Lab-Tested: 8 Ambitious High-End Keyboards

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CalDrumr

I have a Razer Lycosa, and it has served me well so far.  I have never had any issues with it, and it has worked perferctly since I got it. It is a solid middle road between a gaming keyboard (software customization, LED backlighting, touch-sensitive controls) and a simple keyboard (no extra macro buttons or screens).  The only thing I really dislike about it is that it has a bit of a cheap, plasticky feel.  I wish it were a bit more solid.  However, it hasn't broken or caused me any issues thus far.

I like mechanical switches, but I really, really hate loud key noises, and I have yet to see a mechanical keyboard that doesn't sound just like the old IBM keyboard of old: loud.  The Razer Black Widow is very appealing, but I just can't do with the loud noise.  If I could get a solid keyboard with quieter mechanical switching, gaming features, and just a little bit of bling, I'd be quite the happy camper.  This keyboard is only 60-70 bucks, but I don't mind paying 100+ for solid gaming hardware that will last me years.

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samuelw

Filco is a well established name.  The supplies and distribution of high-end keyboard is not so readily available in America as it is in Asia or western Europe which is unfortunate as many of us have disposable income to indulge in tactile feedback sensation.  

http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=START+HERE+--+The+Geekhack+Mechanical+Keyboard+Guide+-+Includes+Glossary+and+Links

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Anthony010

i got my G19 brand new on ebay about 3 months ago for $110

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Ghok

All I want:

1) A screen. A tiny extra screen is so useful. I'd never buy a keyboard without one.

2) Media Keys. Same deal.

3) Mechanical keys.

4) USB ports are always nice.

5) The more macro keys the better. I love the extra 18 on my old G15.

 

Shouldn't be too hard...

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routine

I like the SteelSeries but a couple of things turn me off:

1. Why is the ENTER key so big?

2. Why are the keys not standard? Small left SHIFT. What are those other keys between L and ENTER, etc?

3. I would have rather they replaced the Windows key on the right not the one on the left. I use the one on the left, a lot.

If not for those few things, I would have bought it... now thinking about the Das Keyboard instead.

 

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Eoraptor

Dunno about 1 and 3, but 2; those are the semicolon and the apostrophe just like any US English standard layout. (Yeah, I thought the Enter key was a bit huge as well)

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Ampere

I'm pretty sure the Das uses the MX Cherry Blue switches, which is why it would have a different feel than the the Steelseries 7G.  Unless, of course, you were using the silent version, which I belive has the MX Browns.

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EvilGenius

you can actually get the Das Keyboards with Cherry blues or the browns

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SShadow

Why did they not include the Logitech G510? It is pretty much a better version of the G19, with all the -'s corrected...

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HeartBurnKid

So, were the positives and negatives for Das Keyboard left blank on purpose?

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Tenhawk

You know, I don't think the DasKeyboard HAS any real positives or negatives... I own one, and I can tell you, it's exactly what it claims to be. Not one thing more, not one thing less.

At it's core, it's a very basic, but very well executed, plank. That's it. You can wax philosophic over the quality of the typing experience, but for most people? Meh. Not going to notice.

The things that make it stand out other than the mechanical switches are all very straightforward and subjective. It looks awesome, it feels great, and it WILL draw comments from anyone who sees it. But are any of these really positives or negatives? not really, because of how subjective they are. Some people will love the feel, others will hate the sound... some will love the look, others will hate the fact that they can't hunt and peck on the keys.

The DasKeyboard is very upfront about all of these things, however, and it's pretty clear that it's not a keyboard for everyone... But one look is more than likely all it will take for you to know if it's for you. There are no hidden factors to worry about, it is what it is.

Positives and Negatives are for when you want to point out something people might have missed about a product, or warn them about something they may not see coming.

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Eoraptor

that's a great review!

I worked with a couple of guys in a call center who had the v1 of Das Keyboard in place of the standard issue dell crapware at our stations. (the v1 had dome switches instead of mechanical) and even that was a great build quality. if I was a touch typist instead of a three-fingered wonder, I would definitely have made the move.

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D00dlavy

What about the Aivia (Gigabyte) K8100?

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Eoraptor

It definitely says something that the G-19 is still not only on the list, but a genuine competitor (which might be why it is still in production) At least it bests the old Linksys wrt600N in that respect, which was still a list topper years after it went out of production. (then again, how many people still swear by their old IBM model M's?) And personally, I like the key travel on my Logitech keboards.

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jgrimoldy

No mention of the Optimus Maximus?

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tharamanthar

No - By all accounts it is terrible to type on and a keyboard that fails at typing is a EPIC FAIL of a keyboard, get your bread and butter sorted - THEN start thinking of adding fancy gimmicks

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