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Windows 7: Mechanical Keyboards - Are you a convert?

View Poll Results: Do you use a mechanical Keyboard?
I have several and will never go back to rubber domes 5 27.78%
I've only got one but I love it 1 5.56%
Never heard of them, but I am interested 3 16.67%
Heard of them, but can't jutify the cost 2 11.11%
Don't care. A keyboard is 'just a keyboard' to me. 7 38.89%
Voters: 18. You may not vote on this poll

17 May 2012   #1

 
 
Mechanical Keyboards - Are you a convert?

On this forum questions about a bout CPUS, Ram, GPU's, SSD's even mice are prevalent. Yet one of the most regularly used, yet often overlooked component of every PC user is the keyboard.

For most people, the faithful $20 buck special does the job - but as mech keyboard convert, I never realized what I was missing. One you go mech, you won't go back.

In a nutshell, mechanical keyboards are more robust, more enjoyable to type on and for gamers - the nkro is a huge must. Personally I find they are superior in every way to the typical 'rubber domed' boards.

Whether you are a regular typist, developer, forum browser or hard core gamer - mechanical keyboards are definitely worth looking at.

For those that don't what a mechanical keyboard is, this link is invaluable.

I've personally used the el cheapos, the expensively rubbish 'gaming' boards and 'thought' they were doing the job. However nothing has compared to using a mech board since. This once niche market is now gaing traction as more and ore manufacturers are adding mech keyboards to their range. There doing this for a good reason.

Mech keyboards re the new peripheral.



So SF, what are your thoughts?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

I'm not sure I have ever tried one--and may not even recognize it if I was using one right now.

I don't even remember what "electric typewriters" felt like.

The stumbling block for me is the entry fee. I'm not likely to spend 100 plus dollars on speculation and I have no way of sampling one to see if I would be amazed.

I might be amazed--I have no idea. But until and unless I can sample one for nothing, there is NO chance.

I have been using a $5 Goodwill store Hewlett Packard keyboard for 3 or 4 years. It works as well as it ever did, but I have no idea what I may be missing.

Assuming I had the inclination, where do I go to sample a mechanical keyboard?

And if I did that, how do I choose between this mechanical and that mechanical? I'm guessing no "store" is going to carry a dozen brands I can test.

Can't imagine relying on reviews for something so personal and hard to describe.

I may have to remain blissfully ignorant unless you have a workaround.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2012   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit Ver 6.1.7600 Build 7601 - SP1
 
 

We have a Microsoft Natural Keyboard that we bought about 15years ago when we had Win 98, and it has been a "trouper" ever since.
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The DW bought it at Montgomery Wards when she worked there. The sticker price was $89.99, but she got a discount, and we still ended up paying around $50.
I see now you can get them for as little as $30. My how times have changed.

As for the Mechanical it is the first I've heard of them, and I would be willing to try them, but Iggy brings up some very valid points.

I to, "remain blissfully ignorant".


My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I'm a mechanical keyboard user myself. I much prefer the clickly-clack tactile response that I get from them. It certainly does improve my speed of typing. And without a doubt, for a hardcore gamer, the n-key rollover is very important.

However, be aware that many of these keyboards are quiet noisy and would bother those around you. For these reasons, I don't use a mechanical keyboard at my office. I really would like to, but obviously I cannot be bothering all of my coworkers all day long as I type away.

I found pretty much not a single store carried these where I lived. Either most people don't want the loud clicks, or people don't want to spend that much money on a keyboard. Or, many people want all of the extra buttons and crap that many keyboards come with, or they want wireless, etc.

Out of the tech nerds that I hang around with at work, it's about 50/50 right now on mechanical keyboards. 4 of us have them and we really like them. 4 of us simply don't care and use whatever we have at home.

Here is a video which shows various keyboards and the noise they make, and the type of switches that they use; I have the ABS M1 which is featured at 2:36 in this video. I've been happy enough with this keyboard, considering I got it for about $40.
HotHardware Mechanical Keyboard Showcase - YouTube.

Edit; Here is a website that my coworkers have used when they purchased their mechanical keyboards
http://www.elitekeyboards.com/

As for those of you who haven't heard of mechanical keyboards, if you used computers 25+ years ago and remember the old keyboards that were noisy, clicky, springy...those were mechanical keyboards. Most back in the day used buckling springs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2012   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

I have converted from the large click type button keyboards to the semi flush silent jobs that Logitech is selling and I love them. Gave my old style to the girlfriend and I use a wired illuminated, wireless illuminated and just got a solar powered wireless and they are amazing. I'm a poor typist but these have help my speed and accuracy but a factor of 4 or more.

Update: Google'g mechanical keyboards it appears that I'm not a convert as these cost hundreds. I will say that it would have to be a large improvement over my silent keyboards and back light keyboards and even then the price will have to be well below $100.00 to even be considered.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2012   #6

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Anak View Post
We have a Microsoft Natural Keyboard that we bought about 15years ago when we had Win 98, and it has been a "trouper" ever since.
Attachment 212255

The DW bought it at Montgomery Wards when she worked there. The sticker price was $89.99, but she got a discount, and we still ended up paying around $50.
I see now you can get them for as little as $30. My how times have changed.

As for the Mechanical it is the first I've heard of them, and I would be willing to try them, but Iggy brings up some very valid points.

I to, "remain blissfully ignorant".
The MS natural keyboards are the only keyboards for me, I have that one and every model since (and a spare latest wireless model in case they get discontinued).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2012   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 32 bit/Windows 8.1 64bit
 
 

I also have the Microsoft one and love it, got mine after a conversation with John, our leader and find it difficult to type on the everyday type now and I'm a touch typist, although not a very good one.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2012   #8

Windows7 Pro 64bit SP-1; Windows XP Pro 32bit
 
 

Here is another nice article for comparisons of mech and non mech.
Has a review of some keyboards but the general info is interesting I think in the first few pages.

Professional Mechanical Keyboard Comparison | Mechanical Keyboard,Professional Typist,Keyboard,Professional Keyboarder Typists Mechanical Clicky Keyboard Comparison Review
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2012   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Before my current generation mechanical keyboard, I preferred the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 4000


After switching jobs and working nearly 100% from a laptop and wanting to have more deskspace at home, I switched back to a non-ergo keyboard. A while later I made the switch to a mechanical keyboard and generally prefer them now over any soft-dome keyboard.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2012   #10

 

Very informative link, smarteyeball, thanks! I learned to type on a typewriter btw - yes, those old clunky knucklebreakers. I play the guitar/piano too and rock climb, so my fingers are used to abuse

Problem over here mainly is that shops only stock "standard" keyboards, and even the gaming selection is limited to "bling" type keyboards like Logitechs with their extra programmable keys but otherwise same bog-standard builds. Didn't neglect the keyboard when I got my current PC, snagged a Logitech G110. But even the Tron Razer I've been eyeballing recently looks like it's just a regular 2KRO USB job underneath the shiny.

Would love to try out a different keyboard build someday. Article notes that PS/2 is superior; but they've pretty much phased them out from motherboards nowadays haven't they? I thought USB was supposed to be "better" and not only because you can use the connector for other devices.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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