So on Monday I mentioned that I had driven myself slightly crazy researching mechanical keyboards online before I decided on one to buy. Well, today the one I chose came in and I think I'm in love.
It's deliciously clicky. Want to hear?
My husband and the neighbors will probably disown me, but I am writer, here me click! :) So, I thought I'd do a brief post on what a mechanical keyboard is in case I'm not the only nerd who gets way to excited by the sound of a keyboard.
First, why do people spend the money on a mechanical keyboard?
1. Did I mention it's clicky? (That seems to be a love or hate thing. There are models that are quieter if you're in the hate camp.)
2. It's supposed to be easier on your hands for fatigue and such because you can hear yourself hitting the key and that feedback gets to your brain quickly and makes you not have to hit so hard.
3. There's no "ghosting" so you can type more accurately and faster. - Modern keyboards can only handle one keystroke at a time, which means that if you're a fast typist, it can often skip letters even though you hit the key. Mechanical keyboards can handle more than one key at a time so it can keep up with you if you're a speed demon.
4. They're supposed to be more durable. We'll see.
5. You sound like you're getting shit done on these things. That's way important. ;)
Okay, so how to choose?
There are a lot of technical aspects you can research (cherry blue switches/keys vs. brown vs. green vs. red vs. the apple alps style). And if you're using it for gaming vs. straight up typing, there are other things to consider. You can find some technical details in this post Dear Author did on mechanical keyboards a while back--which is what started me on this journey.
The big contender and the one I saw mentioned most is the DAS keyboard. This one comes with blue switches or brown switches. Blue are very clicky, brown are softer and more tactile. You can hear the difference here.
I was originally going to go for the DAS because I love the way it sounds and it has great reviews. But it only comes in black and is BIG. (There is a smaller tenkey-less version but not with Mac specific keys). I really, really didn't want black since I have a pretty new office and a sleek Mac computer. And I didn't really want a full keyboard with 10-key because I only need the 10 key like twice a year. I'd rather have the extra space on my desk and not have the mouse/trackpad too far away.
I also needed one that was compatible with a Mac. And though most are "compatible" (meaning they'll work if you remap some of the keys) not all have the Mac specific keys like Option, Command, Fn, etc. So I ended up choosing the Matias Tactile Pro Mini for a number of reasons. It's not that much bigger than my tiny Mac keyboard. Here's a size comparison:
Plus, it's white, which matches my decor better. And it's supposed to mimic the feel and sound of the old Apple Extended Keyboard. (The DAS, on the other hand, is going to sound like the IBM Model M keyboard. See how much I learned in all my research, lol.)
Obviously, I've just gotten it, so I haven't logged many miles yet. But I think I'm going to love it. I've typed this post using it. It's not too bulky on my desk. It's very loud and clicky (which is what I wanted), and it feels nice beneath my fingers. In addition, it was beyond easy to set up. Literally, plug it into the USB port and start typing. That's it.
It does have a wire (most of them do) which will take some getting used to since I've had wireless for so long, but it's not bad. And if you work in an office with someone else, this would be a no go. Office rage would ensue.
I'll report in after a few months to let you know how it goes. But for now, you can find me clicking away. :)
So how do you feel about the sound of old school keyboards? Comforting? Grates on your nerves? Did you ever have a favorite keyboard or am I the only nerd here? ;)
*Post does contain affiliate links to Amazon but no company has asked me to feature the product and I paid for it with my own money.