mechanical keyboards and switches?

tylertoast

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I would personally stay away from the G710+. I like the keyboard, but the keycaps are extremely prone to breaking. I have broken the left control key three times because it uses subpar plastic and an extra wide key (1.5 instead of standard 1.25). Logitech support doesn't sell or ship replacement keycaps, they instead insist upon you having to RMA an entire keyboard to replace a single broken keycap. Simple google search shows that this is a very widespread problem with this keyboard.

The G710+ I have is a champ, the only key I've noticed issues with is the G1 programmable key and that's just because it comes off super easy.

Otherwise I would recommend to just buying your own key caps if you have that issue, but it's all subjective and I can understand if someone would not want to buy said key caps
 

Zarathustra[H]

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For me its all about the IBM buckling spring boards.

No cherry-based keyboard I have ever tested has come anywhere close to the level of deliciousness to type on I get from my old Model M's and newer unicomp boards.

They aren't the most sexy looking, but absolutely nothing beats them on typing feel.

Based on previous comments they might be a bit loud for you though.
 

KazeoHin

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How would the buckling switches compare with Cherry Greens?

I press keys so damn hard that people across the office sometimes give me strange looks.

I'm looking to BATTLE with my keyboard, not really type.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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How would the buckling switches compare with Cherry Greens?

I press keys so damn hard that people across the office sometimes give me strange looks.

I'm looking to BATTLE with my keyboard, not really type.

Unfortunately I have never tested greens, so I can't compare them. Based on that description I think you'd like them though.

A quick Google search suggests that the force on the greens is similar to buckling springs, but the tactile feel is different.

Buckling springs also vary a little in their force. The new manufactured Unicomps tend to be lighter than the 80s and 90s IBM Model M's, which tend to be lighter than the older IBM Model F's.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Zarathustra[H];1041804982 said:
Buckling springs also vary a little in their force. The new manufactured Unicomps tend to be lighter than the 80s and 90s IBM Model M's, which tend to be lighter than the older IBM Model F's.

Actually I am wrong about this part. Early model M's were the stiffest. The model F's were slightly lighter.
 

rive22

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I think the Cherry MX Blues feel perfect for typing. They are light and very very fast.
 

i2abid

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I've been through most of the switches I believe and I stick to the cherry clear/whites. It's the perfect middle ground between blacks and browns for me. Blue and reds are fantastic for lots of typing but since I do more gaming I lean towards clear/whites and brown. I would be all for buckling springs if they were a bit sexier lol.

Edit: green feels like a stiff clicky black switch to me, not a fan
 
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Zarathustra[H]

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So we've mentioned all sorts of cherries in here, as well as buckling springs.

No one has brought up Alps. Are they not considered any good anymore?
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I would be all for buckling springs if they were a bit sexier lol.

They may not be the sexiest, but they don't all have to look old and beige.

My old M13 Trackpoint II is probably my favorite keyboard I've used:



I only stopped using it as I wore out the keycaps and it started to look ugly. The replacements I got were the last black set in the world, so I cleaned it up, replaced the keycaps and put it in storage, as ti is essentially a museum piece. Black M13's in good shape will run ~$300 these days.

The black/grey Unicomp model isn't quite as solid, but still good, and now comes with both windows keys and USB!
UB40P4A.png

It doesn't look terrible on my desk either...

 

i2abid

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I can get on board with that unicomp! I think I'll snag one for my spare rig.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I can get on board with that unicomp! I think I'll snag one for my spare rig.

They are delicious to type on.

Unicomp make several versions in different colors and different key counts.

The one above is what they call the Ultra Classic and is essentially a space saving design.

I also have a regular classic which uses the same larger housing as the 90s Model M's, but with 104 keys instead of 101 (added windows keys and menu keys)

They have all kinds of different varieties and colors, as well as customizeable keys, etc, here.
 

i2abid

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Cool beans! Last time I looked into unicomp uears amd years ago it was just the standard black case and two tone beige/grey caps....yuck
 

Skull_Angel

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Zarathustra[H];1041805745 said:
So we've mentioned all sorts of cherries in here, as well as buckling springs.

No one has brought up Alps. Are they not considered any good anymore?

Not many really produce quality Alps based boards any more, aside from Matias with their modified Alps variants.
 

_PixelNinja

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The G710+ I have is a champ, the only key I've noticed issues with is the G1 programmable key and that's just because it comes off super easy.

Otherwise I would recommend to just buying your own key caps if you have that issue, but it's all subjective and I can understand if someone would not want to buy said key caps
The G710s are actually notorious for key breakage.

Replacing the keycaps is easier said than done since Logitech have opted to use a non standard layout, which means tough luck finding a third party backlit compatible keyset.
 

Riccochet

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Nothing can touch the MX Clear's. But, good luck finding those unicorns. :D
 

Erasmus354

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The G710s are actually notorious for key breakage.

Replacing the keycaps is easier said than done since Logitech have opted to use a non standard layout, which means tough luck finding a third party backlit compatible keyset.

There is no backlit compatible keyset, period. At least none that use any better materials. Vortex makes a really nice PBT+POM doubleshot backlit keyset but it is not compatible with the non standard bottom row of the G710+. I did manage to find one set of keys that fit the control key though and ordered 4 of them (I think it is the portal R1-1.5 from maxkeyboard).

https://www.google.com/search?q=g71...g710++broken+key+cap+site:forums.logitech.com

141 results for G710+ broken key caps on logitech forums alone. Plenty more if you just do a normal google search. It is a widespread issue with this keyboard. If Logitech changed their RMA procedure, or even made replacement keys available for purchase I would be fine recommending it. The software is great, the keyboard is fine otherwise. If the only problem was contacting Logitech and having them mail a replacement keycap every now and then it would be good. Instead the procedure is shipping the entire keyboard back, and getting a replacement, potentially refurb a couple weeks later. Completely unacceptable and asinine way of handling this by Logitech.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Cool beans! Last time I looked into unicomp uears amd years ago it was just the standard black case and two tone beige/grey caps....yuck

Yeah, they've slowly improved.

I still think they could really explode on to the scene if they did some engineering work, redoing the industrial design of the board to give it a more modern look, and adding full KRO while still keeping that solid IBM feel.

Right now they seem happy just treating their ownership of the technology as a cash cow, milking it without putting much more than minor tweaks into it, which is too bad.
At least they fixed the color scheme to make it more appealing, as you note.

They are still not perfect. The fit and finish isn't as high as it was with the original IBM/Lexmark products. The resistance is a little lighter than it was at its height. They DID listen to users and go back to a two part key design. The two part keys are generally regarded as superior, though personally I always liked the feel of the Lexmark era single part keys the best. The USB on my boards initializes a little slowly, so sometimes it can take a few tries to get into the BIOS (though I understand they have fixed this in newer boards, mine are 3 years old now)

Even with these issues it is still the only keyboard you can buy new on the market I would even consider buying. Just can't go back after typing on buckling spring boards.

Every day I curse that we have an open office environment at work, or I would bring my second Unicomp to work. As it stands I'd be concerned I was annoying the others in the office with the sound.
 

TType85

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Nothing can touch the MX Clear's. But, good luck finding those unicorns. :D

I just got a CODE keyboard with the MX Clears. I really like them. I was using a Corsair with MX Reds and like these so much better. The keyboard itself seems to have a ringing sound when you type which is pretty annoying but better than the click click click of the blues.
 

RazorWind

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I am looking to switch to a mechanical keyboard and been looking into things like color switches.. would love some recommendations on brands and color switches from some of the people here

Amazon sometimes has a little switch tester deal you can buy for like $20 that has 5 - 10 different styles. Might give you an idea of which one you like.

I personally prefer blues, but this entirely a matter of preference, hence why all the different types exist.
 

KazeoHin

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Zarathustra[H];1041804982 said:
Unfortunately I have never tested greens, so I can't compare them. Based on that description I think you'd like them though.

A quick Google search suggests that the force on the greens is similar to buckling springs, but the tactile feel is different.

Buckling springs also vary a little in their force. The new manufactured Unicomps tend to be lighter than the 80s and 90s IBM Model M's, which tend to be lighter than the older IBM Model F's.

I've never tested greens either, but ALL mechanical keyboards feel really weak to me, and I pretty much bottom out on every press. Honestly I wouldn't mind a keyboard with a ridiculously high actuation force. Cherry greens seem like the highest out there (that can actually be found).
 

Impulse

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I don't think the actuation force is supposed to prevent you from bottoming out all by itself, that'd put a ton of stress on your hands, you kinda train yourself not to...
 

tylertoast

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When everyone says browns are a good start I can heavily agree.
I started with the Logitech G710+ with Brown Switches, and everything that comes with that keyboard for $110 and in some cases $90 its well worth the purchase.

Today I wish I would have gotten the Blues, but i'd been using membranes for several years, so switching to mechs over those was still a mile of change that I noticed within the first couple weeks.

I actually went ahead and upgraded to the Logitech G710 with Blues.

I can say one thing, and maybe its just me being stupid but I felt like my typing has become alot more accurate over my brown switches. Again this is probably me just being happy because I got a new keyboard.

Anyways, I love the feel of the Blue's so far, only thing is how damm loud they are. Its not to bad when im using them but if I have a friend or something using my computer and he is typing on the Blue's it honestly irritates me a bit with how loud they are. I might end up doing the o-ring trick on em, and see if that fixes anything.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I don't think the actuation force is supposed to prevent you from bottoming out all by itself, that'd put a ton of stress on your hands, you kinda train yourself not to...

Yeah, I'm a heavy typer too, and I have yet to encounter the keyboard I don't bottom out on every keypress.

Some people like to type more gingerly, I mash those keys down until they go no further.

I like the tactility of the buckling spring (or blues) but if I am being honest it doesn't make that much of a difference if it is there or not, because that key is bottoming out no matter what with every keypress, and there is not a significant enough time difference between tactile click and bottoming out for it to make a difference in gaming for me.
 

Impulse

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Oh yeah, in gaming it's definitely irrelevant, you tried O-rings to soften the bottoming?
 

theplaidfad

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The only mechanical keyboard that I've had the pleasure of using for gaming is the Logitech G910 spark, so I really have no other basis to compare against. That being said, I really like the feel of the strokes on that one. Pretty sure they're using their own switch on that keyboard. Time will tell how they hold up.
 

heroinbob

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I see a lot of references to clears and browns and their lack of availability (particularly clears).

One option is to buy a board that you like the layout and cap design, and then replace the switches (or springs + posts).

Another option is to build your board yourself - more work, but very satisfying.

Brown and clear switches are readily available.

Paul (HB)
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I see a lot of references to clears and browns and their lack of availability (particularly clears).

One option is to buy a board that you like the layout and cap design, and then replace the switches (or springs + posts).

Another option is to build your board yourself - more work, but very satisfying.

Brown and clear switches are readily available.

Paul (HB)

Intersting.

Is this typically fairly straight forward to do? And cost effective?

If boards tend to be riveted together or overmolded, it can be tough, but if they can be opened with screws, not that bad.

Replacing the keys in a a 104 key keyboard can be quite expensive even at a dollar per switch :p

Question is if $100 for keyboard + $100 for switches + 2-3 hours of your time, painstakingly replacing each switch, is really worth it :p
 
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