Slim mechanical keyboards

Discussion in 'Mice and Keyboards' started by AVT, Jan 26, 2019.

  1. AVT

    AVT [H]ardness Supreme

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    https://www.tomshardware.com/news/a...edition-mechanical-switches-analog,34785.html

    Any similar keyboards out? Looking for something with the following.
    • Slim keyboard and keys.
    • No numpad or separate arrow keys.
    • Wired only.
    • Function keys.
    The linked one looks ideal, but appears to be not for sale. Anything similar out? Anything coming out? Also, how loud are these keyboards? Looking for mechanical for better feel/reliability - not a fan of loud noise.
     
  2. AVT

    AVT [H]ardness Supreme

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    Looks gorgeous - I'd be buying it right now if it has function keys.

    Again looks pretty good, but contains arrow keys I don't want. Also not fan of the standard layout that moves F5/F6/F7/F8 further away from the left side of the keyboard.

    ---

    Are these two all that there is? There's so many products of every kind nowadays that I'm a bit surprised I can only find 2-3 in this category.
     
  3. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard 2[H]4U

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    My concern on these slim boards would be durability. That seems to be the top complaint in the user reviews.
     
  4. limitedaccess

    limitedaccess [H]ardness Supreme

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    Are you looking for a 75% (84 key) layout? Even that has arrow keys. It's however not a very popular layout. So you're basically looking for two uncommon/rare features, low profile and the layout.

    The most common layouts are Full and TKL, then followed by 60% (no function keys or arrow keys).
     
  5. AVT

    AVT [H]ardness Supreme

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    The layout I'm looking for is the one below or similar. Not sure if it has an official name or not but quite common.

    https://www.amazon.com/Mechanical-Keyboard-Switches-Aluminum-Pluggable/dp/B01L8EKTHK/
     
  6. gangolfus

    gangolfus Gawd

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  7. limitedaccess

    limitedaccess [H]ardness Supreme

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    If it's the picture I assume you're referring to you can try searching for 75%, 82 key, 84 key for the layout.

    But like I mentioned it's an uncommon layout. So you're looking for 2 uncommon if not still rare features which will make such a product harder to find. Low profile switches are still somewhat relatively new maybe with more ramp you'll see more options.

    Alternative options would be low profile caps but that won't be as low profile. Other then that it gets more complex with a build your own requiring soldering.
     
  8. AVT

    AVT [H]ardness Supreme

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    Huh? I must have copy and pasted wrong or Amazon seller changed the product.

    https://www.amazon.com/AJAZZ-Backlit-Switches-Mechanical-Keyboard/dp/B07GFFKSC2/

    This one with slim keys/keycaps would be awesome.

    https://mechanicalkeyboards.com/shop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=3917
     
  9. gangolfus

    gangolfus Gawd

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  10. HaX

    HaX [H]ard|Gawd

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    Check out the cooler master sk series that are coming out soon.
     
  11. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Shoot, I'm going to have to keep an eye out on that one...
     
  12. AVT

    AVT [H]ardness Supreme

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  13. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    I can't imagine that would be very good to type on.

    Key travel is such an important part of typing feel.

    I'm trying to figure out what the motivation for this is. I can see it in a latop, as it has to be closed and be thin, but on a desktop, what is the value? It's not as if we have limited space to the ceiling. Just aesthetics?
     
  14. AVT

    AVT [H]ardness Supreme

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    On experience, I find I prefer the laptop scissor-key feel to the traditional membrane keyboard feel. The reason is that traditional keyboards require me to hold my hand at a sharper angle relative to the table, which makes my wrists feel more tired after some time. They are also much quieter.

    The desire to go with a mechanical keyboard - using the quietest switches possible - if primarily a desire to upgrade to something higher-quality than what I have now - ideally with backlit keys.

    I prefer slim size both for aesthetic reasons, and because my career choice more-or-less requires that I am able to get up and move to a new city every few years, at least for another decade or so until I'm old enough to settle down. As a result, every possession I own is chosen carefully to make packing everything for a flight as painless as possible without literally living on just a laptop and a suitcase the way many young professionals now do. It's probably not the lifestyle anybody with an advanced degrees had to have a few decades ago, but that world is long gone and we live in different times now.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
  15. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    That's stinks. If you don't mind me asking, what field is that?

    I'm an engineer in the medical device fiels, and I've pretty much found that I am in constant demand in and around the Boston area, so I never have to move.

    I graduated 15 years ago though, so maybe the timing matters.
     
  16. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard 2[H]4U

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    I'm with you on scissor-switch keyboards. I'm so much faster and more accurate on them than mechanical. I use my mechanical strictly for gaming.
     
  17. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    See, I agreed with him that Scissors are better than membranes (if only slightly) but better than mechanical switches I just can't see..

    I feel like the switch world (for typing, which is what really matters to me, games are an afterthought) goes something like this:

    Old School 70's IBM Beam Springs > IBM Model F > IBM Model M >> All Cherry MX, Alps and Topre switches > Scissor > Rubber Dome

    I was hoping that if I got the right Cherry style switch it would be almost as good as my M's for typing, but I was sadly mistaken. The MX Greens come nowhere even remotely close.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
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  18. HaX

    HaX [H]ard|Gawd

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  19. AVT

    AVT [H]ardness Supreme

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    Academic. Due to general public divestment over the past few decades, there are far more PhDs nowadays than professorships, so to get a permanent position you more-or-less spend your 20s/30s first in a PhD program, then bouncing from one project-based postdoctoral position or visiting professorship to the next, until your works snowballs enough that people want to hire you permanently. For someone like me that has no interest in either a teaching-based position, or a permanent position at a poorly-funded university, you pretty much have to be willing to move around the globe to be competitive. Moving itself isn't bad - family life and relationships are the rough part.

    Did not know that Cherry made low profile switches - they must be super new. No audible click too - even better.

    https://www.cherrymx.de/en/mx-low-profile/mx-low-profile-red.html

    Might make it possible to just buy a PCB and just do a DIY build.

    https://kbdfans.cn/products/kbdfans-75-pcb-75?variant=3253744893965
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
  20. Lateralus

    Lateralus More [H]uman than Human

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    Subbing to thread; I am becoming increasingly interested in trying one of these. Probably the Cooler Master or Ducky depending on who decides to use PBT keycaps (I believe this is confirmed on the Ducky).
     
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  21. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Ducky definitely have double shot PBT caps, but they are an option, so read the description of what you are buying carefully.

    Most sold here in the U.S. (via mechanicalkeyboards.com) tend to have the PBT variety though.
     
  22. Lateralus

    Lateralus More [H]uman than Human

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    Hmm. Unless something has changed recently, I don't know if I would say that most of them do. I have a collection consisting of probably 18-20 mechanical keyboards (not including the ones I've sold off) and thinking honestly, only a few of them have come stock with PBT caps. I would say that less than 5 of mine have them.

    I know they're present on my Deck Hassium Pro, MK Fission, and a few of my newer Ducky boards (One, One 2, etc.). But Corsair K70, Corsair K65, WASD Code, Filco Majestouch, Das Keyboard Ultimate, Cooler Master QuickFire TK...all nope. I'd have to double check my Leopolds as it's been a while since I've had them out. I know that my older Ducky Shines have ABS caps, but I believe the newer ones have all switched to PBT (this is a welcome change that Ducky seems to have made in their newer boards overall). I don't own any Logitech or Razer (blech) mechanical boards, but I don't recall them ever using PBT caps, either. So, in my experience at least, it's been far more common for keyboards here to come with ABS caps.

    With that being said, most of the boards that I've purchased are sort of...I don't know...more mainstream I guess? By that, I mean that I've never ventured into some of the more "boutique" brands like Vortex, Varmilo, Matias, Royal Kludge, KUL...heck, you can just go to mechanicalkeyboards.com and "shop by brand" and see the plethora of brands that we now have to choose from. So if your experience has been more with those enthusiast/obscure brands, then you may very well be correct that most of them have been using PBT caps all this time - I just haven't kept up with them because the ones that I've seen from a lot of those companies tend to be more expensive and come in weird form factors and layouts that I've had little use for.

    Anyway, this is getting a little off topic and probably of little interest to anyone coming here for info on low profile mechanical keyboards so let me take this opportunity to mention the newest entrant: Filco is joining Corsair, Cooler Master, and Ducky by releasing a new Majestouch keyboard called the Stingray. However, it's far from inexpensive with the TKL version going for $165 and the full-size version being listed for $170. And it uses ABS caps (sigh), but Filco makes quality boards. At first I thought that seemed way overpriced since it's a full $50 more than Amazon is listing the Corsair K70 MK.2 (with the LP Speed switches) for, but now I see that Newegg and Best Buy are also selling the Corsair for $170 which makes me wonder if there's a product/listing error on Amazon since there's nor normally that large of a price gap between Amazon and the others. Comixbooks, I saw in the other thread that you bought your Corsair from BB - did you pay $170 and did you happen to notice what they were selling for on Amazon at the time that you purchased yours?

    At any rate, $170 is more than I'm willing to pay for any of them at this point unless the typing experience is mind-blowing, which didn't seem to be the case in this reviewer's experience with the Cooler Master. (I don't visit Tom's Hardware much at all, but that's one of the few reviews I've found so far). $170 is just out of impulse buy range for me, so I'll wait for more feedback on these. I'm also hoping that they'll introduce some type of tactile switch, since I've only heard of the currently available ones coming with low profile Red and Silver (Speed) switches. I think that we're probably seeing "early adopter" pricing since these are the newest thing to hit the scene, and that the price will come down in time as more manufacturers get on...board. Heh.
     
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  23. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard 2[H]4U

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    Amazon had the low profile K70 for $120-ish for a couple of weeks. Now, the cheapest prices are around $130. Back in January, Corsair was selling it directly from their website for only $89.99. I had it in my cart for a while, but never pulled the trigger. I keep checking back to see if that price has returned, but no such luck, yet.
     
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  24. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    I was referring to most Ducky keyboards sold in the U.S, not most mechanical keyboards overall.

    I have bought 4 Duckies, all came with PBT caps.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
  25. Lateralus

    Lateralus More [H]uman than Human

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    $90, sheesh. I would've been sorely tempted at that price. But you know me and keyboards...I'd be tempted to throw that much at anything new and shiny as long as it had mechanical switches, neat colors and a USB cable. :D (Seriously, when I saw that new Ducky One 2 Mini RGB PBT 60% board on MK for $99 I was like "Oooh!" even though I generally don't even like 60% form factors, lol)

    Oh, you meant most Duckies...I thought that you meant most mechanical keyboards sold here in the US. Well, that was a lot of typing for nothing. :p But thank you for clarifying nonetheless!
     
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  26. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard 2[H]4U

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    I picked up the Corsair low profile just to try the switches. I posted a mini-review in this thread: https://bit.ly/2SfxQAd

    IMG_20190220_131608.jpg
     
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  27. Lateralus

    Lateralus More [H]uman than Human

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    Thanks, that is very encouraging! I was filled with temptation after seeing your pics and reading your impressions, but I too am going to wait for the Ducky or another option with PBT caps. I just know I'd be happier in the end, and since I haven't tried one of these low profile boards yet, I don't know what I am missing. :p
     
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  28. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard 2[H]4U

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  29. Lateralus

    Lateralus More [H]uman than Human

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    First one I've seen with Blue switches. :wideyed:
     
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  30. cyclone3d

    cyclone3d [H]ardForum Junkie

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    That seems like a really good price as well.

    Tempted to try one at some point, but I have a slew of keyboards with Cherry MX switches and I like them a lot.

    But speaking of small slim keyboards with mechanical switches, I had a Dell branded cherry one that also had a built in trackball. I bought it used to try out and not only were the switches super sticky, but the trackball portion was messed up as well. The switches had simply worn out and the little rubber spacers on the trackball sensor posts had split. I ended up throwing it away.

    Cherry G84-4400

    They also make one without the trackball

    Cherry G84-4100

    But they are expensive and the switches are kinda MEH from the reviews I have looked at.

    My guess is that the Keychron switches have to be better and the keyboard is also a lot cheaper than the Cherry ones.
     
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  31. Lateralus

    Lateralus More [H]uman than Human

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    Yeah, the price is certainly good...at $94 for the fullsize RGB and $84 for the TKL RGB I could almost overlook the ABS keycaps.

    Only thing I'm meh about is their return policy: "After customer received the product, if it is not related to product quality problem and the customer wants to return the product, the customer needs to cover the return shipping cost. Once we received the product in our Hong Kong warehouse, we will issue a refund for the product cost via Stripe."

    I wonder if these will be sold anywhere else?

    I still want the Ducky because of the PBT caps (and likely a decent choice of switches if their current offerings are any indication) but if they're $160 that's gonna suck a bit considering what awesome keyboards the One/One 2 are for around $100. Hopefully they'll be priced closer to those than the Shine, but with this being a new and trendy design, who knows.
     
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  32. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard 2[H]4U

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    I'm holding out for the Ducky, though there's been no word on its release since those videos from last year. It's not even mentioned on Ducky's website.

    http://www.duckychannel.com.tw/en/keyboard.html

    Kinda makes me wonder if it'll ever be released. :(

    I could get that Corsair low profile again if we could buy a set of PBT caps to replace those god awful ABS caps on the board.
     
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  33. Nausicaa

    Nausicaa [H]Lite

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  34. Lateralus

    Lateralus More [H]uman than Human

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    Well those are made by Filco using the Cherry low profile switches, but yeah I mentioned them a few posts back. They look great, but the price is a bit steep and they're only offered with Reds and not Silver/Speeds at this point. Being made by Filco, I'm sure they're quality though.

    I think I've almost ruled out the Keychron and the CoolerMaster ones. They look great as far as appearance goes, but I'm not sure I'd enjoy typing on those flat, chiclet-style keycaps as the more traditional curved ones like Corsair and Filco are using. The key caps on the Cooler Master SK650 looks like they might have ever so slight of a dimple shape to them, but it's hard for me to tell. Could just be the lighting in the pics.
     
  35. Nausicaa

    Nausicaa [H]Lite

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    Yeah it will take a while to get them down once they get cloned. Caps should be removable. Have you tried topre?
     
  36. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard 2[H]4U

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    Yeah, for me it's gonna be a tenkeyless low profile with Cherry Silvers (Corsair K65 LP?) or the Ducky Blade. If we don't see either in 2019, chances are we won't see them at all.
     
  37. Lateralus

    Lateralus More [H]uman than Human

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    Thinking about trying the Havit similar to the one you posted earlier in the thread...

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074QM6F7...colid=HLY7HP9JGWU8&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

    Not Cherry switches, but I don't suppose that's a dealbreaker for me. I took a chance on an inexpensive Motospeed RGB with Outemu Blue switches a couple of years ago and it was excellent for the money. My doctor would probably say I need more Kailh in my diet anyway. :p
     
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  38. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard 2[H]4U

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    Screw it!!! Just bought the Corsair low profile again. I still hope to see the Ducky, but I’ll deal with it when/if the time comes. In the meantime, I can see how I do with a full size board for an extended period of time.

    Price is down to $125 shipped on Amazon.
     
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