Best Non-mechanical Gaming Keyboard?

Discussion in 'Mice and Keyboards' started by harmattan, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. harmattan

    harmattan 2[H]4U

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    So my wife finally broke and told me, while she knows I love my Aivia mechanical, the noise is driving her crazy -- I can sympathize with that.

    In short, what's the best non-mechanical keyboard that that can be used for both gaming and day-to-day? I'm not looking to break the bank, but also don't want to go bottom of the barrel -- under $120. My only real requirement is I do need something with a numpad.
     
  2. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard Proud Brony

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    Best non-mech I've used is the SIIG Aluminum Premium. Might be hard to find. I think it was discontinued, recently.
     
  3. Denpepe

    Denpepe Gawd

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  4. pooloffire

    pooloffire n00bie

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    Why not get a silent red or brown switch mechanical?
     
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  5. harmattan

    harmattan 2[H]4U

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    Looking at the Steelseries Apex 350, but that thing is mammoth.

    I've ordered a bag of dampeners, will give those a try.

    Recommendations on a "silent" red or brown switch mechanical?
     
  6. entropism

    entropism 2[H]4U

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    reds, browns or blacks aren't going to help if you're bottoming out the keys. Even a blue switch is quiet if the key isn't slapping on the aluminum backplate.

    The O-Rings help a lot though, thats for sure. I wouldn't pay $15 for a bag of them though, that's for damn sure. You can get 100 for $1 on ebay all day long.

    As for a non mechanical recommendation, before I went mech, I really liked my Logitech G105.
     
  7. harmattan

    harmattan 2[H]4U

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    I'm using Cherry Browns currently as really like the feel compared to the Reds or Blacks that I think were on my old Bloomberg keyboard.

    Hopefully the O-rings help (got a bag of them + removal tool for $5 on the way) because my wife has now told me she's going to "bludgeon me in my sleep with my keyboard" if I don't resolve :)

    If not, am looking at the Corsair Strafe MX Silent.
     
  8. pooloffire

    pooloffire n00bie

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    I am so lucky. My wife is as big a gamer as I am and she uses a blue switch keyboard. We are in the same room too! I switched to a Logitech G810 and I love it. I wasn't sure that I would like the switches but they grow on you and they feel more substantial than most other switches. I really do enjoy typing on it. Not as silent as a red switch but the have a little more feedback to them. They don't feel mushy. Some people say they feel like a rubber dome but I don't think so.
     
  9. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard Proud Brony

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    I use a Corsair K65 Rapidfire. It has Cherry MX Silver switches. They're kinda like Reds with shorter actuation and feel/work great. I can't use any other switches, now.
     
  10. silk186

    silk186 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I've tried a number of boards.
    For not mechanical I like the Microsoft ergonomic boards like the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000.
    What switches do you have?
    I found blue very lound and didn't enjoy reds, but I found brown to be a very good middle ground and not to loud, even without dampeners.
    I game and write, and found browns work well for both tasks with a satisfying feel.
     
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  11. harmattan

    harmattan 2[H]4U

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    I have cherry brown keys and they are loud AF, can totally see why my wife hates the noise. On a related note, a guy in my office recently brought in a mechanical from home and people were gong to lynch him: you could hear him typing across the floor (and I work in a busy trading environment). I didn't really mind since I can just recall the days when the floors were full of people typing on the old Bloomberg mechanicals, and am used to it from my own home keyboard -- but I can see how it's grating to people who aren't used to it.

    Yes, the Browns are a nice middle ground between reds and blacks though, really like the feel of them.

    I have dampeners arriving tomorrow and will give those a try. If not, am looking at the Steelseries Apex 350, or maybe the Logitech g19 if can find one.
     
  12. Comixbooks

    Comixbooks Ignore Me

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    Razer Ornata but I just put it away because I couldn't find a wrist rest that would work with it.......
     
  13. IronDeagle

    IronDeagle [H]Lite

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  14. margrave

    margrave [H]Lite

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  15. silk186

    silk186 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Mechanical refers to the switches - mechanical switches vs rubber domes.

    I never thought about using 0-rings as nobody complains about the noise at home. 120 are on the way from HK for £0.99.
     
  16. Kahana82

    Kahana82 n00bie

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    harmattan

    I've been using non mechanicals for a long time myself...previous keyboards: Logitech diNovo laser, Logitech K-750 (solar keyboard)
    Not the absolute best for gaming (wireless) although they were really fine in terms of performance, less so with the batteries.

    The latest one I got is a Cherry STRAIT (the "supposedly 2.0 version" in black with BE locale)
    http://www.cherry.de/cid/keyboards_STRAIT_BLACK_Corded_Keyboard.htm
    It's just perfect. Clean looking, no ghosting or anything funky - it handles playing FPS games without a hitch.

    I can see you're in the UK, so the 3.0 version (has laser etched keys instead of printed on) of that keyboard should work for you:
    http://www.cherry.de/cid/keyboards_CHERRY_STRAIT_30_BLACK.htm

    There are also silver versions for PC and for MAC if you're into that color scheme :)
     
  17. Orphan Crippler

    Orphan Crippler n00bie

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    i need a new mice and keyboard any good suggestions
     
  18. HiCZoK

    HiCZoK Gawd

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    How about stuff like Razer Ornata but remove the metal plates which make the click?
    I also like rubber dome and the "drop" when pressing. The silence is the best. I remember those awesome logitech keyboards These were rubber dome and nobody cared... it was still the most sought after stuff in 2000s.

    Now everything is mechanical. And while it's a very good thing, I don't like paying over 100$ for keyboard. Brown switches are close to rubber dome but what is the point if rubber dome is cheaper?

    Any recommendations ?
     
  19. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    A mechanical keyboard uses proper switches for each key. A non-mechanical keyboard uses some cheap ass mushy membrane for all the keys. The only benefit to the membrane is that you can put it in the washing machine if you get sticky fluids in the thing. Sodas are what I mean of course.......
     
  20. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    This is simply untrue. No purely mechanical switch is anything like the rubber membrane, which has domes molded into them for that tactile feel. The browns are tactile yes, but they are nothing like a rubber dome. The closest mechanical switch is the utterly useless hybrid "Topre" switch, which does actually use a mechanical switch with a rubber dome inside it. As far as I am concerned, all types of mechanical switches, included the garbage that Razer uses are all vastly superior to feel when compared to a membrane "switch" of any type or brand. That said, some switches are better than others but we are getting into largely subjective territory.

    Browns may have characteristics that you identify as being similar to the rubber membrane in terms of silence and that tactile sensation when you depress the switch. However, its vastly superior to the rubber membrane. When you buy a mechanical keyboard, you are paying for a more consistent and satisfying typing experience as well as a keyboard that will last considerably longer than any rubber membrane keyboard would. One thing that people fail to consider is that while mushy rubber keyboards, even good ones may be rated for 20 million or even 30 million keystrokes, they will not wear evenly. You will get spots where the membrane feels inconsistent with the other parts of the keyboard. I don't know about other people, but I find this lack of consistent wear irritating beyond belief. Mechanical keyboards don't really wear in the same way. At least, not in a way I think is physically discernible while typing.

    Mechanical keyboards will need to be replaced due to crappy looking keycaps (which are actually replaceable by themselves) or due to an actual switch or electronic failure rather than wear to the switch mechanisms. Mechanical keyboards are rated for 50 million keystrokes but quality units are likely to work far beyond that number in many cases. If price is an issue, there is an RGB mechanical keyboard with modular switches that can be had for $25 if the deal is still going on. There are a few options for around $85, but the sad reality is that most of these units are $100 or more. Whether or not that's worth it is again, entirely subjective. I think it's worth it without question.
     
  21. HiryuuX

    HiryuuX Limp Gawd

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    I use a Corsair K55 RGB at work since it's a lot quieter than mechanicals. Bling bling factor :)
     
  22. magnetik

    magnetik Moderator Staff Member

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    IMO for non-mech.. Keytronics Lifetime Classic but only comes in PS/2
     
  23. silk186

    silk186 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I loved my Microsoft ergonomic keyboards. The curve and wrist rest was nice. I started with a white Microsoft Natural Keyboard Elite before going through a few of the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000. The Microsoft boards are nice but they only last me a few years before I start having issues with different keys not working. I'm not hard on my keyboard and I didn't spill anything on them.
    I've used a cheap Chinese mechanical keyboard for a year before it had an issue with a couple of keys and decided I love brown switches. Mechanical keyboards also give a lot more choices for smaller layouts. I found blues were too loud and didn't like the feel of blacks. I have since moved to another Chinese mechanical that is a 60% with brown switches. My next keyboard will be a similar model with cherry browns.
     
  24. Jim Kim

    Jim Kim 2[H]4U

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  25. HiCZoK

    HiCZoK Gawd

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    I would love x4 but its nowhere to be found where I live.
     
  26. IronDeagle

    IronDeagle [H]Lite

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    Utterly useless? That seems harsh! Why do you hate the rubre domre?
     
  27. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    Here is the short answer: Topre switches are a hybrid design that introduces an inferior design into a superior design without retaining the benefits offered by the inferior component.

    Here is the long answer: Membrane based keyboards were created to reduce costs of keyboard production. They had the benefit of being "spill proof" and quieter than traditional mechanical keyboards as well. There are two downsides to a membrane based keyboard. They have a shitty feel that becomes inconsistent over time and the membrane has a shorter MTBF than traditional switches used in units like the IBM Model M or later Cherry MX based switches. Now, mechanical keyboards have the advantage of offering a superior typing experience and a longer switch life but aren't spill resistant and have a high price.

    A Topre switch based keyboard introduces the rubber dome into the switch design. All this accomplishes is a slight noise reduction, but not one that's significant over linear, non-tactile switches like the Cherry MX Red or Cherry MX Black switches. This rubber dome can't possibly last as long as a traditional mechanical switch would without rubber components. Now, I own such a keyboard but don't use it as much as my other mechanical keyboards. I can't speak to exactly how much of a reduction in switch life there is compared to traditional mechanical switches. By design, I think it would have to fall between membrane based units and traditional mechanical ones, but come at a higher price.

    Again, I have a Topre keyboard and it doesn't feel as good to me as a Cherry MX Blue, Gateron Blue, or Otemmu Blue, Cherry MX Black, Cherry MX Brown, or Gateron Brown based keyboard. (All of which I have owned.) I would take a Topre based unit over traditional membrane based keyboards or some of the cheaper mechanical options. The Topre units I've used are all high quality, but the sound and feel of the switch isn't what I prefer.
     
  28. IronDeagle

    IronDeagle [H]Lite

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    You make some very compelling points! I have only had my topre board for about a year now, so I am not sure about the longevity. If it starts to deteriorate to soon I will definitely jump ship. For gaming, I tend to prefer my MX Red board, as I can lean toggle much smoother without the bump. For general typing I really like the HHKB layout though, and I have hardly used my mech boards since getting it.

    Maybe in the end it comes down to preference. I really love the sound and feel of bottoming out on topre, and I like how smooth the "bump" feels. I would like to try out Zealios, I have a switch tester in the mail, so maybe I will come back to the real mechanicals.
     
  29. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    I don't think that it will deteriorate anytime soon. If it's MTBF for the switches lie in between a membrane and a mechanical keyboard you've got somewhere between 20 million and 50 million keystrokes of life span. The Topre switches don't feel terrible, but to me they feel exactly like their component pieces. A split between membrane and mechanical. They feel more like the latter. To me they feel similar to a mechanical with O-ring dampeners on them. As for the smooth bump, you can get something similar with brown switches. I think Brown switches with O-rings would feel very much like a Topre based board, albeit with less key resistance.

    I've got a Type Heaven ZA0100 board and the quality is outstanding. Probably better than any other board I currently own. I just don't enjoy typing on it as much as I do my pure mechanical options.
     
  30. Valnar

    Valnar [H]ardness Supreme

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    Well I love my Topre keyboard and it feels great. The wear & tear argument is strange. Everything gets wear and tear, everything. During the life expectancy of the product, whatever it happens to be, it performs well.
     
  31. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    Like I said, it's a strange design that isn't better than traditional mechanical keyboards. I don't think they feel as good, nor are they likely to last as long. Yet, they are more expensive. The Topre keyboard just doesn't make sense to me. Like I said, they are nice and all but aren't worth the money, nor do they live up to the hype.