go go Happy Hacking Pro 2!
I want something loud, something with a ton of tactile feel, great feedback, a great old 1980s keyboard feeling, but also modern looking and in black. What should I look for? I'm lost with all these different switches and keyboards.
What sayu said. I'd recommend a board with Cherry Blues. A board with buckling springs would give you that 1980s feel, but I'm not aware of any that are black and modern looking. Based on the feedback on Geekhack, the Cherry Blues provide a similar typing experience but are available on some really good looking boards including the Das Keyboard and the Filco Majestouch. I can't recommend the iOne Scorpius M10 based on reports of poor build quality (not sure if that's even an option for you in Canada, but if it is I would steer clear despite the fact that it's the cheapest of the bunch).
Yes, the first one is a good choice. The Cherry Blues are NOT quiet and will definitely provide the tactile feel that you desire. The Das keyboards have great build quality as well; it'll most assuredly outlast several cheaper keyboards.
As for the Cherry Browns, they are great switches but I'm not sure they are what you're looking for. They require less force to actuate, and are both quieter and less tactile than the Cherry Blues. By less tactile, I mean that the actuation when you press a key is less pronounced or less defined than that of the Blues. You can still feel the "bump" but it's much quieter and smoother (or less sharp) than the Cherry Blues.
The Cherry Blacks are classified as linear because there is no bump or click when you press them (the bump and click are characteristics of the Cherry Blues and Browns, as well as some other switches). The Blacks are completely smooth from the start to the end of their travel, and back. I don't think these are what you are looking for. There is no click and no tactile feedback when the key actuates. This thread may help illustrate the differences in key feel, but the best test is to try them for yourself in order to appreciate their individual characteristics. Given the description of what you want though, I still believe a board with Cherry Blues is what you want.
Hope that helps!
Thanks for all your help. I think I am set on Cherry Blues. I really should avoid the Scorpius M10 then? Unforutnately, I can't find any vendors with the DAS keyboard with markings on the keys in Canada. For some reason, the only stock stores carry are the blank key ones. There is no way to try anything in person, everything will have to be ordered online. Has anybody used the blank key DAS? Is it easy to use without the markings? Do you eventually memorize where all the keys are? I am good for touch typing but I am worried about the symbols, etc.
Spare-Flair - Are the Filcos an option for you? The people at the geekhack forums seem to prefer them over the Das keyboards. Lots of reports of people unhappy with their long term build quality and reliability. Not 1000% sure of that as I haven't used the Das keyboards myself, but I do trust the geekhack community and it is why I ended up passing on them and getting a Filco instead.
I don't know anything about the Adesso keyboards (never heard of them). I'll just say that I own a Das Keyboard (with Blues) and a Filco (with Browns) and I'm more than pleased with both. Some people don't care for the glossy bezel of the Das Keyboards while others say that the key inscriptions on the Filco boards won't last as long as those of a Deck. If I ever have any trouble out of my Das Keyboard, I would buy a Filco with Cherry Blues. Both are excellent keyboards in my experience.
The DAS does get quite dirty with dust and crap. You can wipe it off bit still, I would have preferred a matte surface.
Also some of the keys are turning glossy from use, I might order one of those blank sets from elitekeyboards.com (meant for the Filco's but should be fine with the DAS). I got my DAS for $60 so I'm not really complaining. I like the USB hub for USB sticks but that's about it.
But I'm sure I do more typing that most people...
I'm tempted by the Unicomp keyboards
Of course I know a mechanical keyboard should always be hooked up via PS/2 for NKRO purposes but that's a strange stipulation on the USB version of this keyboard.
Anybody who has a Unicomp keyboard, what is that red bump that is under the logo? Looks like a red LED dome. Why would you have that there? A red LED would be distracting and a dome bulb is pretty ugly. Is it that or is it just part of the sticker?
Just cause you hook up a mechanical board to PS/2, doesn't make it NKRO. Unicomp boards are not NKRO capable.
So brown would be close to a normal membrane board then. The blues supposebly have an actuation force of 50g, which would be a little more but I think the click might just be worth it.
Take a look at Deck keyboards then. I know they are illuminated.Been wanting a mechanical for a long time and I'm still looking around, though I really need one that has slimline keys and lighting which only shows letters (doesn't bleed through between keys). Perhaps my day will come /wish
Take a look at Deck keyboards then. I know they are illuminated.