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Last post Author Topic: Looking for a good non-Logitech keyboard  (Read 6798 times)

Deozaan

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Looking for a good non-Logitech keyboard
« on: May 01, 2014, 11:16:30 AM »
I'm in the market for a new keyboard. I was using the K800 which I really, really liked. But every single Logitech device I've purchased in the past decade or so has had significant issues crop up after only 2-3 years of use so I'm done with them as a company. Every single mouse has had issues with double clicking or "letting go" when I was trying to click and drag. And this past weekend one of the keys on my keyboard has suddenly stopped working. A $100 keyboard should last longer than that. And no, I didn't spill anything on it. I'm sick and tired of my Logitech devices failing after only a couple of years (if that long). Grr!

If that's not planned obsolescence then it's sheer incompetence, and I'm not going to support either of them with more money.

So anyway, does anyone have suggestions for a nice keyboard that will last? Some of the things I really liked about the K800 and would like to have again (but are not requirements) are:

1. Quiet keys.
2. Slim (not tall) keys that are easy to press. I can't believe how hard it is to type on a regular keyboard with such tall keys now that my fingers have gotten used to not having to move so much!
3. Backlight.
4. The key labels couldn't rub off because as best as I can tell the key itself is black and the label is laser etched through it or something. Very nice.
5. Wireless. I left my keyboard plugged in 98% of the time, but it was nice to be able to disconnect it occasionally to take to the couch or hand over to someone else near my computer.
6. Full size keyboard with numpad and Function keys.

Some things I didn't like about it:

1. Really the only thing I can think of is that I ran into conflicts when trying to press many keys at once. I'm not a competitive gamer, so it's not super important to me, but there were a few games where I noticed I couldn't use the key combinations I wanted to.

But honestly at this point I'm open to any suggestions.

Please, DC, share your wisdom with me and help me find a good Logitech replacement.


Stoic Joker

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Re: Looking for a good non-Logitech keyboard
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2014, 12:01:05 PM »
I'm still using the same Saitek keyboard I bought at CircuitCity - Yeah it's that old - over 10 years ago. it's been sloshed with beer and coffee at various points, and probably still has a good bit of cigarette ash in it ... But it also still works perfectly.

...I figure I got my $60 out of it years ago.

These aren't in stock at Newegg, but it's the closest thing I could find to what I actually have http://www.newegg.co...Item=N82E16823175104
« Last Edit: May 01, 2014, 12:07:38 PM by Stoic Joker »

eleman

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Re: Looking for a good non-Logitech keyboard
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2014, 12:09:59 PM »
I use an Apple keyboard with my PC.

On the plus side:
1. Compact design. It covers a minimal desk space.
2. Slim and easy to press keys are very nice.
3. Home-end-pgup-pgdn are not at eccentric locations.
4. There are 7 extra F keys you can use to assign functions.

Cons:
1. F keys are not in groups of four. I didn't realize this would be an issue, but apparently muscle memory gets some help from the small space left between F4 and F5 to discern the key when pressing Alt-F4.
2. Price is higher than it needs to be. I figure it's Apple tax. To boot, I don't get the opportunity to show-off at a chic bar to impress ladies.
3. No scroll lock key. Ergo no scroll lock led. You probably don't need it, but I do for some reason.
4. No num-lock led.
5. No windows key and the context menu key. Instead you get useless cmd keys. (There's a marvelous utility called sharpkeys to remap keys for good though. Use it. Use it. Really.)
6. No printscreen key (see sharpkeys).
7. No insert key (sharpkeys again).
8. There is a freaking "=" key on the numpad, claiming the space where "/" should be. Do I look like an idiot? Who the hell needs an "=" key on the numpad? The idiot key replaces "/" and subsequently causes a chain reaction with "*" as well. And the "+" key is a single row key, not a two-row one. (thankfully, there's sharpkeys).

Well, to sum it up, you get quiet and slim keys, and some issues most of which you can eliminate with sharpkeys. I do recommend it.

Deozaan

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Re: Looking for a good non-Logitech keyboard
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2014, 01:06:40 PM »
Wow. I didn't know that Amazon made hardware (other than Kindle). Looking for keyboards I found there's an AmazonBasics line of products. Including a keyboard for $11.50.


Innuendo

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Re: Looking for a good non-Logitech keyboard
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2014, 07:23:38 AM »
I love, love, love my Logitech K800 keyboard. Yes, the keys are laser-etched. This is a requirement for all keyboards I buy as I type a lot. Normal keys will start showing wear a few months in with the way I type. This K800 looks as good as the day I bought it two years ago. One of its fatal flaws, one you did not mention, is that it is impossible to take apart to clean.

Wireless, rechargeable, back-lit laser-etched keys, low profile, short key travel, etc.  Sadly, when last I checked there was nothing else like it on the market. A unique product for a unique niche. Just requiring laser-etched keys alone really cuts down the field of choices to a small handful. If you want wireless *and* back-lit keys? Practically unheard of. There doesn't seem to be nearly as many companies making keyboards as there used to be. Even Microsoft comes out with a new model once every few years these days. There was a time there'd be a completely new line of keyboards every year.

You paid $100 for it? That's MSRP. No one should ever have to pay MSRP for anything. :)    I picked mine up for about half that on sale somewhere so i guess I'm not going to be too upset when this one dies. I've gotten my money's worth out of it.

Deozaan

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Re: Looking for a good non-Logitech keyboard
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2014, 01:31:35 PM »
Another thing I've realized that I miss from my K800 that I always thought of somewhat derisively in other keyboards before I got my K800 and never fully realized how much I used/like is the media keys.

I used the volume controls on the keyboard so often that it's a hassle to adjust the volume from the tray now. And the button I felt was the single most worthless button (on the keyboard when I first got it was a button to open the calculator. But that thing has become indispensable for me. In the one day I've gone without my K800, I've sorely missed the volume controls AND that calculator button.

The good news is that it seems my fingers are starting to get used to having to press harder on the keys to type every letter I hit. So I'm making fewer typing mistakes on this old Belkin keyboard I've had forever.

One of its fatal flaws, one you did not mention, is that it is impossible to take apart to clean.

Honestly that was never something that bothered me. I never felt the need to clean it. That said, the fact that it's impossible to take apart is a large part of why I need a new keyboard. The alt key stopped working so I tried to take it apart to see if there was anything that had gotten in it that was interfering with the contact. In the process of taking the black panel off the back, several of the snaps broke, which I didn't think was too bad, but I also popped up several of the keys because I noticed a lot of lint under them and in the process a tiny bit of plastic on the underside of the E key broke off.

In other words, if I hadn't tried to clean or fix the keyboard, I'd still be using it (without an Alt key).

I loved, loved, loved that keyboard. But as I said, I'm sick of every Logitech product I buy failing in some way after only 2-3 years, so I'm going to try to do without it.

You paid $100 for it? That's MSRP. No one should ever have to pay MSRP for anything. :)    I picked mine up for about half that on sale somewhere so i guess I'm not going to be too upset when this one dies. I've gotten my money's worth out of it.

I think I got mine for about $60 on sale, plus I had a gift card which brought the price down to something really nice, like $30. But still. I need a new keyboard now, and they're $100 now. And it's the principle of the thing. If they're going to charge $100 MSRP for it, it should last. This isn't some cheap no-name brand Chinese ripoff. Logitech is one of the big names in HID hardware. They need to make high quality, premium devices if they're going to be charging premium prices.


mwb1100

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Re: Looking for a good non-Logitech keyboard
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2014, 05:41:45 PM »
A $100 keyboard should last longer than that. And no, I didn't spill anything on it. I'm sick and tired of my Logitech devices failing after only a couple of years

You might want to see if you have records for when you bought the K800 - it has a 3 year warranty, so you might be able to get it replaced for minimal cost.

Deozaan

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Re: Looking for a good non-Logitech keyboard
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2014, 05:45:17 PM »
A $100 keyboard should last longer than that. And no, I didn't spill anything on it. I'm sick and tired of my Logitech devices failing after only a couple of years

You might want to see if you have records for when you bought the K800 - it has a 3 year warranty, so you might be able to get it replaced for minimal cost.

I thought I had bought it when I got this computer in August 2011, but it seems my memory was a little off. According to my records, I bought it just over 3 years ago. January 28, 2011 for just under $60 (after gift cards).


mwb1100

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Re: Looking for a good non-Logitech keyboard
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2014, 05:47:28 PM »
Damn.

Deozaan

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Re: Looking for a good non-Logitech keyboard
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2014, 05:49:00 PM »
At this point it wouldn't really have mattered. I thought it only had a 1 year warranty on it, so I'm sure I voided any warranty that would have remained on it when I tried to take it apart.

But in the future I'll be sure to check to make sure my devices are no longer in warranty before I attempt to repair them myself. (c:


40hz

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Re: Looking for a good non-Logitech keyboard
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2014, 06:15:59 PM »
I am extremely partial to a small form factor keyboard made by Gyration. They call it their Classic Compact Wireless model.

gyration.jpgLooking for a good non-Logitech keyboard

I got mine as part of a set that included their AirMouse. I never could relate to the mouse, but I love the keyboard. It's about half the size of a standard keyboard with slightly stiff but very tactile low-travel keys that don't feel at all cramped when you start typing. The 88-key layout is a little unique in places. But it's a very logical arrangement that grows on you after a while. And I can fly on the thing.

I bought mine well over 10 years ago - so that's saying something. It's a very solid bit of kit. Mine is midnight blue. I don't know if it ever came in other colors.

Last I looked, they're still available for around $70 - which is a little steep for a keyboard that small. Still, if you want reliable quality in a very cool looking form factor, you could do a lot worse than to buy one of these keyboards. You'll garner immediate ubergeek "street cred" flashing one of these around.
 8)

(Note: the lack of a WinLogo key also makes this keyboard very popular with the more "militant" (i.e. fanboi) element  in the Linux world.  :-\ )


« Last Edit: May 02, 2014, 06:23:19 PM by 40hz »

Innuendo

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Re: Looking for a good non-Logitech keyboard
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2014, 09:57:10 PM »
That Gyration keyboard looks neat, but I'm a tall man with large hands. I'm afraid I'd look like I was straight out of Gulliver's Travels typing on that tiny thing.

Deozaan

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Re: Looking for a good non-Logitech keyboard
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2014, 01:42:48 AM »
At least two things about that Gyration keyboard would really bother me:

The Fn key is in the wrong place. Ctrl should always be on the outside.
No numpad.

I can nitpick a lot of other things about it. I'm not a fan of the compressed/condensed/compact form factor. It makes too many keys go in places that don't make sense. And actually, it reminds me of my first ever illuminated keyboard. The EluminX. They inexplicably compressed the keyboard layout (but kept the numpad). There were lots of little things I didn't like about that keyboard, but considering it was the first and (AFAIK) only illuminated keyboard on the market at the time, and considering how much I paid for it, I was psychologically invested in my decision. :D


Stoic Joker

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Re: Looking for a good non-Logitech keyboard
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2014, 07:37:46 AM »
At least two things about that Gyration keyboard would really bother me:

The Fn key is in the wrong place. Ctrl should always be on the outside.
No numpad.

I'll 2nd that one. Being left-handed and reflexively dependent on a laundry list of hotkeys...that F'n key...would F me up royally. Not to mention that the (std 104 key layout) number pad is the only part of the keyboard I've managed to memorize well enough to use without looking. Hence it's my goto for entering IP address information - complete deal breaker without it.

40hz

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Re: Looking for a good non-Logitech keyboard
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2014, 08:43:24 AM »
I probably should have qualified the Gyration keyboard suggestion by saying I use it primarily for writing and text content creation. When it comes to a keyboard for my "real job", the absence of a separate number and cursor keypad and would be an absolute showstopper for me too.

FWIW, several keys are in the "wrong" places. But I had no problem getting used to the new layout. And I actually like where they put the Fn key. (No accounting for taste I guess.)  ;)

I just wish keyboards would go back to having an oversized enter-key like they used to when the IBM Selectric roamed the Earth.

x16wda

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Re: Looking for a good non-Logitech keyboard
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2014, 08:45:49 AM »
I just wish keyboards would go back to having an oversized enter-key like they used to when the IBM Selectric roamed the Earth.

Sounds like a good Steampunk project for someone!
vi vi vi - editor of the beast

40hz

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Re: Looking for a good non-Logitech keyboard
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2014, 08:49:47 AM »
^There are some amazing Steampunk themed hardware projects out there. A quick Google will spot you a dozen or more. Mahogany and teakwood cabinets, brass appointments, old fashioned round plunger-type typewriter keys...

2d4861bd85a5a8e73255cc77cd8297ff.jpgLooking for a good non-Logitech keyboard

Some very creative people have way too much time on their hands.  ;D
« Last Edit: May 04, 2014, 04:30:59 AM by 40hz »

J-Mac

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Re: Looking for a good non-Logitech keyboard
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2014, 01:01:00 AM »

I think I got mine for about $60 on sale, plus I had a gift card which brought the price down to something really nice, like $30. But still. I need a new keyboard now, and they're $100 now.

Do what I do. I track the prices at Amazon for certain items that I may buy repeatedly - like my K800! - and buy one when it is on sale, or at least priced significantly lower than usual. I just purchased a spare in March for $70. It is still in the box but at least it is there for when I need it. I also have a few new mice hanging around for when my current one bites the dust.

Jim

Innuendo

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Re: Looking for a good non-Logitech keyboard
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2014, 11:03:34 AM »
I'd be very leary of stocking up on K800s as the first one I bought was defective out of the box. It was a weird defect with the sensor that causes the backlight to light up when your hands get near. The defect manifested itself if you would hover your hand a couple millimeters of the Inverted-T cursor keys and moved your hand forward and back. The active window on your screen would scroll downward.

Second unit worked perfect....and passed every n-key rollover test I could find on the internet. I've heard some units don't, though.

Deozaan

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Re: Looking for a good non-Logitech keyboard
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2014, 12:17:18 PM »
What is an Inverted-T cursor key? :huh:


mwb1100

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Re: Looking for a good non-Logitech keyboard
« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2014, 12:39:41 PM »
What is an Inverted-T cursor key? :huh:

If you look at how the arrow keys are arranged on a standard keyboard, they're in the form of an upside down T.

J-Mac

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Re: Looking for a good non-Logitech keyboard
« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2014, 10:41:21 PM »
What is an Inverted-T cursor key? :huh:

Directional arrows: Up, down, right, left.  "inverted T" seems an unusual way to put it. (To me, anyway!) Is that a common tech term?

Jim

Ath

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Re: Looking for a good non-Logitech keyboard
« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2014, 01:26:43 AM »
Is that a common tech term?
Oh yes, that's been used for over 25 years, with the introduction of the PC AT and the IBM Enhanced PC keyboardw and this page about Arrow keysw. It may have been mostly a marketing term, though.

Innuendo

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Re: Looking for a good non-Logitech keyboard
« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2014, 07:16:25 AM »
Directional arrows: Up, down, right, left.  "inverted T" seems an unusual way to put it. (To me, anyway!) Is that a common tech term?

Sorry, Jim...that term really isn't popular these days. Didn't mean to confuse....  ;D

40hz

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Re: Looking for a good non-Logitech keyboard
« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2014, 08:20:37 AM »
Directional arrows: Up, down, right, left.  "inverted T" seems an unusual way to put it. (To me, anyway!) Is that a common tech term?

Sorry, Jim...that term really isn't popular these days. Didn't mean to confuse....  ;D

Good thing you didn't say "reverse Tau" like I've heard some geeks and 1337-wannabes call it. ;D