thinking about going mechanical

#1 Posted by MrT (162 posts) -

I'm thinking about getting a mechanical keyboard. I currently have the azio levetron clicker and it's not horrible, but it's time to upgrade so something good. I've narrowed my choices down to the ducky shine 2, and the razer blackwidow ultimate 2013, neither of which is exactly what i'm looking for. The razer blackwidow ultimate 2013 sounds great but has a green back light which doesn't match the rest of my stuff, and I've also heard it has some shotty quality. The ducky shine 2 looks great but doesn't have the USB and mic jacks. Is there anything with the best of both worlds(cherry mx blues with USB and mic jacks, an maybe blue back light)?

#2 Posted by Ben_H (3444 posts) -

The old Black Widow Ultimate had blue backlights. You could always look for one of those. But yeah, the quality is hit or miss with Razer stuff. Some of it is great and lasts forever and some of it dies just outside of warranty.

#3 Posted by Pr1mus (3956 posts) -

Been using a first gen black widow for 2 years and a half? Something like that. The first models had a spotty space bar which mine has but still works fine and other than that it works great. Best keyboard i've used.

And has Ben_H said, older black widow have blue backlights.

Online
#4 Posted by MrT (162 posts) -

aren't the old ones browns and not blue?

#5 Posted by Caustic_Fox (112 posts) -

The IBM Model-M keyboard comes to mind here. That sucker has two variations, both are ridiculously heavy for a keyboard. You have two choices here: a 7 pound or 5 pound variation Not sure on how they would fare with modern gaming. You'd probably need a PS/2 or AT to USB adapter to get working.

#6 Edited by DonPixel (2632 posts) -

@mrt: I've own a SteelSeries 6Gv2 for a couple of years now, and its pretty great, old school flavor at its best. Only downside its the lack of customisable keys.

I hesitated at first, but I would recomend any PC enthusiast to go with Mechanical, its just so much better.

#7 Posted by TyCobb (1975 posts) -

Das Keyboards are awesome. I have been using this for that past few months and I absolutely love it. It doesn't have microphone jacks, but does have the USB ports. No backlights, but if you get the one I am using, it shouldn't even matter ;)

Blank keyboards rule. It's so much fun watching people try and type. It's almost as if they never typed on a keyboard before.

#8 Edited by Daveyo520 (7010 posts) -

You sould try this baby.

Highest rated keyboard on Newegg, but the real point is that it is cheap and it works just fine.

#9 Edited by Subjugation (4744 posts) -

Your title immediately put this song in my head from C&C: Tiberian Dawn

#10 Edited by Akyho (1700 posts) -

Edit:Hang on.......it does every colour....except blue...NEVERMIND!

The keyboard I use fits three of the things you want. I use a Cyborg V7 it is a fully lit keyboard which you can customise the colours and sections of the keyboard. You can have all blue (it dosnt do blue...., does red, dark green, light green, orange, yellow), the metal WASDkeys green, numpad Light green and so on, with Audio and Mic jack on the top right. Even a game mode which disables the windows key. Also a Usb on it, makes downloading the Bombcast on my mp3 player an ease.

Except probably the main thing you wont let go is....Mechanical part. It is not a Mechanical keyboard, I know 100% since my father destroyed my first one by spilling beer on it, I tried to save it...alas no.

Still its a sweet keyboard if you do think on giving up on the mechanical part.

#11 Edited by Garfield518 (401 posts) -

If you're going to primarily use the keyboard for games, I personally recommend red or black switches over blues.

Reds/blacks lack the tactile bump of blues, so double tapping keys is faster and easier.

I recommend the Corsair K90: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823816002

However, it only has one USB and no mic port.

#12 Posted by TobbRobb (4853 posts) -

Can't go wrong with Steelseries 6GV2. This baby is cheaper, sturdier and all around more bang for your buck than any other keyboard. There should be both red and black versions, while I prefer black, the lighter touch of red is better for some.

#13 Posted by TooWalrus (13258 posts) -

You are going about this all wrongs. You don't need LED backlights, what you need is...

#14 Posted by Daveyo520 (7010 posts) -

@akyho: Hmm now I want a red led keyboard.

#15 Posted by kortex (435 posts) -

I will get the Logitech G710+

has a very nice looking white back lighting and media keys. a bit pricey but dope.

#16 Posted by ripelivejam (4926 posts) -

i like the mechanical keyboard clack, but its pretty obnoxiously loud (even tho at the moment i'm living alone)

what are the actual gaming benefits of a mechanical keyboard? response i suppose?

#17 Posted by videogamesarenotart (121 posts) -

hipster keyboards, its the new trend
right up there with 400 dollar headphones

#18 Posted by bombedyermom (282 posts) -

hipster keyboards, its the new trend

right up there with 400 dollar headphones

Huh? I can't hear you over the fantastic quality of my 399.99$ headphones. DAT BASS!

#19 Posted by TyCobb (1975 posts) -

You are going about this all wrongs. You don't need LED backlights, what you need is...

That's the keyboard I posted. Friggin love this keyboard.

hipster keyboards, its the new trend

right up there with 400 dollar headphones

Uh... not sure why you would think mechanical keyboards are hipster. Mechanical keyboards last for decades and are 10x better in terms of typing and quality.

#20 Posted by Mirado (1057 posts) -

I back up the Das recommendations. I have the Professional (the same as the above posted but without the blank keys) and it's the best thing I've ever typed on. I'm doing so right now, and I find it has a certain inherent danger: my posts tend to be far longer than they should because I don't want to stop typing!

No mic jack but you get two USB ports. Why do you need a mic jack on a keyboard?

#21 Posted by DonPixel (2632 posts) -

@mirado said:

I back up the Das recommendations. I have the Professional (the same as the above posted but without the blank keys) and it's the best thing I've ever typed on. I'm doing so right now, and I find it has a certain inherent danger: my posts tend to be far longer than they should because I don't want to stop typing!

No mic jack but you get two USB ports. Why do you need a mic jack on a keyboard?

I had the same feel with my Steel Series 6Gv2

#22 Posted by ripelivejam (4926 posts) -

@tycobb said:

@videogamesarenotart said:

hipster keyboards, its the new trend

right up there with 400 dollar headphones

Uh... not sure why you would think mechanical keyboards are hipster. Mechanical keyboards last for decades and are 10x better in terms of typing and quality.

also some damn fine headphones to be had in $300-400 range, though that's nearing the point of really diminishing returns...

if you're talking about beats then lol

#23 Edited by MrT (162 posts) -

@garfield518: I've got some fuscular fingers from all the deadlifting and manual labor i do. So i need the blues so i don't unintentionally hit keys next to what I'm trying to hit.

#24 Posted by KingGiddra (243 posts) -

I cannot recommend Razor products in good conscience. I don't have experience with the Black Widow keyboard, but every Razor product I've owned from mice to headsets has broken with in a year. I found that while they worked, they were quite nice, but each broke during regular use. I've since gotten a Zowie Celeritas (brown switch) keyboard and a Logitech G9x. I've been using both for over a year now with no problems.

The different between rubber dome and mechanical keyboards is night and day. It actually makes it really hard to type on rubber keyboard for me since they're really squishy and unresponsive comparatively.

#25 Posted by ChaosDent (234 posts) -

@mrt: You should also consider a buckling spring keyboard from Unicomp. These are built using the same components as the venerable IBM Model M, which has almost 30 years of history. While they are not technically mechanical keyboards in the modern sense, this buckling spring design is what people are referring to when they say mechanical keyboards can last decades. I have both a 90's Model M and a 101 key Unicomp Classic, the feel of both is nearly identical and none of the components on the 20+ year old keyboard (that I use every day for work) have had any problems.

Now they aren't fancy, they don't have any lights or external ports, and the noise is louder, the key travel is longer and the resistance is higher than the typical Cherry gaming switches. What they do have is the perfect standard layout and excellent response. The keys click, actuate and dramatically lower resistance at exactly the same time so it becomes natural to avoid bottoming out when typing. The keyboard pictured below is the one I'd probably recommend. It is the Ultra Classic, and has a smaller footprint and lower weight than the original Classic model while retaining the same standard key layout.

#26 Posted by DonPixel (2632 posts) -

@chaosdent: This post got me thinking: sometimes modern manufacture actually deliver inferior products... Yay! for the age of disposable.

#27 Edited by Devildoll (912 posts) -

@mrt: blues and browns are supposed to have similar resistance , if that's what you are on about.

Browns have just a tiny bit less resistance it seems.

The blues have an intentional click that can drive certain people nuts though.

#28 Edited by TheSquarePear (198 posts) -

Here is a useful overview/guide (a little old)

http://www.overclock.net/t/491752/mechanical-keyboard-guide#post_6025204

If you need international layout get a 'Das'. It is in the expensive part of the middle range but it is built like a fort. I have the brown cherry version and I bottomed out a lot in the beginning with my stumpy finger coordination (maybe the blues are better) but I guess you get used to it, it gets pretty comfortable in the long run and it will last you many years. I also have a Steelseries 6v2 and the black keys are mostly only useful for platformers.

In the unlikely occasion that your mechanical keyboard might break you can just retire it as a pretty sturdy blunt weapon.

#29 Posted by MC_Hify (353 posts) -

Just get one of these babies and a ps2/usb adapater and you'll be set.

#30 Edited by lettuceman44 (111 posts) -

If you want a good quality keyboard for a cheaper cost vs others, look at Leopold.

Fantastic quality keyboards.

#31 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4899 posts) -

Everything in this thread just looks like a regular ass keyboard. Why the differentiation between "mechanical" and otherwise?

#32 Edited by MrT (162 posts) -

Does the blank version of das keyboard have the dots on the F and J keys?

#33 Posted by DonPixel (2632 posts) -

Everything in this thread just looks like a regular ass keyboard. Why the differentiation between "mechanical" and otherwise?

.........

#34 Edited by TyCobb (1975 posts) -

@mrt said:

Does the blank version of das keyboard have the dots on the F and J keys?

Sure does.

#35 Posted by MrT (162 posts) -

Dudes I'm getting a DAS

#36 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

I am currently waiting for the Corsair Veneance K95, an oddly "gamer" name for a pretty classy keyboard. It has the keys you want, it has about as much backlighting flexibility as you could ask for, and has all the extra keys you could want, which means media keys, volume nob, and a bunch of macro keys. Corsair stuff is always good on build quality, it looks nice (and not like Logitch, Razer, or those cooky CYBORG gents puked it up), and has the stuff you want.

Oh, and it's not for crazy people, it has the letters ya want.

It's supposed to be out at the end of this month, I do believe. Quite soon anyway.

Ain't it pretty?

I also really dislike the automatic shadow. At least they should try and make it render under the image and not have that sharp edge for cases like this. Blurg.

#37 Posted by cloudnineboya (849 posts) -

dumb question in coming what the fuck is a mechanical keyboard?

#38 Edited by MrT (162 posts) -
#39 Posted by Jrinswand (1711 posts) -

@mrt: That guy is weird and a liar. I've been using a mechanical keyboard for months now and I'm not any faster of a typist than I ever was.

Also, I've said it before and I'll say it again: there's no need to spend a crazy amount of money for a super-solid, high quality mechanical keyboard. This CM Storm QuickFire Pro keyboard that I'm using is made out all the same parts (it even comes from the same factory) as the more expensive keyboard brands such as Filco and Das and it costs a fraction of the price. Das keyboards regularly run at least $100-125 (or more) and I got my keyboard for somewhere around $60.

Mine looks like this. It has MX Brown switches (which I like much more than Blues), but you can get one with MX Reds for $60 on Newegg right now.
#40 Edited by rynbeed (143 posts) -

+1 on the Razer Black Widow Ultimate

I have had mine for... 1/2 a year now? Either way, best keyboard I have every had. Make the switch, it's worth it. Other then my friends don't like it when I really get to typing while in Skype.. Apparently the keyboard comes through loud and clear over my mic.... *clickclickclickclickclick!*

*edit - the software is shit though, so that should be noted.

#41 Posted by TaintedGlory (3 posts) -

I recently purchased a Cooler Master Quickfire Rapid (The one that doesn't have logos plastered all over it) and I've really enjoyed it. If I had my choice between the Black Widow and the Ducky Shine II it has got to be the Ducky Shine II all day. The difference in build quality is going to be huge, plus the LED's on the Shine II are much brighter. I was originally going to get a Ducky Shine II but the version I wanted was out of stock so I picked up the Quickfire to hold me off until I am able to purchase the Shine II that I want. Another option I might suggest to you is anything made by Filco. They make great boards, and the Filco Ninja Majestouch-2 is incredibly sexy.

#42 Edited by Nivash (241 posts) -

Writing this on the Q-pad Mk50:

Best fucking keyboard I've ever touched. Thing just screams quality. It's a dream to write with: everything from the the wonderfully proportioned wrist support to the perfectly angled kickstands...which are also all of it's special features. It's minimalistic as all hell and I love it for it. Just stick it in the USB or PS/2 port and you're good to go. And yes, using a mechanical versus a conventional is truly night and day. It feels that much better. The smooth sliding of the keys make you think they could as well be analogue.

Built like a tank too. Had it for over a year, still looks like the day I bought it. 50 million keystrokes per key makes me think I'll run out of fingers before I run out of keys.

As with most mechanical keyboards a possible downside is the noisiness. Then again, I really like the sound of the clack-clack-clack. Makes me feel more...productive.

It's a bit pricey, will set you back about $120 at Amazon. But believe me, it's worth it.

#43 Edited by Nivash (241 posts) -

@cloudnineboya: To put it simply the most common "conventional" keyboard, the rubber dome variant, has a rubbery dome underneath every key. When pressed, the dome produces an electrical impulse by shortening two circuits underneath the rubber dome in a central circuitboard when the dome collapses. They are so common because they are the cheapest to produce. Mechanicals are easier to explain: when you push the key, you push down to mechanically flip a switch that sends the impulse. That's about the difference between them.

But the two approaches are rather different in how they feel. Rubber domes can have a sponginess to them through the consistency of the dome as well as requiring greater pressure. Because of this they are neither as smooth or fast to press as mechanical ones and don't spring back as easily. They also have a considerably lower life expectancy. On the plus side, they are virtually silent - although whether or not that's a plus is a matter of taste.

#44 Posted by Falx (347 posts) -

I recommend the Corsair K90, i've got one and it's pretty fucking awesome.

#45 Posted by cloudnineboya (849 posts) -

@nivash: cool thanks dude i know off the little rubber nubs for pressing but was not sure of the mechanical part .

#46 Edited by CheapPoison (742 posts) -

I am not 100% positive on this ,but the quickfire rapids came out of the same factory as the filcos, but these are the same oem as razor i though.

Also if you are in the us and want a keyboard 'wasd keyboards' is also an option.

#47 Posted by preaser (38 posts) -

I have limited desk space and love the KBT Pure 60%.

#48 Edited by EXTomar (4952 posts) -

@runcrash said:

Just get one of these babies and a ps2/usb adapater and you'll be set.

The most mechanical of the mechanical keyboards. I swear those things are made of steel and strong enough to use as a weapon.

#49 Posted by 49th (2853 posts) -

The Das Keyboard is nice. It is very loud and has a satisfying sound - although sometimes when I am typing at night I wish it was a bit quieter.

I've developed a really bad habit using it though which is to randomly press the caps lock key just to hear the sound. This often leads to me typing full caps messages in online games which makes me look like an idiot.

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