The BEST keyboard for typing

Started Oct 31, 2007 | Discussions
Earthlight Veteran Member • Posts: 3,208
The BEST keyboard for typing

Folks,

Sorry if this is a bit OT but I'm interested in hearing about your experiences with keyboards.

I use one for hours and hours everyday. I have, in fact, managed to erode the plastic around some of the keys on my trusty old KeyTronic.

I like the feel of the Keytronic but wonder if there are better choices out there. Of course, I realise this is highly subjective and I need to try some myself.

So, if you type a lot, what's your choice?

Logitech? Microsoft? Labtec? Keytronic? Which model and why?

Earthlight

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Martin Contributing Member • Posts: 835
Re: The BEST keyboard for typing

If you like that type, you might find something you want here:
http://pckeyboards.stores.yahoo.net/keyboards.html

BlackDraken Regular Member • Posts: 336
Re: The BEST keyboard for typing

I'm currently using a Microsoft 700 wireless Model #1060, which (to me) has a nice feel, but unfortunately doesn't have CAPS or NUM lock LEDs! The NUM lock LED I can do without, but I didn't realise it didn't have a CAPS lock, as the display model wasn't hooked up in the store.

Cheers

bruceh Contributing Member • Posts: 962
Re: The BEST keyboard for typing

I was in a search for a keyboard to use with my laptop. I wanted just a simple, inexpensive, smallish, corded keyboard. I looked at Logitech, Microsoft and Keytronic. Most were large, with extra keys (e.g. multimedia stuff), expensive ($50+), or cordless (I don't want to deal with batteries... being green). I thought I found one with Logitech. But when I got it home, I realized that the Insert/Delete/Home/End/PageUp/PageDown keys were rotated from a 3x2 to a 2x3 orientation. I returned it. I then did a search and thought I found one with Kensington via mail order. When I got it it was a great heavy feel. But... Doh! Again I didn't look carefully enough and those same 6 keys, though oriented correctly, had PrintScreen/ScrollLock/PauseBreak immediately above it and the arrow keys immediately below. I had a hard time using it, as I couldn't easily find those 6 keys. Plus, since I use other computers with different key structure, it was very frustrating.

Then one day I was using a Dell desktop and realized that I should just order from Dell. I found the keyboard online and ordered it (Part #310-8038) and should arrive this Friday. If it's similar to the one on the desktop, it'll be a bit on the light side, but I prefer that then one with wacky key placement.

Moral of the story? Look carefully at what you buy. Make sure it's what you want.

-bruceh

Earthlight wrote:

So, if you type a lot, what's your choice?

Logitech? Microsoft? Labtec? Keytronic? Which model and why?

teph Contributing Member • Posts: 623
Re: The BEST keyboard for typing

I use one of the more expensive Cherry-brand keyboards. Excellent quality.
--
teph

OP Earthlight Veteran Member • Posts: 3,208
Thanks!

Those look really promising! I can almost hear that nice, satisfying rattle already. I don't mind it, quite the contrary.

They didn't list the language version I'm using, so I should probably check for availability.

As to the construction & technology many people seem to prefer the mechanical switch instead of membrane switches.

Although membrane switches vary in quality. My KeyTronic is probably reasonably good, but perhaps there are better.

Earthlight

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OP Earthlight Veteran Member • Posts: 3,208
Strange

Omitting such standard features is beyond me.

Earthlight

BlackDraken wrote:

I'm currently using a Microsoft 700 wireless Model #1060, which (to
me) has a nice feel, but unfortunately doesn't have CAPS or NUM lock
LEDs! The NUM lock LED I can do without, but I didn't realise it
didn't have a CAPS lock, as the display model wasn't hooked up in the
store.

Cheers

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OP Earthlight Veteran Member • Posts: 3,208
You have a point

bruceh wrote:

Moral of the story? Look carefully at what you buy. Make sure it's
what you want.

This is good advice - there are some differences that are not immediately obvious. I just realised that I've grown fond of the large upside down L shaped enter key of my KeyTronic.

Some of the high-end keyboards I've been eyeballing don't seem to have this.

Earthlight

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OP Earthlight Veteran Member • Posts: 3,208
Re: The BEST keyboard for typing

I googled it and saw the home page. Looks pretty solid indeed. Do you have the G83-6104?

They seem to feature high quality membrane switches (quote from the homepage):

"Membrane contact switches with rubber-mat technology for individual use"

Have you ever used a KeyTronic? How would you compare?

Earthlight

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teph Contributing Member • Posts: 623
Re: The BEST keyboard for typing

I have an old G80-3000 (made in Germany), which survived one computer already. We write a lot (a few dozens A4) per day and found Cherry keyboards doing well over a longer period of typing. I have no experience with the Keytronic keyboards.
--
teph

BKKSW Veteran Member • Posts: 4,373
Easy answer..

I remember my old keytronic.. they stopped making those.. really too bad.

I've went through A LOT of keyboards until then trying to find one I liked 'as well' as my old Keytronic.. not necessarily one that felt the same. More.. it had to still feel good by the time I wore the numbers off the keys.. I type a lot..

For the longest time I was using IBM USB laptop replacement keyboards with included touchpad. At $99 these were the best I could come up with.. used them for years. Finally I got tired of replacing them every six months.. despite a year warranty.. it still requires action to send them in and replace them. So.. I looked.. and looked.. for something else.

Finally I settled on the Logitech diNovo keyboard with touchdisc. It's a BlueTooth keyboard that comes with a USB dongle, plug it in and it instantly works without any software necessary. Install the software and all of a sudden it's totally customizable, does great things like touch volume sliding, magnifying, and much more.. and of course the touchdisc. The touchdisc is ok for navigating the cursor, perhaps adequate for a straight text/surfing work.. but I ended up buying the matching MX revolution wireless mouse to compliment it.

What I ended up with is simply the best input device combination I've ever had period. The diNove is expensive at $199 list.. and the MX isn't cheap at $99 list.. The keyboard required some getting used to.. but it simply has the best feel going.. period. It also allows customization which is really helpful for my uses. After a year all the keys are worn smooth, no more letters, and its' still going strong. Not even a sign of impending failure. Battery charges last well over 30 days and did I say I use it a lot? Yep, A LOT..

It's thin, it's light, it's extremely solid and well made..it's perfect for sitting on my lap at any distance I desire from they computer.. I've went two rooms away, typed in a page.. and it worked perfectly. There were a couple keys I'd accidently hit (like the sleep key) when picking it up.. but the software enabled me to disable those specific keys. WONDERFUL!!! Well worth $200 and that's a lot for a keyboard.

The mouse is near perfection. I highly recommend it to anyone. The standard programming works great for web browsiing, everything including zoom is at your fingertips, and page turning, etc.. right there.. You can program it for each program you use it for.. making it extremely useful for each individual program you use it for. I used to use my Intous3 6x9 graphics tablet for most things, now I only use it when I must for graphic tablet needs.. the VX is that useful.

It's VERY high quality in it's build and feel, just as the keyboard is. My only nit is that the batteries only stay charged for 3-5 days.. so I've got to remember to drop it in it's nice cradle to charge for a few hours every few days. Note: It's wireless but not BT.. why? I suppose because having two BT input devices active on the same computer at the same time would be problematic. I loved the mouse so much I bought the VX revolution notebook mouse for my notebook. I love it so much I can't decide if I'd give up it's reduced feature set on my laptop for it's smaller size.. but I digress. I also like that the VX takes a single AA battery that seems to last me for at least four months now.. two of those months at six hours per day of use.. still going strong. It's nice not having to remember to charge it, well worth keeping a pack of AA's in the drawer.. it wouldn't be if it didnt' last for months.. but it does.

Logitech's best devices.. are wonderful.. JUST WONDERFUL.. Check them out.

BKKSW

Zone8 Forum Pro • Posts: 17,246
Re: Easy answer..

My first keyboard was a substantial Cherry - only got rid when the adapter from old to PS2 (when I updated computer of course) kept falling out. Just wish I had been able to keep it.

The info provided in message earlier means I shall be after a Cherry.

I have had Labtec - two in fact as first replaced due sticking keys (after one week's use) and replacement is the same. So that's going back too. Here in Spain (inland from Malaga region), not easy to get selection, so will have to order from the Net.

Think I have gone through about 9 or so keyboards in past 5 years - none survived long. Tried cordless - found when triping, often letters and sometimes several triped words failed to appear, so now back with corded keyboard but optical cordless mouse.

One thing I will be checking is the width of the board and width (span) of the keys too - found a number were a bit skimpy and I kept hitting more than one key as keys too close together.
--
Zone8

The photograph isolates and perpetuates a moment of time: an important and revealing moment, or an unimportant and meaningless one, depending upon the photographer's understanding of his subject and mastery of his process. -Edward Weston
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Fedorov Regular Member • Posts: 231
Re: Easy answer..

I bought a Saitek Eclipse keyboard for gaming but find it superb for typing on. I now use the same keyboard daily at work for typing on and hate using any other keyboard.

Oh... and I HATE all these keyboards that use what I class as non-standard layouts, i.e. they don't leave a gap between the cursor keys and the Home/End keys above, or they try to put smaller Enter keys on to squeeze an extra key, or they remove the Insert key to give you a bigger delete key!!!! Anyone that can touch type like myself will understand where I'm coming from here... we don't look at the keys much for typing so moving/removing standard keys or changing their shape/size is a big no no!!!

Saitek Eclipse II is the latest model and I'll most certainly upgrade to that one next - standard layout

bruceh Contributing Member • Posts: 962
Re: Easy answer..

I could not agree with you more, Fedorov!

Another thing is, as a touch typist, I use the number keys on the querty side and never use the 10-key pad. I wish someone would manufacture a "standard" keyboard but with the 10-key pad removed. It would allow me to access my mouse that much easier.
-bruceh

Fedorov wrote:

Oh... and I HATE all these keyboards that use what I class as
non-standard layouts,

Eric Carlson
Eric Carlson Veteran Member • Posts: 6,552
Re: The BEST keyboard for typing

At home, I'm using an old buckling spring (clicky) keyboard that has a somewhat light touch (lighter than my other old IBM bucking spring keyboard, which has a medium to heavy touch). It has the name Packard Bell on it, but that doesn't mean they manufactured it. I got it at a thrift store for $5, and it is a lot better than most keyboards you find in computer/electronics stores for even 10x that price or more, and it will probably outlast them too.

I haven't tried the DAS Keyboard II yet, but they sound like a nice, though unconventional option. http://www.daskeyboard.com/

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MentholMoose Regular Member • Posts: 111
Re: The BEST keyboard for typing

I'm still using an Northgate Omnikey I bought about 8 years ago. It has my favorite key layout and feel. Unfortunately, they are basically impossible to find in new condition. Another company makes a clone called the Avant Prime; it is pricey at $150, but if my Omnikey ever breaks (unlikely), I won't hesitate to buy one.

Ho72
Ho72 Senior Member • Posts: 1,752
Re: Easy answer..

bruceh wrote:

I could not agree with you more, Fedorov!

Another thing is, as a touch typist, I use the number keys on the
querty side and never use the 10-key pad. I wish someone would
manufacture a "standard" keyboard but with the 10-key pad removed.

Does this qualify?

http://pckeyboards.stores.yahoo.net/migmousblac.html

Another vote for Unicomp and their buckling spring keyboards.

http://www.pckeyboard.com/

Only brand I'll buy. No flashy website, just excellent products. Oh, and NOT made in China.

bruceh Contributing Member • Posts: 962
Re: Easy answer..

Not quite. Note the Insert/Delete/Home/End/PageUp/PageDown keys are rotated from a 3x2 to a 2x3 orientation. Plus I hate the track stick.

Ho72 wrote:

Does this qualify?

http://pckeyboards.stores.yahoo.net/migmousblac.html

Ho72
Ho72 Senior Member • Posts: 1,752
Re: Easy answer..

I wasn't sure about key placement. As for the stick, I have one on my Endura Pro (which I don't use—I have a mouse); it only took a couple of days to get used to it. If I were a more accurate typist I probably wouldn't have noticed it at all.

amikoenig Regular Member • Posts: 149
Re: Easy answer..

Those IBM/Lexmark keyboards are absolutely the best. Which configuration do you guys find best for Photoshop CS3 or Premiere Pro.

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