it as my writing machine again. Then there is the old PowerBook 120 which had a pretty amazing keyboard as well.

My budget for keyboards is tight these days as there are so many other things I would rather spend the money on, but I may end up buying the Monoprice keyboard with Cherry Blues in it before all is said and done. I am hoping that will be a reasonable way to get a cheap mechanical keyboard.

My dream is to one day get a call from someone with a ton of old computer stuff to donate to the school and find a treasure trove of IBM Model M originals. :)

Good luck on the quest. I think Cherry will send samples of keys if you want to test the different types before deciding which to buy.
1 like dislike
frankspin

In the entertainment center, I have an IOGear with built-in trackball. It's not bad, but the trackball sometimes doesn't want to cooperate, requiring constant thumb licking to get it moving. I wish the Logitech K400 had been around when I bought that.

My friend and I went through the same thing with the IOGear. The trackball was terrible on the first one I got so I RMA'd it and it worked much better. I did eventually just buy the K400 though when the price ended up dropping.
0 like dislike
donweel

Just keep checking those used computer places. Those model M beasties never die.
0 like dislike
CyberAkuma

Being a gamer, I am currently using a Cherry MX Red switch based Cooler Master Storm Trigger for my gaming rig. Love typing on this thing. (Though that might be because it's my first mechanical keyboard)

Sadly, this thing has been discontinued :(

But they seem to have made an updated model of it, just don't know if it's any better or worse as I haven't looked into it, called the Cooler Master Storm Trigger Z.
1 like dislike
SpecTP

the new CM keyboard release is the Novatouch
0 like dislike
CyberAkuma

Never heard of it, the rep when I asked about repairing my Storm Trigger told me the Storm Trigger Z is what is replacing the old Storm Trigger. It appears to look exactly like the old Storm Trigger and has a few under-the-hood hardware upgrades.

gaming.coolermaster.com­/en­/products­/keyboards­/trig...
0 like dislike
SpecTP

yep.. it was on CM's site for a few days then got pulled. You can see discussions about it here geekhack.org­/index.php­?topic­=56756.0
0 like dislike
reuteler

oh, come on, no one has mentioned the realforce 87u? esp all 45 or 55.
1 like dislike
Spitfyre

I'm using a usb Apple compact keyboard, no num pad, plenty of space for my magic trackpad
1 like dislike
StammesOpfer

Not a mechanical but I like the layout and position best. I don't mind the feel.

Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000.

I like the wired version. I had the wireless version which felt the same but it isn't really small enough to be portable and I didn't need wireless at the desk.
1 like dislike
legendarypoet

Still love my good ole Optimus Maximus. Before it I went through keyboards like crazy trying to find the perfect one. After I got it, it died a month later and I was furious. It took months, but they sent me a brand new one (after losing my original somewhere between America and Russia) and I've been using it ever since. It's so very clicky and satisfying even to this day 6 years later.
1 like dislike
donweel

Ibm model M was the best ever. I used to have a plastic tote full of them. Lost them in one of my many moves. The Razer Black Widow is a decent modern replacement. Not as good as the old buckling spring model M though.
1 like dislike
antrillion

I'm a software developer and spend most of my days typing, and I really love my Logitech UltraX premium. I really hate that they have stopped making it, and I have yet to find a replacement that can replace it.
1 like dislike
SpecTP

have you tried a poker 2 keyboard or a HHKB (happy hacking keyboard) pro 2?
0 like dislike
SpecTP

I would suggest KUL tenkeyless keyboard or Vortex Poker 2. Both are mechanicals using MX cherry switches

if you really want insights to mechanical keyboards, come checkout geekhack.org

The WASD CODE keyboard has some minor quirks like a resonant 'ping' after a keypress. Not sure if it's a manufacturing issue at this point.
1 like dislike
frankspin

Hadn't heard of the Poker series and just checked them out, and not bad. I was really hoping to find a Ducky Shine III but it looks like they wont work on OSX.
0 like dislike
SpecTP

you should also check out the HHKB (happy hacking keyboard) pro 2

also note, the KUL ES-87 tenkeyless supports OSX

you can use Ducky Shine keyboard DK9008 on OSX. geekhack.org­/index.php­?topic­=23999.0
0 like dislike
CommandoAir

Using a Microsoft Sidewinder X4, had it for nearly 2 years now and it's the best keyboard I've ever used!
1 like dislike
manofvoice

DELL KM714 (Keyboard and mouse combo) bought the combo only for the keyboard. Love it. Its' got my preferred key spacing and key height, textured finish on the keys, num pad included, perfect weight with batteries installed (feels solidly built), nice modern design. It's made by Logitech but branded as DELL. I just wish Logitech sold a comparable model to it without a mouse. All the latest Logitech keyboards use a plastic finish that I am not fond of. I am also not a fan of the shape of the keys, the key feedback, and texture of the keys.

This keyboard can also be found in the DELL KM713 combo package.
1 like dislike
dragosm

I am using a 2.4GHz Wireless Keyboard and the package includes a wireless mouse too.I am very satisfied because it is very easy to use and a very nice sensitivity ,but most of all the design is a killer one www.cellz.com­/2­-4ghz­-wireless­-keyboard­-mouse­-combo... .
Have a look I am very happy with it
0 like dislike