Any good keyboard?

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KaOSoFt
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Any good keyboard?

Post by KaOSoFt » Thu Mar 13, 2008 3:55 pm

Hello there.

I've been looking around for a good keyboard. While I've seen the Logitech G15, and it seems to be an awesome keyboard, I'm more in the search of a soft, easy to use, and comfortable keyboard.

For instance, when looking at the Logitech G15, I like the programmable keys, but I like the backlighting of the keys even more. That's something that even a non-gamer (I'm in middle :P) loves.

I recently took at a look at Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000, and it looks like a pretty good choice. I wish it had backlighting...

So, my question is: Do any of you has any recommendation for a keyboard?

Thank you!
Last edited by KaOSoFt on Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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scdr
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Post by scdr » Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:05 pm

I love my Northgate Omnikey Ultra T, but it probably isn't what you are looking for.

I like a firm, clicky keyboard - and the Northgate keyboards have that in spades. (This cost like $100 back when I got my 486, still going strong.)
Has function keys on the left as well as top (great for WordPerfect users).

I understand these folks make a similar keyboard:
http://www.cvtinc.com/products/keyboards/stellar.htm

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Post by bonestonne » Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:17 pm

i'd like a DAS keyboard, one of the old IBM style ones, with clicky keys...you know, the blank keyboards....those are beast.

but i don't think they're worth $80
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mcoleg
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Post by mcoleg » Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:28 pm

microsoft is a great keyboard company. the only thing they ever got right and better than anyone else.

g15 and even latest apple keyboard can't even compare to 4000 - the keys feel cheap and wobbly and not as soft.

just try not to spill anything on the 4000 - doesn't take much to kill it :p
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Jeff Cutsinger
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Post by Jeff Cutsinger » Fri Mar 14, 2008 5:56 am

If you want a REAL keyboard head to kinesis ergo and get one of their contoured keyboards. It'll only set you back $300 (but if you spend a lot of time on the computer it's well worth it!).

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Post by meloncholy » Fri Mar 14, 2008 1:58 pm

Or if you want something really different, try a DataHand keyboard. :)

The one I've been using for the past 5 or so years is a Fujitsu Siemens KBPC E. I tried quite a few others before getting it, and - to me at least - it has the best feel of all the conventional (and a few unconventional) keyboards I've tried. Some keys are in slightly odd places though.

I'd like to try one of those Kinesis Ergos at some point.

Plekto
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Post by Plekto » Fri Mar 14, 2008 3:48 pm

Northgate and Cherry make the two best keyboards. Real mechanical switches and buttery smooth action. But they can run $100, even now. The one to get of course was the Omnikey 102. If you ever saw the Apple Extended Keyboard II - with its light touch and smooth action(the old one from the 90s), you know what I'm talking about.

But Northgate is out of business. They used Apls switches, which are the best in the industry, even today.

Creative Vision Technologies took over.
http://www.cvtinc.com/

But they are pricey. Really pricey. Cherry is also pricey. Second best switches.

http://www.keyboardspecialists.co.uk/pr ... andard.htm
I have a roughly 10 year old NTK that I've taken apart, cleaned, and fixed many times. It still chugs along beautifully. Despite its noise, I can type on it fully 50% faster than the Logitech I'm current;y using here at work.

The real trick here is the mechanical switch. But they are old-school noisy as a rule.

Greg F.
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In the Dark

Post by Greg F. » Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:05 pm

I sit in the dark a good deal of the time so I wouldn't give up my Saitek Eclipse II. Got it for $35 delivered from the Egg with the subscriber's coupon code.

KaOSoFt
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Post by KaOSoFt » Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:04 pm

mcoleg wrote:microsoft is a great keyboard company. the only thing they ever got right and better than anyone else.

g15 and even latest apple keyboard can't even compare to 4000 - the keys feel cheap and wobbly and not as soft.

just try not to spill anything on the 4000 - doesn't take much to kill it :p
Are you a gamer?

I'm going to use it mostly for typing, but I won't deny I play sometimes (Crysis, Call of Duty 4, Supreme Commander), so a good all-around choice it's what I'm looking for.

I ask because I've read some comments on Internet saying it's not good for gamers... I can't see why, but oh well.

Jeff, while I'm looking for an ergonomic solution, I don't know, but I don't like that keyboard. It isn't only the design per se, but also the key distribution... well, yeah, the keyboard is ugly. :P
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mcoleg
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Post by mcoleg » Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:11 pm

i am. less now than i used to be but i still do the dod rounds when time allows.

people who are used to regular keyboards have trouble reconciling the tactile differences when switching to softer keyboards. it becomes more apparent when they start playing games - mashing in the keys just doesn't give one the same gratification when the travel is soft.

another thing is the "butterfly" layout - the keys appear (just appear, not really, it's a matter of perspective) slightly shifted and that causes people to look down to see what they are pressing. it's easily fixed by arranging your hands in a way that is natural for the butterfly keyboard (slight in-ward angle) but most people would still hold their hands "brick" style.

it might take a brief time to adjust but i do think 4000 is the best keyboard you can buy in a retail store without getting a second mortgage to pay for it.
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KaOSoFt
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Post by KaOSoFt » Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:19 pm

mcoleg wrote:i am. less now than i used to be but i still do the dod rounds when time allows.

people who are used to regular keyboards have trouble reconciling the tactile differences when switching to softer keyboards. it becomes more apparent when they start playing games - mashing in the keys just doesn't give one the same gratification when the travel is soft.

another thing is the "butterfly" layout - the keys appear (just appear, not really, it's a matter of perspective) slightly shifted and that causes people to look down to see what they are pressing. it's easily fixed by arranging your hands in a way that is natural for the butterfly keyboard (slight in-ward angle) but most people would still hold their hands "brick" style.

it might take a brief time to adjust but i do think 4000 is the best keyboard you can buy in a retail store without getting a second mortgage to pay for it.
Well, I've used soft-to-type keyboards, and I love them. If you tell me the MNEK4000 is one of them, I'm about to have an orgasm... and if you tell me people say that because of the new way to position their hands it ain't good for gaming, trust me, I've used ergonomic (generic, anyways) keyboards, and I don't have a problem with that.

Heh, I think I can consider myself a new Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 user... well, I still have to wait like a week or something for it to arrive. :P
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Post by thejamppa » Sat Mar 15, 2008 2:15 am

I like logitech's Wave corded keyboard and the logitech Ultra Flat keyboard. Especially the Ultra Flat is nice to type as its keys remind of laptops keys as the feeling. Wave is not as weird as other ergo-keyboards but I find it better keyboard generally to type than your regular one. I have much less stiff shoulders and wrists when I changed to it from regular one.

Microsoft comfort Curve 2000 seems to be similar to Wave but in cheaper price so that might be excellent choice.
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Post by Plekto » Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:45 am

EDIT:
My memory is faulty. Lol.

I have a roughly 10 year old *NMB* that I've taken apart, cleaned, and fixed many times. It still chugs along beautifully. Despite its noise, I can type on it fully 50% faster than the Logitech I'm currently using here at work.

http://www.nmbtech.com/kbrd.html
This is the third best company of all, and guess what - they have affordable keyboards!(I got my numbers wrong at work - this is the company I meant to recommend)

Unfortunately, they have moved towards soft-touch models, so you want an older keyswitch model like I have:

Ebay Item number: 280207749438
These go for cheap and yet are repairable and work great. $30 or so for a mint condition one is common. Best keyboard for low money. Precise (yeah it's loud) click and perfect action. I've been using keyswitch keyboards for years and I've never had a problem with fatigue. Those nasty membrane keyboards don't have real "bottom" to their action and as such you tend to hammer them much more than a proper designed old-school keyswitch. Of course, the switches run about 50 cents each, so it's not cheap to make a real keyboard.

It also has fantastic speed when gaming. no mash and pray moving. on/off is exactly where you wnat and predictable. The same every time.

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Post by psklenar » Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:47 pm

I started working/playing with computers back in the late 70s, I prefer the old school mechanical switch keyboards (similar to the old IBM monsters). I also like to work in dimly lite rooms, so the best I have found is the Deck Keyboards. Not cheap, but the feel great and look good.

I have two, one traditional 105 key unit on my main PC and one of the smaller 82 key units (no numeric pad) for my gaming SFF.

pat----

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Re: In the Dark

Post by FartingBob » Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:02 pm

Greg F. wrote:I sit in the dark a good deal of the time so I wouldn't give up my Saitek Eclipse II. Got it for $35 delivered from the Egg with the subscriber's coupon code.
Seconded. Its not only got some very nice backlighting, but its also very comfortable to type on for long periods. The best of both worlds. Good for gaming, nice to type on.

mcoleg
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Post by mcoleg » Sat Mar 15, 2008 6:48 pm

KaOSoFt, i do hope you'll like the 4000. otherwise i'll feel like such a tool :P

i do wish other companies would make more "butterfly"-style keyboards. ergonomics-wise that design just can't be beat for me...
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Post by Plekto » Sat Mar 15, 2008 10:59 pm

psklenar wrote: I have two, one traditional 105 key unit on my main PC and one of the smaller 82 key units (no numeric pad) for my gaming SFF.
Wow. I've got a serious case of lust for that thing...

Nice find. :)

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Post by psklenar » Sun Mar 16, 2008 3:44 am

Plekto,

Well, you mentioned Cherry ... and "Cherry MX gold cross point" switches with a 50 million cycle rating are what are in my Deck's. :) The individually LED lit keys are much easier on the eyes than the single EL sheet underneath some other backlit keyboards.

pat----

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Post by Lythandra » Sun Mar 16, 2008 5:36 pm

I have a short list of 2 keyboards I am considering.

1) Saitek Eclipse II
2) Logitech G15

My question is how are the keys in each. I prefer a firm keypress.
I've looked in local stores but none have any on display to play with.

I have used an older logitech in the past and didn't like the keys at all but that was a good 5-6 years ago.

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Post by rpsgc » Tue May 20, 2008 8:59 am

Sorry to necropost but I have a question concerning the Microsoft Comfort Curve 2000.

I've read many comments on newegg (yeah I know... :P) about how its keys break/stop working after a few weeks/months. I've had some feedback that's just the other way around.

So, I was wondering if any of you Comfort Curve owners could shed some light on the subject and help me out (whether I buy this keyboard for my gaming rig or not ;))

With the exception of the noisy spacebar I think that the key problem is the only problem with this keyboard.
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lm
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Post by lm » Tue May 20, 2008 9:12 am

meloncholy wrote:Or if you want something really different, try a DataHand keyboard. :)
Having used that as my main keyboard for a year now, I can say it is the best keyboard money can buy.

But atm it's out of production.

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Post by Kobold » Tue May 20, 2008 9:34 am

Or try sth. real:

http://www.thinkgeek.com/computing/input/8396/

Just kidding (even though I really lust after one of those... would probably be best to learn touch typing now).

Kobold

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Post by sjoukew » Tue May 20, 2008 10:42 am

I am a happy logitech user, mice and keyboard. They last for ever, at least this one does ... ...

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Post by Dazrin » Tue May 20, 2008 10:44 am

I have the Microsoft 4000 at home and love it, I brought my Microsoft "Natural Keyboard" from around 1995 to work.

My thoughts are if you do much gaming or have any other reason where you will be doing 1 handed typing, don't get a split keyboard. I love them, but they make things a pain when typing 1 handed.

The G15 (or G11) is supposed to be a great keyboard as are the Saiteks. I haven't had much chance to use them, though my brother in law has a Saitek that I like a lot.

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Post by foem » Tue May 20, 2008 11:01 am

The sensible choice would be the weird looking keyboard that Dell ships with their desktop systems. It has a wonderful feel, it's so sturdy I bet it'll last for ever, and it's still very quiet.

This one.

However, personally, I prefer Logitech's Dinovo Edge. Ridiculously pricey, but rrreally nice. It's the best keyboard I've ever come across.
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Post by VanWaGuy » Tue May 20, 2008 2:43 pm

Here is the keyboard I got my son.

http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/peripherals/ ... 251926.php

(Actually for his wife who seems to have everything in pink.)

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Post by Plekto » Tue May 20, 2008 5:03 pm

foem wrote:The sensible choice would be the weird looking keyboard that Dell ships with their desktop systems. It has a wonderful feel, it's so sturdy I bet it'll last for ever, and it's still very quiet.

This one.
Oh lord. We have those at work and they are hideous pieces of whale dung that's been washed up on the shore and lit on fire.

I make more typing mistakes on that waste of plastic in a day than I make on my keyboard at home in a MONTH.

http://www.barrys-rigs-n-reviews.com/re ... m10key.htm
Get this if you can't afford a $100-$120 real keyboard.

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Post by HueyCobra » Wed May 21, 2008 1:24 am

thejamppa wrote:I like logitech's Wave corded keyboard and the logitech Ultra Flat keyboard. Especially the Ultra Flat is nice to type as its keys remind of laptops keys as the feeling. Wave is not as weird as other ergo-keyboards but I find it better keyboard generally to type than your regular one. I have much less stiff shoulders and wrists when I changed to it from regular one.
thejamppa, could you offer any thoughts on how the Wave compares to conventional ("butterfly"-style as mcoleg aptly described them) ergonomic keyboards?

I am considering buying a corded Wave in a couple of months, despite some dissatisfaction with recent Logitech products (specifically Media Keyboard Elite) and the bloat of the SetPoint software.

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Post by matt_garman » Wed May 21, 2008 5:38 am

If you like the old school IBM "Model M" style keyboards, check out Unicomp Keyboard Products. These are the "clickity-clack" (buckling spring) keyboards. Noisy, but I love the tactile feel. And I would imagine they will last a long time (plenty of anecdotal evidence of people having decade+ IBM Model M keyboards that still work perfectly fine). I think this is the one I have.

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Post by blackworx » Wed May 21, 2008 5:41 am

Plekto wrote:We have those at work and they are hideous pieces of whale dung that's been washed up on the shore and lit on fire.
Lol! Me too. I hate them so much. I do desktop support as part of my job and we have almost every type of bundled keyboard imaginable somewhere in the building. These things are without a shadow of a doubt the worst I have ever had the misfortune to lay hands on (although my Logitech media keyboard runs a close second).

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