Getting Started with Mechanical Keyboards

gangolfus

Gawd
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
924
I am a professional software engineer and I am frustratingly picky about keyboards. The only keyboards I seem to be satisfied with were made by Microsoft between 2002-2004.

Microsoft Office Keyboard: http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-E17-00111-Office-Keyboard/dp/B00006D2LG/
Microsoft Optical Desktop Elite for Bluetooth: http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Optical-Desktop-Elite-Bluetooth/dp/B0002IG356
Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop Elite: http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Wireless-Optical-Desktop-Elite/dp/B0000AOWWY
Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop 1000: http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Wireless-Optical-Desktop-1000/dp/B00094OT36

These are getting harder and harder to find and keep dying on me, so I want to find something newer. I think there is probably a mechanical keyboard out there that I would like, I just don't have any idea where to begin looking. Between all of the switch types with varying resistance, stroke depth, clicks/no clicks and key caps, I can't even guess where to begin.

Short of abusing Amazon's return policy buying/returning a keyboard per week, is there an efficient way to determine what I like?

Is there anyone out there who has used and liked the above keyboards and has found a suitable replacement?

My most recent attempt is a Logitech Wireless Desktop MK320 (http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Wireless-Desktop-MK320-Combo/dp/B003VAGXZC) and it is by far the closest I have come to suitable, but it's just not quite there. I also considered a Logitech Wireless Wave Combo Mk550 (http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Wireless-Combo-Mk550-Keyboard/dp/B003VAHYNC).
 
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strekship

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
251
If you have a Fry's or Microcenter near by, they often have mechanical keyboards as display units that you can play around with. I have found that out of all the fancy key switches and keyboards, I still prefer typing on my Model M with the buckling springs.
 

gangolfus

Gawd
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
924
The closest Microcenter has 0 keyboards on display, just a sign reading "PLEASE DON'T OPEN KEYBOARD BOXES". There is a Fry's, but it is much less convenient to get to.
 

zombielando

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 13, 2013
Messages
156
Is there any company that specializes in making custom mechanical keyboards? I have a similar issue as the OP, I've been using a particular keyboard (an ergonomic keyboard from the 90's) for 20 years. I find other keyboards to be extremely disappointing - they just don't work well for me. Anyone know of a company like this?
 

Elfear

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 20, 2006
Messages
239
If you have a Tigerdirect B&M near you, they might have some good mechanical keyboards on display. I switched to a Corsair Vengeance K70 at the beginning of the year and I love it.
 

jojo69

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Sep 13, 2009
Messages
11,107
I looked through but all their pics indicate they use a traditional layout and not a split-key design like my ergonomic keyboard is. Here is what my keyboard looks like.

I guess I'll just have to contact them to see if they can create something like that. Thanks for the link.

oof, I will admit to not reading your post closely

I am unaware of any ergo mechs on the market, I suspect you are going to have a tough time there
 

Archmage

2[H]4U
Joined
Jul 13, 2000
Messages
3,027
The Corsair K70 and K95 seem to have good build quality (aside from any of the old LED issues, which I don't know much about). I like the fact that the keys are raised = easy cleanup. I'd want the MX browns, and I'd need to add my own O-rings to address the noise.
 

doubletake

Gawd
Joined
Apr 27, 2013
Messages
847
There's the ergodox keyboard that comes as a diy kit, hear good things about it (assuming you arent terrible at putting things together.
 
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