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Recommendations on inexpensive mechanical keyboard for TYPING, not gaming?

#1KillerTrufflePosted 4/28/2014 2:52:42 PM
So I'm wearing out my second generic Dell rubber dome keyboard at work, and would love to replace it with a mechanical. I get sick of after just a couple years of use, starting to have issues with double-entry on keys (single space press inserts two spaces) and stuff. Thing is, whatever I replace it with needs to be cheap enough to convince IT and/or my boss to pay for it out of the budget. The plus side is that mechanical will last a LOT longer, so I'm going to play that up all I can, but I'm still betting they won't spring for anything beyond $100. I just don't want a bottom-end thing.

I don't need frills - backlight, macro keys, etc. are all unnecessary. I DO need 10-key - I use that all the time.

I've looked at the Adesso MKB-135B - it runs around $75 or so on Newegg or Amazon it seems... anyone know anything about it? I can't even find what switch it uses. Any other decent options? Preferably $75 or less, since I imagine it'll be a hard sell for more than that.
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#2arleasPosted 4/28/2014 3:07:10 PM(edited)
Just be careful of cheap mechanical keyboards.

I bought a cheap one a little more than a year ago (a Rosewill that was on sale for $70) and at first it was great, but they used a cheap solder job on the mini USB port that connects to the keyboard. After a year of use it decided to act up and then a couple of days later it just stopped working. The whole port fell out inside the keyboard.

It was JUST past the one year warranty but I contacted Rosewill about it and thankfully they gave me an RMA. I spent money mailing it back only for them to tell me that they didn't have a replacement for me so they were just going to give me store credit on newegg. I took that money + another $35 and got a CoolerMaster. So far that one is working great.

Also I just checked newegg and right now that keyboard is $80.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823129002

EDIT: oops, that one doesn't have 10-key and the one I have DOES have 10 Key... lemme see if there's a 10 key version on sale


Edit again: I logged in and tried to click on the exact model I have, and apparently all they have is brown switches now. Same price though

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823129021
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#3arleasPosted 4/28/2014 3:09:53 PM
I know that says "gaming keyboard' but it's got nothing fancy about it that makes it gaming. There are no macro keys or backlights or anything. I also see that they have red and green switches available, so maybe out of those three you'll find something you like.

If I had to take my choice I'd go with green personally since it's really just a stiffer blue. I love my blue switches though. (If others have to listen to you type they would probably throttle you after listening to it though).
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#4KillerTruffle(Topic Creator)Posted 4/28/2014 3:18:49 PM
Thanks. I'll look at that too. I hadn't heard of greens before. Just read a bit about them, and it sounds like they may be a little tough to learn to type on, with touch typists ending up with a lot of missed letters due to the increased actuation force (higher than the bottom-out force on some other switches). Between green, brown, and red, brown would probably be the best, although I think blues would still be nice. But $80 might still be in the realm I could convince work to spring for.
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"Leave it outside the gates of Troy overnight." -Davel23
#5ein311Posted 4/28/2014 3:19:59 PM
arleas posted...
they used a cheap solder job on the mini USB port that connects to the keyboard. After a year of use it decided to act up and then a couple of days later it just stopped working. The whole port fell out inside the keyboard.


You pretty much described any mechanical with a removable USB cable. Ducky boards are pretty notorious for this.
It's a common problem that affects pretty much any brand, but in my personal experience I haven't had any connectors fail.

I own a few cheap Rosewill boards and love them.

I'd stick to MX Browns if you want tactile feedback, or reds or blacks if you don't care for the tactile bump. Reds are very light keys and some people find blacks to be a chore to type on for long periods of time (although I personally enjoy their key feel).

Ducky Zero, and CM QuickFires are good, cheap boards.

This QuickFire XT is $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823129022
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#6KillerTruffle(Topic Creator)Posted 4/28/2014 3:30:31 PM(edited)
I typed for years on a Model M, so I'm not afraid of a little force, and I like the tactile feedback. I'm just afraid about the force required for the greens - 80g to actuate, and over 100g to bottom out. That's a *lot*.

It kind of looks like the QuickFire XT might be a little bit better option than the Adesso anyway - one review mentions the keys on the Adesso are kind of angled funny so you're always typing on the edge rather than the key face. That would get obnoxious pretty fast.

EDIT: It really sucks that the only version of the Quickfire XT that has blues is the tenkeyless. :P Why the heck can't they use blues with 10-key?


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"How do I get rid of a Trojan Horse?" -Sailor_Kakashi
"Leave it outside the gates of Troy overnight." -Davel23
#7Digital StormPosted 4/28/2014 3:34:43 PM(edited)
If you typed on a Model M and liked it, there's always Unicomp, they're in your price range but shipping may kill you. I know shipping one up here to Canada, when I was looking to order one, was like $50. That said, I don't think they sell a 10 key version yet, they keep saying they're going to release one but never do.

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#8cuteboi100Posted 4/28/2014 3:35:53 PM(edited)
For typing best keys in my opinion are MX Blues. Tactile and auditory feedback with low-medium actuation force. The Das keyboard seems to be the most highly recommended but it will set you back $150.

I use Reds personally, the low actuation force creates almost no fatigue whatsoever.
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#9KillerTruffle(Topic Creator)Posted 4/28/2014 3:40:34 PM
Seems prices have gone up - the cheaper ones look to be around $80 too, with $18 the lowest shipping rate, plus tax. Compared to $80 from Amazon with Prime (if I buy and get reimbursed) plus tax, I'm not sure Unicomp would work... it would end up pushing the cost over $100, which I'm trying to avoid.

My boss is out right now, but I called IT anyway just to see, and they actually have *one* mechanical keyboard down there. No idea what brand or anything. They're bringing it up now for me to look at, so we'll see.
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"How do I get rid of a Trojan Horse?" -Sailor_Kakashi
"Leave it outside the gates of Troy overnight." -Davel23
#10arleasPosted 4/28/2014 3:43:38 PM
Browns shouldn't be bad for typing. The actuation force is slightly less for browns than for blues but it would probably be my 2nd choice if I couldn't get blues. I'd like to try greens but I've never had a chance to test it out and I'm not sure if that extra force needed would be a good thing for me or not.

http://i.imgur.com/Hne7kSm.gif
vs
http://i.imgur.com/TB0A2ys.gif
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