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Input Devices Upgrades

The Best Keyboards For Every Occasion 523 523

ThinSkin writes "ExtremeTech has written an article on the best keyboards in every category, such as gaming keyboards (macro and hybrid), media center keyboards, keyboard gamepads, and so forth. Of course, the big companies like Microsoft and Logitech dominate these lists, while smaller companies like Razer, Ideazon, and others play an important role as well."
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The Best Keyboards For Every Occasion

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  • by Stargoat (658863) <> on Monday December 29, 2008 @05:05PM (#26261563) Journal
    Post Up is correct. The screwnuts who wrote this article didn't include the IBM Model M, or the Unicomp replacement [] - the one I'm using at the moment. Do yourself a favor, get an IBM Model M.
  • Model M - Links! (Score:5, Informative)

    by sleekware (1109351) * on Monday December 29, 2008 @05:08PM (#26261593) [] - About the keyboards. [] - Ebay availability [] - Used Model M Retailer [] - Unicomp Model M Keyboards (using the same machinery that made the originals)
  • by DarkVader (121278) on Monday December 29, 2008 @05:14PM (#26261645)

    The IBM M is lame. The Apple Extended Keyboard II is the best ever built.

    Much quieter, a bit less key resistance, so it doesn't wear you out. Individual keyswitches for reliability and durability.

    And you can still get one built like it: []

    Now that I think about it, the Tactile Pro 2 is probably the best keyboard built today.

  • Re:Fuck Keyboards (Score:3, Informative)

    by dotancohen (1015143) on Monday December 29, 2008 @05:36PM (#26261877) Homepage


    Er, no. Fuck the idiots who spread TFA over three ad-filled pages. Here, enjoy:,1217,a%253D235406,00.asp []

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 29, 2008 @05:42PM (#26261943)

    Want new? Try a Filco Tenless, a Happy Hacking Keyboard or a Topre 86U.

    Ok with vintage? Northgate with clicky Alps, Zeniths with linear Alps.

    This is just a few. Checkout for more. "Comparisons" like the ones in the article are just embarrassing.

  • by Swift Kick (240510) on Monday December 29, 2008 @05:51PM (#26262049)

    I've been using a Kinesis Advantage [] keyboard for several years now and I have to say it's probably one of the best out there, specially if you have issues with RSI.
    I ended up getting two; one which I leave at home on my workstation, and one that I have at work.

    Programmable, very good tactile feedback (almost as good as the Model M), can be switched to Dvorak, and their support staff is phenomenal.
    It will take you maybe a week or so to get accustomed to the key positions, but once you get the hang of it, you'll never go back.

    If you're in the market for a good keyboard that will last you years, definitely have a look at these. They're a little pricey (about $300 or so, depending on the model), but they'll be the best money ever spent on a keyboard.

  • by DMUTPeregrine (612791) on Monday December 29, 2008 @06:02PM (#26262165) Journal
    Unicomp sells model Ms in a "Linux" layout: Capslock and lctrl swapped, and escape & ~ swapped.
    The keys are very easy to take out, and the keycaps themselves can be removed separately.
    The sound isn't as important as the tactile feedback, though both help when not looking at the screen (say, copying text from a written page.
    I've never had one of my M's keys gum up.
  • by Wonko the Sane (25252) * on Monday December 29, 2008 @06:07PM (#26262211) Journal

    Not to be rude here, but what does it matter if it has an "F-lock" key?

    Because when the machine powers up the default is off - meaning that the F keys do not work as expected

  • by Kraeloc (869412) <kylet&definitive,com> on Monday December 29, 2008 @06:14PM (#26262277)
    Excellent tactile feedback on the keys. Resistance and a sharply-defined point at which the key has been activated makes for a really good typing experience. It's tough to understand until you try it.
  • by Wonko the Sane (25252) * on Monday December 29, 2008 @06:15PM (#26262305) Journal

    Seriously? You want to get rid of three, sometimes useful, Lock keys and don't mind keeping the most worthless of them all, Scroll Lock, around?

    Scroll lock: Does not get in my way and I do use it sometimes

    Num lock: Exists for backwards compatibility with old computers that didn't understand 101 key keyboards. This has been useless since about 1990. I also tend to accidentally push it because of its location


    F Lock: I could tolerate this one if the power-on default was on instead of off. I never use the F keys in their alternate mode and it is annoying to turn on the F lock every time I reboot the machine in order to use them.

  • by aoeu (532208) on Monday December 29, 2008 @06:17PM (#26262329)
    All of my Northgates are in the basement. I use an IBM model M for a pretty good reason. I dvorak when I key and I was captured by Northgate by the switches. The IBM advantage is that the backplane is curved which makes it easy to move the keycaps. Try that with a Northgate and see what happens. The keycaps are not all the same shape and angle. Looks like a minefield. YMMV and you may not need this feature. Both are great.
  • Re:Why number pads? (Score:5, Informative)

    by orangepeel (114557) on Monday December 29, 2008 @06:44PM (#26262651)
    > why did the phone guys make theirs upside-down?

    Go to the "Keyboards" section of this course outline [] and follow the link to the PDF copy of the "Bell Labs 1960 study". In short, it's because that configuration ranked highly for inputting phone numbers. If you take a look at the image provided of the button-based phone's predecessor [] you'll see that 7, 8, 9, and 0 are at the bottom and 1, 2, and 3 are at the top. I'd guess that made that structure more familiar to the test subjects, along with the fact that English is read from left to right, and from ... in case you hadn't noticed ... top to bottom. With those two points in mind, my question to you is, why are the keys on numeric keypads and calculators upside-down? :-)
  • IBM (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 29, 2008 @06:47PM (#26262705)

    There is simply no substitute for the IBM Model M "clicky" keyboards. I can hardly code on any other kind... despite the racket they make.

    They are also pretty much indistructable.

  • by Wee (17189) on Monday December 29, 2008 @07:37PM (#26263223)
    I can't believe that they overlooked the best computer input device ever made. At home I used one made in 1989 (I've had it since 1991). At work, I use the "Quiet Touch" version from 1993. I especially like that model, as it shows I care for my coworkers. It's still 150% louder than any other keyboard, but it rocks just like a normal Model M. All other keyboards are useless junk compared to the Model M. There's no comparison whatsoever.

    BTW, if you want to use a Model M with a computer that has no ps/2 port, Clicky Keyboards sells an adapter [] that works great. I own three of them and haven't had any issues (even with KVMs).

  • Cherry Keyboards (Score:4, Informative)

    by AVryhof (142320) <avryhof.gawab@com> on Monday December 29, 2008 @07:45PM (#26263285) Homepage

    Other than the keyboard with a storage compartment under it that I bought for $5 somewhere, (which is spill proof and dishwasher safe btw) all of my others are Cherry keyboards.

    I have one with a smart card reader, and one with a trackpad, credit card reader, and about a dozen programmable keys (no f'ing multimedia keys).... and it beeps when connected which is handy when you are plugging and unplugging things behind a desk.

    The POS features aren't particularly useful, but the keyboards themselves can take a real beating and are heavy enough to compete with the Model M for self defense.

  • by bhtooefr (649901) <bhtooefr&bhtooefr,org> on Monday December 29, 2008 @08:44PM (#26263797) Homepage Journal

    The problem is, all three of those earlier keyboards listed are only sold in Asia. ;)

    But, yeah, there were quite a bunch of great keyboards that they missed. And some that you missed (granted, some of these have already been mentioned:) IBM Model M, the Unicomp boards, CVT Avant Prime or Stellar (successor to the Northgates,) Ione Scorpius M10 (cheap, with clicky Cherry MX switches,) Das Keyboard III (yes, I know about the rollover bug, but...)

  • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Monday December 29, 2008 @10:55PM (#26264719)

    I'm not a fan of ergonomic keyboards, but I have the Microsoft Comfort Curve 2000, and I love it to death.

    Pros: Basic, non-ridiculous, media keys (Play/Pause, Volume Up/Down/Mute, Back, Forward, Home, Search, Mail, Calculator) all of which work perfectly with no drivers (on Windows and Mac, at least-- I can't speak for Linux.)
    Super-easy to disable Caps Lock (if only it was disabled by default).

    Still includes all of those useless keys that all keyboards should have gotten rid of ages ago, keys like "Pause/Break," "Num Lock," and... well, "Caps Lock."
    Impossible to lock "Num Lock" on, or off, regardless of when I press the physical "Num Lock" key. (I want "Num Lock" to always be turned on, even if I'm using that key in a video game, i.e. World of Warcraft. The only ways I can find to make it possible to keep "Num Lock" on all the time also make the key useless for use in games. If anybody has a solution for that, please let me know!)

  • Re:Why number pads? (Score:2, Informative)

    by kooky45 (785515) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @07:20AM (#26266693)
    See this page [] for why keypads are the reverse of phones. Basically it's because both phone and keypads are descended from earlier devices; keypads from mechanical calculators, which in turn were descended from cash registers which had the highest numbers on the top row, and phones from rotary dials.

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