Of Keyboards and Men

Throughout the years I’ve owned three keyboards and a little over half a dozen mice for my computer.  Being a gamer, the mouse I use it very important, and recently, with me doing even more writing, my keyboard has become almost as important.  Next week I’ll be talking about the mice I’ve owned.  This week however, I thought I’d share my keyboard history with you, and give you my thoughts on each of the keyboards I’ve used.

I’ve only used three keyboards in the history of owning my own computers (which would be about the last seven years).  I’ve run the gambit with these three keyboards, first starting with a generic Dell that came with a Dell computer, then moving onto a gaming keyboard by Logitech, finally ending in a recent purchase of a professional mechanical keyboard.  With each purchase I ended up looking for something different.

I started off using a Dell keyboard that came with the Dell I owned.  It had no thrills, just a cheap $15 PS2 keyboard.  This is the keyboard I used the longest and I used it because it was what came with my computer.  It was years before I changed keyboards and the only problem I ever ran into was my computer beeping at me when I hit too many keys at once.  One of the main things I do on my computer is play computer games and I would say at least once a week I would have my computer beep at me as I tried to do to many things at once while playing.  If it wasn’t for this problem, I’m not sure I would have ever looked for a new keyboard.

Logitech G110 Keyboard

With my first true keyboard purchase, I decided to try a gaming keyboard to see if they lived up to their name.  I settled on a Logitech G110 Black Gaming Keyboard, coming in at a whopping $64.  Believe it or not, this is the second most expensive keyboard I’ve bought.  The first thing I should mention is that the G110 solved my too many keys at a time issues.  Unfortunately, that and a volume control wheel are the only two things that were stellar on the G110.  With a distinctive soft touch feel to its keys, you received little to no feedback that you’d actually hit them making it somewhat annoying to type on.  I also remember the keys sometimes registering that I’d released them before I actually had.  This was especially true for spacebar, which gave me a few troubles while skiing in Tribes: Ascend.

The only other thing I learned from the Logitech G110 was that whenever you see the word gaming tacked in front of the word keyboard it only meant unnecessary added features.  For instance, the G110 had backlit keys, which, while nice and somewhat pretty, is unneeded.  It also had media and macro keys, neither of which I ever touched.  The only feature that I consistently used was the volume control, which was very convenient.  It was because of the bloated features, and also the soft touch keys, that I started to look for a new keyboard and eventually purchased the keyboard I’m currently typing on.

Das Keyboard

After hearing about the wonders of mechanical keyboards from people in the Starcraft community, I purchased one in February of this year.  I settled on a Das Keyboard Model S Professional Silent Mechanical Keyboard (what a mouthful).  The Das keyboards are billed as professional typist keyboards and the one I got cost me a remarkable $138.  Surprising, considering the keyboard has no backlighting, no media/macro keys, and no volume control.  It’s just your typical 104-key layout.  Of course, this is what I wanted, just a good, solid keyboard.  I do miss the volume control on the Logitech though.  Thankfully, I was able to make volume up and volume down hotkeys that are a good replacement using AutoHotkey.

The Das keyboard may have no thrills, but it does, in my opinion, have the features that matter.  First off, it has n-key rollover, meaning every key on the keyboard can be hit at the same time and they will all register.  No more computer beeping.  Second, it has mechanical keys, Cherry MX brown mechanical keys to be exact, which are a dream to type on.  They are described as having no click noise (hence the “silent” in the keyboards name) and a slight bump when you press them.  They are silent with no click, but they really don’t have a bump, at least not what I thought a bump would be.  Bump is too strong a word.  They have a hard to describe feedback to them that lets you know they have been hit and the hit has registered.  You can just feel that the key has been hit.  Definitely the best feeling keys I’ve ever typed on.  Thanks to these mechanical keys, I never have to worry about keys not registering. As long as this keyboard lasts for years to come, and with its sturdy construction it should, it was worth the price.

My new keyboard purchases have all been due to me feeling I needed something better and each one has been an upgrade over the last in some way, shape, or form.  I’d recommend both the Dell and Das keyboards to anyone.  The only reason I wouldn’t recommend the Logitech is because of the unnecessary features.  All of my keyboards were good keyboards and they all still work perfectly with no known defects.  This is in vast contrast to my mice, which I do not have a good history with.  If you liked hearing about my keyboard history, wait until next week when I will talk about my disaster of a mouse history.

2 thoughts on “Of Keyboards and Men

  1. I’m curious about the computer beeping issue. Was that a limitation of the PS2 connection on your old computer or a limitation of the keyboard itself? Why does it happen?

    • Most keyboards have zones and if you hit more than 2 or 3 keys in one zone it can’t process it. When this happens, it just gives up and beeps at you. There’s also limitations with USB keyboards. It’s something like only 6 keys max on USB. There’s no limitation with PS/2. That has to do with PS/2 being interrupts and USB using pulling.

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