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?
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.
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.
Here are a few other 10-key less choices:
A whole listing of Mac compatible keyboards:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This keyboard can also be found in the DELL KM713 combo package.
Have a look I am very happy with it
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