Mechanical keyboards are pretty awesome. They offer precise tactile feedback, and the various switch types allow users to pick the one with just the right characteristics. Some switches have a tactile bump at the actuation point, others offer linear travel, and then there's the amount of force required for actuation. None of the mechanical switches we've used has been really silent, though. Sure, some have been quieter than others, but they've all had that unmistakable clickety clack that can drive roomates, coworkers, and significant others crazy.
Now, it may be possible to get the mechanical feel without the associated chatter. Canadian keyboard maker Matias has announced the Quiet Pro, a new model that's "no louder than a regular keyboard," according to CEO Edgar Matias. The Quiet Pro is a version of the firm's Tactile Pro keyboard, which uses Alps mechanical switches. For the Quiet Pro, Matias spent two years designing its very own switch. The feel is supposed to be similar to the Alps switches, minus the noise.
The Quiet Pro keyboard is already available on Matias' site for $150. In addition to the new switches, it features sculpted key caps, laser-etched lettering, media controls, and N-key rollover. There are three USB 2.0 ports onboard, and Matias puts an extra Tab key in the numpad to speed up data entry for Excel junkies.
Lest you think Matias will be keeping its silent switch tech in-house, the company says it intends to start selling the switches to other keyboard makers. Hobbyists will also be able to buy the switches "in small quantities" for their own projects, as well. We're going to have to get our hands one one of these Quiet Pro keyboards to see just how quiet the new switches are—and how they feel. Thanks to Engadget for the tip.