• Finding a good keyboard

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    One thing I’ve noticed lately when buying a new computer is that they EXPECT you to buy your own keyboard. The one that ships with a new desktop compu
    [See the full post at: Finding a good keyboard]

    Susan Bradley Patch Lady

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    • #2533511

      yes indeed a good keyboard is hard to find today. I went shopping for a laptop in Sept 2022 and all the keyboards are awful ( that I tried, costco, best buy…). .the Cheap Dell is awful ( had to buy Win 11 for work- testing software- it works but never goes on line except to see if MS update breaks things)….

      I like my Lenovo Thinkpad E530, feel is good and stroke is excellent, Still it is not as good as a old mill (real typewriter ie IBM , old Royal or Underwood)….so I will keep my E530 running using Linux , I do have an E570 for a backup it is ok. IMHO the older laptops had decent keyboards….in todays’ throw away/planned obsolescence society nothing is designed to last or be decent. welcome to terrible temporary stuff as most folks will accept second rate.

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      • #2533766

        The keyboard on my HP business class laptop is great.  Alas, I mostly use the laptop on a desk with a wide-gamut monitor and a leftover keyboard from a consumer desktop.

        The keyboard that came with the wife’s Lenovo desktop is very nice.

    • #2533512

      IBM Model M.  I have about dozen or so of them from back in mid 90’s when I worked at IBM.  When we sent old machines to be scraped or resold we always kept the great keyboards.  I got to take a few home over the years…. I just had to ask.

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    • #2533523

      From the PC purchases that I have either made myself or helped others with in recent years, I’ve noticed that computers billed as business-oriented come with much better keyboards, while computers aimed at the “home” or “gaming” markets are of much lower quality. Especially the “gaming” ones: The PC vendors probably figure that gamers will typically want to select their own specialty keyboards anyway.

      The keyboards I’ve seen bundled with business PCs lately tend to be full-sized and sturdier, with the keys offering a satisfying amount of both tactile and audible feedback.

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    • #2533527

      You can find a great keyboard for your needs here.

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    • #2533531

      I use a laptop but from past experience the best keyboards are mechanical.
      Example : Das Keyboards

    • #2533542

      My daily driver is a desktop and I prefer a touch pad keyboard.  I also use a lot of keyboard shortcuts.  This keyboard has a touchpad and lots of single keys as handy shortcuts-to-the-keyboard shortcuts.  I have two of these.



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    • #2533551

      My current keyboards are first a wired Ducky DK2108SZ with solid blue light illuminated keys to match the case illumination. It is the key characters only lighting and not backlit between the keys. IIRC, the WASD keys “might” be mechanical.

      The other one on a Linux desktop build is a wired HyperX mechanical gaming board with red lighting of the key characters to match the case lighting. It too is a solid red, no pulses or wave effects that make me literally seasick. Both are traditional keys (NOT lozenge keys) that have a tactile feel and you can rest your fingers on them, although the Ducky is a bit better for that. Both also can have the lighting turned off and you still see the labels on the keys as a light gray. The HyperX also has USB 3.0 ports. I bought the illuminated keys due to eye issues, now resolved.

      My backup, that was purchased pre-2011, and frankly just as good, except for no lighting, is an older wired Kensington “Keyboard for Life” that cost about $12-15 back circa 2008. It has the 2 row tall enter key which I like but that feature is rarely seen anymore. It is supposed to be spill proof, but I have not and do not intend to test it. They still sell them for under $20 with the lifetime gurantee. I have not experienced any lag with any of them.

      All three of them are full keyboards with a number pad, and have various media keys which I rarely if ever use.

      I also have a wired Gigabyte illuminated keyboard that was incompatible with my ASUS motherboard on the Linux PC. I would have returned it but did not want to spend the return postage.

      I learned to type on an IBM key typewriter, and when I started work used a IBM Selectric (it had great key feel). The first computers I typed on were a Wang system and we had a standalone Wang mini with a Winchester drive that was so slow you could be typing and the monitor would always be at least 2 sentences behind.

      I think the reason I do not really enjoy my laptops are the lozenge keys, although the Lenovo will tolerate resting.

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    • #2533566

      Found this noppoo choc on geekhack.org back in the day. Had to cut some of the cord out at one time, to stop it from disconnecting and probably should replace it eventually. Works great for now.

      From reading r/LogitechG, the new ghub software is bad, but never tried it and still on lgs. Also had to replace switches in their mice because of double clicking.

    • #2533590

      I have a FUNC keyboard that is no longer available to the best of my knowledge. (It was an early version of a gamer’s keyboard.)

      I like a keyboard with keys that have some resistance (a bit of click). Yes, the original IBM PC keyboard was exactly how I wanted a keyboard to respond, having come from many years in a mechanical typewriter environment. The correct descriptive word for the keyboards shipped with new computers is… well, I don’t want to be that impolite!

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    • #2533609

      My current keyboard is my best in my years of using keyboards:
      This is for my Desktop which is in a large roll top desk with keyboard drawer.
      Seenda Model IWG-DHXKB01 (which I don’t think they sell any longer)
      Wired (no batteries to charge or replace)
      Backlit (I work in low lighting where the keyboard is.)
      Waterproof (coffee on my desk all the time – lost 2 keyboards before switching to waterproof. This also also makes it very easy to turn over and blow out any debris that falls between the keys.)
      Keys are normal size and just enough resistance to know that the key has been struck but not so sensitive that your resting fingers cause unwanted key strokes.

      HTH, Dana:))

    • #2533618

      Ortek MCK-101SX. Loved that keyboard back in 1990, where it was the one I bought to go with my first PC, which was also my first self-built PC.

      Now my desktop’s keyboard is a Corsair K68. I don’t use it much anymore, though.

      My Dell XPS has a passable keyboard. My Xenia 15 has the best one I have felt on a modern laptop.

      Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
      XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/16GB & GTX1660ti, OpenSUSE Tumbleweed

    • #2533647

      I am not a touch typist. I hate black keyboards. Even though my eyesight is excellent since cataract and eyelid surgery, I have always preferred beige or white colored keyboards.  Every time a friend I helped was e-cycling an old computer, if the keyboard was light colored, I grabbed it. I’m using a Dell Quiet Key.  I have a spare Dell QuietKey, a light colored Gateway, a yellow EZ Eyes keyboard and an IBM keyboard stored.

      Even the bluetooth laptop size keyboard I bought for my android devices is white.

      Got coffee?

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    • #2533650

      Years ago I used a Keytronic but have not been able to find them any more. I now use a “daskeyboard pro” and find it to my liking. Rather expensive but very well made, should last many years.

    • #2533675

      My go-to is still the hardwired Logitech K120: the layout, the tactile feel/feedback, the durability, and the lack of lag (vs. wireless). I even take one on the road during consulting gigs so I can type at maximum speed on my laptop. To ensure that I have have at least two on-hand (for three PCs plus travel), I usually buy one whenever Office Depot or Amazon puts them on sale.

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    • #2533683

      The Northgate OmniKey.  Now THAT was a keyboard!  To be frank, I haven’t really been happy with ANY keyboard since some blankety-blank decided to move the CTRL key away from its position to the left of the “A” key, “where God intended it” as Jerry Pournelle used to say.

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      • #2533992

        That’s my biggest gripe about modern keyboards, is the location of the mostly-useless CapsLock key.

        Years ago, I had a Northgate, and I really liked its ability to swap CapsLock and Ctrl.  To me, the problem with the older keyboards like the OmniGate and the IBM M is that they don’t support a Windows Logo key, and I’ve become pretty dependent on that.  Enough that I passed on an opportunity to pick up an old OmniGate.  Plus that the OmniGate still had the old original IBM PC connector that doesn’t fit into my current equipment.


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    • #2533692

      PAY ATTENTION to KEYS … I returned a Logitech K845 because I failed to note online THAT they put Symbols ( @  # ! ) NEXT TO Numbers on the keys, making smaller Fonts and a dizzy-making read.

      I Replaced my Corded, back-lit Ltech G610 with Same from Amazon as its layout, keys, etc.,  was perfect to my eyes. Took 6 years to read online that No Software needs installing to manipulate Back-lighting – No colors (ie) Hold top-Rt Lighting Button and Press 0 for Steady White, which is all I want. Press same Btn to Dim in stages.


      W10 Pro 22H2 / Hm-Stdnt Ofce '16 C2R / HP Envy Desk-Ethernet - SSD-HDD/ i5(8th Gen) 12GB / GP=2 + FtrU=Semi-Annual + Feature Defer = 1 + QU=0

    • #2533696

      I still use my old HP wired keyboard and buy new stickum letters as the  print deteriorates.

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    • #2533697

      We have found Nuance’s Dragon Professional v15 to be a good alternative to using a keyboard. I use it to dictate Word documents, fill-in Excel spreadsheets, compose email, search the Web, enter text directly into AskWoody replies, etc.

      Dragon Professional is impressive because it learns over time. I have been building my Dragon profile over the last 15 years.

      My Dragon profile has captured the nuances of my:

      • Computer microphone interface;
      • Vocabulary – including technical terms, proper nouns, and jargon; and
      • Patterns of speech.

      Dragon takes advantage of “Deep Learning” technology to maximize accuracy.

      In fact, only yesterday, I copied all of my AskWoody posts from the last year and pasted them into a Word document. Then I had Dragon “learn” from the document.

      Think about it. My reply to this topic was completed using Dragon Professional – with no help from a keyboard.

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      • #2533777


        Dragon takes advantage of “Deep Learning” technology to maximize accuracy.

        Does that use an internet connection to learn??

        BTW some dark stuff in Dragon’s past.


        Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
        • #2533984


          According to Nuance, Dragon Professional Individual version 15’s system requirements include, “Internet access required: Yes for Activation” and digital downloads.

          No mention of AI related activities.

          The best that I can tell, all of Dragon’s AI related activity take place within the host PC. The AI process is CPU, Memory, and Disk intensive as well as taking a significant amount of time to complete.

    • #2533686

      Adapters: Need suggestions on reliable connectors that “convert” the round 6(?) pin connectors to usb as most newer pcs do not have the round pin connectors. I have looked on Amazon, but users seem to have problems with them – some apparently causing pc crashes. I have a 20+ yr old Dell keyboard, although not as good as IBM, is better than many new ones.

      Thanks for any suggestions.

      • #2533695

        Unicomp is the company that IBM spun off for their keyboards.
        They may not be exact ‘M’ model, but pretty close.
        Prices are not too high either.

        Based in Kentucky, so American assembled, with chips etc. being created overseas like many items these days.

        I’m always surprised they are never mentioned in keyboard reviews.


        One thing I can’t stand is the chic let keyboards that Apple introduced many years back, these have the old IBM buckle-click feel.


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      • #2533774

        Need suggestions on reliable connectors that “convert” the round 6(?) pin connectors to usb

        There have been (at least) two types of round connectors in the past — the 5-pin DIN plug and the 6-pin PS/2 plug:


        (Dime shown for size reference.)

        If it’s a 20-yr old Dell, it’s almost certainly a PS/2 plug. For that, I’ve had very good results with this Monoprice PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse to USB Converter Adapter. This is my favorite adapter for using an external PS/2 keyboard with a laptop.

        Though I use a wireless mouse, note this adapter has connectors for both a keyboard and a mouse. IMHE, I’ve had less satisfactory results with adapters that are keyboard-only or mouse-only, so I prefer this adapter and just leave the mouse connector empty.


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        • #2534789

          The connector is PS/2 (6-pin). I will order the connector you suggested as it seems to have many good reviews on Amazon. This keyboard was made in Thailand before everything moved to China so it is probably 20+ years old. I do not think it was ever used.

          Thanks so much.

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    • #2533761

      Comes down to what kind of switch you like.  When Cherry was the only one out there you just had a couple colors to decide between, but now there are so many Cherry knock-offs it’s hard to know which way to go.  I like green switch, but that’s just me.

    • #2533792

      That Logitech keyboard looks great, but $225 is a lot of money to pay for a keyboard. If you want to go retro, get the original feel (and sound) of the old IBM PC/XT/AT keyboards, and save some cash, go to unicomp.com and look at their keyboards. I read a review of them several years back on one of the big computer magazine websites (PC Mag, I think), and they praised it to the heavens. I took a chance, bought one, and LOVED IT! Bought one immediately! It worked like a charm, built like a tank until something got spilled in it (grandkids…) and messed everything up beyond even MY abilities to fix. I’ll be buying another one shortly (depending on funds, I’m retired on fixed income). They run for just over $100 (the new Model M is the one I’m looking at, price is $104). No backlighting, but I have a desk lamp that takes care of that!


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    • #2533793

      A spill should be cleanable and repairable. Take it apart and give it a bath


      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
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    • #2533796

      For twenty-five years and counting I have only used Microsoft Natural Keyboards like the one shown here on my home computers. The F and J keys have tactile bars for touch typing location sensing. Entirely mechanical magnet driven wire-loop sensors for the keys–no electric contact switches what-so-ever. Hands-down the best keyboard I have ever used. Easy to clean and keep clean!
      Microsoft Natural Keyboard

      HP Compaq 6000 Pro SFF PC / Windows 10 Pro / 22H2
      Intel®Core™2 “Wolfdale” E8400 3.0 GHz / 8.00 GB
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    • #2533947

      I use an Amazon Basics keyboard which works well enough for my purposes. As the name implies, it’s basic, but it’s also functional. It was purchased three years past. (There are other Amazon Basics keyboards available.)


      Carpe Diem {with backup and coffee}
      offline▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i3-3220 RAM8GB HDD Firefox83.0b3 WindowsDefender
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    • #2533973

      IBM Model M keyboard is the best ever made.  I have 3 I got off eBay.  If you want a slightly modernized version, a company called Unicomp makes them new, they bought the tooling from Lexmark who bought it from IBM, and they are a pretty true reproduction of the original.

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    • #2533995

      In Steve Gibson’s forums, there have been some recent discussions on keyboards, and I find it interesting that there are a few that still prefer function keys on the left side of the keyboard.  I had forgotten about those.  Gibson also prefers ESC next to the numeric 1 (and above the TAB).

      I know that it’s possible to reprogram things to do preferred layouts, but that’s not something I really want to do, because I share my keyboard through a KVM switch, and where I have 2 Windows machines, as well as a Mac and  a Linux desktop, and I want the same layout regardless of which computer that I’m using.

      From further up in the discussion, I agree that keyboards designed for home use are the worst, as they’re the cheapest you can get.  I disagree on gamer keyboards.  It’s true that some are junk, but there are some very good gamer keyboards out there, as well.

      In the course of this discussion, I have not yet seen mention of Cherry switches.  There are a variety out there, to allow for different need and preference.  One with the right switches can really make a difference. See https://www.cherrymx.de/en/cherry-mx.html  and https://switchandclick.com/cherry-mx-guide/  Another good source of info (and links to specific keyboards) is https://mechanicalkeyboards.com/

      Personally, I’m using a Logitech G keyboard with Cherry MX Brown.  It’s perhaps not as clicky as I would like, but I’ve found that the depth of travel enough to make it comfortable enough.

      Ultimately, if you’re particular about the keyboard that you want, then you probably need to be prepared to pay money for that, and I’m going to suggest that $75 is is a baseline entry price for a new keyboard, and where ones with specialized switches (Cherry or otherwise) that aren’t mass-produced (or available off the shelf consumer electronics stores) may run well above $100, especially depending on layouts.

    • #2534125

      I am still using the keyboard that came with my 10-year old Dell desktop.

      For the most part, the shape of the keys and the layout are mostly like the Keychron Q6 you referenced but it has none of the special features that were touted in the ad at the link you gave.

      For me, the touch and key-spacing are much to be preferred compared to the “chicklet” keyboard that came with my new (Acer) desktop.

      Just saying,

      Scott Mills


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    • #2535489

      This thread totally rings a bell here, since I came to essentialy the same conclusions back in late 2021, when I was looking to replace an aging (anche cheap) membrane keyboard with something better. There is a wide range of mechanical gaming keyboards that are actually perfectly suited for non-gaming activities and the most difficult thing for me was to actually find one without RGB lights (which I don’t like) and looks that be acceptable in an office.

      In the end I picked a Logitech G413 in the black variant with red back lighting. Its looks are, shall we say, “mundane” compared to your average gaming keyboard, but that means it will not look odd or out of place in an office environment. Frankly, I would have preferred no back lighting at all, but I have been using this keyboard for more than a year now and admittedly its red backlighting is unobtrusive once you get used to it. Besides, it is possible to reduce or switch off the light entirely and that without installing any additional piece of software (albeit without software the keyboard does not save this setting once the computer is turned off).

      Honestly I thought all the talk about mechanical keyboards allowing for faster typing was purely for the sake of advertisement, but I was surprised to realize I’m actually typing faster with this keyboard. It did not occur me immediately, at least not until I was back working from the office a few days every week, where we are issued with regular membrane keyboards. A quick typing test with the office keyboard and the G413 at home showed the mechanical keyboard really allow me to type faster.

      As far as my specific Logitech keyboard is concerned (G413), the only – not necessarily minor – drawback is that after around 1 year of use some keycaps are “peeling” and the keycap for the “A” key in particular now looks mostly transparent. Logitech keyboards use their own type of switches (so-called “Romer-G” switches), so finding good replacement keycaps is not the simplest of things: there seems to be few providers of keycaps compatible with the Romer-G switches, as opposed to e.g. the more widely used Cherry switches mounted on mechanical keyboards from many other manufacturers, and those making quality keycaps rather than cheap stuff that will peel off faster than the originals seem to be even fewer.

      Still, I don’t think that I will go back to a membrane keyboard if I need to replace my G413. On the other hand, I will likely pay more attention to the material the keycaps are made of for my next keyboard and pick something more durable.

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