What are you typing on (a mechanical keyboard thread)?

Hello everyone,

I’ve been after a mechanical keyboard for a while and one of these fancy split-in-the-middle ones is the way I’ll be going. Before I take the plunge I figured I’d see what people here used (there must be a little crossover between this community and keyboard fans, right).

So to that end, what are you typing on? Does it have colourful LEDs, sounds and/or funky keycaps? Do you too think this contraption is a thing of beauty?

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LED-lit mechanical keys, can take simultaneous input from all of them, I think. So yes, some care taken in my keyboard choice, but not crazy expensive or otherwise unusual. Japanese keys, of course.

I’m a self-taught bad typist, and I tend to cross over some key presses that “should” be on one hand with the other, so those fancy split keyboards would require retraining muscle memory, and it doesn’t seem worth the hassle.

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I’ve got one of the Razer keyboards (razer huntsman elite the software informs me) and the Tartarus game pad because I still know where all my abilities for my WoW character are… I never figured out a use for this beyond WoW though.

This is my second mechanical Razer keyboard–I gave the previous one to our friends’ son for his first gaming PC and got myself the latest generation a while back, and as far as I know he’s still happy with it. They last long and I can take it apart to clean it (I really should).

The typing is great but loud when I am in a jitsi conference I need to either cut down the typing or use push-to-talk. The gaming “pad” is also mechanical but less loud, so I think they have two types of mechanical keys. Nevertheless, I love my keyboard.

As an aside: My mouse is also Razer and I have had their eGPU housing since spring and I am quite happy with that as well, just adding this to clarify that I am possibly not quite objective in my choices because I’ve been buying their products over and over for years like a good little fan girl

What sucks is the Razer Synapse software. My mouse is too old for the current software and on a recent software upgrade using the previous version of Synapse I lost the LED lighting on the mouse. But on the other hand my LED lighting can synchronize with my Philips room lighting and give me a heart attack when I configure it do go dark red when my character dies in Diablo :slight_smile:

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I’m typing on my laptop’s keyboard, which isn’t great, but is adequate. It lacks a numeric keypad, which I need for some of the editors I need to use for work, so I have a separate USB-attached one, made by “Magicforce”.

In the office, I have a Unicomp. That’s IBM’s former keyboard factory, now an independent company.

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I like my ergonomic keyboards… I’m currently using a Logitech Ergonomic K350, I believe…

Previously I’ve always used wired versions of this sort of keyboard, but this one is pretty good.

That stated, I do most of my writing work on my laptop, not my gaming rig, and that just has a standard Mac keyboard.

I’ve always liked the idea of a split keyboard, but have never actually tried one.

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Just your basic HP one. It does a job.

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There’s a lot of personal taste in this. There’s a Logitech trackball with a large central ball

with which I get on very well, but the Microsoft copy of it gives me instant wrist pain. Similarly with split keyboards. It’s one of the few reasons I’d ever visit a branch of PC World.

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I’m a keyboard snob, but it strange and unexplainable ways.

Currently, I’m using a Logitech G110 (g-g-g-g-g-gaming) on my personal computer and a Logitech K750 (wireless) on my work computer (surprisingly, provided by my employer).

On my servers in the basement (connected to my KVM switch) is an HP SK-2885 which I have dozens of and used to use nearly everywhere.

I’ve flirted with the idea of getting a mechanical keyboard for a long time, but most every time I encounter one, I re-affirm that I would give myself a headache if I used one consistently (more a function of the cadence of my typing rather than, necessarily, the speed). I’m still amenable to picking up a mechanical keyboard given the right price and the right switches (browns, I think, based on my previous research)

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Mechanical keyboard as opposed to what?

“Mechanical” keyboards use buckle-springs to facilitate the travel and, as a result, the “feel” of the keys; e.g. the resistance and the pressure profile throughout the keystroke and return.

Conventional keyboards typically rely on rubber or plastic in one fashion or another instead of the metal buckle-springs.

If you’ve every typed on an IBM Model M or similar keyboards from the 70s or 80s, those were “mechanical” before there was a distinction.

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Actually, I started out on truly mechanical typewriters where the power came entirely from the impact of my fingers on the keyboard. The first powered typewriter I owned was an electronic one that could remember a line of type, and go back and delete it. Since I started buying computers for serious use, I’ve always bought whatever keyboards Apple sells; currently I have a wireless keyboard.

I totally did not envision what you’re describing; I thought it was about the simulated keyboards that appear on the screen of a phone or tablet, which are uncomfortable to use and slow me down a lot, as my fingers don’t know where any of the keys are.

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All contemporary Apple keyboards use rubber membranes and plastic springs to facilitate keypress resistance and return travel. I’m not familiar enough with Apple’s product history to be able to specify which offering they may have had that used mechanical key switches.

The IBM Model M is the iconic mechanical keyboard in my book. If you’ve typed on something that gives an sharp, audible click like the keyboard in this video, then you’ve encountered a “mechanical” keyboard.

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I’ve never used a trackball. I’ve encountered a trackpad on C’s laptop, but I don’t like it; the motions are unintuitive, and it tires my hands and wrists quickly, partly I think because the required motions are too small for my comfort. It’s one of the reasons I have no desire ever to own a laptop. They’ll get the mouse away from me when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers . . .

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I’m using one exactly like this right now. It’s my second. I love it.

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We currently have three generations of keyboards in the apartment: A really big one whose plastic has aged from beige to tan, which may well be mechanical; a smaller, partly clear one; and an even smaller one with a metallic top surface that’s very flat (flatter than I really like, but it’s what Apple sells now). The last of the three is the only wireless one.

The trackball I really like, and use all the time at the desktop, is the Logitech Trackman Wheel.


It may not be for you. It works very well for me compared with every mouse I’ve ever used: more precision, less space needed, and you don’t automatically jitter the pointer when you press a button.

On the laptop, I’ll plug in one of those if I’m doing fiddly stuff, or just live with the trackpad otherwise. This laptop is a Thinkpad T430, so the keyboard’s already lower-travel than I like but not as slim as they became later (in the usual slavish imitation of whatever Apple does).

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I’m cautious about using a thumb-based trackball. I have osteoarthritis. My left thumb has a bone spur and I don’t want my right thumb to get one as well. : )

I’m a big fan of stick mouses on laptops; that is, until they get the least bit dirty and start to develop instability or drift.

I do enjoy a nice, well-made trackball; but never enough to justify buying one, especially with the understanding that the only “desktop”-style computer I have is also, by design, designated as a PC gaming computer (despite me not really spending a lot of time as of late playing PC games).

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My main keyboard isn’t anything special but I do have a little 12-button, RGB, clicky macro-pad which is mainly used for Tabletop Sim shortcuts nowadays.

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After the second of third time I played Civilization on my desktop till my eyes were physically sore, I gave up on computer games. I use my desktop for copy editing, writing, e-mail, Web activity, and watching video (currently via Amazon Prime and Netflix). Most of those benefit greatly from having a large monitor, particularly the first two (I can watch video comfortably on a tablet). But I don’t anticipate taking up computer games again; they’re just too damned good a time sink.

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