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Old 27th Dec 2011, 14:37   #1
Raptor77
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Mechanical Keyboards

I'm (possibly) after a new keyboard and looking for some advice. I know there are some other threads on mechanical keyboards but I'm still undecided.

Main question: are there any decent mechanical keyboards under the £70+ range? The only reason I'm after a new keyboard is because I'm getting fed up of key mushyness but I'm not sure if I'm £70+ fed up yet.

I hate how a lot of "gaming" keyboards look and I have no need for backlighting, macro keys etc. I do game sometimes but I'm mostly just after something that feels nice to type on and preferably doesn't look awful (Logitech G- keyboards ).

Keyboards I do like the look of: SteelSeries 7G (£90), SteelSeries 6GV2 (£70), whateverthisis (£70), Das Keyboard (£120), QPAD MK-80 (£100). Prices are just from tabs currently open in my browser. Das Keyboard is probably my favourite but £120 seems so expensive for a keyboard.

There's also the Razer Black Widow (not ultimate) (£70) although I'm not so keen on that, and the Rosewill RK9000 but as far as I know it's US layout and not being sold here (~£65+international shipping).


So:

Have I missed any cheaper mechanical keyboards?

Or does anyone want to convince me of the keyboards I found, or recommend any others? Bearing in mind that I don't need gimmicky gaming features and prefer keyboards that aren't trying to look like something Batman would ride.

Thanks for any help

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Old 27th Dec 2011, 14:45   #2
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Filco tenkeyless... I will post more later when at home!
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Old 27th Dec 2011, 14:50   #3
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I use the Premium version of the Enermax Aurora Lite which uses the same scissor switches. They have a low 'action' similar to the old IBM laptops and are really comfortable to use. My oldest one is still perfect after 4 years use.
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Old 27th Dec 2011, 15:02   #4
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Best read before buying: http://www.overclock.net/t/491752/me...keyboard-guide
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Old 27th Dec 2011, 15:35   #5
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Not used the others you mention but I would give a +1 to the Razor Blackwidow

It was my first mech keyboard and its made typing up my 15,000 word dissertation much easier on the hands! You can turn the backlight off if you want and I know you said you don’t need macro keys but I just have them coded to other things like my email / address so instead of inputting them each time on websites etc you can just hit one button and job done. I have found that this works much better than a web browsers auto-complete function. As for looks, I know its subjective but without the backlight on I don’t think it looks that ‘out-there’ compared to other similar boards.

Would also recommend reading the link which Longweight posted as it is a very good read
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Old 27th Dec 2011, 16:08   #6
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I'm not against having macro keys and the like, but if the only difference between two keyboards were those kind of features and price, I'd go for the cheaper option. Cheers for the recommendation - I don't mind the look of the Blackwidow so much now, I'll definitely consider it.

Thanks for the link, longweight. I've read the first page now and I like the sound of cherry MX blues the most. The cheaper keyboards on their list of MX blues seem to have bad feedback and don't really save any money after postage from the US (Ione Scorpius M10, Adesso MKB-135B).

Big Elf, does low action mean low profile? Like a short press distance? I'm not so keen on laptop keyboards so I'm not sure if I'd like that as much. The keyboard you linked to looks very nice though!

Currently leaning toward the Black Widow in the £70 range, and QPAD MK-80 or Das Keyboard at the £100+ end. I'm still not entirely sure I'll upgrade though so I guess that means the Black Widow is winning out on cost at the moment.
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Old 27th Dec 2011, 16:14   #7
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Yes, press distance is shorter than a normal keyboard. You'd need to have tried an IBM laptop keyboard though to compare.
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Old 27th Dec 2011, 18:16   #8
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Afraid if you MUST have an ISO layout, all of your bargain options are out as they are only available in ANSI (US layout). But, if you can live with ansi, the Ducky is a good quality keyboard in your price tier. If you don't need fullsize there is also the KBC Poker which I highly recommend, and the Noppoo Choc mini. You'd need to order these from Asia, so check with the post/customs to find out about any fees before ordering if you decide you would like one of them.
Stay away from the qpad/ione/adesso keyboards. They are all made at the same oem and have poor quality control.
Cherry brand keyboards are good, but most of them only have 2kro so you may experience key blocking during gaming. Same goes for the black widow unless you can find a stealth edition.
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Old 27th Dec 2011, 18:38   #9
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Blackwidow has higher than 2kro. I have used up to 5 keys at once with no problem (jump, sprint, strafe, change weapon and spotting). I've not tried higher, as I don't test, I just see what I need to use at the time.
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Old 27th Dec 2011, 19:20   #10
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It has been listed as 2kro at everywhere. It is 2kro, but has a partially optimized matrix for gaming keys. It will still fail certain key combos outside the wasd cluster area. See for yourself in aquakeytest.
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Old 27th Dec 2011, 23:32   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longweight View Post
Filco tenkeyless... I will post more later when at home!
im considering buying the ninja version, spilt coffee in my logitech wireless illuminated.

£120 ouch, but i love those sideprinted keys and for £6 more than the standard may as well do it. still trying to work myself up to spending that much
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Old 27th Dec 2011, 23:33   #12
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Quote:
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im considering buying the ninja version, spilt coffee in my logitech wireless illuminated.

£120 ouch, but i love those sideprinted keys and for £6 more than the standard may as well do it. still trying to work myself up to spending that much
It is such a nice keyboard, might get a typing one for work and then a gaming one for home if it is good
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Old 27th Dec 2011, 23:58   #13
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I only recently joined the mechanical keyboard movement, and I love it :P

Currently typing on a Ducky 1087, with blue switches, and it's awesome, a friend who tried the blackwidow and returned it because he hated it, tried mine and though it was far better (even though they both use blue switches don't they?)

Why do you need ISO layout? ANSI layout is actually helping my typing I think, due to having to be more accurate when it comes to using the enter key :P
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Old 28th Dec 2011, 09:20   #14
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Don't base your decision on the money. Research and find the one you really think will be best for you. It's not exactly a cheap investment, so know what you want and buy the right one the first time.

This is a good place to start.
http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?tit...sary+and+Links


Also check my posts in the Corsair K60 Vengeance review thread for some personal observations.
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Old 1st Jan 2012, 19:45   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lysol View Post
Stay away from the qpad/ione/adesso keyboards. They are all made at the same oem and have poor quality control.
Cheers, that wasn't as apparent from what I've seen online with the qpads. Any recommendations on places that sell Ducky keyboards? As you said, I'm not finding them here. I'm not against importing but I would prefer a website with an English option rather than using Google translate.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeStorm View Post
Currently typing on a Ducky 1087
Where'd you get that? And how much are they?


Quote:
Originally Posted by leslie View Post
It's not exactly a cheap investment, so know what you want and buy the right one the first time.
This is probably good advice, I might go for the Das afterall...

There's a German website that has either "US" or "EU (German)" Das Keyboard Ultimates for about £109 posted. Am I right in thinking that "EU (German)" will work the same as a UK keyboard? Because the Ultimate has no inscriptions/markings on the keys and the actual character you get when you press a key is assigned in the language settings for Windows, right? (I assume the same for other OS's too). And the "US" version would still have "£" on Shift+3 etc after applying UK settings, so the only differences would be things like the size of the enter and shift keys?

If that's all right then I'm thinking the EU version of that is what I'll end up getting, I'm pretty used to our style enter key although I don't think it would bother me too much either way.
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Old 1st Jan 2012, 20:15   #16
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I picked up mine 2nd hand from the geekhack forums, cost me £65


Was linked to that earlier, that's the EU German layout (on the bottom) from what I know.
And yeah, you can just say it's a UK keyboard in windows and it will do just that, the layout is still either ISO/ANSI in the end most likely, and you can have whatever you wanted printed on the keycaps, aslong as you make sure the computer thinks it's a UK keyboard.

You have a PM though.
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Old 1st Jan 2012, 20:41   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeStorm View Post
Was linked to that earlier, that's the EU German layout (on the bottom) from what I know.
And yeah, you can just say it's a UK keyboard in windows and it will do just that, the layout is still either ISO/ANSI in the end most likely, and you can have whatever you wanted printed on the keycaps, aslong as you make sure the computer thinks it's a UK keyboard.

You have a PM though.
Cheers, that was my understanding of what German keyboards looked like too. The shapes and positions of the physical keys is identical to UK keyboards as far as I know.

Edit: Ok, it just sunk in what you've all been saying about ISO/ANSI. German and UK are both ISO so no problems if I did go for a German keyboard with no keycap inscriptions.
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Old 1st Jan 2012, 20:42   #18
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Yeah, so you can just replace them with different keycaps if you wish (and if you're anything like me, you'll quickly find yourself buying keycaps :P)
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Old 1st Jan 2012, 20:44   #19
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I have a Filco Tenkeyless winging its way to me i'll put up some pics once it arrives, where did you find the ISO RGB modifiers?
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Old 1st Jan 2012, 23:39   #20
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There is nowhere that I know of that sells Ducky in Europe. Ordering from PCHome with translate is not that bad, just need to make sure you have the funds in your paypal account first as for whatever reason it never works doing an instant transfer to make a payment there.

Right, there is 2 basic layout standards, ANSI and ISO but there is also some that deviate from those standard but may be closer to one or the other. There are a lot more available in ANSI since most are developed in Asian market and that is the common layout there.
The legends on the keys mean nothing if the mapping is not set the same for in the OS as you thought. You can have French AZERTY print on the keys and type in Swahili in the OS it has not idea what is printed on the keycap.

Those RGB are from geekhack groupbuy4, it is a preorder type arrangement and is closing soon, so if you want them should order now and you will receive them in few months after they are manufactured.
I will make a warning that the profile of the keycap shape is different than that of a Filco, etc so won't match perfect with anything but one of the full custom keysets as they are different manufacturer with their own standard for key shapes. They are 1mm shorter with a sharper angle than the modern standard.
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