Personal computing discussed

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Pax-UX
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Best Keyboard?

Tue Dec 16, 2008 8:11 am

I've been using the Logitech's G11 for about 3 weeks now and it's the best keyboard I've had over the last 5 years! I just love all the reprogrammable goodness. It has 18 keys that do either a single key or macros which can be switched between 3 different configurations at a touch of a button. The software is simple and easy to use. It's a big win, I don't game with it as I do my gaming on a N52 but as a keyboard its great for working.

What keyboard do people find good or is a keyboard just a keyboard?
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Re: Best Keyboard?

Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:02 am

All depends, it is really a matter of personal opinion. I personally love logitech keyboards. Some prefer the tactile feed back of older IBM keyboards. I personally can't stand it and prefer a softer touch keyboard. I also don't like ergonomic keyboards. Again all personal opinion.

As long as you are happy with it then it is the best keyboard for you.
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Re: Best Keyboard?

Tue Dec 16, 2008 12:06 pm

I prefer the old school IBM "clicky" style, but use a normal keyboard (just the stock HP keyboard that they bundle with their business desktops) at work, due to noise concerns.
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ludi
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Re: Best Keyboard?

Tue Dec 16, 2008 12:39 pm

For me, a keyboard is just a keyboard, IF it has the double-width backspace key, doesn't have any problems registering keystrokes (a common issue with cheap USB numpad extenders, I've noticed) and doesn't make any other glaring layout rearrangements. And I've used a wide range of keyboards, including a very old AT&T Model M clone.

My agnosticism may be partly out of necessity, since my first three laptops were purchased used strictly on the basis of availability and cost, and I currently have both a notebook and a netbook in addition to a desktop and a spare desktop that sits in my workshop, plus my desktop at work. Not a great situation to be in if one were to start demanding highly specific keyboard preferences :)
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Re: Best Keyboard?

Tue Dec 16, 2008 12:58 pm

Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro. Been using them almost exclusively for 10 or so years now (minus one failed stint with an Ergo Keyboard 4000, which was a total piece of ****). I have yet to try anything that has all the features and durability of this device, and that fits my hands so damn well. The things are bulletproof.
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Re: Best Keyboard?

Tue Dec 16, 2008 1:01 pm

To me, a good keyboard is a good investment in your computing experience, since that is my main interface to my computer (along with the mouse).

I'm a big fan of the thinkpad keyboards, but their desktop counterparts are too pricey and have too many quirks/drawbacks.

I'm not a fan of the Model M keyboards because the key weights are too high for me for sustained usage, and the clacking gets to me.

So I guess I'm still waiting for keyboard nirvana...
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Re: Best Keyboard?

Tue Dec 16, 2008 1:31 pm

I've never been terribly picky about keyboards. I've used the cheap Microsoft Internet Keyboard on my dad's (and latere my own) desktops for the last decade or so, had an old Apple keyboard when I was using a Power Mac 9600 until 2005, and have enjoyed ergonomic keyboards when I've tried them but never owned one due to the prices -- plus they suck for gaming.

I'm gradually becoming a pretty big fan of the chiclet keyboard on my Macbook, though... :o
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Re: Best Keyboard?

Tue Dec 16, 2008 1:48 pm

I hate the chiclet keyboards. They just don't work for touch-typing. They do look cool though.


Myself, I'm using a MS Comfort Curve which works okay. No split too so it's nice.
 
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Re: Best Keyboard?

Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:30 pm

i think the g15 is a good keyboard its illuminated orange light looks good the lcd comes handy to look at the time and performance its the best lokin keyboard i think
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Re: Best Keyboard?

Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:32 pm

I'll use just about any desktop keyboard as long as the key layout is good and the keys don't feel like marshmallows. I'm still using my old Dell's multimedia keyboard. I've tried a Model M my uncle has and although it felt a bit better, it wasn't as good as I thought it would be. I've never gotten used to ergonomic keyboards and, although I haven't used that many, I still haven't found a laptop keyboard I feel comfortable using for long periods of time (which is fine since I don't need a laptop anyways).
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Re: Best Keyboard?

Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:41 pm

I like the laptop style low travel keyboards.
 
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Re: Best Keyboard?

Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:50 pm

It depends entirely what you are looking for.

If you want a good, old no-frills unit. Just grab a generic unit for like $5-10.

If you want something that is build to last and tacital feedback. Just head over to Unicomp or maker's of Das Keyboard.

Logitech and several others have more multimedia and other bell-whistles-oriented units.

For those who tons of $$$$$ to blow and want to brag around. Get the Optimus Maxmius
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Re: Best Keyboard?

Tue Dec 16, 2008 3:39 pm

I've been using a Microsoft Natural Keyboard Elite for quite a few years. It's pretty well constructed (maybe not quite as well as heavy as a Model M) and the keys have a nice balance/spring to them. I was also wondering how old the thing was but I don't see a manufacturing date or copyright/patent anywhere. Any ideas?
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Re: Best Keyboard?

Tue Dec 16, 2008 4:29 pm

Been using MS Natural Multimedia keyboard for a few years. Right now have the newer Natural 4000. I like it best so far.

At work I've been using regular Dell keyboards. Not horrible but nothing to write home about. Oh, and I tried the famous Model M, 1 of which I still have in my closet. Thanks, but no thanks. The MS Natural-type keyboards are far superior in practically every way imho.
 
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Re: Best Keyboard?

Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:43 pm

Microsoft Natural Keyboard 4000 since it came out. Home and at work. What i would really want is the 4000 with a detachable keypad that ive seen in a few microsoft tech-news blurps at some tweeps desk. Why cant they just release it.
 
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Re: Best Keyboard?

Tue Dec 16, 2008 6:04 pm

Aphasia wrote:
Microsoft Natural Keyboard 4000 since it came out. Home and at work. What i would really want is the 4000 with a detachable keypad that ive seen in a few microsoft tech-news blurps at some tweeps desk. Why cant they just release it.

Honestly, I'd still be using the 4000 if MS had kept all the multimedia buttons that are present on the Natural Pro. I listen to music while gaming, and if I want to skip or go back to a song, I can't describe with words how much of a pain in the ass it is to have to minimize my game or Alt-Tab just to do that, when my 10-year old keyboard has "Prev Track" and "Next Track" buttons. Not to mention you can't map the otherwise useless "my favorites" buttons to replicate those functions. Ugh, the 4000 has to be the biggest disappointment ever, when compared to what it replaced.

Microsoft's problem with hardware is that they keep fixing what isn't broken. Same thing with removing the detents from their mice. Or the stupid vertical layout of the Home keys.
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Re: Best Keyboard?

Tue Dec 16, 2008 8:50 pm

The CVT Avant keyboards are based on the old Northgate Omnikey designs. They have ALPS switches, n-key rollover, and the same high-quality design and construction that Northgate offered.
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Re: Best Keyboard?

Tue Dec 16, 2008 8:57 pm

well in my opinion, although i do not own the keyboard the logitech wave (just the keyboard), i feel it's the best keyboard out there

in terms of ergonomics it really owns...it might sound odd but i notice that the spacebar is really creamy smooth and the keypress is smooth as silk...i swear to god it gives you such a high and i bet you just wanna chat to that someone you have on your IM list that you never talk to that much or simply do that almost due homework/assignment just to enjoy typing on this keyboard :o

that's my honest opinion...results may vary :p
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Re: Best Keyboard?

Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:32 pm

kvndoom wrote:
Honestly, I'd still be using the 4000 if MS had kept all the multimedia buttons that are present on the Natural Pro.

Conversely, I don't care about multimedia keys and was glad to see they actually went back to the original arrow key layout, which they had monkeyed around with the last few revisions of the Natural Keyboard.
Before purchasing the 4000, I was still using the original, first revision of the Natural Keyboard from the early/mid 90s, and it was starting to look a little shabby, no matter how often I tore it apart and put it back together - but I didn't want one with the non-standard key arrangement.

[As a secondary reason for wanting to replace it, the beige of the original sort of looked out of place with everything else shifting to black/dark colors. I've still got some old Keytronics black keyboards stashed, but switching back from ergo keyboards once accustomed to them is hard]
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Re: Best Keyboard?

Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:14 pm

The big thing I liked about Microsoft multimedia keyboards is that they included calculator, Windows Explorer, and Sleep keys above the numpad. I don't give a crap about the multimedia keys, but those three are pretty nice; I use the calculator fairly often and having a key instead of needing to dig through the start menu is good.
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Re: Best Keyboard?

Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:24 pm

kvndoom wrote:
(minus one failed stint with an Ergo Keyboard 4000, which was a total piece of ****)


Oh, I'm not the only one.
I still have some place in my heart for MS NEK 4000
but it would be better if this model is more durable.

So far, I like Microsoft Keyboards.
But I'll get Logitech Wave keyboard before this year-end
so I'll blast my comment later.
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Re: Best Keyboard?

Tue Dec 16, 2008 11:33 pm

If I can't bludgeon someone to death with it, I don't want it on my desk. You can have my Model M when ...
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Re: Best Keyboard?

Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:05 am

 
kvndoom
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Re: Best Keyboard?

Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:48 am

Image
Proper Home button layout-- check
Explorer, Calculator, and Sleep buttons over the numpad-- check
Proper arrow keys layout (not to be confused with the Natural Elite, which screwed that up)-- check
reliability (almost a decade and not a single faded button or mechanical issue on any of the ones I have bought)- check
full set of multimedia / internet keys (if you use them, they're a godsend)-- check

Its only downers are how loud it is (not that I care, but guests do comment sometimes), and its off-white color (I admit it was the black that foolishly lured me into buying the 4000, but never again). Tell you what, if this thing lasts 10 more years, I'll be happy as hell. Doesn't seem like anyone can get it right and put everything I want on a keyboard anymore.

EDIT: I guess I ought to explain why the multimedia buttons are so important to me. My computer is my entertainment center. The sound card outputs into a Yamaha receiver, which goes to all my speakers. I listen to all my music, play games, and watch all my movies on my PC. That's why media controls are essential. The way I use my computer dictates what type of hardware I cannot live without.

The Model M has its own cult, so I guess I could be considered a NKP worshiper. :)
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Re: Best Keyboard?

Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:32 am

kvndoom wrote:
Image
Proper Home button layout-- check
Explorer, Calculator, and Sleep buttons over the numpad-- check
Proper arrow keys layout (not to be confused with the Natural Elite, which screwed that up)-- check
reliability (almost a decade and not a single faded button or mechanical issue on any of the ones I have bought)- check
full set of multimedia / internet keys (if you use them, they're a godsend)-- check

Its only downers are how loud it is (not that I care, but guests do comment sometimes), and its off-white color (I admit it was the black that foolishly lured me into buying the 4000, but never again). Tell you what, if this thing lasts 10 more years, I'll be happy as hell. Doesn't seem like anyone can get it right and put everything I want on a keyboard anymore.

EDIT: I guess I ought to explain why the multimedia buttons are so important to me. My computer is my entertainment center. The sound card outputs into a Yamaha receiver, which goes to all my speakers. I listen to all my music, play games, and watch all my movies on my PC. That's why media controls are essential. The way I use my computer dictates what type of hardware I cannot live without.

The Model M has its own cult, so I guess I could be considered a NKP worshiper. :)

The NKP is no where near the Model M in the noise department. I actually use both and I like them. ;)
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Re: Best Keyboard?

Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:06 am

kvndoom wrote:
Image
Proper Home button layout-- check
Explorer, Calculator, and Sleep buttons over the numpad-- check
Proper arrow keys layout (not to be confused with the Natural Elite, which screwed that up)-- check
reliability (almost a decade and not a single faded button or mechanical issue on any of the ones I have bought)- check
full set of multimedia / internet keys (if you use them, they're a godsend)-- check

Its only downers are how loud it is (not that I care, but guests do comment sometimes), and its off-white color (I admit it was the black that foolishly lured me into buying the 4000, but never again). Tell you what, if this thing lasts 10 more years, I'll be happy as hell. Doesn't seem like anyone can get it right and put everything I want on a keyboard anymore.

EDIT: I guess I ought to explain why the multimedia buttons are so important to me. My computer is my entertainment center. The sound card outputs into a Yamaha receiver, which goes to all my speakers. I listen to all my music, play games, and watch all my movies on my PC. That's why media controls are essential. The way I use my computer dictates what type of hardware I cannot live without.

The Model M has its own cult, so I guess I could be considered a NKP worshiper. :)

I assume they don't make that beauty any more... :(
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Re: Best Keyboard?

Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:31 am

Krogoth wrote:
I never noticed I cut sentences. In half with obscure period. Placements, for no reason in. Particular.


-
A keyboard is only good for me if I can type on it without looking. This means any model that's at least 50% similar to a Model M. Cheap, light and modern wonders generally fail me because my fingers are slipping from left to right all over the place and I constantly have to look (*gasps*) to type certain things or special characters. I also need a large Enter, large Backspace and completely separate cursor block (instead of the indented method of late Logitech designs), not to mention the text edit block, which, dear Logitech, is something I want in a 3x2 format, not 2x3 you idiots. Not to mention it gets worse if the delete key is double-sized and they shuffle even more keys all the way to uncharted locales.

All in all, I like keyboards that allow me to know key locations by touch (instead of providing my fingers with an ice rink and shoddy key response), and I don't mind if they're big, I prefer the key blocks to be of proper size and good separation. I don't like Logitech's meaningless attempts to compress keyboards, I think they eventually want to do the same design as what you get with a laptop.
 
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Re: Best Keyboard?

Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:58 pm

Meadows wrote:
not to mention the text edit block, which, dear Logitech, is something I want in a 3x2 format, not 2x3 you idiots. Not to mention it gets worse if the delete key is double-sized and they shuffle even more keys all the way to uncharted locales.

All in all, I like keyboards that allow me to know key locations by touch (instead of providing my fingers with an ice rink and shoddy key response), and I don't mind if they're big, I prefer the key blocks to be of proper size and good separation. I don't like Logitech's meaningless attempts to compress keyboards, I think they eventually want to do the same design as what you get with a laptop.

For the record I think Microsoft started that. Logitech just followed the "trendsetter". I hated it when I first saw it with Microsoft's newer models, and the disease has pretty much spread to a lot of vendors. :evil:
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Re: Best Keyboard?

Wed Dec 17, 2008 3:18 pm

Flying Fox wrote:
For the record I think Microsoft started that. Logitech just followed the "trendsetter". I hated it when I first saw it with Microsoft's newer models, and the disease has pretty much spread to a lot of vendors. :evil:

Clearly, we need to organize a support group for this. I'll be one of the charter members, and supply coffee. Shall we say, 7pm, second and fourth Thursday of each month?
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Re: Best Keyboard?

Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:10 pm

I had the absolute original Natural Keyboard that i got in '96, used the elite with the small arrow keys at work though. Never could find a Natural v1 to replace the one at home when it died, so i did a brief stint with the first Logitech natural one which was good, until it started going bad after a few years and timely enough until the MS came out with Natural 4000. And yes, it has the calculator key, which is use way to often oddly enough. Then i have bound Notepad and Snipping tool to two of the favorite buttons.

Also, Just like the logitech mice, they all use XML config files for their mappings, so i reworked the zoom button above the spacebar to actually scroll up/down instead of zooming in applications. And if you are getting creative, at least with the logitech mice, but probably the ms-files too, you can do application overrides to the mapping will be context sensitive. Thats how i got rid of the stupid back-forward problem when using some ms applications and had bound the mx518 side buttons to keystroke mappings instead.

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