I'm excited...about to purchase my first mechanical keyboard :D
I was going to post in the suggestions thread, but input seems to be more on the terse side there, so, I thought this might be a better place. I'd appreciate some suggestions/input to make sure I'm not missing anything. This all started when I tried the Coolermaster Quickfire Stealth at Fry's. I LOVED how the keys felt and I also loved the size of the board -- I've never had a smaller board, as I love my numberpad.
My issues with the board are that I prefer backlighting, as I like the extra key visibility when I have the lights dim, and, the position of the lettering on the side of the key would drive me insane, so that's a "no go". So, I started to research, trying to find a board that would replicate the typing experience, but had the features that I wanted.
I came up with the following list of features:
- Tenkeyless (I'll supplement with a Filco Numberpad)
- Cherry MX Brown Switches
- Costar stabilizers (...I think?)
- No macro keys
- Multimedia keys -- I really just need volume/mute control, and it's ok if these are via a Fn modifier, though it's nice if they aren't
- Blue backlighting -- I *might* be flexible on this
Also, I'd like this board to last a really long time, so apparently I want PBT keys? And, double-shot injection moulded caps are the best but almost nobody uses them? Are laser-etched that much worse? Almost all the boards seem to use laser-etched, which seems unfortunately. How much do these things matter?
The backlighting seemed to be the most limiting factor, so, I came up with the following list of boards:
- Deck 87-key, Francium -- nice backlighting, but wrong switches and holy crap that font is awful
- Ducky Shine 3 TKL --seems to be out of stock everywhere, and apparently uses Cherry stabilizers that can feel "squishy", which would be bad
- Max Blackbird TKL -- seems to fit all my criteria, but OEM is "questionable"?
The Max seems to be the ideal board for my criteria, but apparently it is made by an OEM that some people dislike (iOne)? I honestly can't find a bad review for the board (not the OEM) anywhere, so while there's something to be said for brand loyalty, I'm not sure I'm willing to pass.
At any rate, once I started to see the pickings were going to be pretty slim, I crossed backlighting off the list (theoretically) to see what other options I had. I was impressed with the following boards:
- Filco Majestouch 2 TKL -- seems to be a fantastic quality board, so I'd consider dropping the backlighting for the quality; unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be available for purchase in the US >.<
- Leopold TKL -- has the cherry stabilizers again
- WASD TLK -- not sure about stabilizer type, doesn't seem to have accessible volume controls
Ok, I guess that's it. Am I missing any boards that could potentially work for what I want? It seems like my best choices are between the Max and the Filco, but I can't find the Filco anywhere, anyway. Possibly the WASD.
Budget is under $200. The board will be for a good bit of typing and gaming.
Appreciate the input and sorry this post got so long, ick.