Pros: Cost, Doubleshot Caps
Cons: AT/XT, Variation, 2KRO
The Focus 2001 is a keyboard that has been around since the late 1980's. The 2001 has plate mounted switches. It uses ALPS type switches and uses an AT/XT switchable interface. The keyboard can be adapted to PS/2 easily with an adapter just make sure it is in AT mode. The Cherry switch that ALPS are most similar to are Cherry Blue switches but ALPS require more force to press and have more tactility. If Cherry blues do not satisfy you this may be what you are looking for. It features doubleshot key caps and some come with a dust cover. The key caps are on the thin side like the majority of ALPS key caps. Another small feature of the keyboard is a Ctrl and caps lock inverse switch so you can switch the keys manually. Like many keyboards the Focus only has 2-KRO.
Pictured are the switches and key caps of a Focus 2001.
Since the keyboards were in production so long there have been some changes to them. The switches come in White or Blue and can be either simplified type II or original complicated ALPS. There are other small variations that set them apart such as the locations of the different function switches. The AT/XT switch and Inverted Ctrl and Caps lock switch can be located under the foot of the keyboard, under the "2001" logo, or on the top side of the keyboard. The variations of the keyboard range in quality and weight as well. The older 2001s have a lot less case flex than the newer ones. My guess is that the old ones just have a slightly thicker back plate and fill up the case more.
This is an example of two focus keyboards one from the 1988 and a newer one.
What to look for
There are several things to look for when buying a Focus 2001. The first clue are the windows keys. If they are non existent it is an older model and is likely to have complicated ALPS, the ones with windows keys are more likely to have simplified type II switches. If a Focus is manufactured in Taiwan it is more likely to have complicated switches rather than their counterparts made in China.
Due to the quality and lesser switches in the new 2001s I gave them a 3 flame rating. The older ones with complicated switches and better quality I gave 4 flames for a total rating of 3.5 flames. The price range for a Focus 2001 is generally $20-40. This puts it at an excellent price point and I would highly suggest this keyboard for someone new to mechanical keyboards and experienced users wanting to try ALPS.