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Author Topic: Recommend a keyboard  (Read 10273 times)

CWuestefeld

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Recommend a keyboard
« on: October 13, 2008, 11:20:23 AM »
For months I've been suffering through frequent blue screens (especially frustrating when burning a DVD!). I've finally isolated the problem to the driver for my BTC multimedia keyboard. So out it goes, and here I am looking for suggestions for a replacement.

Requirements:
  • Firm keys - spongy stuff is no good
  • Full-size keys - I'm a good touch typist, and if the keys aren't the regular size or location I get thrown off. This applies especially to the "Ins/Del/Home/End/PgUp/PgDn" group that manufacturers like to monkey with.
  • Multimedia keys
Extra preferences (these are why I like the BTC in the first place), not required but I'd like them:
  • Scroll wheel or ball
  • Clipboard hotkeys (cut/copy/paste)
  • Wired (I don't want to replace batteries, and there's no need since I'm always in the same spot)

Anybody got a favorite keyboard they can recommend?

40hz

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Re: Recommend a keyboard
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2008, 12:03:48 PM »
Much like finding the perfect pen, I am always looking for the perfect keyboard. I have about two dozen keyboards sitting in storage or out on indefinite (i.e. borrowed by my Sis with no intention of returning) loan. They range in price from $0 (came with a PC)  to over $100 per.

The one I use is the Microsoft Comfort Curve 2000. A pretty much 'no-frill' offering with (IMHO) a 'touch' to die for.

Confort curve1.jpg

You can get one from Amazon for $19.95. Spend an extra $5 on something (I bought two!) and they'll ship it free.

http://www.amazon.co...-00002/dp/B0009ZBRS0

A good review can be found here: http://torley.com/re...urve-keyboard-2000-2

Won't get you any bragging rights, but it feels great and it works flawlessly with Windows or Linux. Spill resistant too!


« Last Edit: October 13, 2008, 12:51:02 PM by 40hz »

housetier

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Re: Recommend a keyboard
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2008, 12:57:11 PM »
daskeyboard3105.jpg

I recommend Das Keyboard. It looks damn cool and it will very very quickly improve your typing skills. It is supposed to be based on the famous IBM Model M keyboard, with mechanical keys and audible clicks. The next keyboard I buy, it's gonna be this one.

Now if only they had an illuminated version...

Stoic Joker

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Re: Recommend a keyboard
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2008, 01:31:46 PM »
I've got one of these: Saitek Eclipse It ran about $60 ... and was/is well worth it. Smooth, tactile, clean & compact. The back lighting could stand to be a bit better (for me ... but I'm old), but I have used it without (too much) issue (frequently) in a completely dark room.

zridling

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Re: Recommend a keyboard
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2008, 02:33:49 PM »
The more function keys the better. I'm so hooked on this older MS Natural Multimedia 1.0 keyboard that I bought several at $19/ea. I can accurately type 80+ wpm on it!

51NaturalKeyboard.jpg

wreckedcarzz

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Re: Recommend a keyboard
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2008, 02:39:55 PM »
The Logitech G11, which I own, has 18 "G" keys (programmable hotkeys) that have 3 modes - 54 keys in all - plus media keys (w/ volume control), a Windows Key switch (en/disable Windows key) and blue LED backlighting.

It's the biggest keyboard I've ever seen, but I absolutely love it. $60 @ NewEgg.com (USA shipping only, sorry guys).

http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/3303/1dsc03365fv3.jpg
Recommend a keyboard
(Click for full size - not my image (optional snap-on wrist rest not shown))

CWuestefeld

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Re: Recommend a keyboard
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2008, 03:05:26 PM »
The Logitech G11 and G15 seem to have become cult favorites. I assume from this that I'd be clear of the crashing problems I've been having. And they seem well-supported. They're also quite pricey.

The DAS Keyboard sure is beautiful, and comments on the web indicate that it's a joy to type on. But it doesn't have any of the multimedia keys.

The two Microsoft ones are the goofy (well, goofy to me) ergonomic design. I don't want to learn to type on that and lose my efficiency on other keyboards elsewhere. Plus, the "MS Natural Multimedia 1.0" is completely disqualified by the evil rearrangement of the "Ins/Del/Home/End/PgUp/PgDn" keys.

The Saitek Eclipse looks intriguing. But it appears to be a head-to-head competitor with the G11, and it appears that the G11 can be found cheaper (at least in my searches), and likely has better support.

By the way, here's the keyboard that's being retired for bad behavior:
BTC8190A.jpgRecommend a keyboard
BTC-8190A - Now discontinued, perhaps for the problems I have.
But notice the scroll wheel that sits right under your thumbs. And just below it, the clipboard keys. I use these all the time.

Anybody else feel like weighing in?

Ehtyar

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Re: Recommend a keyboard
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2008, 03:17:35 PM »
I am also using the Microsoft Comfort Curve 2000. The curve is not only ergonomic, but you can actually feel the difference using it, your wrists no longer have to kink when typing. Unfortunately I never learned to touch type, else I'd probably be using a keyboard more like zridling's.
I must say I'm surprised by the number of keyboards shown here that make no effort to be ergonomic. I'm not sure how much actual damage prolonged use of a non-ergonomic keyboard will cause, though I would encourage everyone to try it. I very much doubt you'd want to go back.

Ehtyar.

Deozaan

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Re: Recommend a keyboard
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2008, 07:09:54 PM »
What's the point of DAS Keyboard? If I was going to spend >$100 on a keyboard I'd get one that has lights that change according to what the keys do.


zridling

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Re: Recommend a keyboard
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2008, 02:26:53 AM »
Holy freakin' crap, wreckedcarzz, now that's a keyboard!

CWuestefeld, after about 3 days, you get accustomed to the ergonomic keyboard, and then you're hooked. Now whenever I use a regular keyboard, my hands and fingers hurt. The big DEL key helps when managing massive Usenet downloads.

Curt

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Re: Recommend a keyboard
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2008, 03:03:51 AM »
What's the point of DAS Keyboard?

- the point of Das Keyboard is the mechanical quality, not some features.

Fedorov

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Re: Recommend a keyboard
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2008, 05:02:49 AM »
Saitek Eclipse I or II - we use v1 in the office at work because I firmly believe these "gaming" keyboards are the best to handle the heavy duty office work, especially as we are programmers and these things get hammered!

v2 I use at home having upgraded from v1 - just as good if not better in my opinion.

I too HATE these keyboards that do not use STANDARD key sizes and layouts as I'm also a touch typist and rely on the keys being where they are supposed to be! :)

4wd

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Re: Recommend a keyboard
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2008, 06:19:23 AM »
The Logitech G11 and G15 seem to have become cult favorites. I assume from this that I'd be clear of the crashing problems I've been having. And they seem well-supported. They're also quite pricey.

G15 v2 here, only has 6 'G' keys but has the LCD which the G11 doesn't, (which I use to monitor various daemons and system info).

Best keyboard I've ever had - the on-the-fly macro programming of the G keys is an absolute winner.
eg.
Hit MR (Macro Record)
Hit a G key
Do whatever you want on the keyboard
Hit MR again
Macro is now assigned to that G key and is now there until you wipe it or you can go into the Profiler and save it as a permanent macro.

You can assign Macros, Keystrokes, Functions, Shortcuts and Text Blocks but with V2.00 of the software they also added the ability to create LUA scripts using the built in editor so you can simulate mouse clicks and more.

Yes, it cost a fair bit, (AU$89 here), still cheaper than some Microsoft keyboards though.

If you get a chance to try one, do it.

Personally I prefer the slimmer v2 over the wider v1 plus I don't have a need for 18 programmable keys.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2008, 06:39:52 AM by 4wd »

Deozaan

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Re: Recommend a keyboard
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2008, 01:11:28 PM »
What's the point of DAS Keyboard?

- the point of Das Keyboard is the mechanical quality, not some features.

Sounds like something MONSTER CABLES would try to pull off. Make a plain keyboard with no letter etchings and sell it for $140 claiming the gold contacts made it all worth it. :huh:


f0dder

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Re: Recommend a keyboard
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2008, 01:18:13 PM »
What's the point of DAS Keyboard?

- the point of Das Keyboard is the mechanical quality, not some features.

Sounds like something MONSTER CABLES would try to pull off. Make a plain keyboard with no letter etchings and sell it for $140 claiming the gold contacts made it all worth it. :huh:
*big grin*

In fairness, though, the Das Keyboard is supposed to have pretty good build quality - and iirc there's also something about the key weighting/resistance being different in different parts of the key, for optimal typing comfort. Dunno if it's true and dunno if it works, but I think that was one of the selling points as well.
- carpe noctem

CWuestefeld

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Re: Recommend a keyboard
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2008, 02:24:57 PM »
I decided on the Logitech G11, and I'm now a week into my use of it. Overall I'm quite happy with it. A few impressions:

  • Good feel and layout.
  • The thing is huge: it seems a bit deeper than an average keyboard, but mostly, it's incredibly wide due to the extra button rows on the left. The extra depth makes it harder to get to the multimedia keys, as they're slightly under my monitor.
  • It doesn't have the clipboard buttons that I'd sought as such, but with 18 programmable buttons (times three banks), so far I've set buttons for
    • Cut, Copy, Paste
    • Select All
    • Run ScreenSaver (because mine won't come on by itself anymore)
    • Left the bottom-left key empty, because I still have to learn that it's not the Ctrl key
    • Bring up Ditto and paste as text.
    I'm glad for the 18 keys on the G11 rather than the 6 on the G15.
  • The volume wheel is cool.

I still wish for the scroll wheel from my BTC.

KamyKaze

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Re: Recommend a keyboard
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2008, 08:26:33 AM »
I have to jump in to recommend the keyboard I use and like so much. It's a little different from what you were looking for but it's perfect for me and I hope to others.

Keyboard-1.jpgRecommend a keyboard

It's from A4Tech and is sold as part of a wireless Kb&Mouse set. I love A4Tech wireless mice. Although the KB uses rechargeable AA batteries I only change these about two times a year and the wireless signal receiver doubles as a battery charger. Same for the mouse signal receiver.  The reason I prefer wireless is because I have a big desk and the KB and mouse routinely are on top of large paper drawings sheets that I work with.
The keypad on my KB gets at least as much use as the letter keys and here is the real reason for this model preference: the keypad is on the left!.  I find this is a more natural location for use with the left hand and allows for continuous right hand use of the mouse.
I seldom have to type long times and am not the most accomplished typist but I use all fingers and I prefer this A-shaped key layout to the traditional one. I like how the keys travel and fell firm. The detachable wrist pad adds comfort.
I use most of the multimedia buttons but have still to configure all of these for use with my players and other non Microsoft sw. There's also a mouse wheel on the KB that doesn't get used at all.

housetier

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Re: Recommend a keyboard
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2008, 10:18:23 AM »
actually I was looking for a keyboard that has the numeric keys on the left for a long time. thanks for the hint, KamyKaze

Mark0

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Re: Recommend a keyboard
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2008, 07:23:02 AM »
I bought myself a G15 yesterday (not being able to withstand anymore the terrible Apple Pro), and I'm very satisfied.
The touch is very nice (for a softy), and the programmability just great.
The LCD display (with 4 dedicated keys) is also a very nice device.

I'm very fond of the great clicky keyboards (have one from around 1991, still working great), but they are simply unusable at late hours, when others are sleeping! :)

Bye!
« Last Edit: November 13, 2008, 07:38:23 AM by Mark0 »

mouser

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Re: Recommend a keyboard
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2008, 06:31:50 PM »
A friend gave me this keyboard and i like it a lot:
http://www.amazon.co...d-4000/dp/B000A6PPOK
414QERTWPKL._SL500_AA280_.jpg

The one thing i will warn you about having a non-traditional keyboard is that it makes it hard to switch back and forth if you use a different keyboard at home/work.

johnk

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Re: Recommend a keyboard
« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2008, 07:07:26 PM »
I'm very fond of the great clicky keyboards (have one from around 1991, still working great), but they are simply unusable at late hours, when others are sleeping! :)
Yes, the "clicky" (mechanical key-switch) keyboards are the only ones that give you a proper touch. Actually, I think Cherry still make them.  Not cheap - about £60. I have one, which is a joy to use. However, I work from home, and even during the day, the Cherry keyboard used to drive my wife mad. So I had to retire it (although when I'm alone in the house I sometimes sneak a few hours on it, just for the simple pleasure of using a well-built keyboard. Sad but true).

At the moment I am using an ancient Dell "Quiet Key", which is the only "soft" keyboard I have ever used with a decent touch and travel. I must have tried dozens of keyboards over the last few years, and 99 per cent of them are unbearable to use for more than a few minutes. No feel, spongey key travel. I also bought an IBM Thinkpad just because it is the only laptop with a decent keyboard. Why on earth is it so difficult to find a good keyboard? Have manufacturers just stopped trying?

AndyM

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Re: Recommend a keyboard
« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2008, 09:09:34 PM »
I want two of these:

http://www.cvtinc.com/products/keyboards/stellar.htm

but I have to rejigger one of my keyboard trays, need more height for this keyboard

Mark0

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Re: Recommend a keyboard
« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2008, 07:00:27 AM »
I cannot recommend something like this:

http://www.flickr.co.../3084720647/sizes/l/

 ;D