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What keyboard do you use?

maxdevjs profile image maxdevjs ・1 min read

Why? How is your experience with it? Is it your favo(u)rite ever? Would you replace it? What will be the next?

Cover source: arrows keyboard (Tokyo Meet Collection)

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Gabriel Ramirez

Keychron K1 V4

It's a mechanical keyboard with wireless features and up to three different devices. I like the low profile and design and it's actually a good middle ground between my old loud blue switch keyboard and something more compact.

Keychron K1 V4

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luscala profile image
Luca Scala

Cool! What about the battery life?

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Gabriel Ramirez

As I usually play games at night for about an hour or two and I use it wired(so it charges while I play) I never had issues while programming full day. I can't say how much it last, but it is more than one day.

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Adam Shockley

Really dig this.

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maxdevjs profile image
maxdevjs Author

Beautiful, thank you for showing it :)

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Ben Butler

Model M Keyboard
This isn't a great photo, but I've stuck with the IBM Model M white label that I've been using since Junior High School. I'm 42, so I think it's held up pretty well. I got it with a PS/2 model 30, and (this is the part that really only matters to me) it has the original PS/2 connector.

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Arnaud Delante

Oh, hello there

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maxdevjs profile image
maxdevjs Author

Thank you for sharing it. I had one of these, but I didn't appreciate it as it deserved πŸ™ˆ

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Justin Ho

Tokyo60 V2
(Holy pandas - 3203)

I like the HHKB layout because it doesn't stress my pinky as much with the Ctrl key so close. I prefer tactiles just because I couldn't touch type as well with linear switches. Definitely looking to upgrade in the future but haven't found one I like better yet.

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maxdevjs Author

@justinhodev , thank you for sharing it. Looks solid, a(lmost) weapon. I did not know about tokyo60 and liked it very much.

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Justin Ho

Thanks for the compliment!

Yes, I think the tokyo60 is a really good mid-tier mechanical keyboard because it's a (relatively) inexpensive custom design for those wanting something better than off the shelf. The more premium customs are not easy to get ahold of.

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maxdevjs profile image
maxdevjs Author

What operating system do you use?

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justinhodev profile image
Justin Ho

Running Fedora 31 right now

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Austin S. Hemmelgarn

Depends on what I'm doing.

If I'm actually using my laptop, I just use the integrated keyboard (I've got a ThinkPad X1 Extreme, so it's got a decent keyboard).

On my main computer, and when using my laptop with the nice monitor and mouse I have at my desk, I use a Keychron K8 in a wired configuration. It's a nice full height mechanical 88-key keyboard with both Bluetooth and USB support (though I currently only use it wired, Bluetooth latency is a bit too high for my preference as it's mostly used for gaming, though this is mostly just an issue with Bluetooth, not the keyboard itself). Currently using Keychron's Optical Brown switches (similar feel to Gateron Browns with slightly shorter pre-travel), though the switches are hot-swappable, so I may experiment a bit in the future. Right now it just has the stock keycaps, but probably going to eventually get custom-made ones because it's for some reason damn near impossible to find backlit keycaps for a US-International layout (and if I do get them custom made, I can also overlay other layouts, which would be useful).

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maxdevjs Author

Thank you for in-depth explanation. Is the hot-swappable feature optional, right?

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Austin S. Hemmelgarn

If you get one with Gateron switches then yes, it's optional to have them hot swappable. The ones with the Keychron optical switches are always hot swappable (but limited to other Keychron optical switch varieties). There's also a couple of different backlight options (I've got one of the RGB ones, but they also have a white-only variety that's less expensive, and a slightly more expensive version of the RGB backlit one that has an aluminum frame instead of the standard plastic frame).

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maxdevjs profile image
maxdevjs Author

Thank you. Is the aluminium frame optional too? Seems that it (almost) flawlessly works under Linux, which is a point in favour of this model. There are so many things to take into account. As an aside, how is the X1 keyboard?

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Austin S. Hemmelgarn

Yes, the aluminum frame is optional too. This one does indeed work flawlessly under Linux given my own experience, but I have not tried it over Bluetooth on Linux so I can't comment on how well it works under those circumstances.

As far as the ThinkPad X1 Extreme keyboard, it's really good for a keyboard on such a thin laptop. My only real complaint is that a handful of the smallest keycaps don't always stay clipped onto the butterfly levers (in my case I mostly have this issue with the page-down key, but I've occasionally had it happen with others too). Not a big issue, but annoying at times. Other than that though it's one of the best keyboards I've ever used on a laptop, even compared to other ThinkPad keyboards (which have long been my standard of comparison for laptop keyboards). The switches appear to be a monoblock rubber membrane style with a rather solid plastic butterfly lever assembly to keep the keys moving linearly. They've got remarkably solid tactile feedback given their design and size (no pre-travel and consistent resistance on the way down, but you get a very strong 'click' feel right as they bottom out) and seem rather durable. Overall travel is somewhere in the 2.5-3mm range (not sure exactly where), and the keys are remarkably quiet as they bottom out (even compared to similar keyboards I've used on other laptops). Latency is also rather good, and while it doesn't have true n-key rollover, the rollover behavior is better than most keyboards I've come across (it accepts most adjacent two and three key combinations without issue as well as accepting all the 'normal' typing rollovers).

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Mihail Malo

A plain, white Ergodox EZ Shine with sculpted/blank keys, but with this aluminium+silicone kitty paw.
The switches are "Silent Reds". This is before they used solderless switches.
ameno ameno latire

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maxdevjs profile image
maxdevjs Author

That kitty paw is amazing :) Is (the keyboard) actually comfortable?

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Mihail Malo

Definitely.
This was before they used solderless switches, so I can't easily try others, but I am satisfied.
Maybe if there was a clicky switch with as low an actuation force as this I would be tempted.
I should try someone's Speed Silver πŸ€”

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maxdevjs Author

If you try the Speed Silver ones, keep us updated 🐾

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chustedde

Logitech k750 (wireless, solar charging) - Nothing fancy aside from the solar panels. I like it for the most part, the keys are shallow and easy to move across, but still clicky enough to give decent feedback. I've had it for about 8 years now and only had to change the battery twice.

The only disadvantage right now is that my WFH setup doesn't have my keyboard close to a window or under a light like I've had in my offices over the years, so I have to remember to move it by a window every so often when I'm not working.

Not sure what I would replace it with when the time comes - there are a lot of interesting choices out there!

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maxdevjs Author

Thank you for sharing your choice. Seems comfortable and durable (I wouldn't say it based on the photos i saw), height years are not few. How often do you need to charge it?

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chustedde

When I had it near a window, I never had to think about charging it, which was great! Now I charge it about once every two weeks.

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Siddharth Shanbhogue

Ducky One 2 Mecha Mini with Cherry MX blue (tactile clicky switches)

Mecha mini

I thought the lack of dedicated arrow keys would be a problem but man, was I surprised with this keyboard.... Now can't go back to any other keyboard ever again.

It's compact, solid and heavy - has some really cool functions, lighting effects and hidden features. I use it mainly for programming and office communication.

This keyboard is metallic. It's meant to last a lifetime. Probably would go for a newer version of the same brand and model after a decade or so.

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maxdevjs Author

Thank you for sharing your beautiful keyboard @sidx64 . Also, has an interesting name. Could you expand a bit about the cool functions and hidden features?

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Siddharth Shanbhogue

Hi @maxdevjs ,

The Keyboard has some interesting features, like 10 different customized lighting effects, 3 LED customization zones,

a light-based gaming mode (yes a minesweeper-type game is fully integrated into it).

It also has the ability to control your mouse to a good level of accuracy using the function+WASD keys.

While it does not have the arrow keys, you can still have them using function+IJKL keys.

Function key is a dedicated key on the bottom row (right) of the keyboard. Through the dip-switches, however, you can re-purpose the CapsLock key as a second function key (who uses capslock, anyway?)

It has a few dip-switches at the bottom that allow you to switch your buttons around (win-key type layout -> ctrl-win-alt - can be changed to mac cmd key layout -> ctrl-alt-cmd - if you're using this with a macbook, for instance)

It has a macro functionality, n-key rollover,anti-ghosting, and all the features you expect out of a full-fledged keyboard

The keyboard comes with a set of custom keycaps too.

Here's a full list of features of this keyboard: duckychannel.com.tw/en/Ducky-Mecha...

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maxdevjs profile image
maxdevjs Author

@sidx64 is comfortable to use the IJKL keys with a function key so close to the corner? Yes, one thing that caught my attention is the mouse control, especially the R and F ones: seems very complete feature.

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Arnaud Delante

Oh boy... Don't get me started on that... Depends on the mood I'd say πŸ˜€ It circles between :

  • IBM Model M
  • HHKB Pro 2
  • A custom one based on Tofu case with Jade switches
  • A DIY Plank for fun sometimes
  • And the one in my laptop when coworking (just so I can keep my place πŸ˜„ )
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maxdevjs profile image
maxdevjs Author

Please, get start on that πŸ˜€ Can you share something about the custom Tofu one and the DIY Planck ?

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axiol profile image
Arnaud Delante

You asked for it... πŸ˜„ The Plank is the standard model from 3 years ago (so with a mini-USB connector) and Zelio 65g (really smooth and linear switches, not that loud, it's like a muffled shlok sound). Keycaps are a random set you can found on AliExpress for 20 -30 Euros. I had to solder everything by myself. Never soldered before and everything work, so pretty easy I'd say πŸ™‚

The Tofu one is a case and PCB from KBDFans with a WKL layout (I move the Windows key to Capslock as, let's face it, this key is never used πŸ˜„). Nice points with this PCB are 2 USB-C connectors (one on each side) and the switches are not soldered (it's a hotswap solution where they are just clicked in and can be removed whenever you want). Switches are Kailh Jade, they are extremely clicky and noisy, never take it to an open-space to work, unless you want everyone to hate you. Keycaps are a limited set called Tokyo Night (the kind where you have to register for a group buy and wait months to get them). And to top that, I also got a custom USB cable to match the colors. Clearly the keyboard I spent the most on

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Anirudh Rowjee

TVS Bharat Gold.

TVS Bharat Gold Image

This is supposed to be a replica of the legendary IBM Model M, but this one comes with Long Hua Blue switches. Perfect for me, and apparently, it's been a mainstay in the Indian Heavy-Duty keyboard scene (Used on Trading Desks, etc).

Coming from cheap Chinese-Manufactured RGB keyboards, the heavy-duty stability of this keyboard and it's super-long survivability (fingers crossed) are what got me hooked. It's perfect for me.

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maxdevjs profile image
maxdevjs Author

@anirudhrowjee , thank you for sharing your keyboard, looks pretty solid. Are those kailh switches?

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Anirudh Rowjee

They are manufactured by Kailh, but aren't branded as Kailh. And yes, it's a pretty solid keyboard πŸ˜€

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Marceli-Wac

Vortex Pok3r with blank pink marshmallow keycaps!

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maxdevjs Author

@marceliwac , I am curious now... Can you share a photo?

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maxdevjs Author

Beautiful :)

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Luca Scala

Durgod K320! Looks vintage (like my first keyb!) and it's my first mechanical one. Also has a small footprint, that gives me more space for the mouse (even if I've a large desktop).

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maxdevjs Author

That's actually true, has a peculiar appearance. Is it comfortable to use? Is the housing plastic built, right?

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Luca Scala

Yes, it’s comfortable. Plastics but well built.

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Elio Struyf

Using a Varmilo keyboard with matching colours to my desk mat.

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maxdevjs Author

Beautiful, thank you for sharing it... Is that the 110%?

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Elio Struyf

That's correct

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Waylon Walker

I've been using a vortex pok3r for 3 years now and love it. I love being able to configure some crude vimlike mappings to have everywhere that wouldn't have them. The typical h,j,k,l are great to keep your hands on the home row, but keys like home and end are harder to reach and I never end up using them unless I really need them, a and i are much more natural after using vim.

pok3r

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Matt Waler

Logitech Craft Keyboard. Although I would recommend the MX Keys for anybody looking to buy, it's half the price for 95% of the build quality and features!

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maxdevjs Author

Great hint @mattwaler about the MX, thank you. Is the creative input dial (Crown...?) actually useful?

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Omer Hamerman

HHKB. Can't recommend it enough!

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maxdevjs Author

I perceive that, with good reason, many people like it.

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klyse

I'm using a Logitech G815 here is an article I wrote about it:
dev.to/klyse/my-g815-keyboard-is-o...

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Yasin

Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard

MicrosoftSculpt