Help me FIND a keyboard

margrave

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Another thread asks for help in PICKING a keyboard.
I want help FINDING one.

The stores (Best Buy, Office Depot) have mainly crap. Some really cheap crap. Some pricey crap. But it's all crap.
There are many better keyboards online, but I cannot try them until I buy them.

I want a big keyboard with all of the keys.
Heavy, stable, durable.
Full-stroke mechanical keys. No squishy keys.
Slight ergo curvature is good, but I don't want the big-hump-in-the-middle kind.

Where oh where can I find such?
 
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sirmonkey1985

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newgg, amazon.. no one willingly shops at office depot or best buy for computer hardware, lol. find something that fits what you're looking for then start reading customer/professional reviews on them and see if it's worth buying.
 

margrave

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No can do. I can't buy a keyboard without trying it out. (Correction for my earlier post regarding keyboards sold online: ... I CANNOT try them until I buy them.)

With regard to recommendations ...
I can accept any input describing a keyboard a mechanical, full-stroke, non-squishy, durable, etc. etc.
But any keyboard described as such is merely a candidate for a try out.

So ...
1. I'll need candidates that meet those needs.
2. I'll need some input on where they're sold so I can go try them out.

Thanks.
 

ricson

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I realize that you have stated Best buy has nothing but crap, but have you tried the Logitech G910 spectrum...it is full size, has very nice mechanical switches and several nice features as well as what I consider
to be a high quality feel. It is a gaming keyboard, and due to that it does have lots of RGB and gaming bling. In my case, it works very nice as just a keyboard . My local Best Buy had 1 in stock so I was able to try it out .
Maybe not your thing, but I like mine, but is it expensive.
 

margrave

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Thanks for pointing out that one.

I have the K350, which was pretty good when new. But it developed friction in the keys after a few months. If not for that I'd keep it.

The G910 you recommend is wired ... a small detriment. It also lights up, which I cannot have.

I don't see anything else suitable on Logitech's web page.
Any other suggestions?
 

atarione

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No can do. I can't buy a keyboard without trying it out. (Correction for my earlier post regarding keyboards sold online: ... I CANNOT try them until I buy them.)

With regard to recommendations ...
I can accept any input describing a keyboard a mechanical, full-stroke, non-squishy, durable, etc. etc.
But any keyboard described as such is merely a candidate for a try out.

So ...
1. I'll need candidates that meet those needs.
2. I'll need some input on where they're sold so I can go try them out.

Thanks.


most likely the only thing you'll find to try local is Corsair, Razer, logitech and maybe Steelseries stuff most likely... there are some brands that are pretty universally praised.. and even if you can't try them local if you can figure out a few preferences you can probably buy ~reasonably comfortably online... if you have an idea what switch you want and say what style stabilizer you'd prefer

for me the choice was easy .. I got a Filco MT2 it is a very well built keyboard (no media keys and the stock key caps are pretty meh) it has the costar stabilizers I prefer.

so if you like Costar stabs :: Filco, WASD

if you prefer Cherry stabs :: Ducky, Leopold

not the most extensive list... but if you find a switch type u like you could pretty much buy from any of those brands and be in real great shape.
 

margrave

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Thanks for the advice.

I've never heard of Corsair, Razer, or Steelseries. I've mostly gone with Microsoft or Logitech, with marginal satisfaction.
So now I know the names I should be looking for.

But help me understand ...
I don't know what a "stab" is, let alone "Costar stabs" vs. "Cherry stabs".
 

atarione

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Thanks for the advice.

I've never heard of Corsair, Razer, or Steelseries. I've mostly gone with Microsoft or Logitech, with marginal satisfaction.
So now I know the names I should be looking for.

But help me understand ...
I don't know what a "stab" is, let alone "Costar stabs" vs. "Cherry stabs".

oh sorry stabs == stabilizers ..the things that stabilize the longer keys

costar_cherry_stabilizer.jpg
 

margrave

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I'm also noticing that most of these are wired keyboards. That seems pretty quaint, but there it is. Don't know why.

Fortunately there are some wireless. Gotta keep looking.

I also see that most are lit. Why is that? Well, it doesn't matter. In my situation I cannot use a lit keyboard.
But wait ... is there a way to disable the lights in a lit keyboard?
 
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Comixbooks

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I got sick of Corsair went back to logitech Romer Gs and Razer =)
Just picked up some Razer Ornata Keyboards Great Keyboards for only 39.00 each at Best Buy but I'm going to replace the wrist
rest with a softer one otherwise it's not that good. Bascially the Corsair keyboards didn't have any resistance on the keystrokes which I kind find it boring to use. That goes for any Cherry keyboard I guess.
 

cageymaru

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margrave

On this page are two kits. The $15.00 WASD 6-Key Cherry MX Switch Tester will allow you to try the various types of Cherry switches to see how they feel to you. That is the most important thing to most people as some are intentionally loud like a typewriter, some are quiet as a mouse, others don't require a lot of pressure to press them and some require a lot of pressure to depress them. Thus it is imperative that you order the kit to see what you like as nobody here can help you with that. ;)

The lower priced keycaps kit is just so that you can see the quality of keycaps in their kits. Please note that both kits are for making decisions on mechanical keyboard features.

So now you should have an idea of what type of switch that you want. You can order a keyboard from WASD or go onto another website like Amazon and order a cheaper keyboard with clones of the Cherry switches. I was thinking of getting a Drevo mechanical wireless keyboard, but they don't have NKRO from what I remember. To be honest they might have added that feature to their keyboards by now as I haven't shopped for one in awhile.
 

cageymaru

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I got sick of Corsair went back to logitech Romer Gs and Razer =)
Just picked up some Razer Ornata Keyboards Great Keyboards for only 39.00 each at Best Buy but I'm going to replace the wrist
rest with a softer one otherwise it's not that good. Bascially the Corsair keyboards didn't have any resistance on the keystrokes which I kind find it boring to use. That goes for any Cherry keyboard I guess.

Look at my post above about the WASD 6-Key Cherry MX Switch Tester. There are different types of Cherry switches as you've probably seen Brown, Black, Green, Red, etc in the description boxes of most mechanical keyboards. Each of those different descriptions tell you how much force is required to depress the keys and how loud they are for example.

If I were you I'd order the switch kit and test them to see which appeals to you. Then the next time you see a mechanical keyboard online you'll have an idea if it is something that you're interested in.
 

Comixbooks

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I know about the testing kits I think Browns would be good but I like low profile keys for gaming which is why i picked up the ornatas. Cherry brand keys are basically the same from what I read.
 

cageymaru

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I know about the testing kits I think Browns would be good but I like low profile keys for gaming which is why i picked up the ornatas. Cherry brand keys are basically the same from what I read.

Cherry added low profile keys now. :)

13148-cherry-mx-lowprofile-3.jpg


13148-cherry-mx-lowprofile-1.jpg


 

Comixbooks

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When Corsair makes one of those I might pick it up.....has to be a gaming version with a wrist rest though and have no QC issues. I have nothing against regular keys but for gaming it leaves something to be desired.
 

SamirD

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As far as trying out keyboards, there's 2 ways I know of.

One, find a keyboard meetup (yes they exist). There are 3 online keyboarding communities--geekhack, deskthority, and reddit/rmech (I think I got the sub-reddit right?). Each will have regular meetups at least once a year where you can try out more keyboards than you'd ever want to in a single day.

Two, find a solid stocked computer store. I'm lucky enough to be next to a Frys--a large Frys. And I still haven't had enough time to peruse their keyboard section as it will probably take me 3 hours.

I guess a third option is to shell out some dough for buying everything you think you might like, and then return the rest. Lots to pay on shipping that way--probably enough to even buy even a second board, so not a financially viable option.
 

ng4ever

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Get a Topre, DAS, or Ducky.

All can be found on Amazon.com with a 30 day return policy.
 

cyclone3d

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OP asked whether the lights can be turned off on lighted keyboards. I didn't see a reply to that.

Yes, lighted keyboards can have the lights turned off.

If you want a nice, sturdy, full sized keyboard, a Cherry MX Board 6.0 is a good choice. Mine has red switches.

There is also the Cherry MX Board 3.0, which isn't lighted at all, but has a plastic case instead of a metal one.

Topre, DAS and Ducky are also very good keyboards.

If you have an electronics recycler nearby, you might be able to go in and test some different Cherry keyboards. They used to be used a lot for POS systems.

You do NOT want a Cherry MY switch based keyboard.

The POS keyboards generally come with Cherry Brown or Black switches. You can very easily look up the specific models. And in the case of the ones that had different switches available, just pop a single key off to find out what switches they have.
ANY of the Cherry POS keyboards that are programmable will also have full NKRO.
 

margrave

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I forgot to mention that I want a cordless keyboard. Most of those mentioned here are corded.
Another thread asks for help in PICKING a keyboard.
I want help FINDING one.

The stores (Best Buy, Office Depot) have mainly crap. Some really cheap crap. Some pricey crap. But it's all crap.
There are many better keyboards online, but I can try them until I buy them.

I want a big keyboard with all of the keys.
Heavy, stable, durable.
Full-stroke mechanical keys. No squishy keys.
Slight ergo curvature is good, but I don't want the big-hump-in-the-middle kind.

Where oh where can I find such?
 

cyclone3d

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I forgot to mention that I want a cordless keyboard. Most of those mentioned here are corded.

Filco Majestouch Convertible 2
Logitech G613
XArmor U9W

Those are the only 3 that I am finding that are full size.

The Filco and XArmor are available with MX Brown switches while the Logitech comes with Romer-G switches.
 

margrave

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cyclone-meister: I'm glad I came back here for more. That Logitech G613 is just what I need.
At $109 it's a bit pricey, but not too bad.
And if it's in stock at Best Buy I can try it before I buy it.
 

SamirD

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cyclone-meister: I'm glad I came back here for more. That Logitech G613 is just what I need.
At $109 it's a bit pricey, but not too bad.
And if it's in stock at Best Buy I can try it before I buy it.
Have you gotten it yet? Would love to hear your thoughts on it, especially the wireless part.
 

margrave

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I got the G613 today for $109. It's by far the most expensive keyboard I've ever had. It feels quite good. The keys are smooth with no jiggly feeling. Quite solid. That's what I was looking for.

The touch is VERY sensitive. There can be no resting of fingers on the keys with this one.

And like my last several keyboards this one is wireless.

The special function keys are along the left side, numbered G1 through G6. I like having them. The downloaded "gaming software" package lets me program each of those to run a program, type any keystroke(s), etc. This software is easier to use than Logitech's "unifying" and "set-point" software that I used with the previous K350 keyboard.

My hands haven't yet adjusted to this "straight" keyboard. I had that style for over thirty years until I got the K350. The latter seemed "too curvy" at first, but I became accustomed. Now I find I must readjust to "non-curvy" once more.

I use the Esc key a lot. Don't we all? Well, the G1 function key on this new keyboard is right next to the Esc key, and I find myself hitting G1 when I mean to hit Esc. So I programmed G1 to type Esc. So now I have two Esc keys. Problem solved.

This one can connect via bluetooth or with the Logitech dongle. The existing dongle that handles my M510 mouse and K350 keyboard doesn't respond to the new G613 keyboard. Perhaps the latter's new "lightspeed" feature (claiming lower latency) requires a different dongle that comes with the new keyboard. So now there's one more USB slot occupied. Anyway, it works well.

I tried the bluetooth. WTF. Connecting is (or should be) as easy as holding the bluetooth button for two seconds and watching the light flash. Well, it didn't work. But that was no surprise. I've NEVER EVER EVER EVER had bluetooth work on ANY PC. Never. No worries, though. The dongle works fine.

The mute button works, but the volume up/down buttons work oddly. They do adjust the volume, but the volume slider does not appear over the tray. Slightly annoying.

The rubber strips on the bottom of the keyboard keeps it from sliding. It's not "glued" to the desktop (actually, mousepad) ... but it's almost as if it were. It stays put. Period. Nice.

Some adjustment will be needed to become accustomed to this keyboard. But I will. So far, so good.
 

cyclone3d

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For bluetooth to work, you have to go into the Devices and Printers settings on the PC, tell it to add a bluetooth device, and then press the connect button on the keyboard.

Does your computer even have bluetooth? Most likely not unless it is a laptop or you installed an expansion card or usb bluetooth dongle.

That being said, the regular wireless setup will most likely be way more reliable than bluetooth anyway.

Anyway, glad you found a keyboard you like.
 

margrave

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It's a desktop. But its bluetooth just won't see this keyboard.
It does see a wireless printer in the other room. But not this keyboard two feet away.
But as you said ... it doesn't matter.
 

margrave

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I had to return the keyboard to Best Buy (Logitech G613). The keys were just too sensitive. The lightest touch triggers a key. I was getting too many false hits. Annoying.

Also the "straight" key layout is annoying. I've become accustomed to a slightly curved layout. (I've been using a Logitech K350.) Returning to a straight layout was difficult and cumbersome.

Also the left-side "G" function keys, though useful, were interfering. I'd strike the G1 key when I wanted to use Esc. The other G keys were also getting in the way. It would be better if they were further to the left, or anywhere else. I don't "type" on those keys, I only used them to start programs. So they really need to be out of the way.

So it's a strikeout on this one for three reasons. I'm resuming search. This time I'll want a curved layout.

I still want "real" keys rather than the silicone dome type. The feel is better with real switches. But I'll need switches that respond when bottomed out, and not respond to to a partial, tiny keypress. And I'll even forego the G function keys just to be free of their interference.

Does such a thing exist?

I saw dome-based keyboards at the store with a curved layout. But they were either split in the middle (no good) or humped in the middle (no good), or both. A little hump is okay, but a big hump is not.

And they were either domed or chicklet style. I might tolerate a dome switch if only the keys wouldn't develop friction after a few months, but never a chicklet key. I want to press deep into the keys. (If not for the ever-developing friction of my existing K350 I wouldn't even be looking for another keyboard!)

I'm beginning to think there will be no keyswitch variety that suits me.
 
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As noted above, you need to spend the money for a key tester. Knowing the type of keys that suit you, will narrow the field of choices along with your other list of options.


Most of the quality boards with good keys are not wireless. The selection of curved or ergonomic boards is even less. And very few local stores carry any of the quality boards noted in this topic (very few MS or Logitech boards fall under the quality label in regards to key type).


In any case, start with learning the key type for which you are searching.
 

pacmanfan

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I haven't seen any "live" key testers; they're just a holder so you can feel the action of the switch, but you can't tell where the switch makes contact (i.e. registers the keypress) on a tester--you'll have to rely on the switch's spec sheet for that. Some switches make contact above the bump, some below the bump, giving a wide variety of keyfeel options.

There's quite a few ergo mech keyboards on the market, but most of them are split rather than curved: http://www.allthingsergo.com/the-best-ergonomic-mechanical-keyboards/

If you're stuck pretty heavily on wanting a wireless curved ergo keyboard, I would give a different brand of rubber dome a try. In my experience friction isn't from the dome switches themselves, but from the plastic-on-plastic interface of the key rubbing on the side of the square support surrounding the rubber dome. Of course a spilled drink easily causes it, but some models have looser tolerances than others, allowing the key to cock sideways slightly rather than getting pushed down strictly vertically, causing it to "stick" from friction. In my experience, this is much less of an issue with low profile/chiclet style keys. Pros and cons...

If keyfeel is your most important criteria, you'll have a lot more options if you can get used to a corded, straight layout. My local Best Buy had just two different models available to demo, and they weren't on the keyboard aisle--they were set up on a couple of the demo gaming computers on the open sales floor. I wasn't happy with my options there, but while traveling I ended up in a city with a Microcenter, which had about half a dozen different switch types in stock, and one of them suited my fancy. YMMV.
 

margrave

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Well, you're right about the sticking. It's not dome. It's plastic on plastic.

And, as you say, I was wondering whether the key switch tester would connect to the PC so that I could discover when it makes contact. But it seems not possible. And now that I think about it ... it wouldn't matter because I won't be able to connect the behavior of the tester with that of any given keyboard.

I suppose I could tolerate a corded keyboard. But the straight layout is not tolerable.

So for the moment I'm just rotating my keyboards. All three are Logitech K350s. If one starts to stick I can swap in another keyboard. The sticky one tends to not be sticky if left to "rest" for a couple of months.
 

cageymaru

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I had to return the keyboard to Best Buy (Logitech G613). The keys were just too sensitive. The lightest touch triggers a key. I was getting too many false hits. Annoying.

Also the "straight" key layout is annoying. I've become accustomed to a slightly curved layout. (I've been using a Logitech K350.) Returning to a straight layout was difficult and cumbersome.

Also the left-side "G" function keys, though useful, were interfering. I'd strike the G1 key when I wanted to use Esc. The other G keys were also getting in the way. It would be better if they were further to the left, or anywhere else. I don't "type" on those keys, I only used them to start programs. So they really need to be out of the way.

So it's a strikeout on this one for three reasons. I'm resuming search. This time I'll want a curved layout.

I still want "real" keys rather than the silicone dome type. The feel is better with real switches. But I'll need switches that respond when bottomed out, and not respond to to a partial, tiny keypress. And I'll even forego the G function keys just to be free of their interference.

Does such a thing exist?

I saw dome-based keyboards at the store with a curved layout. But they were either split in the middle (no good) or humped in the middle (no good), or both. A little hump is okay, but a big hump is not.

And they were either domed or chicklet style. I might tolerate a dome switch if only the keys wouldn't develop friction after a few months, but never a chicklet key. I want to press deep into the keys. (If not for the ever-developing friction of my existing K350 I wouldn't even be looking for another keyboard!)

I'm beginning to think there will be no keyswitch variety that suits me.

What you want to try now is an ergonomic mechanical keyboard. Muhahaha! Welcome to the dark side of the PC hobby where everything costs more, but is so much cooler than the regular stuff! Doubt if it is wireless though.
https://www.amazon.com/Koolertron-P...sr=8-4&keywords=ergonomic+mechanical+keyboard

61R87wUooFL._SL1001_.jpg



If wireless is a must then there are options on Amazon but they aren't ergonomic.
https://www.amazon.com/Velocifire-M...&sr=8-3&keywords=wireless+mechanical+keyboard

Add this to it for the Num pad.
https://www.amazon.com/Velocifire-N...rd_wg=3rMgv&psc=1&refRID=8PJGTFY52GCH0P4RGPP0

I'm not sure what type of key that you seek. I have a keyboard with Blue switches and I like it. I have one with Black switches and I like it also. I would try different types at Best Buy and choose a key type you're comfortable with. One of the Velocifire keyboards I linked uses Brown switches and the Num pad uses Blue. Quite sure that there is a Blue, Brown, whatever version of each on Amazon.

If you are really serious then I would take a trip further down the rabbit hole and do some reading over here. I must warn you to keep your wallet locked away before perusing those parts. :) :) :)

https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/
 

SPARTAN VI

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Microcenter is far and away my place of choice for testing keyboards. They have a bunch of samples mounted in the aisle and hooked up to the model PCs on the floor. A distant second would be Frys Electronics and maybe Newegg's hybrid store (City of Industry, CA).
 

margrave

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I've given up on the mechanicals.
Wired? No good.
Straight layout? No good.
Hyper-sensitive keys? No good.
And overpriced, too. I could tolerate high price if only I could get what I want. But I can't. :(
 

IronDeagle

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I've given up on the mechanicals.
Wired? No good.
Straight layout? No good.
Hyper-sensitive keys? No good.
And overpriced, too. I could tolerate high price if only I could get what I want. But I can't. :(

Sounds like you should go all the way to the dark side. You could probably get this board custom made for you, but the cost would likely be ~$500+

Also, you would probably not be able to test, unless you knew the person making it. But let it not be said that what you want cannot be done!
 

Greg Watson

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I highly recommend the corsair k70. Its a great keyboard and you can find it at best buy. They should have a demo version you can try
 

SamirD

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The hardest part will be to find a layout you like versus anything else.

With that being said, Pledge does a really good job of keeping plastic slick--especially if it doesn't have any scores (scratches) in it yet. I've used it on the bottom of mice on the small plastic tabs for that extra slick touch and I bet you could disassemble your K350 and spray it in just the right places every few months to keep your 3 keyboards in usable condition.

The other thing you can do is have someone retrofit a K350 with mechanical innerds giving you a fully mechanical K350. Won't be cheap, but totally possible and for probably under the $350 mark. (y)
 
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