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Recommend me a keyboard (and mouse)

Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:35 pm

I'm updating my desktop (to a TR Econobox with a few alterations). I have everything ready to go except the keyboard and mouse.

I want a keyboard that will best approximate the solid feel of the keyboards I grew up with. Maybe not one of those massive keyboards that weighed as much as a cat, but more like the Logitech Internet Keyboard from the 90s: solid and sturdy on the desk, fulfilling key presses, and relatively quiet.

Since my precious Logitech drowned in a very unfortunate liquid-based accident recently (after over a decade of faithful use), I'm looking for recommendations for a keyboard that fits the bill. If I can spend $30 that'd be great, but I Have a sneaking suspicion the only way to get a decent keyboard these days is to spend $100 on a Cherry-MX keyboard. Any ideas?

Mouse-wise, I currently use an old Logitech MX518. It's worked well enough, but I need a new, preferably larger mouse. What's the largest mouse money can buy?
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Re: Recommend me a keyboard (and mouse)

Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:48 pm

Good fun-

Rosewill's MX-Brown will likely be going on sale for the holidays; it's hard to beat for the price. Going higher-end would mostly just get you macro keys (meh), back-lighting, bumpers to quiet the key falls, and extra USB and/or audio pass-through cables. I have the Rosewill in Browns and a better white back-lit with rings to soften the keyfalls, but it fully breaches your imagined higher price :).

As for mice- well, I don't know of any mice that fully replicate the handling and functionality of Logitech's best in a larger version outside of their own wireless designs; I can say that the G500 I own works quite well. The only fault I've found with them has been use on higher-resolution screens, 2560x1600 in my case, and for that I use the larger Steelseries Sensei.
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Re: Recommend me a keyboard (and mouse)

Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:16 pm

As for a mouse, I have a G9x that I quite like. Out of the two snap-on covers it comes with, the grey one is somewhat large and fits my hand comfortably. It looks like it's discontinued and there isn't really an analogue in their current line-up, but you can still find new old stock online.
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Re: Recommend me a keyboard (and mouse)

Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:28 pm

Well you're on Tech Report, so you know we love mechanical switches :)

Personally, out of the Cherry lineup I would go with either Blues or Blacks. I love hearing the response from my keyboards with blue switches (I've got a BlackWidow and a Rosewill at work), and losing that makes the tactile bumps of brown or clear switches "meh." Actually, browns felt so light for me that they might as well have been linear, hence my recommendation of Black switches if you don't go with blues. Reds are linear, too, but I feel like I type pretty heavy, so I like having resistance.

Keep in mind that there are two sounds that come from mechanical switches like these. Blues have an audible click regardless, so you won't get that on Brown, Red, or Black switches. Most of the noise, however, actually comes from bottoming out the switch, which is basically like crashing the keycap into a big, plastic, resonating body. So if you want quiet, get something with some sound suppression under the caps, or plan on getting dampening rings from
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Re: Recommend me a keyboard (and mouse)

Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:02 am

I like Cherry MX Brown switches. They're quieter than Cherry MX blues and are meant as a "all purpose" switch.

I have both a DAS Keyboard and a Filco Majestouch 10keyless (both with brown switches) and prefer the DAS Keyboard by far. I've never used a Rosewill so I can't compare.
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Re: Recommend me a keyboard (and mouse)

Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:17 am

Another Cherry brown user here. Picked up a CM Storm with browns about a year ago, no regrets.

As for a mouse, I took the TR recommendation of the Corsair M60 (or M65) and quite like it. I used to used the Logitech G9 (or G9x, don't remember the difference) and was very happy with that too. If you want something larger, you might look at the G600? It's their "MMO" mouse with like a billion buttons.
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Re: Recommend me a keyboard (and mouse)

Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:26 am

This mouse is pretty good for the money. ... 6826146009

Any name brand mechanical keyboard should suit your needs but I strongly recommend a mechanical with cherry's they are awesome.
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Re: Recommend me a keyboard (and mouse)

Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:33 am

Generic mouse recommendations are very difficult because whether a mouse is good or not is highly subjective. I'm not sure what the 'largest' mouse is, but you can poke around on manufacturer's websites to look at dimension specs - just be careful to look at the mouse shape when reading dimensions, weird shapes can make for large-sounding dimensions that don't really change the size of the part you actually hold. I would suggest pick out some mice, read reviews of them (user reviews and forum threads, not worthless 'pro' mice reviews that all basically say 'hey, this mouse is pretty good'), and then buy them from a place with a very liberal return policy or take advantage of your credit card's merchandise return protection if it has it. Test-driving mice is the only way to know if it will really be good for you.
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Re: Recommend me a keyboard (and mouse)

Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:24 am

I second the recommendation for Rosewill MX-Brown keyboards. But you should try keyboards with MX blues and blacks/reds as it's your preferences here.

I laso have a CMStorm Quickfire compact keyboard (Tenkeyless) which has no numpad but for my needs is quite ok. It has better finish than the Rosewill and I suspect is built more more durable. The good thing with these mechanical keyboards is I can swap most of the keycaps with more durable ones from cheap Cherry MX-type keyboards I find in surplus shops.

If you don't want to spend more for a mouse like the G500 I recommend the Logitech G400 which I like and use. It's the successor for the MX518, it's got a flexible wire and a higher-rated optical sensor but retains practically the same form and feel as the MX518. Only problem so far is the usual one with cords wearing out from overly harsh use and causing malfunctions.
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Re: Recommend me a keyboard (and mouse)

Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:34 am

Keyboards depend on budget, build quality and if you want standard 101/104 layout or have extra buttons.

If you want to get a 104 keyboard with no frills on a budget than any generic membrane unit will suffice. If you want standard 104 with no frills, but want something that will last then there are several mechanical-based units ranging from the classical Model M and its Unicomp incarnation. There are several MX switches as well as keyboards using the elusive Alps-based switches.

If you want to get a keyboard with extra frills then there's higher-end Logitech and Razor units which have a array of customizable keys for MMORPGS and such. You can go all of the way and get an Optimus LCD keyboard, provided you can find one.

As for mice, don't fall for the DPI sensor hype. The feet and surface that mice rides on matter far more than the sensitivity of the sensor. The units with sensors with stupidly high DPI rating are worthless, because the human forearm and arm isn't dextrous enough to take advantage of it. There's a reason why engineers and designers use robotic arms for "hands-on" precision work.

Ergonomics are #1 for mice and I would recommend trying out units if possible, at a local brick and mortar store to see which best works for your hands. Extra buttons on some higher-end mice are useful you intent on using them for MMORPGs, strategy games and a few FPS. Otherwise, stick with the no-frills two buttons w/ wheel layout.
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Re: Recommend me a keyboard (and mouse)

Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:49 am

Mice are very subjective, so you probably won't know whether or not you'll like one unless you get a hand on it.

That being said, I've been using a Razer Naga for a couple of years now, and it has been great. I play WoW, and having abilities accessible on my right hand is useful. I've also found myself using them in other games just because I don't have to move my hand off of movement keys and reset.

One problem, though. They have since moved mouse buttons 4 and 5 (the "forward" and "back" buttons) from a forward position to just under the mouse wheel, and that feels super awkward to me. So I've been browsing around for alternatives in case my Naga bites the dust, and if someone was looking for an MMO mouse like this, I would probably recommend the Logitech G600. It has the same positioning for buttons 4 and 5, but it doesn't slope forward like the Razer, making it less awkward. It's also considerably larger, allowing for larger side buttons.

If I had to replace my Naga today, I would definitely get a G600. You might not need all those buttons, but since it's a larger mouse than what I have been using, it's worth mentioning.
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Re: Recommend me a keyboard (and mouse)

Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:38 am

Razer Deathadder unless you are a huge MMO player, in which case Logitech G600.
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Re: Recommend me a keyboard (and mouse)

Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:05 am

I've got a spare IBM Model M that I could sell you for a reasonable price. It wouldn't be like the keyboards from your childhood. It would be the keyboard from your childhood.

Seriously, the Rosewill keyboards with the Cherry MX switches can be reasonably priced.

Your Logitech MX518 is still a good mouse. Have you tried a Razer Imperator?
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Re: Recommend me a keyboard (and mouse)

Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:07 am

Model M and an MS Intellimouse Explorer 3.0. Have spares of each tucked away "just in case".
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