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First Mechanical Keyboard, Which Switch?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hey all, so I've read a ton of threads and decided I want to get a mechanical keyboard. I use my keyboard for about 60-70% internet browsing and school work, and 30-40% gaming. Games range from Minecraft, CSS, BF3 to SC2, LoL. Only other requirement is I don't really want to spend over $150, and would be even more excited to keep it at $100.

First problem is whether to go with Cherry MX Blue switches or Brown switches. I have no experience with any mechanical keyboards except a Razer Blackwidow, which I did like. From what I've read, blues are better for strictly typing and are quite loud, and browns are best for a 50/50 mix of typing and gaming and are more silent? What are your guys' personal opinion?

Last would be to choose a keyboard! The Das models have intrigued me. They are aesthetically pleasing. I contacted Das and can get a 20% student discount, thus taking around $25 off. Haven't really looked to closely at other keyboards except Deck (which I thought was quite ugly and bulky), Ducky (Look nice), and Filco (Not sure of my opinion on this one. What do you guys think of Das? From just looks, it is my front runner, but I have little knowledge.

Any and all input is welcome, Thank you!
post #2 of 18
I recommend brown for your first key switch. Try out a blue in-store (best buy may stock the blackwidow) or try out a friend's if possible. I personally don't like the key spacing on the blackwidow, and also the Function keys are not in their normal place (they're shifted over, very annoying).

I recommend a Filco if you can afford it, and a Das if you can't. You can also check out Leopold on elitekeyboards.com (they have a lot of switch options) which are similar if not slightly lower build quality than the filcos (lower price however).

The Das is great, but expect the keys to wear quickly - you'll have shiny surfaces where your fingers hit relatively quickly. Great feel though if you don't mind that.

I have a Ducky Shining that I use at home with black switches (I mainly game at home) and I am very satisfied with the build quality. No noticeable wear on the keys after around 6-8 months of use.

Any of the options you're looking at seem good. Deck is great, but I think they're a bit overpriced. The Ducky Shining was perfect for the features that it offered, so that's what I went with, but if you're looking to save some money, take advantage of that student discount! Don't forget the accessories/etc that you will probably want with your mech board. Pick up a good leather wrist rest (got mine from Qtan's shop along with my ducky board, pretty reasonable price), and some WASD keys + a key puller if you would like them, and of course a nice keyboard roof is always good for keeping things clean wink.gif.

Happy shopping!
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post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Ok, you've got me really interested in the Ducky! Is this the model and website you purchased yours from?

http://tigerimports.net/sunshop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=11428

An I was under the impression the that the Black Widow had Brown keys, not blue?
post #4 of 18
Brown. I actually just bought my Ducky, and it's my 2nd mechanical. It's great, my only complaint is the blue LEDs are sort of purple under my room's lighting. If I bought again, i'd go with the white LED version. The ducky also supports PS/2 and USB on the fly, while many mechanical keyboards do not. Some of the new Z77 boards are removing PS/2, leaving many mechanical keyboard user's motherboard choices limited. The Black Widow has blue keys, and it's the worse quality mechanical keyboard on the market. I would avoid it.

I would also avoid XArmor, as I'd RMA'd mine once due to dying LEDs.. and now they refuse to replace it again (for the same reason) even though it's still under warranty. They are just ignoring my emails now...
Edited by Murlocke - 4/11/12 at 8:20pm
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post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Is there any other place to purchase the Ducky from than Tiger Imports?
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhyno37 View Post

Is there any other place to purchase the Ducky from than Tiger Imports?

Just place your back-order and it should ship within a week. The keyboards sell out instantly, very rarely can you just buy one that is in stock unless you pay an overpriced amount. They got a stock about a week ago, and it sold out the same day... they are extremely limited.
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post #7 of 18
I personally prefer red switches.I primarly use my keyboard for gaming so I can deal with not having the tactile bumb the brown and blue switches offer.Typing on red is not a problem once you get adjust to the sensitivity.

I've been using http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823201044 for about 5 months and i'm very happy with it.The board still looks new and feels like i bought it yesterday.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info guys, very helpful. @ aesthetics1, what color LED's did you get. If blue, do they look purple to you as well?
post #9 of 18
http://www.vendio.com/stores/E-sports-Gaming-equipments/category/shop-mechanical-keyboard-by-br/catId=3982936

Qtan's shop is the best. That's where I bought mine. Amazing service, extremely fast shipping. He is a member on Geekhack and posts there often.. very reputable. I got mine in less than a business week. I forgot to add my wrist rest, and when I emailed him about it, he responded very promptly, and was able to edit my order and bundle the shipping costs together.

Blackwidow has blue switches standard, but you can order the Blackwidow Stealth version that has brown switches.

I think you should go for the Ducky Shining though - of course I'm biased smile.gif.

EDIT: My LEDs look bright blue, not purple at all. I have bright-white fluorescent lighting in my office, and LEDs over my desk, and they look just perfect.
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post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
I think I will go with the Ducky. Not totally sure on Blue or Brown switches yet though thinking.gif
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