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Input Devices Upgrades

The Best Keyboards For Every Occasion 523

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the right-touch dept.
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 TheRealMindChild (743925) on Monday December 29, 2008 @05:00PM (#26261525) Homepage Journal
    The IBM Model M
    • by TeknoHog (164938) on Monday December 29, 2008 @05:03PM (#26261547) Homepage Journal

      What? I can't hear you from all the clickety-click.

      (Seriously though, there's only one sensible keyboard, which happens to be an IBM as well: Space Saver.)

      • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Monday December 29, 2008 @05:24PM (#26261755)

        Model M was awesome. (Way) back in the day I thought typing code quickly was the same as being a good programmer.

        Making my keyboard sound like a machine gun convinced me that I was God's gift to high-school programmers.

        • That is because it clicks when the button goes down and then up. Back in the day, people who were good programmers could type at least at a normal speed. Making the other people who have never used a keyboard before hunt and peck for the correct key to type. However... the downside was that many programmers didn't bother to learn how to touch type correctly. Because they typed fast enough to be useful for their code. However if you had a real typist on your hand it would make us look like hunt and picker

      • by afidel (530433)
        My holy grail for a media center keyboard is a bluetooth Space Saver with media controls. I along with many others have asked IBM for just such a product but so far no luck =(
      • by pwizard2 (920421) on Monday December 29, 2008 @07:01PM (#26262839)
        I like the idea of having a keyboard whose operational life is likely to exceed mine by a significant margin. Those things are practically indestructible.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by sleekware (1109351) *
      Definately. IBM Model M. Whenever possible.
      • by ckthorp (1255134)
        It's really lame that the Model M, still available from PCKeyboard.com, didn't make the list.
        • by nelsonal (549144)
          The only thing the Model M isn't good at is quiet computing.
        • by TheMeuge (645043) on Monday December 29, 2008 @05:29PM (#26261835)

          I've been using a keyboard from PCKeyboard.com for ages, and it's gotten dirty. I took the keyboard apart, ran it under the shower, then flushed it with 95% ethanol. Put in on the windowsill for 3 days to dry, and voila - looks and feels like new.

          I just bought another one, in case the company goes out of business (after all, who's crazy enough to pay $80 for a keyboard!).

    • by Stargoat (658863) <stargoat@gmail.com> 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 [yahoo.net] - the one I'm using at the moment. Do yourself a favor, get an IBM Model M.
      • by Wee (17189)
        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
    • by RatBastard (949)

      The best keyboard ever. I use one of the newer USB derivatives as I can't find a USB adapter that works with them.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by DarkVader (121278)

      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:

      http://www.matias.ca/tactilepro2/ [matias.ca]

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

      • by edmicman (830206)
        Whoa, that looks sharp! Not sure if it's $150 sharp, but that's the first time I've heard of them. Interesting...and I was fretting over spending $35 on a new USB Lenovo keyboard....hmmmm....
    • I've heard a lot of people on slashdot say the model M is awesome, but why? Supposedly annoyingly loud clicky noises are... good? Huh?

      Here's what I look for in a keyboard
      1. Easy to pop the keys in and out so I can keep the thing clean.
      2. Thin laptop style keys.
      3. QUIET, I don't need a loud click to let me know I typed a letter. I can see it on the fricking screen.
      4. not too hard to press down
      5. Doesn't gum up.
      6. Control key, windows key, escape key are in reasonable positions.

      I then take that keyboard, and

      • After all, when was the last time you needed to use capslock? Never.

        About five seconds ago, while typing some Python regular expressions that searched for "PROPERTY: value" pairs (character case as shown) from the output of a command line utility. It sure beats having to type "maxstatfilesize" while holding down shift... along with ~10 other property names.

      • by PotatoFarmer (1250696) on Monday December 29, 2008 @05:37PM (#26261893)
        7. Can be used to club burglars into submission.

        Sure, the act of bludgeoning another person with a Model M will probably be quieter than actually typing on the damn thing, but such is the price of home security.
      • 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 Fex303 (557896) on Monday December 29, 2008 @06:02PM (#26262167)

        I then take that keyboard, and remap the capslock key to be a second control key. After all, when was the last time you needed to use capslock? Never.

        You must lose a lot of your internet debates.

      • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Monday December 29, 2008 @06:21PM (#26262393)

        I've heard a lot of people on slashdot say the model M is awesome, but why? Supposedly annoyingly loud clicky noises are... good?

        I agree with these people. The reasons are:

        1. Durability. The keyboard is built using the design principles first worked out during the construction of the pyramids. It contains lots of metal. In a pinch it can be used to deflect RPGs. The key switches do. not. wear. out. ever. because they are based on a mechanical switch with a 10,000,000,000 activation duty cycle where the standard rubber dome design is good for at best 100,000 activations. The standard rubber dome designs also become squishy and unreliable with age. Model M keys work the same way always.

        2. Ease of maintenance. Easily disassembled and cleaned of foreign debris. Nose hairs, Cheetos, Pepsi, spray from food fights not a problem. If you should spill Pepsi into it, disassemble and cycle in the dishwasher and you are good to go.

        3. Tremendous tactile and auditory feedback. There is no doubt that you have completed a keystroke. Yes, I can see where the person you are sharing your cubical might not like this but that is a sign that you should be working for a company that provides its developers with offices.

        4. Keypress distance. All too many modern keyboards have 0.001" keypress distance. This drives me nuts.

        5. Full sized. No compromise in key spacing meaning people like me with relatively large hands do not have trouble using these keyboards.

        6. No newfangled keys. The good old One True Way ANSI-101 design. No learning bizarre key loacations every tine that new age girly-keyboard needs to be replaced.

        7. Chicks can tell you are a real man who will satisfy all their needs if they see you using a Model M keyboard.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Blakey Rat (99501)

          While I'm sure the Model M defeated Communism and will soon cure AIDS and cancer, I'd just like to point out that the pyramids don't actually contain "lots of metal."

    • by isaac (2852)

      Better yet, the model M13 with Trackpoint. Replace the default, smooth Trackpoint II cap with a "cat's tongue" cap (standard on later trackpoints) and never take your hands off the keyboard again.

      -Isaac

      • I second this one. It's small, somewhat clackity and built like a tank. The bonus of having a trackpoint mouse on it makes it one of the best keyboards I've ever owned.

        Only downsides I can think of is no USB model and no number pad.

    • by yoyhed (651244)
      Microsoft Natural Elite (the PS/2 white one, not the USB black one with the stupid "extra functions").
    • Since we are asking IBM to open source Notes maybe we should ask them to open source the Model M while they are at it?
  • Really bad review (Score:4, Interesting)

    by geophile (16995) <jao@geoph[ ].com ['ile' in gap]> on Monday December 29, 2008 @05:04PM (#26261557) Homepage

    I suppose writers, spreadsheet jockeys, and developers all have to share the "generic" category, which doesn't seem right.

    In the generic category, they are going for cool appearance (interesting materials, backlight) over functionality, key layout, tactile feedback, and durability. How else to explain the complete absence of any "clicky" keyboards? The old IBM keyboards are still available. They are fantastic, I'm using one right now. And there are newer keyboards with similar mechanisms -- I expect that they are very good but I haven't tried them.

    • by Aladrin (926209) on Monday December 29, 2008 @05:12PM (#26261633)

      I explain it by the fact that not everyone likes 'clicky' keyboards. Personally, I prefer to have a light-touch keyboard that I can feel the key hit the bottom of the stroke, but makes no noise doing so. It should have a little tension, but not so much that I have to work at hitting the keys.

      And yes, I'm talking about office work (programming, emailing, document writing, etc in this case) and not gaming.

      • by ArsonSmith (13997)

        ...and I don't give a shit either way if my keyboard clicks or is silent but I really hate the other people around me with the clickity ones.

      • by RiotXIX (230569)

        True. I don't need work to know precisely when and for how long I've decided to take a slashdot break. Furthermore, I'm using an IBM clickly keyboard now - I used it for years because I was persuaded keyboard flamewars that oldskool heavy clickly boards were the way to go. I can actually feel myself typing slower, and exhausting pointless energy while being louder. I'm sure there's a happy medium - perhaps it's MS or logitech.

        Also, someone should post a list of keyboards without the numpad column. It should

    • Weird priorities.... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Monday December 29, 2008 @05:45PM (#26261971) Journal

      Integrated audio chip might annoy those with speaker setups

      What? How? Does it force you to use its own audio?

      Short of hotkeys.

      Ok, first of all, does anyone here find the "Home Page" key to be useful?

      Alright, I can see the point of things like volume keys. What I don't see is why it's so hard to map some unused keystroke to those anyway. I tend to map various global keystrokes with the Windows key to Amarok.

      Also, WTF is a "Gaming keyboard"? Last I checked, most games are built to respond to keystrokes on a normal keyboard. As for macros, why not do it in software? If it's to foil the game's anti-cheat mechanism, wouldn't this then be considered cheating? Is WASD really that hard to use?

      The media center keyboards I can kind of see, but really, it's not that difficult to just use any wireless keyboard (why do you need integrated tracking?) and learn keystrokes, or use a good old-fashioned infrared remote.

      As for "clicky" keyboards, at least you've got a valid reason for those -- personally, the keyboard I'm fastest with is Apple's aluminum keyboards (I prefer the wired version), which cost me $50. Most of these are much more than that, even one of the "gamepad keyboards". I just wish someone other than Apple would make one, so I could have an insert key, and not have to swap command/option.

      • by danwesnor (896499)
        Agree, the Apple aluminum keyboards are excellent. Best keyboard I've used, and my first keyboard was on a TRS-80.
    • How else to explain the complete absence of any "clicky" keyboards?

      Yeah, they keep listing "soft and cushy" keypresses under the Pro section, and consider padded wrist wrests to be a benefit! It's like these morons believe typing speed to be irrelevant, and carpal tunnel problems to just be a fact of life that everybody should experience.

      I didn't get past the first page. :-P

  • What is this crap? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday December 29, 2008 @05:06PM (#26261579) Journal
    Ok, so a keyboard that they describe as having "soft and cushy keys" is #1 in their "generic" category. WTF guys? And no clicky boards at all? Hell, you could have saved your time by just ranking them according to number of "multimedia" buttons and extraneous LEDs. You would have done about as well.

    Get off my lawn.
  • Model M - Links! (Score:5, Informative)

    by sleekware (1109351) * on Monday December 29, 2008 @05:08PM (#26261593)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model_M_Keyboard [wikipedia.org] - About the keyboards. http://shop.ebay.com/items/?_nkw=model+m+keyboard&_sacat=0&_fromfsb=&_trksid=m270.l1313&_odkw=model+m&_osacat=0 [ebay.com] - Ebay availability http://www.clickykeyboard.com/ [clickykeyboard.com] - Used Model M Retailer http://pckeyboards.stores.yahoo.net/keyboards.html [yahoo.net] - Unicomp Model M Keyboards (using the same machinery that made the originals)
  • by zooblethorpe (686757) on Monday December 29, 2008 @05:10PM (#26261611)

    This article hardly covers *every* category. I'm a full-time translator, sometimes spending far too much time at my keyboard, and RSI is a big issue. One big help I found in working around and avoiding RSI issues is the Alphagrip [alphagrips.com].

    It looks like a PS2 controller on steroids. Sure, it's a bit funky and takes a while to get used to, but its different key layout means that learning it does not overwrite your muscle memory for regular QWERTY boards, allowing you to swap back and forth with no confusion -- unlike Dvorak layouts, for instance. Plus, it's portable. :) The one drawback is no wireless version yet, but word is they're working on that. I've found the Alphagrip to be very useful in recovering from RSI induced by generic keyboards.

    (Note -- I have no relation to the Alphagrip company. I am merely a satisfied customer.)

    Cheers,

    • Two things which have worked for my RSI are:
      • Using a left handed mouse
      • Changing keyboards from time to time. I find that even changing to a crap keyboard can help.
  • Mac? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mbrod (19122) on Monday December 29, 2008 @05:12PM (#26261635) Homepage Journal
    Would have been nice if they said how Mac friendly each was.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by raddan (519638)
      Well, I currently have an IBM Model M connected to my iMac at work (typing on it right now). It doesn't get less Mac friendly than that, and it works fine. Strangely, I have an old ADB Apple Extended II Keyboard connected to my Linux machine at home, and that works fine, too. I have an old AT keyboard kicking around the office (attached to ancient PBX computer)... maybe someday I'll see if I can connect that to my Mac, too.
    • shaped like the Microft Natural
    • All the keys in their correct positions (insert, delete, home, end, page up, page down)
    • NO num lock, caps lock or "F Lock" keys
    • No extra "multimedia keys"
    • Not to be rude here, but what does it matter if it has an "F-lock" key? I understand why you wouldn't use one--- I don't--- but why is it a bother for it to be there?

      Reminds me of people complaining about their cell phones having cameras in them.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Wonko the Sane (25252) *

        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

  • Does anybody make an ergonomic split keyboard (e.g. Microsoft Natural) with either a TrackPoint style pointer or a trackball in the gap between the right and left sets of keys?

    I want the IBM SpaceSaver II with an ergonomic design.

    • Split keyboards normally means keyboards which are literally split. Google images for "split keyboard".

      I use to call "MS Natural Ergonomic" line a "butterfly keyboards."

      As to your question... No, have never seen such keyboard. If you really want to have something like this, I guess your best shot is to go after producers offering highly customizable and split keyboards. Google for "split keyboard" - there are some number of producers. Also, you might want to start with image search: there are number

  • The problem with the article is the decision made by the author not to break the categories into ergonomic vs. standard. That makes it basically a list of keyboards that I could go to Amazon and see.
  • A friend of mine wants to know what keyboard would be the best for watching p0rn.

  • I didn't RTFA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Monday December 29, 2008 @05:23PM (#26261743) Homepage Journal

    The link brought a two paragraph page, designed not for useability but for page views. If a TECH publication can't do something as simple as designing a useable web page, it has no credibility with me whatever.

    C|NET was always bad about this, too. Do they still use this incompetent madnes? Whatever these sites are paying their webmasters and visual designers, they're getting ripped off. The site is simply shoddy.

    Lastly, does anyone have a link to a "printer-friendly" (i.e., human useable) version?

    • Yes. Click the "print" link at the bottom of the second paragraph of the first page of the article. It's fairly human-usable. as was the link ;)

    • by Aranykai (1053846)

      Ill second that. If they wont produce a readable article, slashdot shouldn't link to it. They aren't getting any add revenue from me anyways, but I still cant be bothered to click through god knows how many pages to read something that would fit on one sheet of A4.

      • by 77Punker (673758)

        So what you're saying is that you've tried to RTFA before?

        I see the 7 digit UID and figure you must be new here.

        • by Aranykai (1053846)

          Your superior E-Peen gives you epic troll abilities I see.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Psion (2244)

          Seven digits makes someone new, junior? :)

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Tumbleweed (3706)

            Seven digits makes someone new, junior? :)

            You tell 'em, old-timer! :)

            If I'd known there were going to be _useful_ features to be gained by signing up, I would have signed up earlier. At the time, the 'first poster' jagoffs weren't around yet, and there weren't enough features being offered to make it the effort. Little did I know... *shrug* Oh well.

  • by ThePhilips (752041) on Monday December 29, 2008 @05:26PM (#26261799) Homepage Journal

    Let's ses...

    * Best Generic Keyboards
    * Best Macro Gaming Keyboards
    * Best Hybrid Gaming Keyboards
    * Best Keyboard Gamepads
    * Best Media Center Keyboards

    ... And where is best keyboard for work???

    For "Best Keyboard for Work" I nominate "Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000"

    Pros: very reliable; mostly Linux friendly; has "Insert" key (VIM friendly).

    Cons: "F Lock" nonsense; no USB hub.

    • What keyboard made for the past 27 years *DOESN'T* have an "Insert" key? It was on the original IBM PC's keyboard.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Blakey Rat (99501)

      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).

      Cons:
      Still includes all of those useless keys that all keyboards should have gotten rid of ages ago, keys like "Pau

  • I still use my 15 year old AT-style "Keypro" brand keyboard. It's not as loud as an IBM Model M, but feels just as nice. Better.

    (I try really hard not to think about how gross it must be under the keys...)

    Every other keyboard I've used feels plastic and cheap.

    The same goes for my awesome 7 year old Viewsonic PF790 monitor, and my 10 year old Microsoft IntelliMouse. I'll be really sad when one of these finally die.

    As I've gotten older, I've learned: if you like something a lot, buy a second one! Some day, th

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Tumbleweed (3706)

      As I've gotten older, I've learned: if you like something a lot, buy a second one! Some day, they won't make them anymore.

      That's why I've got a stack of IBM Model M keyboards around... :)

  • The article left out a very important category: the best keyboard for music. Everyone has their own personal preference, but I prefer this vintage bad boy. [vintagesynth.com]
  • i bought a GrandTec Virtually Indestructible keyboard, i love it, best keyboard i ever owned, it is waterproof if it ever gets dirty i can just take it to the kitchen sink and wash it with hot soapy water and towel dry.
    • by B5_geek (638928)

      I bought a ViK 3-4 years ago. I have always been gentle with it but noticed about 4 months ago several of the 'keys' stopped working.

  • keyboards for all occasions, but no handicap keyboards? (Those gaming pads don't count, they only have a subset of keys )
    I got mine at frogpad [frogpad.com]
    I wonder if others are better?
     

  • Logitech has more or less the correct idea with their Dinovo Edge: keyboard and trackpad in one. It also includes a dedicated volume control slider (much better than +/- buttons). The round trackpad is dumb, but probably works well enough. The only thing missing is an IR transmitter so you can use the keyboard as the remote to all non-computers in the media center (i.e. basically integrate a Logitech Harmony into the keyboard).
    But $199? Bloody hell. I'll stick with my Apple wireless keyboard, a mouse and a

  • Why number pads? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by camperdave (969942) on Monday December 29, 2008 @05:49PM (#26262043) Journal
    Why is it that the number pad on a telephone is vertically mirrored from the number pad on computers and calculators? The number pads on calculators and computers pre-dates those on phones by several decades, so why did the phone guys make theirs upside-down?
    • by Detritus (11846)
      Maybe because they felt no obligation to be compatible with a device that was used by relatively few people. I think they made the right choice. A telephone is not a desk calculator.
    • 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 [wpi.edu] 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 [wpi.edu] 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? :-)
  • by Swift Kick (240510) on Monday December 29, 2008 @05:51PM (#26262049)

    I've been using a Kinesis Advantage [kinesis-ergo.com] 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.

    • Yup. These guys never die. I have a "Classic". A bit less expensive than the "Advantage", but the same comfort. My only complaint is the "Esc" key placement (it's in the row of chicklet keys up top that they use for function keys) which is idiotic (especially if you are a vi user). However, key re-mapping is relatively easy, too.

  • No love for Kinesis huh?

    I've never pulled the trigger on any of these, but I am interested in the old Kinesis Evolution, which they don't seem to make, but which would mount to my chair and let you just let your arms dangle.

    As it is, I just use the ones that came with my Macs. I've liked Microsoft keyboards in the past, but they're all sitting in a big pile because they take up too much space.
  • by sydney094 (153190) on Monday December 29, 2008 @05:57PM (#26262103)

    I wish I could get the last 5 minutes of my life back. That list was bad, but so far no one has included the most telling reason that this list came out of left field... it includes the Phantom lapboard!

  • A very close second to the IBM Model M, this Alps mechanical keyswitch keyboard types faster than any other due to the fast response of the Alps.

    It's not as loud as a Model M but it's top of the line in clicky-clacks.

  • And every single one of them have those useless Windows keys.

    Seems like nobody makes good, quality keyboards and mice. Literally every keyboard that I've tried in the last decade was horrible to type on. And they last maybe a year or two before breaking or getting so worn as to be unusable.

    My current keyboard is a Silitek SK-6000 [kbench.co.kr] (rebranded as PC Concepts). I bought it because I wanted a Microsoft Natural but was almost $50 cheaper and looked like almost the same thing. Not a great keyboard, but by far the

  • I type a lot in my line of work, but I also use the keyboard to navigate through documents.

    I'm not a secretary nor would I call myself the most brilliant touch-typist in the world (or a grammar expert for that matter so don't bother), but I do appreciate a good keyboard.

    I started my typing journey on a Macintosh type II keyboard around '91 sometime and have since gone through a selection of regular and laptop keyboards.

    Now I don't care much for cool underlit keys and so forth, nor the wireless kind that con

  • This article is way off at least from my personal perspective.

    I don't know what gaming perspective they have, but it's definitely different than my own.

    I find Saitek keyboards to be extremely long lasting and great for gaming, also the G15 and never the Microsoft setups for gaming. Also there is another keyboard by MS (forgot the name) that I seem to recall as being awesome for general purpose/general use. Meanwhile the Merc Stealth is the worst gaming keyboard I have ever had the misfortune of getting for
    f

  • I've tried a lot of different keyboards, and there are two that I like. IBM Model M, and the cheapest thing I can get with no L shaped Enter key. I bought a stack of Memorex keyboards at CompUSA a few years back, for $10 each. I still have a couple left.

    My criteria are: cheap enough that I don't really care much if I spill something on them, so I can buy 3 or 4 at a time, and NO (that's NO as in NONE) extraneous keys. I'd buy 101 key keyboards (without Windows keys) if I could get them for $20, but no s

  • There is a huge market for ergonomic keyboards which the article completely avoids. It is these keyboards, rather than the ones which they present, which offer substantial differences in the typing experience.

    I can think of two good examples off the bat. The Kinesis contoured keyboard [kinesis-ergo.com] is what I use, which includes palm rests and vastly different shape which reduces the distance your fingers travel, and takes a lot of strain off your arms. It's also programmable, which is a life-saver for devs. It comes PS/2

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by value_added (719364)

      The Kinesis contoured keyboard is what I use, which includes palm rests and vastly different shape which reduces the distance your fingers travel, and takes a lot of strain off your arms ...

      As someone who's had RSI for a long time ...

      Hate to break it to you, but those are directly related. If you didn't learn to type properly in the days when such things were taught, you wouldn't know that:

      1. Your arms are supposed to be relaxed and at your sides.
      2. Your wrists should be relaxed, up in the air, and in a fa

  • After reviewing a ton of near-misses online, I just don't think it would be that hard to make a keyboard almost everyone would be happy with, and would happily pay a little extra for.

    + Full-sized, absolutely standard layout. No playing cute with the arrow keys, or the insert/delete/home/end group, like MSFT Natural Elite does.
    + Scroll-wheel at left (MSFT made one like this)
    + Simple, intuitive, non-flashy shortcut keys and media keys (with volume knob, like Dell's, not buttons)
    + Scroll wheel, shortcut keys a

  • Cherry Keyboards (Score:4, Informative)

    by AVryhof (142320) <avryhof AT gawab DOT 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 AbRASiON (589899) * on Monday December 29, 2008 @08:18PM (#26263567) Journal

    I wanted to get out of bed and clean then you people post this, lovely - I'll be here 20 minutes typing this one up.

    So anyhow I'm in the process of hunting for a new keyboard myself.
    I personally feel one of those most important things to focus on first is the layout of the keys themselves on the board, if you don't have a layout you're happy with, what's the point?

    You've got several varieties, I'll show several here and my personal opinion on them (and also why you may like or dislike them)
    http://img.clubic.com/photo/00351428.jpg [clubic.com]
    First up the enermax aurora keyboard.
    This is absoloutely 100% standard US key layout, every key is exactly where you would expect it, the only slight change is slimmer and closer function keys to the number keys, I think likely quite acceptable and my favourite layout.

    http://ak.cdiscount.com/pdt/0/0/0/1/f/PCK8000.jpg [cdiscount.com]
    Here is the Samsung Pleomax Zen edition keyboard, this also has perfect and standard key layout, with NON intrusive multimedia keys at the top, aesthetically they look simple (cmon, I'm a slashdotter) but they also don't look like they will get in the way.

    http://www.keyboardco.com/keyboard_images/microsoft_ergonomic_keyboard_4000_black_usb_large.jpg [keyboardco.com]
    An ergonomic keyboard, I have no interest in these at all as I like consistency from machine to machine that I use, if they are good or not, I simply don't care as consistency = speed and that's important to me (I use many, many PC's)

    https://ssl11.chi.us.securedata.net/miccomputers.com/merchantmanager/v4/images/microsoft-keyboard.jpg [securedata.net]
    Now this is one of the ones a lot of you should be paying attention to.
    I used to use a similar model to this, you will note the multimedia keys are again mostly non intrusive, not in an area you could likely hit them accidentally, HOWEVER! This is one of those new keyboards where MS have opted to well..frankly fuck up the delete key and the function keys (3 grouping not 4) - look at that abomination - it's a disaster, I don't know why they've deviated from the norm but I've accidentally hit delete many a time on one of those things.
    AVOID - I hope they die out >:(

    http://techgasm.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/logitech-g15-gaming-keyboard-2007.jpg [wordpress.com]
    Finally a 'gaming' keyboard from Logitech, the G15, nice and backlit and frankly one of the worst keyboards humanity has created.
    Firstly, I want all of you to press control escape.
    I use left thumb (ctrl) and middle finger or index finger on escape.
    Where do your remaining fingers go? Mine dangle off the edge of the keyboard - on the G15 however they hit these stupid keys strapped to the left - UGH.
    Next problem, the distance between left shift and right shift (ie the keyspace) seems to be ever so partially smaller than most, maybe it's 1mm maybe it's 2 but the whole keyboard feels slightly smaller AND the physical key caps are small!
    What this means is I end up typing something and always hitting S intead of D or F instead of D snd "studd csn rnd up lookung lukw thus"
    In conclusion fuck that keyboard!

    OK! So we've got the layout out of the way, the only really remaining thing is the keytype
    This link should explain it better than I can
    http://www.ergocanada.com/ergo/keyboards/mechanical_vs_membrane_keyswitches.html [ergocanada.com]

    (regular rubber pushback, laptop scissor switch with rubber pushback, or 'full on' mechanical (likely noisy) with spring pushback but reliable)

    Over the past 4 years of owning a laptop I've come to enjoy usin

  • Optimus keyboard? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by halcyon1234 (834388) <halcyon1234@hotmail.com> on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @11:03AM (#26267877) Journal
    What, no Optimus keyboard? After all the press coverage and love it got here, it wasn't featured? Or mentioned?

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