Mechanical Keyboard Guide

WorldExclusive

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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

Nope. Not going to happen anytime soon. I don't think it cost effective for other board makers to do it. Their boards may cost $200+. Slim keys usually are scissor switch. There are many people in this thread who wanted slim keys like you, got a Deck or Filco and never looked back. I've always found raised keys to be more accurate when typing quickly or frantic gameplay. I tend to fat finger slim key boards.
 

Serpico

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Nope. Not going to happen anytime soon. I don't think it cost effective for other board makers to do it. Their boards may cost $200+. Slim keys usually are scissor switch. There are many people in this thread who wanted slim keys like you, got a Deck or Filco and never looked back. I've always found raised keys to be more accurate when typing quickly or frantic gameplay. I tend to fat finger slim key boards.

Pretty much. Slimline and mechanical are mutually exclusive, one or the other. I own a Filco tenkeyless brown and an Apple aluminum full size, both great options on both sides.

I love the Filco, fantastic for RTS games in particular. It comes down to personal preference whether to go blue, brown, or black. I like the low resistance, high sensitivity, and tactile feel of the brown, but everyone is different. Someone may prefer the greater resistance of the black, etc, and IMO that's the beauty of mechanical switches. You get such a wide variety of choices to fit your personal preferences and needs.
 

WorldExclusive

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Are there any wireless mechanical keyboards?

Haven't heard of any. WIll look around for you but I doubt it.

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OP Update

Looks like iOne is taking a chance at an illuminated mechanical keybaord. For a long time Deck has been the only manufacture of illluminated mechanical keyboards. It will be interesting if they can have the same quality as a Deck.

iOne Xarmor U9BL
Release Date: N/A
http://www.ione.com.tw/2009/Product/6A_SC-U9 BL.asp
Cherry MX Blue Mechanical Switch
Backlit Blue illuminated
Individual LED backlight for each key
Audio Passthough (Mic + Audio Out)
Built in 2 USB 2.0 Hub
Built in Wrist Pad for maximum palm comfort
Multimedia function control keys
20,000,000 keystrokes

This model has media keys which so many of you have been asking for.
iOne generally has been cheaper than other companies so I don't expect it to cost more than a Deck.
Quality is a issue though.
 
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WorldExclusive

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Dagnabbit, still has lighting bleeding through between keys.

Mechanical keyboard keys are raised higher than keys with rubber domes or scissor switches. Light bleeds through easier on mechanical keyboards because of this. Also cheaper keyboards usually have plastic under the keys to eliminate light bleed.
 

WorldExclusive

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The Deck keyboard is so bright that I use it on Level 2 brightness out of 7. There is a very low glow between the keys like they're floating.
 

cjs

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I just got a reply from The Keyboard Company saying that they will have Filco Tenkeyless with EU layouts (UK, DE, FR, SE/FI, ...) some time later this year or early 2011. I can barely wait!
 

db_Iodine

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I just got a reply from The Keyboard Company saying that they will have Filco Tenkeyless with EU layouts (UK, DE, FR, SE/FI, ...) some time later this year or early 2011. I can barely wait!

That's great news but the wait would be too long for me. I just ordered Filco Tenkeyless with MX blue switches. I'm probably going to buy the SE/FI layout tenkeyless if and when they release it too.
 

Spare-Flair

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Haven't heard of any. WIll look around for you but I doubt it.

----------------------------------

OP Update

Looks like iOne is taking a chance at an illuminated mechanical keybaord. For a long time Deck has been the only manufacture of illluminated mechanical keyboards. It will be interesting if they can have the same quality as a Deck.

iOne Xarmor U9BL
Release Date: N/A
http://www.ione.com.tw/2009/Product/6A_SC-U9 BL.asp
Cherry MX Blue Mechanical Switch
Backlit Blue illuminated
Individual LED backlight for each key
Audio Passthough (Mic + Audio Out)
Built in 2 USB 2.0 Hub
Built in Wrist Pad for maximum palm comfort
Multimedia function control keys
20,000,000 keystrokes

This model has media keys which so many of you have been asking for.
iOne generally has been cheaper than other companies so I don't expect it to cost more than a Deck.
Quality is a issue though.

Where do you buy ione keyboards? Cherry Blues for gaming?
 

WorldExclusive

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Look at the original iOne boards listed above that one. Blues can be used for gaming, they aren't stiff as the Cherry MX Black. Blues are better for typing.
iOne boards are some of the cheapest Blues you can get.
 

thesecond

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Pretty much. Slimline and mechanical are mutually exclusive, one or the other. I own a Filco tenkeyless brown and an Apple aluminum full size, both great options on both sides.

I love the Filco, fantastic for RTS games in particular. It comes down to personal preference whether to go blue, brown, or black. I like the low resistance, high sensitivity, and tactile feel of the brown, but everyone is different. Someone may prefer the greater resistance of the black, etc, and IMO that's the beauty of mechanical switches. You get such a wide variety of choices to fit your personal preferences and needs.
No they arent. Cherry ML blacks are slimline (2.5mm). But they only come on the Optimus Maximus keyboard... oh and apparentlyt he cherry ml4100
 

krazmych

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I've just been thinking... would it be possible to, say, by the Deck 82 (it really seems like the perfect buy in terms of case build, size, and lighting are concerned) and just change the type of switches, from, say, the whites included on it, to blues? Or any switches for that? And to still be able to keep all of the lights that power the lighting?

Unless Deck Keyboards has incorporated the lights into the switches themselves... that would be tough.

I'm still optimistic I will like the Deck 82 enough for typing. Just in case I don't, whatcha think? Possible to switch the switches?

(Here is a link of the Deck without any keycaps)
 

Dan_D

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You're right. But $170 for an new unproven iOne board?

That's true. I'd just opt for a Filco or a Das Keyboard Professional and move on but that's just me. If Cherry MX Blues aren't a must and back lighting is, the Deck is a good choice.
 

sayu

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I've just been thinking... would it be possible to, say, by the Deck 82 (it really seems like the perfect buy in terms of case build, size, and lighting are concerned) and just change the type of switches, from, say, the whites included on it, to blues? Or any switches for that? And to still be able to keep all of the lights that power the lighting?

Unless Deck Keyboards has incorporated the lights into the switches themselves... that would be tough.

I'm still optimistic I will like the Deck 82 enough for typing. Just in case I don't, whatcha think? Possible to switch the switches?

(Here is a link of the Deck without any keycaps)

It is possible, but I sure hope you like soldering. You'll be doing a lot of it.
 

Dan_D

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It is possible, but I sure hope you like soldering. You'll be doing a lot of it.

That's what I was thinking. There would be at least two connections per switch I'd imagine. Now imagine doing that for 105 keys. So you'd have no less than 205 solder joints to desolder, and resolder, then test.

Good luck with that. :D
 

Michaelius

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Yes everyswitch has 2 contacts one needs to be grounded and second one for signal ;)

I was trying to do that with arcade stick :)
 

sayu

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That's what I was thinking. There would be at least two connections per switch I'd imagine. Now imagine doing that for 105 keys. So you'd have no less than 205 solder joints to desolder, and resolder, then test.

Good luck with that. :D

The LED in each switch adds 2 (iirc) more contacts to deal with.
 

TaK

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LOL @ using cherry mx blues for gaming. The release point is way too high for FPS games. This is just common sense..
 

Lateralus

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LOL @ using cherry mx blues for gaming. The release point is way too high for FPS games. This is just common sense..

I didn't have any problems...I actually like them because the actuation point is so clearly defined, you always know when it's going to register a key press. Makes precise jumping a heck of a lot easier IMO. The only bad thing I can really say is that in games without a lot of fast action where you're supposed to be sucked into the atmosphere (like Penumbra), the loud clicking of the keys is always audible and always reminds you that you're sitting at a keyboard rather than being in the game. But that's just just me being picky and finding something to complain about; otherwise the keys are awesome.
 

IanM

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Razer mechanical keyboards just announced, inc. a version with backlit keys: http://store.razerzone.com/store/razerusa/en_US/DisplayCategoryProductListPage/categoryID.49136200

Razer Blackwidow Ultimate specs:

  • Full mechanical keys with 50g actuation force
  • Individually backlit keys with 5 levels of lighting
  • 1000Hz Ultrapolling™ / 1ms response time
  • Programmable keys with on-the-fly macro recording
  • Gaming mode option for deactivation of the Windows key
  • 10 customizable software profiles with on-the-fly switching
  • 5 additional macro keys
  • Gaming optimized key matrix for minimized ghosting
  • Multi-Media Controls
  • Braided cable
  • Audio-Out / Mic-In Jacks
  • USB-Passthrough
  • Approx. size in mm: 475(L) x 171(W) x 30(H)
 

Surly73

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sayu

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The Razer board's switches:
razerblackwidowkeys.jpg


Cherry switches - ML (top), MX (bottom)
85784731.png


Definitely doesn't look like MX to me. Doesn't quite look like ML either, but it looks more like an ML than MX.
 

WorldExclusive

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Seems like the keyboard makers have been reading the forums lately. Their mushy boards suck so now they are going mechanical. Good move. Lets see if the overall quality of the board is up to par also. Installing switches is not the only feature of keyboards.
I wonder will the letters still rub off their keys. It's USB only keyboard, meh.
 

Lateralus

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They say mechanical, 50g fixed, and 2mm key travel.

Is that the signature of anyone in particular? I think all of the Cherry MX switches are farther travel than that. It's not expensive enough to be Topre. I'm curious...

I'm 99.9% sure that Razer, MS, or Logitech would never use Topre switches. Most people just aren't willing to pay for that level of refinement in a switch. But they'll spend nearly as much for a G19 with an LCD and purty backlighting, lol.
 
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Uh oh @ Razer using mechanical keyboards. What will the script kiddies and wannabe pros have to blame their losing on now????


Actually though, it's a good thing. The more people that know about mech keyboards, the better IMO.
 

EnderW

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without reading the thread, is the das keyboard silent model a good choice?
 

Serpico

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They say mechanical, 50g fixed, and 2mm key travel.

Is that the signature of anyone in particular? I think all of the Cherry MX switches are farther travel than that. It's not expensive enough to be Topre. I'm curious...

2mm isn't key travel, it is actuation distance. With 50g of resistance it sounds like Cherry MX brown switches to me. Reading this kind of confirmed it:

The Razer BlackWidow’s mechanical key technology provides a distinctive tactile feedback in form of a light pronounced tap to your fingers giving you an entirely new feel on your keyboard. With its optimized actuation force of 50g and a reduced actuation distance of 2 mm the Razer BlackWidow’s keys allow you to actuate your commands faster than on any other standard gaming keyboard.

These are tactile switches at 50g, I'm almost positive that these are browns. I guess we'll find out once people get them in their hands and report if they make audible clicks or not.

EDIT: I looked at the detail specs, seems like Cherry MX blue switches are being used as they make an audible click sound.

Either way, good on Razer for delivering such a product. I'm not a fan of theirs but this is a good thing. Also, $80, that is quite a deal for a mechanical keyboard. I wonder what kind of corners were cut to get it to that price.
 
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Serpico

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Just ordered a Filco 104 key with brown switches. As well as a new ratpadxt WOOT WOOT

The Ratpad is questionable. I really hate how thick they are and the slipperiness of the plastic cutting board texture. A+ on the Filco though, you will love it. :D
 
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