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#1 Edited by artofwar420 (6917 posts) -
Zen Pond Artisan Keys
Zen Pond Artisan Keys

I spend so much time using these peripherals, yet until recently I put little thought into what was under my fingers. My current setup consists of a laptop propped up on a swiveling arm towards the right of my desk, as such it's a little out of reach for typing. I needed a keyboard, so I thought why not give these mechanical keyboards I hear so much about in the internet.

My first incursion into mechanical keyboards became a Ducky One 2 with blue mx cherry switches. Apparently they provide some linear resistance while not being insanely noisy. Noise was a concern since I like to type stuff at night. These switches feel amazing. It makes me want to type all the time; I even downloaded a game I bought a while ago that was all about typing called "Epistory: Typing Chronicles". It's not just the keys that feel great, but the overall design and construction is very industrial. This keyboard feels like it was ripped out of a factory terminal from the 80s. I'm very excited about this new tactile world. For my next keyboard I want green switches, which are one of the heaviest and clickiest. I'm finding out also, there are these handmade keycaps with insane designs.

My question to y'all is what keyboard are you currently using?

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#2 Posted by 49th (3879 posts) -

My first mechanical keyboard was a blue switch Das Keyboard Professional which I actually hated. The clicks were cool at first but very quickly became incredibly annoying, but the worst part of that keyboard was the fucked up space bar which had a weird stiff metal bar mechanism that didn't work half the time especially when I was typing quickly. It was an expensive keyboard too and I ended up sending it back and getting a replacement which had the same problem. I also developed a really bad habit of tapping the caps lock key to hear the clicky sound which I still do it to this day and randomly start typing in full CAPS.

Somehow I used it for a year before switching to a red switch Corsair k70 which is amazing. It's not stupidly noisy and it has a really nice design and good features. I'm still using it and it's great, it's what I imagined it would be like when I first decided to get a mechanical keyboard.

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#3 Posted by artofwar420 (6917 posts) -

@49th: You'd think everyone who wants a mechanical keyboard wants maximum clickyness, but there's a time and place for that. Same for me, I listened to demonstration of the other switches and although cool for a few minutes I don't think I wanted that for a daily driver. I do want a second keyboard with green switches just to feel the other end of the spectrum and feel the click and heaviness of the keys.

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#4 Posted by fnrslvr (573 posts) -

Corsair K70 LUX with Cherry MX Browns over here. Took a while to get used to, at first it felt clunky and I was always bottoming out the keys hard. But when I actually got used to it, my wpm average probably gained a good ~10wpm (cf my typeracer profile), and I started to find the actuation force on my laptop keyboard hard to cope with at speed.

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#5 Posted by Dizzyhippos (4471 posts) -

My first "mechanical" keyboard was an old school model M that I got second hand (thing was a tank and I would still be using it if not for the fact that the PS/2 port on my mobo at the time stopped working. Recently I tried to upgrade to a Razer black widow that I got on sale for 50~$ at bestbuy, but I found the Greens (effectively Blues) to be too loud and returned it.

Switches these days are a nightmare because no one wants to pay for Cherry's anymore they want to make there own and personally I cant stand linear switches like silvers, reds and Roamer-G's.

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#6 Edited by artofwar420 (6917 posts) -

@dizzyhippos: That is the truth, you may want to skimp out on cheaper switches and some come close but if you want Cherry you gotta pay the troll toll to get into the boy's... wait. I don't have experience with other switches, but I'd like to try them out starting with Alps and Topre switches.

P.S. Hope you have that model M still; they're not great for gaming due to not being able to press too many keys at once, but damn if that isn't a special experience for typing.

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#7 Posted by sub_o (1159 posts) -
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I use Das Keyboard 4 Ultimate

It's blank keys, because at the time I bought it, I was working in Germany where most people are using QWERTZ, but I grew up typing with QWERTY. Blank keyboard means that I get less confused, also I switch languages very often, so that helps too.

The keyboard is very clicky, heavy, and has dedicated media buttons + volumes (which are now useless, since I route my audio to Focusrite Scarlett, which only allows hardware-based volume control). With Keyboard Maestro on OSX, and Logitech MX Master 2S, it becomes a productivity beast.

I gotta say I like it a lot, and is my main keyboard. My secondary right now is a Logitech K380 bluetooth keyboard (not mechanical), mainly used to quickly connect to mobile devices, and or Raspberry Kali Linux.

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#8 Posted by Dizzyhippos (4471 posts) -

@warofart: Its somewhere ya, and its still the best keyboard I ever owned. Roamer G tactiles are OK but the big problem with Logitech switches is if you bottom out your key presses it feels like your typing on mush.

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#9 Posted by WayToBlue (2 posts) -

@sub_o: I really like the look of that Das. I’m using a Leopold F750 TKL with blue switches. I absolutely love it, but I want to replace the keycaps with blank ones.

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#10 Posted by FacelessVixen (2468 posts) -

Corsair K70 Mk.2 with silent switches. As someone whose been eying these class of keyboards on various YouTube tech channels since putting my rig together back in 2015, it's great to finally be a part of the expensive keyboard club.

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#11 Posted by hippie_genocide (2399 posts) -

I had a Corsair K70 with Cherry MX Red switches. A very good keyboard indeed. Recently I bought a Logitech Pro TKL keyboard with Roamer-G switches. They take some getting used to but once I did, I really like them. It feels almost like a hybrid between a mechanical switch and membrane type switch. When I figured out that I don't need to bottom out my keystrokes, it started to feel great. Certainly not for everyone, though.

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#12 Posted by Stonyman65 (3792 posts) -

I'm using a Corsair K70 Lux with brown switches and and blue o-rings. I'm considering getting a K60 either in browns again or maybe reds

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#13 Posted by monetarydread (2887 posts) -

@warofart: I checked out those keycaps and damn!, thats >$200 USD worth of keycaps. That site charges like $55 plus shipping for those.

As for the post, I own a Corsair K70 with Cherry reds and o-rings to prevent them from bottoming out and my roommate owns the same version with Blues. I bought this for gaming, and I prefer typing on mechanical keys, but the noise of these things is annoying.

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#14 Posted by fisk0 (6817 posts) -

I use an old 1988 Digital Corporation PCXRL/102WN63S PS/2 keyboard which I dug up from a closet and have been using daily since about 2012 when I got tired of modern USB keyboards only lasting for about 18 months. Never opened it up, so don't know specifically what kind of switches and stuff it uses (and there's very little to be found online about it aside from some German Ebay listings). It's not particularly loud at least, and I like it that way.

Only issues is the fact that it lacks any Windows buttons, and that Windows 10 has phased out a lot of the alternative shortcuts you could use in lieu of the Menu key (ctrl-esc for the start menu still works thankfully).

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#15 Posted by Applegong (413 posts) -

I'm typing on a four year old FILCO with brown switches. It's a no frills keyboard that provided decent typing experience, aside from that one time it failed to be recognized for some reason.

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#16 Edited by BoboBones (227 posts) -

Earlier this year I spilled vegetable juice on my old Corsair and had to get a new board. I felt guilty spending the money on a HHKB Pro 2, but it’s one of the best purchases I’ve ever made.

It took some time to get used to the new layout, but it’s been incredible. The sound, feel, compact size, and sleek looking caps have been a joy. It’s also compatible with my work computer which is a Mac.

I can’t even accurately describe what it feels and sounds like. It seems silly to say, but it’s like typing/playing on a magical cloud.

The build quality is top notch, and there was no toxic odor. (I have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity)

I tried that Das board first, but returned it. It smelled so bad it gave me a terrible headache.

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#17 Posted by warpr (205 posts) -

I'm using a Kinesis Freestyle Edge, it's nice to finally have a split keyboard with cherry mx'es. (I have browns, but you can get it with other color cherry mx switches obviously).

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#18 Posted by cikame (2606 posts) -

I'm like you, but totally opposite :P.
I didn't appreciate membrane keyboards until i got a mechanical one, it was a Razer Lycosa at a friend's recommendation, it was absolutely awful.
It took a few more purchases before i came across what i currently consider to be the ultimate keyboard, a Dell KB212 in UK layout. I'm still using the first one i got, it's nearly 5 years old and is starting to get a bit spongey, but that's ok because i have 3 more spare.

There's probably a mechanical keyboard out there for me, maybe i'll start looking again in 15+ years.

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#19 Edited by Tennmuerti (9420 posts) -

I don't really like mechanical keyboards, working a lot with laptops made me appreciate two very important things that I want out of a keyboard:

  1. keys needs to be a smooth surface with as very little gap or "landscape" in between, so that my hands can glide across, basically when playing I do not lift my fingers to transfer from key to key they just shift and gaps between keys do not make for as smooth of a glide
  2. the key press has to have as little movement to it as possible and little resistance, so no big up and down key movement, while still remaining distinct (ie not mushy), this again favors thin keyboards rather then the big bulky mechanical ones

When you are in front of a screen 12 hours a day either for work or entertainment these minor imperceptible things add up. Making your fingers do less work day in and day out and put in less effort even fractionally is just the most logical and comfortable thing to do in the long run for my money. (less sound is a bonus)

This actually makes me kinda picky with keyboards and sometimes hard to satisfy.

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#20 Posted by sub_o (1159 posts) -

@tennmuerti: Is there any kind of keyboard that you really like or eyeing for?

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#21 Posted by Tennmuerti (9420 posts) -

@sub_o:

Right now I'm using a simple K520 Logitech. It's not an "ideal" I would shoot for in my quest for personal perfection, but it's as close as I could get with the limited selection I have on hand from nearby shops. It's keys are just a tiny fraction of a hair more resistant then what I would consider perfect and slightly more frictioney on the surface, but not to the point where I notice when just using it day to day, only when directly comparing side by side to an integrated ones I've grown to love.

In a perfect world I would just rip out any number of keyboards integrated into Dell laptops (especially gaming ones) and use those instead.

It hard to eye keyboards in my case from just looking at them online, I've tried. The problem is that so much of it comes down to feel. You think it looks one way but you put your hands on it and quickly realize it feels all wrong. I've bought and put aside a good number of keyboards now to the point where I am not willing to spend any more money on anything I don't get a physical hands on feel of first.

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#22 Posted by NotSoSneakyGuy (220 posts) -

I'm totally over cherry switches after my first mechanical keyboard a Razer Black Widow for several years. I recently got a Topre RealForce RGB, I like the switches better. Though I'm hesitant to tell run out and buy one. The price is really too much to just buy sight unseen, without trying out the switches to see if you like them.

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#23 Posted by Rorie (5450 posts) -

I believe my ladyfriend got me a Das Keyboard 4 Pro. The one thing I will never be able to do without is the volume wheel - totally impossible to use a keyboard without one at this point. I also really miss the macro keys from my old Logitech; having a hotkey for Alt-F4 was surprisingly useful. But I still like this one!

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#24 Posted by Ben_H (4168 posts) -

I use a Filco Majestouch 2 with cherry reds I bought around 4.5 years ago. I also had a Filco with browns, but it had one too many cups of coffee spill on it and some of the switches stick now. My first mechanical keyboard was Steelseries G6V2, which was ok (it had black switches, but mechanical keyboards were quite rare where I live back then so I took what I got. I then Rosewill RK9000 with blues, which was waaaaay too noisy for me. Then I got my 2 Filcos and haven't bought anything since.

I used to think I liked the brown switches the best, but now that I've been using reds for nearly a year, I think I like them the most. I don't miss the click.

Honestly, at this point, I don't really care about mechanical keyboards anymore. I use my Filco because I have it, but I wouldn't go out of my way to get another mechanical keyboard like I did back when I got all my old ones. I've been using an old Mac Pro keyboard (the clear one with the white keys) a lot lately and I actually like that as much as my Filco. If I didn't still play Starcraft I'd probably just switch over to that keyboard full-time. I just don't want to wreck it playing Starcraft.

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#25 Posted by SgtSphynx (2607 posts) -

I use a Corsair K70 Lux with Cherry RGB blue switches. I am with Rorie, I have to have a volume wheel. I have another, quieter, mechanical keyboard with OMRON switches for if I need easy macro keys, but I hardly ever use it. I know a lot of people don't like the louder switches, but I love the clacking sounds when I type. Tried out a switch tester and I think my favorite are Kailh BOX navy switches because they are basically a cherry blue with a little more resistance.

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#26 Posted by Damenco (43 posts) -

Very beautiful keyboard

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#27 Posted by DeiNile (125 posts) -

I have been using the Vortex Race 3 with Cherry MX Brown switches at work for the last six months or so and I love it. I could personally do without the function row, but I use them enough for work so I do not mind it.

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