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Thread: Mechanical Keyboard Thread - UK options

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    Mechanical Keyboard Thread - UK options

    This is partly for myself rather than for anyone else, but I thought it might be of some help. Ive been browsing around a little bit today and so far it seems we have:

    Steelseries 6G V2 - MX Black - £65
    Cherry G80-3000 - MX Blue or Black - £65
    Razer Blackwidow - MX Blue (Stealth uses MX Brown, but I cant find any in stock atm) - £70
    QPAD MX-50 - MX Red, Blue, Black or Brown - ~£75
    Ozone Strike - MX Black - £90
    QPAD MX-80 - MX Blue, Red, Black or Brown + Backlit - ~£95
    Corsair Vengeance K60 - MX Red - ~£95
    Zowie Celeritas - MX Brown - ~£100
    WASD V1 - MX Blue, Black or Red (Brown is currently not available, ETA Apr 2012) - ~£110 after import duties
    Das Keyboard - MX Blue or Brown - ~£120
    Filco Majestouch 1 or 2 - MX Blue, Brown or Black - ~£125
    Mionix Zibal 60 - MX Black, backlit - ~£130

    Not available yet: CM Storm Quickfire rapid - MX Blue, Black or Brown, tenkeyless - ~£80... bit of a guess

    Matias Tactile Pro - Alps, for macs - ~£120
    Topre Realforce - topre - £190

    I think thats most of the mx switch keyboards with UK layouts covered, with a couple of extra odd ones as well. If you know anyone, please let me know and I can add them to the list.

    For those that are unsure, here is a very brief outline of the main mx switches:

    Black - Heavy linear action
    Blue - Noisy clicky action, similar to the old IBM keyboards
    Brown - Similar clicky *feel* of the blues but less noisy
    Red - Linear action like the black, but needs less pressure so the keys should feel a bit lighter.

    Being part scottish, they are of course sorted by price rather than anything else My wish was to get one of the cheaper keyboards like the steelseries or cherry with brown switches, but I think I might have to go for the mx black, then if im not a fan it might be possible to change the switches at a later date. Definitely seems possible with the cherry, not so sure about the steelseries. The steelseries is a little more compact, but I have lots of desk room and I actually quite like the cheap cherry keyboard im typing on at the moment. Chances are I should like the mx black anyway, I have quite large curbersome hands and tend to smash the keys down so the "weighty" feel shouldnt be a problem.

    So anyway, what are your thoughts on the above keyboards? Which are good, and which have problems?
    Last edited by Ross1; 29-01-2012 at 12:38 PM.

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    Re: Mechanical Keyboard Thread - UK options

    I've been looking at this one lately, but what I'm really wondering is:

    What are the main advantages of a mechanical keyboard over a "normal" one?
    Last edited by Hoonigan; 16-01-2012 at 04:49 PM.

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    Re: Mechanical Keyboard Thread - UK options

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoonigan View Post
    I've been looking at this one lately, but what I'm really wondering is:

    What are the main advantages of a mechanical keyboard over a "normal" one?
    E-peen.
    Kalniel: "Nice review Tarinder - would it be possible to get a picture of the case when the components are installed (with the side off obviously)?"
    CAT-THE-FIFTH: "The Antec 300 is a case which has an understated and clean appearance which many people like. Not everyone is into e-peen looking computers which look like a cross between the imagination of a hyperactive 10 year old and a Frog."
    TKPeters: "Off to AVForum better Deal - £20+Vat for Free Shipping @ Scan"
    for all intents it seems to be the same card minus some gays name on it and a shielded cover ? with OEM added to it - GoNz0.

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    Re: Mechanical Keyboard Thread - UK options

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoonigan View Post
    I've been looking at this one lately, but what I'm really wondering is:

    What are the main advantages of a mechanical keyboard over a "normal" one?
    Its down to personal preference, I could never go back to membrane key's after I got my Steelserise 9G.

    Yes it could be down to some people's ego to want the best that a £6 keyboard could do but for me its down to the feel of the buttons, the membrane type feel like a cars clutch (& some keyboards are worse than other for this) ! What I mean by this is try pushing down on a tennis ball, you have to press hard until it reaches the point it caves in & then it will fall to the base with little force & then forces its way back after you lift your fingers !

    A Mechanical key will only have the pressure of the spring & will need less pressing, it will also engage at around half way down on the press rather than when the membrane that hits the base making contact.

    There are more & more mechanical keyboard coming to the market & most have large prices but there are some cheap ones that offer the same as a overprice BRANDED one.

    The corsairs are not all machanical & have a membrane on the ESC, F keys & media keys, all the others are MX Reds. Its worth cheeking the review's & look at what you like the look of as they all do the same thing !

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    Re: Mechanical Keyboard Thread - UK options

    Its really not just about e-peen. I always thought 'why spend £100 on a keyboard?' then i went into scan and had a play around with a few of the higher end mechanical based ones and i was sold. As Andi explained its about the action, it sounds like a tiny insignificant change when you try and picture it in your head or explain it in words but once you actually try and put it into practice with a document or e-mail, it really does make a difference.
    I really like to have backlit keys so i went for the QPAD you listed above with the noisy clicky keys... and i love it. Admittedly its not the best for games as it doesn't respond all that well to rapidly pressing the same key without letting it come all the way back up AND it does tend to annoy people on the other end of teamspeak or skype, but the general sensation and feel of using it over my old Saitek eclipse is a good few times better.
    QPAD are releasing keyboards which are the same as mine but with the lighter switches, im a little disappointed i didn't wait but not too much
    I honestly think you need to go to a shop and try one out yourself, make the decision as to whether you will notice the improved quality or not.

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    Re: Mechanical Keyboard Thread - UK options

    Considered the Mionix Zibal? Meant to be "rage proof" :O

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    Re: Mechanical Keyboard Thread - UK options

    Quote Originally Posted by EvanJackPenn View Post
    Considered the Mionix Zibal? Meant to be "rage proof" :O
    added it to the list, although its probably not for me, not very interested in backlit keys and its looks like a disturbingly high price.

    Dont think I need a rage proof keyboard either, been a while since I got seriously annoyed while gaming, although I did once manage to shatter a glass and breakfast bowl with a controller in the same throw after a last minute equaliser on PES ;p

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    Re: Mechanical Keyboard Thread - UK options

    for gaming id avoid mx blue based keyboards as the blues are harder to 'double tap' which in games can be important! Mxbrowns are a solid compromise as they are lovely to type on but are great as a gaming key, personally i cant see the use in the black switch as i like the tactile feedback from my keys so the bump is awesome .

    Its not e-peen... its:

    1. Easier / faster to type with, + tactile feedback
    2. Less fatiguing as less effort used and less distance traveled
    3. Reliable, these will last yonks and will rarely degrade and as every switch is seperate it can be replaced on its own if ever but the general usage is 50,000 hours compared to like 10k hours from membrane keyboards which do degrade requiring more pressure to activate over time
    4. Doesnt move, most mech keyboards are quite heavy and so they dont struggle to stay on your desk while typing .
    5. Cost, yeah it costs like £100 average but think of a "decent" membrane keyboard costs ~£40 - £60 and as the above points mention its more reliable and better in every way for a 2x cost its good .

    Thats about it!. Oh and you can customise the keys easily as you can remove the caps and buy different colours textures etc !.
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    Re: Mechanical Keyboard Thread - UK options

    Been a while since I posted here (was actually your feedback you linked me Hicks that reminded me I have an account )
    As Hicks said, mechanical keyboards are more than just for epeen.
    I doubt I'll ever buy a non mechanical again, and probably won't buy a fullsize keyboard again either actually

    When it comes to which switches, so far my favourite are blues for general use (including gaming, double tapping isn't that difficult )
    I'd look around for people selling them 2nd hand if I were you, I've picked up all of mine (on my 4th now ) from forums.
    Currently typing on a Poker with reds, not quite used to the lightness of the touch needed to type.


    And Hicks is right about customising, I do warn you though, it's addictive

    Edit
    Just realised I didn't really answer the OP
    I'd say don't 'cheap out' when you buy one (obviously it's all relative, since all of them are probably more than you would spend on a non mech)
    The Filco is a lovely keyboard (got a TKL version with blues at the moment), the feel and weight of them really makes you appreciate the quality.
    If money is an issue (being part scottish aswell I understand where you are coming from! I've sold so many things to fund my keyboard addiction ) then from that list, I'd recommend the WASD keyboard, very nice boards, good price, as far as I'm aware, made by Costar, which is the same OEM as filco possibly, can't quite remember.

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    Re: Mechanical Keyboard Thread - UK options

    Thanks for all the hard work on the list. I was briefly considering one of these last year and pretty much settled on the MX blue switches. The cherry one looks good but then the blackwidow has 1000hz polling and costs about the same - and is made for gaming and stuff. Unfortunately it only has 2 key roll over so you can't press (for example) Z X C at the same time. But you do get better support for anything with WSADEF in it and 2 keys max is worse case.

    I think I will get one. Gonna order it now Will let you know what it's like (£67 on Play ATM)
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    Re: Mechanical Keyboard Thread - UK options

    the quality of the razer gear is pretty dire and the BW is one of them, its certainly not up there with the majority of that list however for the price you cant really complain and its a cheaper way to jump into different keys, believe they also do a mxbrown switch board too.

    Also, filcos come with a ps/2 adaptor (ps2 FTW, no wasting cpu usage and full NKrollover!)
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    Re: Mechanical Keyboard Thread - UK options

    Yeah i came to the same conclusion with Razer keyboards. The lack of build quality somehow manages to offset the improvements gained by using mechanical switches. I would avoid even at £67, if you can afford that then you can afford to wait a month till your next paycheque and spend £20 more.

    QPAD do massive numbers of rollover on the PS2 and i think they are releasing a USB only version which does it too (along with MX red).

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    Re: Mechanical Keyboard Thread - UK options

    Well I haven't jumped quite yet (it was close). I can afford an extra £20+ what would your suggestions be fine folks? I am fairly set on MX blue but brown should be fine too. Media keys (at least volume control) would be needed, macros not so much.
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    Re: Mechanical Keyboard Thread - UK options

    I have looked a the Filco tenkeyless version as well, I was also put off by the price. At the moment I have a cheap nasty roccat keyboard. The only reason I keep it is because I love the thumbster keys and the ability to toggle between arrow keys and delete key ... etc and the numpad (I hate a full keyboard I will always use tenkeyless keyboards now)

    Awesome concept with the roccat arvo one I have just shame they didn't make it particularly well.

    To answer the post though, if I was going to go for one I would go for the Filco tenkeyless because it looks AWESOME and it''s tenkeyless!

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    Re: Mechanical Keyboard Thread - UK options

    Yeah, I might avoid the Razer stealth even if it comes back in stock then (I got an email today saying they did, only to go to the store page and see they only had us keyboards ).

    The cherry is probably my best bet as it sounds fairly simple (although still a bit laborious) to change the switches if I dont like the blacks. Although I have just added another keyboard to the list (the zowie celeritas) which uses mx brown switches.

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    Re: Mechanical Keyboard Thread - UK options

    I'd see if you could pick one up 2nd hand, my first mechanical was a Ducky TKL with blues, got it for £65, very pleased with it (despite some peoples opinions on them compared to filcos etc) and while yes the filco certainly is heavier, looks slightly better and feels like a better bit of kit, while in use, I don't think I would be able to tell them apart.

    Since they Ducky I got a noppoo choc mini with browns to try out the switches (and the smaller form factor) liked it, but wasn't for me, so sold it on for what I paid (as I did with the Ducky), and now own a Filco TKL with blues, which is lovely, although I'm looking to sell, since I need the monies, and Poker with ghetto reds, which I'm typing on now, and am slowly getting used to the reds, although my typing still could do with some improvement

    Now looking at getting either the Race or the Pure by Vortex, or possibly another Poker if I can nab myself one of the aluminium cases for it, since the only downside to the Poker for me is the low weight, which can make it feel a little cheap.

    In the end what I'm trying to say is don't worry if the first keyboard you try isn't 100% your thing, just sell it on and buy another, mechanicals hold their value pretty well

    And btw, to put my post into context, I bought my Ducky keyboard in December, told you it's an addiction

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