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Looking to go mechanical, looking for suggestions

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
For the past year I've been using a Logitech G15. It's been great, but I feel like I could do so much better still.

The only keyboards I'd used before this were the cheap 10$ basic HP and Dell keyboards that either come with an OEM system, or are at the bottom of the bargain bin at wal-mart, so that's probably why this keyboard has been so "great" to me.

I'd like to go mechanical, but I don't know which type of mechanical I should go for. I've read the Mechanical Keyboard guide by manyak several times, but without having a place to try them out, I don't know which I should go for (especially considering price tags).

Im a pretty heavy user, both in gaming and typing posts/papers (if you can't tell from this post which could probably be shortened quite a bit.)

I play almost every game type, but the majority of them are MMO's and RPG's. Games like WoW, Diablo, The Witcher, Skyrim (duhhh), Oblivion, etc. I also occasionally play FPS when I have friends on to play with or get hooked on something (looking at you Killing Floor).

I am also a super heavy typer, and across all forums I actively post to, I easily have 20k+ posts. I like the feel of the key presses on this G15, but I get rather annoyed when I push a key down a little too fast and dont hit it far enough to activate the little pad inside the domes.

I also am rather used to the slight bump of when a key goes down, but not quite sure how this translates into mechanical boards. I read that Blacks/Red's are linear and dont have an actuation click, but that they're also the ones considered best for gamers. Would that actuation click that I read about be the same as the slight bump felt when a rubber dome is compressed fully? If so, would Brown/Blue be better for my typing style?

I'd really appreciate suggestions, or if you'd like to know more about my typing preference, ask away. Price is not really an issue, but I'd like to keep it under 200$ USD (200 before shipping is fine).

What I'd like in a board:
~ Quality construction is a biggy. If I'm going to spend 100-200$, It better last for quite a while. I don't want to be ordering key cap replacements every year or two.
~ Something that feels similar to a G15, but has a much more affirmative feel to the presses. When I press a key, I want to KNOW its going to work, not have to hit it again extra hard to make sure it registers. This is probably my biggest thing, as I get way too competitive when I play games, and always try to perfect my playing. Having to hit a key twice to register does not help that cause.
~ No tenkeyless designs. I dont think I could live without a numpad lol. Almost every password I create involves lots of numbers and letters mixed, and I dislike using the top row 10 for it.
~ Led backlit is a plus, but not a requirement. I type purely from memory so seeing my keys in the dark, or seeing them at all (i've noticed there's some mechanical boards with no keycap print) is not that important to me. My inner gamer likes things that shine though blushsmiley.gif
~ PS/2. Until reading the mechanical guide and learning that PS/2 is better for keyboard use due to the elimination of polling, I'd thought this was a useless port. I've been learned. thumb.gif



Wow this post went on way longer than I intended it to.
(See what I mean when I say I tend to type way too much? tongue.gif)


Oh and I've been eyeing one of those OCN Edition Ducky Shines. The lighting says red but the pictures look orange to me, is it just awkwardly photographed? And would the black or red's be better for my style? Or are those bad for me in general?

Thoughts on those?
Edited by Shiveron - 1/22/12 at 10:19am
post #2 of 12
Well, if your budget is 200$, there is only really one manufacturer for you: Filco. Aside from like the 300$ Topre stuff, Filco is considered to be the best quality.

Switch type isn't so easy to decide. I absolutely prefer linear to tactile, but I only know that because I have already tried a number of switches, and since preferences like that are subjective, I can't just recommend my own likes to someone else. If you want a recommendation from me based on popular support, probably browns would be your best bet. Don't put too much stock in suggestions that label things "gaming switches" because linear switches are not necessarily better for gaming, and there are many, many users who love blues for gaming. As far as translation from rubber domes, there aren't really any switches that feel like rubber domes because the actuation is different.

So here's my recommendation:
http://www.amazon.com/Filco-Majestouch-2-Keyboard-FKBN104M-EB2/dp/B004VKUSG6

And if you would prefer slightly lower build quality (but still good) and a slightly cheaper kind of key stabilizer, but back lit:
http://tigerimports.net/sunshop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=11538
Edited by Jeff78 - 1/22/12 at 10:31am
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff78 View Post

Well, if your budget is 200$, there is only really one manufacturer for you: Filco. Aside from like the 300$ Topre stuff, Filco is considered to be the best quality.
Switch type isn't so easy to decide. I absolutely prefer linear to tactile, but I only know that because I have already tried a number of switches, and since preferences like that are subjective, I can't just recommend my own likes to someone else. If you want a recommendation from me based on popular support, probably browns would be your best bet. Don't put too much stock in suggestions that label things "gaming switches" because linear switches are not necessarily better for gaming, and there are many, many users who love blues for gaming. As far as translation from rubber domes, there aren't really any switches that feel like rubber domes because the actuation is different.
So here's my recommendation:
http://www.amazon.com/Filco-Majestouch-2-Keyboard-FKBN104M-EB2/dp/B004VKUSG6
And if you would prefer slightly lower build quality (but still good) and a slightly cheaper kind of key stabilizer, but back lit:
http://tigerimports.net/sunshop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=11538

That ducky is the same model as the OCN Edition one sold on TankGuys right?

Edit nope. Didnt notice the one you linked had browns. Gah. Im gonna have to find a place around here that has some mechanical boards I can try. I really dont wanna ship keyboards back and forth til I find the right one.
Edited by Shiveron - 1/22/12 at 11:06am
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiveron View Post

That ducky is the same model as the OCN Edition one sold on TankGuys right?
Edit nope. Didnt notice the one you linked had browns. Gah. Im gonna have to find a place around here that has some mechanical boards I can try. I really dont wanna ship keyboards back and forth til I find the right one.
Well, another reason I suggested browns is because they are popular and if you happen to not like them, you would be able to sell them here fairly quickly, I'd think.
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post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff78 View Post

Well, another reason I suggested browns is because they are popular and if you happen to not like them, you would be able to sell them here fairly quickly, I'd think.

Yeah i'm sure I could. But I'm very impatient. Im the sort of person who does excessive amounts of research the first time so that I don't have to do something more than once, barring shipping damage and/or defective product.

I notice the local Microcenter has a ducky board (though the description doesn't say which one. It literally just says "A gaming keyboard. "), a K60, a Blackwidow, and a TTe Meka G1 (are these any good?). I may have to go try them out when I feel like making the trip (not far, just gotta go through the heart of the city to get to it sicksmiley.png)
post #6 of 12
The K60 is a very nice board for the price. Many people are happy to see Corsair enter the market. The major complaint about the board is that it is not fully mechanical. These include the function keys among others. Now then, the keys that really matter are red switches so this isn't such a big issue; however, at this point in time - and perhaps forever - mechanical keyboards occupy the premium segment of the market, as indicated by their price tag. So it is easy to see why some people are upset over this because it feels like a slap in the face to people who are forking over good money for a mechanical board. The K60 uses red switches for those keys that are mechanical, rubber domes for the rest.

The BlackWidow is a very popular board, not because of its positive attributes but merely because of its accessibility to the everyday shopper. It is a board that many people got their introduction to mechanical switches from. The base model uses blue switches, note this because while this is a gaming keyboard, it makes use of "typing" switches; this is supportive to what I said earlier about subjective switch usage. The build quality is average, on par with what you would expect from a larger manufacturer attempting to drive costs down while retaining its reputation as a premium equipment supplier.

The Meka G1 is also a newcomer to the emerging lower price point mechanical market, for good or bad. Many people have expressed a positive reaction to its appearance and even for its build quality, though I suspect that its quality does not quite approach the established no-frills mechanical keyboard manufacturers. The G1 uses black switches, which have lost considerable reputation now that red switches are more widely available. A key thing to note is that the printing method used for the keys is, by many accounts, of very shoddy quality on the Meka and many say that the letters are showing wear after less than a month of use.
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post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
So red's on the K60, blue's on the black widow, and blacks on the meka. Nice. Assuming microcenter will have some that I can pull out and do a quick pangram on to feel them, I should be able to get a feel for each switch. Maybe with some freak stroke of luck, the Ducky board's they have in stock will have browns. Guess I know what im doing tomorrow.
post #8 of 12
I'd suggest checking out the Blackwidow at a Best Buy. Their generous return policy allows you to purchase a keyboard and return it within 30 days (open/used or not). This would give you a good indication on whether you enjoy the tactile switch.

I have a Blackwidow and I am selling it. I love the blue switches, but I dislike the keyboard in general, and am headed in a different route myself.
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post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Went to bestbuy and they had a DK9008 w/ blacks, a K60, and a Black widow for me to try. The blacks felt weird to me. I didn't like how they had no sort of bump or anything it was just a mushy push down. The blue's weren't bad but I already knew going in and learning how the key works that it probably wasn't gonna be the one I wanted.

Anywho.... Did some more lookin around and I really like the Ducky Shine and the Filco Majestouch 2 Tenkeyless Tactile. The Filco's were sold out everywhere I looked. Unless I want a bright yellow or camoflouge one from amazon (lol?).

Tigerimports.net however just got a brand new stock of the ducky shine blue LED w/ browns.
http://tigerimports.net/sunshop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=11421

So I went ahead and ordered one smile.gif.

The Blue Led's should match w/ the blue LED's in my BX5A's and my monitor's power button. The orange LED's on this G15 have always felt kinda out of place looking, and half the keys are only like half way lit and fade towards the top.


Now to sit here anxiously waiting for my new board.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiveron View Post

and half the keys are only like half way lit and fade towards the top.
I will warn you the Ducky Shine has the LEDs on the top part of the key directly under the letter. Each of the main symbols on a key are very well lit but on keys like the number row and the functions where there is a second symbol, it appears at about half the intensity on the lower character. I rather like this, but I just wanted to let you know.
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