Poll: What kind of keyboard do you prefer?

In light of our latest keyboard review, it seems only appropriate to ask: what kinds of keyboards do TR readers favor? We’ve put up a new poll to quiz you on that very subject. Do you like your keyboards with as many extra buttons, knobs, switches, and dials as possible? Are you into old-school clicky keyboards? Or do you fit somewhere in the middle, favoring more spartan and quieter input devices? Hit our poll either below or on the front page to cast your vote.

Our previous poll was about your votes for last year’s best PC game. Fallout 3 seems to have won that contest hands-down, with 22% of the vote, compared to just 12% for the silver medal winner—Valve’s zombie co-op shooter Left 4 Dead. Further down the podium, Mass Effect narrowly stole the bronze medal from World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, and Crysis Warhead sat in fourth place.

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    • Tanj
    • 11 years ago

    /me types this on his IBM Model M manufactured on the 26th of March, 1986!

    • aleckermit
    • 11 years ago

    I have a Logitech Access 600 keyboard and it’s the best, most practical keyboard I’ve ever owned. And it only costs 25 US Dollars.

      • SonicSilicon
      • 11 years ago

      Is this flame bait? [/weirdedout]

    • xii
    • 11 years ago

    One without Windows logos. I can’t understand why every keyboard needs a Microsoft logo on it… It really irks me.

      • SonicSilicon
      • 11 years ago

      So, an Apple keyboard, then?
      Just kidding 😉
      Is it the branding, the function, or the placement that you find irritating?

    • Titanium
    • 11 years ago

    Dvorak, anyone?

      • Manabu
      • 11 years ago

      Colemak here: §[<http://colemak.com/<]§

        • moritzgedig
        • 11 years ago

        although for the same language, those two are very different.
        strange.
        typing this I’m trying a setup I made myselfe just now and it’s slow although I changed only the most important letters used in german.
        Dvorak isn’t good for german.
        although a complete redesign has it’s advantages, I think very little should be changed to improove writing for as many languages as possible else there is no hope for a reform. no more than 6 letters should be changed.
        Only a design that would fit more than 500.000.000 people and is as much as possible as the qwerty can get the momentum.

        • Imperor
        • 11 years ago

        Colemak and dvorak are some of the most stupid things I have ever seen!

        Sure, great idea: let’s get different layouts for every single effing language in the world so that no one will be able to write their names in under a minute on a foreign keybooard in a world where people travel all over all of the time! Oh, wait, lets throw som extra screwed up ones for “one-handed” in there just to make things a bit extra complicated if you wanna borrow your friend’s computer… I write one-handed all of the time and, yes, I really appreciate the numpad but changing the whole layout? NO. Standards are there for a reason. I have a kyrillic keyboard with an english layout which I use for a swedish keyset. That’s variation enough, thak you very much. If it wasn’t for standards and my own good knowledge of the standards I would hardly be able to write at all on a similar setup!

        There’s already too much variation if you ask me, in sweden we have åäö on the far right and for some stupid reason a completely different set of characters on the (“shift”) number keys. OK, some are replaced there because of the åäö re-config but it could have been better done, for instance, why move ‘&’ from 7 to 6? Makes no sense.

        If anything should be changed with the layout it should be to make it MORE international, not less!

          • moritzgedig
          • 11 years ago

          I would appreciate some modifications.
          I write: english, german and computer languages.
          changing 6-8 keys from the IBM layout would improve typing alot.
          can you type your name without looking? then what do you care? change the layout (if you are allowed) and type the way you always do.
          the german layout has ä,ö,ü too as well as a ß and it doesn’t make any sense.
          I am sure there is a single layout that could satisfy all european languages more than the IBM-layout.

    • Turd-Monkey
    • 11 years ago

    Dell QuietKey!

    I used the PS/2 ones for years, easy to find, good quality, great feel.

    Lately I’ve been using a MS Natural 4000 since that’s what I have at work, I like the gull wing shape with wrists over the keys, but I wish the keys themselves had slightly different feel.

    (The old white MS Natural keyboards always seemed like junk to me, really bad key action.)

    • Manabu
    • 11 years ago

    I would love if more keyboards had the shift key acessible using the thumbs, instead of streaching the pinky. In the US-layout it isn’t so bad, but once you cut both shifts to put 2 extra keys, it is very bad.

    They could simply cut the space bar in two, as I only use one side of it anyway. The button could be configurable to either double the space bar or to be an shif, backspace, or other frequently used special key.

    Or put an extra row on the keyboards, or make like the kinesis keyboard ( §[<http://www.kinesis-ergo.com/contoured.htm<]§ ). But they are too damn expensive :/

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 11 years ago

    I have a question for all of you: What is the life time of a keyboard? I got Dell keyboards that are 9 years old and it is working fine only the letters on top of the key are worn.

    So, is it worth forking out money for a awesome keyboard when a cheap one wound do??

      • Manabu
      • 11 years ago

      Another way to think about it is that is worth put money in keyboards as they will not break or became obsolete too soon.

      But of course, you should also see the aditional benefit of buying an more expensive keyboard, and how much time you spend realy using the keyboard.

    • Saber Cherry
    • 11 years ago

    I like normal, wired keyboards; I’m currently using a black HP I salvaged from a computer lab that was being dismantled. It was irritating enough when Microsoft stuck its stupid Windows buttons on keyboards, but I got used to it (and you can disable them). But now, I can’t even buy a normal keyboard with all the normal keys in the normal places, no volume controls or playlist buttons or glowy lights or giant gel pads, etc. If I happen to see a normal-ish one, it is wireless – thus more expensive but less reliable.

    The only keyboards that are close to normal are the ones that come with low-end packaged computers (and I can’t buy those) or the absolute cheapest things at stores (which, predictably, are flimsy). I may have to go dumpster diving when this one wears out.

    • AxMi-24
    • 11 years ago

    IBM Type M all the way. I love those and now that Unicomp sells them with Swedish layout and USB support I’m in heaven.

    Even thought my coworker to like them (just needed a test type).

    • 5150
    • 11 years ago

    If someone could create a split, clicky-key keyboard, I would be in heaven.

    Adi

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      That would probably be the time when I’d jump on the “split keyboard” bandwagon myself, srsly, LOLOLOL.

      Adi

      • bthylafh
      • 11 years ago

      I know you’re joking, but such a beast was made:

      §[<http://www.dansdata.com/clicky2.htm<]§ Scroll about halfway down.

        • 5150
        • 11 years ago

        That is ugly as all hell. Why do you think I’m joking, I would love a keyboard like I have described. I could probably get over 100 wpm such a beast.

          • bthylafh
          • 11 years ago

          I assumed you were trolling on account of the “Adi” sig.

    • rechicero
    • 11 years ago

    Microsoft Office Keyboard. The best (and probably the only) working keyboard I’ve seen.

    Of course, MS won’t offer you a driver for the world (and they stopped when the keyboard was still on the stores shelves).

    Bottom line: I’ll never buy a MS hardware again.

    • Darkmage
    • 11 years ago

    I use an Ideazon Merc gaming keyboard to annoy people on the TR forums and to die spectacular deaths whilst playing /[

    • srg86
    • 11 years ago

    Clicky keyboards for me. The first machines I ever used were RM Nimbus PC186s at Primary School and they had clicky keyboards. I spent years trying to find keyboards that were like them but ended up just buying cheapos that wouldn’t last that long.

    Then I got a laptop style keyboard by Genius and managed to wear out the ‘e’ key in just a year.

    Then from here I found out that the clicky keyboards were buckling spring type and bought my Unicomp Customizer 105 in black with USB connection. Kinda funny that my first ever USB keyboard is a Model M type.

    • squngy
    • 11 years ago

    Media keybord all the way!
    Volume kontrols, next track, and pause, make my life easyer when running full screen programs and music in the background.

      • kvndoom
      • 11 years ago

      Amen! People who don’t listen to music while doing fullscreen apps can’t appreciate the godsend that a full suite of media keys can provide. That is exactly why I’d score the MS Ergo 4000 a -1 out of 10, and why I shelved it and went back to the Natural Pro. Three lousy buttons, Microsoft, damn your eyes!

      Previous Track
      Next Track
      Stop

      Can you freaking hear me?!? 😛

    • P5-133XL
    • 11 years ago

    I’m still using several original Northgate Omnikey Utra’s that I got in the early 80’s. I have to use an original keyboard -> PS/2 plug convertor and I don’t have a “Windows” key but all those sacrafices are well worth the quality of the keyboard.

    • The Dark One
    • 11 years ago

    My Logitech Y-BE22 is still trucking, but I doubt there’ll be a compatible version of its iTouch software package when I finally upgrade from XP.

    Having a scroll wheel and isn’t such a biggy now that wireless mice are plentiful, but it was a cool feature at the time. The only thing that bugs me about it is the placement of the Standby button, just a bit up and to the left of Esc. That and the metal spring thing under the shift key. I never figured out how to get it back into its proper place.

    • mac_h8r1
    • 11 years ago

    Ergo-curved (not split). My Acer has a curved keyboard and I’ve got the Microsoft comfort curve on the desk.

    • Anemone
    • 11 years ago

    Should have included curve (different from split ergonomic) because they are far, far more comfortable over time. Some of us spend 10+ hours a day on a keyboard and know.

    • fpsduck
    • 11 years ago

    More choices please… 😉

    – Comfort curve (not that split ergonomics)

    – I speak to my computer (voice recognition)

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      Why not include OCZ’s /[

    • End User
    • 11 years ago

    Current gen Apple Keyboard.

    • Skrying
    • 11 years ago

    I just bought a Microsoft Digital Media Keyboard 3000. Besides the totally ridiculous name and inclusion of the silly F-Lock key I absolutely love it. It is nearly dead silent, the keys are very low profile with a perfect amount of travel and the array of media keys are excellent.

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 11 years ago

    What about a non-split ergonomic?

    • bthylafh
    • 11 years ago

    Model M. Mine is 21 years old and still looks and types like it’s just out of the box.

    • Sanctusx2
    • 11 years ago

    I use a Logitech slim laptop media keyboard. My main reason? It has media keys and doesn’t fck up the insert/home and arrow keys. Totally classic layout…which seems impossible to find on all newer keyboards. I also enjoy how flat it is, though it was awkward at first.

    However, I’m ordering the new sidewinder Ms keyboard. I realized that it makes a lot more sense these days to have a kb without the numpad. It would make for less awkward typing and would be a better fit given the overflow I get with my func 1030 mousepad on my tray.

    • not@home
    • 11 years ago

    I like a keyboard that feels right, has a ten key, and has a large backspace button (I have short pinkies and cannot reach the small backspace buttons).I found a Memorex TS1100 keyboard about 9 years ago that I really liked so I bought two. Good thing because about a year ago I wore out the space bar button. I literally wore a hole in it and it started cutting my thumb. So I taped that one up to prevent cuts and switched it with my other Memorex keyboard on my less used computer.

    • fantastic
    • 11 years ago

    I voted for other. It’s not the cheapest and it’s not Microsoft. It’s a boring, quiet, beige Belkin. I had a fashionably black Logitech on it, but I didn’t like the height of the keys or something. I was having tons of typing errors.

    I like (PS/2) wired, 104 key keyboards that work. I would prefer it have a name I know and not cost too much. I don’t like all of the extra keys or bright LEDs.

    I like to toss them out long before they wear out, because of that study they did about the germs in the keyboards. It would be nice if they all were dishwasher safe and functional. I know some are, but I’ve never used a decent one.

      • not@home
      • 11 years ago

      Just use compressed air to blow it out. Then use a baby wipe on it. Or you could use a alcohol prep pad. Scrub it down good when ever you feel like it needs it. A friend of mine from college would bring his with him into the shower. It was not water-proof, he would just let it dry before plugging it back in. He never had problems.

        • Mourmain
        • 11 years ago

        Much easier: just unscrew the face off the keyboard, with all the buttons still attached. That’s all plastic, and will wash really well under any kind of water jet (shower, for example). Then let it dry for about 2 hours, and screw it back on. Makes the keyboard as new.

      • Imperor
      • 11 years ago

      That’s as “Regular” as you can get and as far from “Other”.
      It says “Logitech, Microsoft, *[

    • sluggo
    • 11 years ago

    i ReLLy Lik the on tht cme withhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh my deLL>

    best keybord eveR11111

    • JustAnEngineer
    • 11 years ago

    I’m quite pleased with the CVT Avant Prime on my main PC. My dad is still using the Northgate Omnikey Ultra that I bought for him over twenty years ago. It’s almost the same design as the Avant Stellar.

    • Captain Ned
    • 11 years ago

    If I can’t bludgeon a man to death with it in a pinch, it’ll not be on my desk. Model M forever.

      • Peffse
      • 11 years ago

      ….but, you are tethered to the computer!

        • LoneWolf15
        • 11 years ago

        Nope. Model M’s have a detachable cord. HomeRowed!.

          • Peffse
          • 11 years ago

          brb, buying Model M.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 11 years ago

    I’m used to laptop-style short-travel keyboards, since I type on a laptop at work and type on a laptop-style desktop keyboard at home. I don’t like mushy keyboards and I don’t really care for clicky ones. Logitech makes some very good keyboards that I’d use if I had one.

      • Imperor
      • 11 years ago

      Same here. Logitch UltraX is sweet, standard layout, though with the new large delete button and a few basic media buttons.

    • moshpit
    • 11 years ago

    Chuck Norris doesn’t use a keyboard, he just glares at it and it types for him out of fear for it’s life.

      • moose17145
      • 11 years ago

      That’s all well and good… but for the rest of us who are not Chuck Norris, we need to use keyboards.

    • moose17145
    • 11 years ago

    Idk… i just put “regular” here. The keyboards i prefer do have more of a tactile and audible feedback, but most “clicky” boards do not have VCR and volume control for some reason. If i were to make my ideal keyboard it would have

    -VCR and volume media keys, but no others (i would also accept a calculator key as well i suppose)
    -It would use the same switch style keys as Das Keyboard Professional that was just reviewed
    -Backlit keys with a switch to change brightness / turn them off
    -windows key switch
    -USB Hub too i suppose (i don’t really care on this one as much though as i already have a 4 port powered hub built into my monitor)
    -Full function keys with no F-Lock, along with a standard editing block and number pad
    -And for sake of going overboard i suppose that nice programmable block of function keys the G15 V1 had would be nice to have too. Not saying i need it… but i wouldn’t mind it.

    That may sound like a lot… but really all i don’t think it is. Throw the VCR / Volume media keys on Das Keyboard (but no more media keys than that, those are the only ones i want) with some backlighting under the keys, and i would gladly pay the price they are currently asking for it.

    • moshpit
    • 11 years ago

    Here in Soviet Russia, the keyboard types on YOU!

      • moose17145
      • 11 years ago

      In soviet Russia, keyboard clicks you!

    • rhema83
    • 11 years ago

    Scissor-spring (i.e. laptop style) keyboards for me. I enjoy using my ThinkPad keyboards very much, and equipped my desktop with a Logitech UltraX (definitely not as good as the ThinkPad’s).

    • kenclopz
    • 11 years ago

    I would prefer a working Microsoft Chatpad on a frickin’ 360 controller working on a PC. Where’s that choice in your poll!!!???

    • Kurkotain
    • 11 years ago

    well i do like my keyboard to make some noise in order to have some feedback, but a model m is too much like a machine gun to me…not to mention too heavy, most of the typing is done on a laptop but my favorite keyboard of all time is an old compaq that came with my first computer build (a pentium 3, lol) that is a testament to how reliable that thing is, feels like a model m made of tough plastic, so the keyboard is a beast (the only problem i had with it was that one of the hinges on the space key broke and i had to fix it with super bonder – after 8 years of heavy use/abuse!) it has some multimedia keys on it so its like the best of both worlds…any other keayboard i use, i feel like it has not enough feedback, the keys are too soft to touch, if they make them like that i would get a new one NOW…im amazed how good that keyboard turned out to be…

    • BoBzeBuilder
    • 11 years ago

    Saitek FTW.

    Eclipse II is the perfect keyboard for me. Picked it up for 15 bucks.

      • designerfx
      • 11 years ago

      Absolutely agreed. Saitek makes the most durable keyboards I have ever seen hands down. Only keyboard to ever last more than 6 months, going on 12 and just needs a cleaning/no key problems.

      Most every keyboard I have craps out, keys break etc by 6 mo’s.

        • bthylafh
        • 11 years ago

        Try out a Model M. Those will last longer than pretty much any other keyboard. The only way I’ve discovered to damage one is to pop off the keys and clean the rest with a rag, then catch a spring with a loose bit of rag and stretch it out. The key gets numb and doesn’t work well.

          • Ethyriel
          • 11 years ago

          I think Unicomp can fix that for you.

        • willyolio
        • 11 years ago

        huh. i have an essentially no-name keyboard (a super-cheap Benq) that’s lasted me almost 4 years now. how hard do you hammer down on your keys?

          • Meadows
          • 11 years ago

          As hard as possible, it’s not easy to get feedback on those boards.

      • moshpit
      • 11 years ago

      Another agreed here. My Eclipse II replaced a EluminX keyboard that was 4 years old. The EluminX still works fine but is so dirty and nasty now that it’s almost unrecognizable.

      • twizttid13
      • 11 years ago

      I use a Saitek Eclipse also. As long as it lights up that’s all I really care about. But this has been holding up very well. If I had to I would definitely buy another.

      • Philldoe
      • 11 years ago

      Yet another +1 for Saitek, my Cyborg is by far the best KB I’ve ever had the pleasure of using.

        • BKA
        • 11 years ago

        Yes sir, the Cyborg is one nice keyboard. I love that keyboard. I’ve had the G15 and Reclusa but the Cyborg wins hands down.

      • burntham77
      • 11 years ago

      Saitek is great!

    • BenBasson
    • 11 years ago

    Low profile laptop-style, full GB layout. Quiet. Heavy or with good pads to stop sliding. Reasonable stand or legs to elevate at a nice angle.

    My Enermax Aurora is my favourite keyboard ever. Bought a Cherry for work, it’s adequate.

    • Corrado
    • 11 years ago

    I like my regular Microsoft Wireless Keyboard 3000. I would like it more if it had no media buttons on it, but it DOES have a ‘Calculator’ key above the Num Lock key. I use this a lot, as I always find myself Win-R -> calc -> Enter which saves me time and keystrokes.

    • albundy
    • 11 years ago

    i prefer no keyboard.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 11 years ago

    95% or more of my typing is done on a laptop keyboard. It is okay but I seem to type a bit faster on a normal Dell keyboard.

    • Squuiid
    • 11 years ago

    The Apple Aluminum keyboard is excellent. Very low profile and works great in Windows.

      • adisor19
      • 11 years ago

      Seconded.

      Adi

      • derFunkenstein
      • 11 years ago

      Yup, that’s what I’m using too. Super solid, very comfortable, plus a 2-port USB hub to boot.

      • floodo1
      • 11 years ago

      WORD UP!
      Love my apple keyboard. Sure the windows key is called “command”, alt is called “option” (though it still says alt albeit very small” and the extra f13-f19 keys dont do anything by default, along with other quirks (function key).
      But it feels nice, and is STURDY!

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 11 years ago

    I use the keyboard that does the typing for me!

    • IntelMole
    • 11 years ago

    Given that I mostly type on a laptop, I guess it’s obvious which I’m gong to go for…

    But I find that mushy keys, even though they have less travel, actually give less feedback. Far, far more mistakes on those.

    • paulWTAMU
    • 11 years ago

    normal but with media keys (I like to play music in the background during lots of stuff, they make it easier to skip tracks or fiddle with the volume).

    • kvndoom
    • 11 years ago

    Natural Keyboard Pro… pry it out of my cold, dead hands.

    • Vasilyfav
    • 11 years ago

    Any keyboard preferably with a big Enter key and under 20$ will do, I’m not picky.

    • SonicSilicon
    • 11 years ago

    This seems like a question that a poll is inadequate to handle. With how many variations are introduced each year promising to be the “perfect” keyboard, how can picking one choice out of multiple even come close to being informative?

    So, my usual suspects of features on a touch-typing keyboard:
    ~ No or minimal media keys (“VCR” and volume controls are fine.)
    ~ USB hub.
    ~ Full alphanumeric, full function keys (F1 through F12,) numeric pad, Escape, Print Screen, Scroll Lock, and Pause / Break.
    ~ No or detachable palm rest.
    ~ Windows key toggle (very low priority due to rarity.)

    For on-screen or thumb keyboards, I have grown weary of the Qwerty layout.

    • Saribro
    • 11 years ago

    Anything but laptop-style, really.
    I prefer a softer key, but with sufficient response. In the end, if it works, that’s good enough for me.

    • ReAp3r-G
    • 11 years ago

    regular for me

    currently using the logitech wave…creamy smooth buttons and stuff, not really a fan of the extra buttons but meh, it’s a nitpick, love the styling and the comfortable typing i’m getting out of it

    • bhtooefr
    • 11 years ago

    Of course, there are such things as split ergonomic clickies, although they’re rare, and that’d necessitate multiple choice. 😉

    (I prefer non-ergo clickies, FWIW.)

    • odizzido
    • 11 years ago

    where if my “regular without the windows buttons and no god damn f-lock” option? Whenever I have to press f-lock I am like fffffff……………

    • no51
    • 11 years ago

    G15 v1 here.

    • MixedPower
    • 11 years ago

    I like keyboards that have a minimalistic design. And a calculator button.

    • willyolio
    • 11 years ago

    i like logitech ones. flatter keyboard and shorter travel (but not as short as laptop keyboards). extra buttons are optional.

    • StashTheVampede
    • 11 years ago

    Kinesis Advantage > *

    • bowman
    • 11 years ago

    Spring loaded Model M. The more like a typewriter the better.

    • Zymergy
    • 11 years ago

    *[

      • eitje
      • 11 years ago

      seconded – i bought 4 electro-luminescent keyboards at the same time after my first one dimmed too much (almost 2 years of straight usage).

      there’s nothing better than having my keyboard lit. 🙂

    • SnowboardingTobi
    • 11 years ago

    I love split ergonomic keyboards. I especially love them when they have soft, quiet keys.

    I’ve used a clicky keyboard in the past (my old 386 had one) and I just didn’t care for it. Too loud for my taste.

      • Kunikos
      • 11 years ago

      I agree. I have a Microsoft Natural 4000 at home and at work. 🙂

        • badnews
        • 11 years ago

        Yes once you get used to a split ergonomic keyboard, I hate to use anything else. I seriously find typing much easier on the wrists..

        I even use my MS Natrual 4000 for gaming (COD4 etc,) it works great 🙂

          • Joshvar
          • 11 years ago

          Word to the 4000. I have used ergos since the original MS Natural, and MS started messing with key placement (either the arrows, or IHPUDEPD cluster), I got angry…but the 4000 hits all the right spots. And it’s not expensive! 😀

      • Prototyped
      • 11 years ago

      My old Natural Keyboard Elite from 2001 ftw.

    • Krogoth
    • 11 years ago

    Clicky!

    • DrDillyBar
    • 11 years ago

    First vote. My pick is leading the pack!

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