Mechanical Keyboard Guide

variant

Gawd
Joined
Feb 17, 2008
Messages
785
Anyone here use arrow keys with a mechanical keyboard? Would you say Delete, End, Page Down, Numpad 1, 2 and 4 are as easy to reach with your left hand while your arm is resting on your desk as say a rubber dome keyboard?
 

jojo69

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got an email from WASD indicating that their tenkeyless offering is in the works
 

Impulse

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Anyone here use arrow keys with a mechanical keyboard? Would you say Delete, End, Page Down, Numpad 1, 2 and 4 are as easy to reach with your left hand while your arm is resting on your desk as say a rubber dome keyboard?
Why would it be significantly different, the layouts are generally the same...
 

Lateralus

More [H]uman than Human
Joined
Aug 7, 2004
Messages
15,033
Realforce are stupid overpriced glorified membrane boards that often get close to the $400 mark?
You're right; I guess everyone on GeekHack and other forums that have owned a variety of keyboards and still love the feel of a Topre are wrong or just fooling themselves. Have you ever actually typed on one? Even if you say you have and don't care for it, at the end of the day you've only stated your opinion. At least Dan was a bit more intelligent sounding and less abrasive...until this:

Dan_D said:
I'm not frugal by any means but I'm not retarded either.
Appreciate that, bro. I happened to get a hell of a deal on my Realforce by picking up a lightly used one on the forum here. Trust me, I'd have a hard time justifying paying $235 for a single keyboard when I can buy one for half the price that I also love the feel of (Reds, Browns, etc.). But calling someone "retarded" for spending the money for a Realforce seems a bit harsh. Different strokes. I would never pay a lot of money for one of those itty bitty Happy Hacking Keyboards that command a premium, but I wouldn't call someone retarded for purchasing one either. That's their thing; who am I to judge? Just because you don't agree with something doesn't make it retarded.

I could say the same thing about the price of some guns, and you'd probably be the first in line to buy...but I'm not going to call you retarded.
 

i2abid

[H]ard|Gawd
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1,328
No need to say anything is retarded, membrane users call us retarded for purchasing keyboards 2/4x the price of what they use. I definitely want to get my hands on a topre to se what the fuss is about one day hehe.
 

Lengradde

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 16, 2011
Messages
189
I got all the switches. Problem solved (well...topre, browns, reds, and blues)... It feels nice to change things up, totally worth the investment.

In regards to the price of topre, I've always felt it was both overpriced yet still worth owning.
 
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TechJeff

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 25, 2009
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185
I am currently trying out several keyboards and need some advice.

The first one I tried is the Corsair K90 and most likely will be returning it. Everyone likes different things in their keyboard but for me, the main reasons I am sending it back are the height/depth of the keys and they way they feel. I'm not talking about the MX Red feel, but the actual keys. They are too raised up from the keyboard and I would like something less so and more closer to the keyboard. Not flat, but not like this either. Also, my hands hurt after just 30 minutes of typing and are too bent even with the provided wrist pad. The spacing is a bit too wide between the keys for my taste.

So, that said, I was going to try either the Rosewill MX Brown or the Cooler Master Trigger next. I must have a numpad though no matter what, backlighting a plus but no required, mainly want the right feel.

Thanks for any suggestions on what may feel better.
 

addictedto60fps

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I am currently trying out several keyboards and need some advice.

The first one I tried is the Corsair K90 and most likely will be returning it. Everyone likes different things in their keyboard but for me, the main reasons I am sending it back are the height/depth of the keys and they way they feel. I'm not talking about the MX Red feel, but the actual keys. They are too raised up from the keyboard and I would like something less so and more closer to the keyboard. Not flat, but not like this either. Also, my hands hurt after just 30 minutes of typing and are too bent even with the provided wrist pad. The spacing is a bit too wide between the keys for my taste.
These are my exact complaints with the K90 as well - the buttons are raised too high and there is too much spacing between the buttons. I've gotten used to them (almost), so I can live with it for the most part. But for me, the ultimate mechanical keyboard would be one where the buttons are just raised up slightly and there is little to no spacing between the buttons. Does such a mechanical keyboard exist? If so, can anyone recommend one?
 

silent-circuit

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These are my exact complaints with the K90 as well - the buttons are raised too high and there is too much spacing between the buttons. I've gotten used to them (almost), so I can live with it for the most part. But for me, the ultimate mechanical keyboard would be one where the buttons are just raised up slightly and there is little to no spacing between the buttons. Does such a mechanical keyboard exist? If so, can anyone recommend one?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/CHERRY-G84-4100-AT-SLIM-LINE-Keyboard-G84-4101PAAUS-/230803882411?pt=PCA_Mice_Trackballs&hash=item35bcfbc1ab

Cherry ML switches are tactile non clicky low travel low profile mechanical switches. Many people don't really like the feel of them, but the small physical size of the switch (close to PCB) and short travel required mean they will be much more like what you are looking for, positioning wise. There is also very little space between keys. They are also available in black but tend to run $20-25 more.

The board I linked can be found for $10-20 less used, but it will be from a Point of Sale (POS) terminal and have extremely high wear. The switches will still work, but those that were used most frequently won't feel the same anymore. I strongly recommend buying new. I have one I bought used and loved it, but it started kind of "grinding" after a couple years of regular use. I may replace it at some point -- it's shame they're PS/2.
 

TechJeff

Limp Gawd
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Mar 25, 2009
Messages
185
These are my exact complaints with the K90 as well - the buttons are raised too high and there is too much spacing between the buttons. I've gotten used to them (almost), so I can live with it for the most part. But for me, the ultimate mechanical keyboard would be one where the buttons are just raised up slightly and there is little to no spacing between the buttons. Does such a mechanical keyboard exist? If so, can anyone recommend one?
I did some research and found that several have the same complaint we do with the Corsair K90 for typing. The Cherry Red switches are fine, but it's the style of the Corsair K90 itself that is the problem. It has to do with their "floating key" design that raises the keys more up from the board itself. In comparison to some other keyboards I looked at, the spacing is something not too far off. But their design with those floating keys really throws things off.

The only thing I could do since no one has commented on the keyboards I am looking to compare in regard to the height, feel, etc. to the K90 is do it myself. I will be getting a Cooler Master Trigger and Rosewill 9000, both in the Cherry Brown switches. Mainly, I am looking at the feel of the keys themselves, spacing and height. I know there is always going to be some height, but it seems each company varies this on their own designs more than I thought.

Will let you know what I think of them once they arrive. Should be sometime later this week.
 

DraGun

Gawd
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Nov 15, 2003
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I had a K90 (coming from a Logitech G15) recently.

My complaints are the same.

I loved that the keyboard had a aluminum brush finish. The blue LEDs looked good (good, not amazing). My entire office were oogling over the LEDs. They like flashy things apparently. The brightness levels were just about perfect. With the raised keys, I knew cleaning the keyboard would be very easy. However there is a downside with this mentioned below. The key caps themselves were made of some kind of material. I don't exactly know what it is, but I liked that it had a matte like texture. No slippage of my fingers.

Typing with the Cherry MX Reds was definitely a nice experience for me. This was actually my first mechanical keyboard and thoroughly enjoyed it. I can no longer look for a standard membrane keyboard.

The thing I didn't like about the K90 is that I found myself pressing keys without knowing it.
I've been playing Diablo 3 and I tend to rest my fingers on 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. I don't realize that I pushed the keys down far enough to activate it until I see it on screen. This kept happening.
I had used the standard wrist rest that it comes with. Perhaps the raised height of the keys was the reason for this and my fingers/hand was not used to it.

The G keys (macro keys) were standard membrane switches as is the F1-F12, ESC, Prt Scr, Del, Insert, Home, End, Pg Up, Down, etc. The main body of the keyboard, the arrow keys, and the numpad were Cherry MX Reds. I bought this keyboard knowing this fact. I was hoping it wouldn't bother me but it eventually got to me. It threw me off when I use the Del Key, ESC, and macro keys along with the main part of the keyboard.
The macro keys were just simply too many. I barely used 6 of them.

I considered buying the CM Storm Trigger but I don't really like the look of the keyboard. Personal preference. The Rosewill RK9000s looked good but I prefer keyboards with LEDs. Personal preference again.

I am now on the search for decent to good Cherry MX Brown switches. I looked at the Ducky Shine DK9800S and the Filco Majestouch 2s. Filcos are very hard to find. I will probably end up getting the Ducky 9800s in Brown MX switches.
 

Impulse

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I did some research and found that several have the same complaint we do with the Corsair K90 for typing. The Cherry Red switches are fine, but it's the style of the Corsair K90 itself that is the problem. It has to do with their "floating key" design that raises the keys more up from the board itself. In comparison to some other keyboards I looked at, the spacing is something not too far off. But their design with those floating keys really throws things off.

The only thing I could do since no one has commented on the keyboards I am looking to compare in regard to the height, feel, etc. to the K90 is do it myself. I will be getting a Cooler Master Trigger and Rosewill 9000, both in the Cherry Brown switches. Mainly, I am looking at the feel of the keys themselves, spacing and height. I know there is always going to be some height, but it seems each company varies this on their own designs more than I thought.

Will let you know what I think of them once they arrive. Should be sometime later this week.
Your previous comment was only up for five hours (during father's day weekend I might add) :rolleyes: I've got both a K90 and a Rosewill RK-9000 in the house, I can get some comparative pictures and/or measurements tomorrow afternoon if you'd like, not sure if you've ordered something else already. I haven't been bothered by the K90's key height but I've got fairly long fingers and I don't use the Rosewill on a daily basis, also came to these from an MS Natural which had way more of a raise than either anyway.
 

Tuf

Limp Gawd
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Messages
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Your previous comment was only up for five hours (during father's day weekend I might add) :rolleyes: I've got both a K90 and a Rosewill RK-9000 in the house, I can get some comparative pictures and/or measurements tomorrow afternoon if you'd like, not sure if you've ordered something else already. I haven't been bothered by the K90's key height but I've got fairly long fingers and I don't use the Rosewill on a daily basis, also came to these from an MS Natural which had way more of a raise than either anyway.
I would love to see that if you do get the chance. I have been using membranes my whole life and really want to get a mechanical and am looking at both of those. Two others are the Razer Blackwidow or just getting a DAS. Brown or red switches both seem like they will be ok for me, noisy keys would probably bug me. I know the k90/Razer are apples and oranges with the Rosewill and DAS since the former are gaming-specific boards but if the difference is that huge I'll go with the better keyboard since it's something I'll be living with for a few years.
 

TechJeff

Limp Gawd
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I would love to see that if you do get the chance. I have been using membranes my whole life and really want to get a mechanical and am looking at both of those. Two others are the Razer Blackwidow or just getting a DAS. Brown or red switches both seem like they will be ok for me, noisy keys would probably bug me. I know the k90/Razer are apples and oranges with the Rosewill and DAS since the former are gaming-specific boards but if the difference is that huge I'll go with the better keyboard since it's something I'll be living with for a few years.
Keep in mind that all mechanical keyboards will be loud or somewhat click compared to membrane models. You will hear a noise even with the Red switches like on the Corsair K90. Also, these aren't just gaming specific keyboards. I would call them enhanced keyboards for games and typing. Certainly, they are more than capable of doing both.

Where my complaints with the K90 were is in the design of the keys as stated above. Keep an eye for my posts later when I get all 3 to compare.
 

TechJeff

Limp Gawd
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Your previous comment was only up for five hours (during father's day weekend I might add) :rolleyes: I've got both a K90 and a Rosewill RK-9000 in the house, I can get some comparative pictures and/or measurements tomorrow afternoon if you'd like, not sure if you've ordered something else already. I haven't been bothered by the K90's key height but I've got fairly long fingers and I don't use the Rosewill on a daily basis, also came to these from an MS Natural which had way more of a raise than either anyway.
You misunderstood my comments which often happens when typing instead of talking in person. What I meant is that I had not seen any comments in prior posts that related to what I was looking for to compare. Obviously my post was not up very long at all and I was not referring to that, only prior comparison reviews that did not have the information.

If you want to post some I am sure others may want them, but I have the other two coming shortly and can tell how all 3 will compare: Corsair K90, Cooler Master Trigger and Rosewill 9000. Mainly, I am not interested in the type of switch, Brown, Red, etc. but rather how the keys feel, the height of the keys, key spacing, etc.

I'll be able to write some details on this late this week so both of us will have our findings up if we do one which would be good. I do think it's going to be a personal choice like any keyboard.
 

Tuf

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 18, 2008
Messages
482
Keep in mind that all mechanical keyboards will be loud or somewhat click compared to membrane models. You will hear a noise even with the Red switches like on the Corsair K90. Also, these aren't just gaming specific keyboards. I would call them enhanced keyboards for games and typing. Certainly, they are more than capable of doing both.

Where my complaints with the K90 were is in the design of the keys as stated above. Keep an eye for my posts later when I get all 3 to compare.
Your points are well-taken and thanks for the input. The noise isn't a huge issue, I just don't want something with a very loud 'clack;' reds or browns would both be fine I think. I'm drawn to gaming boards because I like backlighting and I'm using a membrane gaming keyboard now and use the macro keys for things mostly unrelated to games.

The way the k90 has the media control setup is also very appealing but I do not want to get too caught up in the peripheral features. I'll probably be happy with any of the popular ones once I settle into it but I do look forward to your comparison.
 

silent-circuit

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Anyone familiar with KBT (KeyboardTalking) boards, can you explain to me the difference between the Pure and Race boards? I'm considering selling my Leopold with browns since it saw almost no use and picking up one of these, mostly to see what the backlight craze is all about and to compare the difference in feel between plate mounted switches (which both my Quickfire and Leopold have) and PCB mount.
 

Igthorn

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 29, 2002
Messages
500
It's mainly layout. The Race has 6 rows of keys while the Pure has 5.

http://mechanicalkeyboards.com/shop/images/products/large_123_RACE.jpg
Race
Dedicated Arrow and F-keys.
Closer to a regular TKL, leaves out a few dedicated keys (r-win, menu, print screen, scroll lock, pause, insert) but the most used are still there in a compact layout. Some keys have been shrunk; r-shift and r-ctrl.

http://mechanicalkeyboards.com/shop/images/products/large_113_PURE_unlit.jpg
Pure
Similar to a HHKB, i.e. leaves out a lot of dedicated keys and puts them on Fn layers.
Looks like a Poker with minor change in layout and different Fn layer.
http://kbtalking.cool3c.com/article/46017
http://deskthority.net/news-reviews-f4/kbc-poker-sixty-s-take-t125.html


If you have ever wanted a HHKB, the Pure might be a good choice. I like the Race because of dedicated arrow and F-keys which I use all the time. HHKB was always too small for me.
 

silent-circuit

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Tempted to get a Pure at some point, then, as that will also let me try out a new layout and I rarely use arrows or F keys anymore. Thanks for the comparison.
 

variant

Gawd
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Feb 17, 2008
Messages
785
I got my first mechanical keyboard (CM Storm Trigger) and I am hearing a loud ping noise when I hit a key. I have been told that this isn't uncommon with mechanical keyboards, but it sure is annoying. Is there anything I can do to reduce this noise?

Here's two recordings of the pinging noise. The first is close up and the second is further away.

http://depositfiles.com/files/z1669omkr
 

TechJeff

Limp Gawd
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Mar 25, 2009
Messages
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I got my first mechanical keyboard (CM Storm Trigger) and I am hearing a loud ping noise when I hit a key. I have been told that this isn't uncommon with mechanical keyboards, but it sure is annoying. Is there anything I can do to reduce this noise?

Here's two recordings of the pinging noise. The first is close up and the second is further away.

http://depositfiles.com/files/z1669omkr
Your recording doesn't sound bad, although you did record a bit too close and somewhat confusing. From what I can tell though, you have no problem at all. If you want it to be more quiet, then go with some O rings.

I think the problem may be that you just don't know or not use to mechanical keyboards. All mechanical boards will have this click or noise to some degree regardless of switch style used. That is simply the difference coming from membrane types and you may just want to get use to it. Otherwise, if you really don't like the sound, then you may want to stay with what you are use to, non mechanical.

You did not say what style you got, browns, reds, blues, etc. and that can make some difference. However, like I said prior, they all have a sound because they are mechanical.
 

variant

Gawd
Joined
Feb 17, 2008
Messages
785
Your recording doesn't sound bad, although you did record a bit too close and somewhat confusing. From what I can tell though, you have no problem at all. If you want it to be more quiet, then go with some O rings.

I think the problem may be that you just don't know or not use to mechanical keyboards. All mechanical boards will have this click or noise to some degree regardless of switch style used. That is simply the difference coming from membrane types and you may just want to get use to it. Otherwise, if you really don't like the sound, then you may want to stay with what you are use to, non mechanical.

You did not say what style you got, browns, reds, blues, etc. and that can make some difference. However, like I said prior, they all have a sound because they are mechanical.
It isn't the click that is the problem. I don't mind the clack-clack of the keys bottoming out. It is the metallic ping that is annoying.
 

TechJeff

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 25, 2009
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It isn't the click that is the problem. I don't mind the clack-clack of the keys bottoming out. It is the metallic ping that is annoying.
You never said what model you got, brown, blue, red? Like I said, there really doesn't seem to be a problem. My brown does not make the ping, but again it depends on how you are typing.

I would suggest if this is an issue to do what others have suggested, including myself, with the O rings.
 

Dan_D

[H]ard as it Gets
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I don't see the point in the O-rings beyond making the keyboard quiet. And frankly I think it would make the keyboard feel more like a membrane keyboard which defeats the purpose of getting a mechanical keyboard.
 

pwrusr

2[H]4U
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I got my first mechanical keyboard (CM Storm Trigger) and I am hearing a loud ping noise when I hit a key. I have been told that this isn't uncommon with mechanical keyboards, but it sure is annoying. Is there anything I can do to reduce this noise?

Here's two recordings of the pinging noise. The first is close up and the second is further away.

http://depositfiles.com/files/z1669omkr
You could benefit from the oring mod for sure:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=lFkl1Vet1eU

Here's the o-rings used in the video:
http://www.wasdkeyboards.com/index.php/products/keyboard-accessories-2/cherry-mx-rubber-switch-dampeners.html

Edit, someone beat me to it:
Try to not bottom out or get some O rings like these for example.
http://www.wasdkeyboards.com/index.php/cherry-mx-rubber-switch-dampeners.html
 

Dan_D

[H]ard as it Gets
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Zarathustra[H];1038857636 said:
I find the pings to be part of the charm of my model M's :p
Agreed. But that's also why they make Cherry MX Brown switches. They don't make the metal ping noise.
 

TechJeff

Limp Gawd
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Mar 25, 2009
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For those of you reading my prior posts, I was going to compare the Corsair K90, Cooler Master Trigger and Rosewell 9000 models. As you know from reading, I was highly disappointed in the K90 due to the reasons listed in my post. Now, after spending a few days testing, here is my views on them.

NOTE: This does not take into consideration the type of mechanical switch, such as brown, blue, red as most know they are different. What I am comparing is how the keyboards perform, feel, etc.

The Cooler Master Trigger:

It's nothing like the Corsair K90 in terms of how the keys or keyboard feels. This keyboard is heavy and well built, just as good as the K90 and in fact a little better. The first thing you notice is ALL keys are mechanical, including the custom macro keys, ESC, etc. which are not on the K90.

The keys are certainly different in how they feel and are more typical of other mechanical keyboards in terms of height from the keyboard itself. On the Corsair K90, they had a "floating" key design which makes the keys feel much higher than what is typical. Also, the key spacing on the CM Trigger is more compact compared to the K90 and feels more even like other mechanical keyboards as well. While the K90 had spacing a bit farther apart that was part of their design so you could easily clean between keys, but it had a very bad feel for traditional typing.

When looking at the keyboard you can clearly see the difference in design between the Corsair K90 and the CM Trigger. The CM Trigger is just more of a well rounded keyboard for both gaming and typing by comparison. Personally, I think it gives you the best of both worlds and comes in any mechanical switch style you want.

The backlighting on the CM Trigger is Red and you can't get any other color. However, it does have 3 light modes and dim modes. There is full on, WASD keys only and breathing where it dims slow and comes back repeating. However, the Caps Lock and Shift keys seem to be slightly uneven when light and the top of the keys light the numbers, not the shift number symbols too. This is the same as the K90 except the K90 does the opposite and lights the shift symbols and not the numbers.

The wrist rest on the CM Trigger is very good as is the K90. However, the CM Trigger doesn't have as nice of fit and removal. It snaps in very firm and requires a good firm pull to remove it. While the K90 has two screws to hold in place and more of a gentle snap in place. Not a big deal, but you may snap a part on the CM Trigger if not careful.

Overall, this is the keyboard I found that feels the best for typing and gaming for now and I am staying with this one until something comes along that is better. I would recommend it if you like traditional feel of a mechanical keyboard for typing too.

Rosewill 9000:

This keyboard is not a programmable keyboard, but I wanted to compare it for typing and overall feel. While more bare bones, it is a very good mechanical keyboard, although not the metal case type quality of the Corsair K90 or CM Trigger. The key height is typical and feels very good as does the key spacing. When comparing, it's hard to say for sure, but there seems to be a bit more spacing than the CM Trigger. Not as much as the K90 for sure as that board has the most spacing between keys as mentioned. This is just a fraction more than the CM Trigger.

For typing only, I think this is a great keyboard and would go with this. But if you want both a gaming and typing board, I would still prefer the CM Trigger over the rest. However, their newer Rosewill boards will be out in a few months so this will be interesting to see how they feel too when compared to the others.
 

Curious_George

[H]Lite
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Nov 5, 2009
Messages
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So I just picked up my first mechanical keyboard, a Rosewill 9000BR. I'm really liking it so far except for the spacebar, which I find a little uncomfortable (my previous keyboard had a nice rounded spacebar). I followed http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:8861 to reverse it and it felt much better. But if there were better keycaps available for the spacebar I'd rather just purchase one so my spacebar would not look crooked :) Anyone know if there are any?
 
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Tuf

Limp Gawd
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May 18, 2008
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482
Good write-up, Techjef, thanksf. I'm definitely considering the CM keyboard now. I like that it comes with brown switches as I was leaning in that direction.
 

pwrusr

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This "ping" sound is not as bad as a IBM model M. I'm not sure why people are getting so up in arms about a very small side effect of mechanical keyboards.
 

Tuf

Limp Gawd
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May 18, 2008
Messages
482
A question about the Trigger keyboard: is it an upgraded version of the Quickfire or a whole different board? I was in Fry's today and checked out a Quickfire, K90 and Steelseries 6v (or something like that). The weight and finish of the Quickfire seemed ok, the brown keys were nice and I am wondering if they feel the same on the Trigger.

I did like the raised keys and feel of the K90 keys as well as the media controls. I might end up getting whichever goes on sale first but am inclined towards the Trigger taking Techjeff's review into account.
 
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