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Mac Mechanical Keyboard Suggestions?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have a 3 month old MacBook Pro with Mavericks. My first Mac. This was the second time I had to replace a laptop because I beat the keyboard to death. Thinking external would be way to go - wear it out, replace a $100-$200 item rather than a $2,000 item. Thinking mechanical would stand up to my pounding. Plus, I do have a fondness for a keyboard that clicks. Not really loving the mushy Mac keyboard. Those old IBMS folks love so much? I remember when those boards were new. lol

I realize keyboards are greatly influenced by personal taste but I'm hoping to find other mashers/heavy-handed typists with Macs who could help point me in a particular direction.


My must haves...

Mac Compatible - I don't want to "make do" with a keyboard that has a bunch of keys I can't use - no matter how cool it is. I'd also like the keys to be marked for Mac use or there be available key caps to switch to.

full size with 104 keys - love my num pad and I have fat fingers too.


Nice to haves...

Backlit

Extra USB port(s)


I write website content and build websites. My game playing? Well, I think I'm not going to talk about that. You'all might laugh at me. redface.gif So, being able to hit multiple keys at once isn't really an issue.

It seems like my primary choices are Das, WASD and Matias. I've seen comments that the Ducky's are Mac friendly and other comments where they aren't. The Amazon reviews for Das are all over the place, same for Matias. I've seen comments where folks say any keyboard will work on a Mac but then this or that key doesn't work and oh by the way this over here doesn't work either.

Money is tight but I've budgeted around $150. I feel like I have one chance to get this right. I'm in the United States.


I'm a bit stuck in that place of analysis paralysis. I've been reading, reading and doing more reading. Unfortunately, it's 3 hours, each way, to the nearest store that seems to sell mechanical keyboards - so making the trip to play with them isn't really an option. Also, the reviews for the store and staff are awful and I don't know if they have any on display.

I'm open to any ideas and suggestions. And, if you know of something that is a bad choice for a Mac, please share that as well.
post #2 of 16
Heh. I have to laugh, because my friends and co-workers all accuse me of beating my keyboard to death. I've had the same macbook since 2007, and the keyboard (while apparently sounding like a manual typewriter), is still going strong.

That said, I now have a Das keyboard ultimate silent on my work desk, and I absolutely love it.
 
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post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Oh, I beat them to death for sure. When the first one was dying, the 6 and the delete key went first. Never knew how much I used those two keys. The second one - the last straw was when the space bar went. Just try typing without a space bar - it's not pretty. Cutting and pasting spaces sure puts a damper on one's typing speed. lol

Let's just say people can sometimes hear me typing in the next room even on my Mac keyboard. I suspect it goes back to learning to type on ancient electric typewriters in middle school. And those TRS80 computers the same school had may have also required a heavy touch. thumb.gif

Ah yes, the Das Ultimate; the one with no key labels on it. It reads like a wonderful piece of equipment but no labels? I generally touch type but I would never remember where to find things like {} [] and the stuff over the number keys. I remember in typing class, the teacher had a label-less machine that she used for tests. She had kept it hidden until the first test. Evil is what that was. lol

How do you think the Ultimate and the newer Model S Pro compare?
post #4 of 16
Out of the 3 you listed, go with WASD with green switches. ( clicky yet heavy springs, so can take some abuse )

You can also order it with custom keycaps with mac command keys as well.

The das is pretty crap, high gloss case will just be covered in fingerprints and look like crap after awhile.

And any keyboard that does not require a downloadable driver will work in OSX.( unless there is a osx friendly driver ofc )
post #5 of 16
Jixr, I clean my keyboards to prevent funk. that more than handles fingerprints/looking like crap.

The model S and ultimate LOOK the same to me, aside from the buttons not being labelled.

Plus side of no labels: they don't scrub off.
 
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post #6 of 16
well, considering they are lasered and not pad-printed, wasd caps won't 'scrub off' Dub-shot or Dye-Sub caps would be best ofc.

But even with contant cleaning, the high gloss with show scratches, smudges and everything else. Also, note that the quality of DAS went to crap when they changed to their newer models. I'd buy a old one in a heart beat, but would'nt take a free new one.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quite a few of the folks on Amazon mentioned the Das glossy finish and that they didn't like how quickly it looks dirty. The bigger issue seemed to be inconsistencies in quality. The reviews of the newer models had more complaints.

"Scrubbing" the keys? Scrubbing as in washing them or heavy use?

I also noticed several folks mentioning that their new keyboard wasn't oiled properly. Is that a construction issue i.e. once and done or an on-going maintenance thing that I would have to do with a mechanical keyboard?
post #8 of 16
You won't find a 100%, out of the box, Mac compatible, backlit keyboard anywhere. I spent quite a while looking myself when choosing a mech board for my father's iMac last year. Sure, you can tweak some backlit models to "pretty much" work with OSX but the media keys functionality may be hit or miss depending on the specific keyboard. I wound up buying my dad a Das Professional Model S and he absolutely loves it. It is definitely a sweet piece of gear, my only dislike is the high gloss finish. If there is 1 speck of dust on the keyboard anywhere you cannot help but see it.
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post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele View Post

Quite a few of the folks on Amazon mentioned the Das glossy finish and that they didn't like how quickly it looks dirty. The bigger issue seemed to be inconsistencies in quality. The reviews of the newer models had more complaints.

"Scrubbing" the keys? Scrubbing as in washing them or heavy use?

I also noticed several folks mentioning that their new keyboard wasn't oiled properly. Is that a construction issue i.e. once and done or an on-going maintenance thing that I would have to do with a mechanical keyboard?

1. Even if you toss the keys in a dishwasher,the lasers won't 'wash out' only the super cheap pad printed caps can do that, and It would take probably 100+ dishwasher runs to make them come off.

2. Lube is a non issue, You don't need to lube switches ( some modders do, but thats for special reasons ) if a key feels scratchy or a little stiff, it just needs to be broken in.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
I read your Mac Daddy thread from last year. smile.gif Guess I was hoping being a year later would offer more choices.

So, is it gamers don't use Macs or Macs aren't gamer friendly?

Can't believe there aren't more options for Mac users. Wish I were more mechanically inclined, seems like a real hole in the marketplace and a huge opportunity for someone.

I didn't think it would matter but I do like having sound control on the keyboard. Is there anyone here using a WASD board with a Mac? Do all of the keys function right?
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