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View Full Version : What do you think of expensive keyboards?



Paul_Boland
03-24-2019, 04:15 PM
Hi Folks.

A bit of a general question to throw in the air here... What do you think of expensive keyboards such as the Razer range, Corsair range, etc. The Razer Ornata Chroma keyboard costs a weeks pay for me, yet it has won my eye. My current old keyboard is eight years old and starting to falter. It doesn't light up, it does go click-clack when you type on it, it doesn't have an bells or whistles, it's just a basic keyboard which has served me well for nearly a decade. My local Harvey Norman store has put the Ornata Chroma out on display. I like how it lights up, I like the reactive lights to key presses, but more importantly when it comes to a keyboard, I like how it feels to type on. It offers a good tactile experience. But a hundred euro is a hell of a lot to pay for something that a basic ten euro keyboard will deliver the main elements to me, that being a keyboard to type on and use for gaming and other such needs.

I did recently pick up a cheap RGB keyboard, the ADX Firefighter Gamer Keyboard K100 or something like that. I lasted a few days with it before realising it had faulty keys and had to return it for a refund. So I think when I get a new keyboard, it has to be a trusted brand name so I know the quality is there. But what that will be I don't know yet...

I spent the last week trying to justify the investment in the Ornata Chroma, but I just can't. It's a hell of a lot of money for something I can pick up for a tenth of the cost. Only problem is, looking at standard keyboards in Harvey Norman, PC World, Amazon, Tescos, etc., not one is catching my eye. Eventually I'll have to get a new keyboard and it most likely will be a bog standard model, but I'm just curious to see what others think of the expensive keyboard range? Particularly, if you have one, now that you've used it for weeks/months/years, do you still stand by the high investment or wished you saved the cash and got something cheaper but just as functional?

RebelHill
03-24-2019, 06:54 PM
Microsoft natural for me...

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Microsoft-Natural-Ergonomic-Keyboard-Layout/dp/B000B9RYG8

super comfy, no frills, 12 yrs old and as perfectly functional as the day it was new (despite being filthy by now).

Paul_Boland
03-24-2019, 08:39 PM
I'm a speed typist, my fingers do River Dance across the keyboard when I'm typing, but if I used one of these keyboards it would be a disaster! Bahaha!! It's great to see both our keyboards lasting so long, your twelve years, mine eight. Right now my spacebar, right shift key and enter key are a bit temperamental, they don't always register a hit. I've cleaned it as best I can but think its days are numbered. And yep, my keyboard is filthy too :)!! Thanks for the feedback.

Ma3rk
03-24-2019, 08:45 PM
Ya have to go with the feel no matter what really. Just picked up a Kensington wireless. They're inexpensive but I like the feel. Plus being washable; they're a lot more forgiving (wish motherboards were).

Liked the feel of the ~ $60 Logitech wireless, but they're just not idiot-with-fluids proof.

If yours does give up the ghost though RH, let me know. Found one I'd used for years & saved. Still works (built like a tank) but I never could quite get used to the "pigeon handness" of it I guess. Probably similarly weathered though.

CaptainMarlowe
03-24-2019, 11:31 PM
Mine is a lit logitech K740. I like it, although I had to remap manually a few keys to work completely with my mac.
https://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/illuminated-keyboard-k740?crid=27

Marander
03-25-2019, 12:40 AM
If you're a fast typist you don't need key illumination because you know where all the keys are without looking at the keyboard. I don't see the benefit of RGB lighting keyboards. These are for gamer PC's, and then at least the RGB lighting of all components should match. For 3D work it would disturb me.

My keyboards are all from Roccat. Mice from Roccat and Logitech, mouse pads from Roccat and Steelworks. The Roccat keyboards do offer individual key lighting and I configured it to automatically illuminate the most used shortcuts in some applications, but to be honest I never look at it and disabled it by default. Additionally I have Mac keyboards attached to all machines with extension cables because they're so light and small.

What is more important is the selection of the right Cherry switches in my opinion. I use Red, Brown and Blue. The Red's are for gaming without tactile or audible feedback, the Brown's with tactile feedback and the Blue's with tactile and sound. I like the Blue switches best but only use them alone in my office. If you work around others and you're a fast typist, they will not like it ;-). In that case I would choose the Brown switches.

I cannot stand filthy keyboards, my keyboards are usually covered with the original cover when not used and I clean them from time to time. Oh, the MS Natural KB, my personal nightmare! It's beyond me what's ergonomic about it, I find it the most ugly keyboard ever made!

gar26lw
03-25-2019, 01:55 AM
apple

Paul_Boland
03-25-2019, 07:49 AM
Just had a look at the Roccat keyboards on Amazon. Very expensive but beautiful! The Roccat Vulcan keyboard is awesome!

In regards to a new keyboard, RGB lighting isn't high on my must-have list for it, it's mainly the tactile feel of typing on it and that's why when Harvey Norman put the Razer Ornata Chroma keyboard on display and I got to type on it, the feel really won me over!

Thanks for all the feedback, interesting stuff indeed.

Marander
03-25-2019, 12:38 PM
Just had a look at the Roccat keyboards on Amazon. Very expensive but beautiful! The Roccat Vulcan keyboard is awesome!

In regards to a new keyboard, RGB lighting isn't high on my must-have list for it, it's mainly the tactile feel of typing on it and that's why when Harvey Norman put the Razer Ornata Chroma keyboard on display and I got to type on it, the feel really won me over!

Thanks for all the feedback, interesting stuff indeed.

Hello again Paul

Welcome, I hope you find a good and affordable keyboard. Just watch out for mechanical keyboards with Cherry switches, if you like the tactile feedback than the Cherry Brown's or Blue's are for you (I think the Black too but they're a bit heavier to press, never tried it myself). Red's feel too soft for me but all Cherry's are great for fast typing. I think the manufacturer doesn't matter that much (except maybe when it's about driver software or other features like USB Hub or Audio Jacks). There are also keyboards from HyperX, ASUS, Corsair or MSI that are maybe cheaper than the Razor (which looks nice indeed).

Maybe worth checking which switches suit you best and test it on a keyboard in a store if you can:

https://www.cherrymx.de/en/mx-original/mx-blue.html

My Roccats are Roccat Ryos MK Pro Mechanical (with Cherry switches), they are not RGB but blue individual key lighting. I actually prefer that because I find the RGB ones light around the key instead of the key itself. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Roccat-Mechanical-Layout-Keyboard-Illumination/dp/B00FEDP99U <-- if you enlarge the picture maybe you see what I mean, it's a more subtle lighting than those RGB rainbows :-)

Don't look at that price in Amazon, way too expensive. Where I live, online offers start at about $60 for the Ryos MK Pro.

Since they are not the newest, you should be able to get them (or a similar non-RGB mechanical keyboard) with a significant discount. They are very heavy and well built. The drivers allow you to basically reconfigure the whole keyboard, detect applications for individual settings and I like that I can connect a headphones and mice to it. Thanks to two separate 32bit ARM processors built-in it's processing key strokes very fast and can store lots of macros. The only downside I find is the rather thick USB cable and CAPS Lock that works a bit differently by default than usual.

Note, looking at some Amazon reviews, not all users seem to be satisfied (but most are), dying LED's can be an issue with all individual lit keyboards. I use several of them and they work perfect for me, no issues so far. And as I mentioned in the previous post, I hardly even use the lighting anymore, important to me is the typing experience!

Take care and all the best,

Michael

Kryslin
03-26-2019, 08:51 AM
Using a Corsair K95 Platinum, Cherry MX Brown, keyboard. I like the RGB backlit keyboards a lot. Plus side, it has a USB port for the mouse. Downsided are expensive, and require 2 USB ports to use. Still, great feel to it, doesn't sound like a herd of elephants while your typing (which it would if you were using the OEM IBM PS/2 keyboard), and you can customize your lighting on the keyboard. Caps Lock isn't a stepped key, so you'll havee to disable it via software so half your typing doesn't wind up in caps...

I would prefer to be using a Cyborg RAT 7 mouse, but they're no longer made, but my Logitech G903 mouse is a decent one.

erikals
03-26-2019, 11:55 AM
Logitech MK520
cheap, low noise, last about 7 years, best buttons (imo)


apple
worst i ever used, had to use a hammer(!)
hopefully they got better.

JohnMarchant
03-27-2019, 04:32 AM
Roccat Vulcan 120, very nice keyboard.

VirtualFM
03-27-2019, 09:39 PM
I got a Corsair K70 RGB and couldn't be happier... except that I rarely use it as my initial intention. I mean, it's great for typing (I guess this is a personal thing, but even if I am not a "pro typer" like American guys - who get properly taught how to type in school and can copy full texts without looking at the keyboard or the screen and still don't miss a key or a word - I use computers for so long that I type faster than the average person, and the thing is: in some keyboards, like almost all laptops, I keep missing keys, because the spacement between keys is not ideal FOR ME. And in this keyboard, the keys are spread at the PERFECT distance from each other. I tried other keyboards before, like the Razer, and I kept pressing several keys at once or "stumbling" in between.

Also, I like mechanical keyboards, so I would avoid any of those cheap rubber keyboard RGB ones, they feel natural. But I work at night and don't want to wake up the people sleeping next room, so it can't be the type of mechanical keys that make "clickety-clack" all teh time. Don't remember the type of keys, but I think they are "cherry brown", with an average level of "sturdiness" and less clicking noise.

As for the backlighting... well, backlighting is essential for me, but the RGB part is not essential. But this thing is full of effects, but it's just useful for showing of to some friends and it lasts about 2 minutes before everybody makes fun of you, with the pretty wave effects, heart pulses, rainbow colors etc That is, until you show that every program is recognized and you can have a different set of colors to change "on-the-fly" depending on the program you are using at the moment.

So if you are in the mood for some sweet creativity you can have some smooth blue color, that waves and ripples with each keystroke and is used when you start Word (for example)... and a pulsing RED rage color for typing comments on Facebook (just kidding!).

Joking aside, like I said before, I am not using this to the full power as I initially intended when I bought it. Initially I wanted to map different colors to Lightwave keys, make them change when switching to Modeler (and other 3D programs). But I never managed to sort them out in consistent groups of colors, as they are so many (Modeler uses the whole set of keys and then some), so I never completed that project. Just two programs that I found were worth to invest the time: Photoshop and AfterFX.

Instead of getting some crap like this:
http://logickeyboard.com/shop/adobe-photoshop-cc---macbook-keyboard-cover-3387p.html
(and there are a lot more examples of already color-coded keyboards for it), I just mapped the shortcuts for Photoshop. Not all, just the ones I use more.

PS: Of course that for games it's awesome. The kids love it, as I have most of the game shortcuts mapped. And it's a proof of resistance, as it's been used for gaming by 2 kids for almost 4 years and it's still as new.

Paul_Boland
03-28-2019, 11:04 AM
Thanks very much for all the feedback and some truly awesome links! Still hunting for a new keyboard and it looks like it will be a standard one due to price, but hey, as long as it allows me to type, that's all I really need. Just need to find one I like.

Rayek
04-02-2019, 10:40 AM
I hear really good things about DAS keyboards - in particular because the keys are mechanical, and the keyboards seem highly respected by typists. Always wanted to get on myself, but I am used to a curved keyboard which fixed the issues with my wrists years ago.

https://www.daskeyboard.com/

My current keyboard is slowly eroding away, and if I can scrape the money together, I'll be going for this one next:
https://ergodox-ez.com/

Paul_Boland
04-03-2019, 12:37 PM
Wow, that Ergodox keyboard is very unique, best of luck with it. Thanks for the info on the DAS Keyboard, looks good.

VirtualFM
04-03-2019, 04:01 PM
That DAS Keyboard sure looks good.

Even if I am not exactly disappointed with my Corsair K70, I'm very disappointed at the lack of support/add-ons in terms of software. The keyboard is very good, physically, and has amazing potential. But on official Corsair support not even the simple things work:
- there was a profile database before (where users shared their configurations). It went down and nothing replaced it (except a couple user-maintained databases that only have "funny" profiles)
- the configuration software was way complicated and unintuitive to use. They changed it, it's still complex but better. But in the meanwhile they ditched the profiles saving format, and now old profiles don't work anymore. Probably the reason the database went down, but still, it was about 2 years ago or more and still no news.

So, that DAS keyboard looks like the way to go in terms of software and support from the company. Nothing like a company run by geeks and power-users!

tburbage
04-28-2019, 10:17 AM
I have used the Logitech backlit keyboard already mentioned at home for some years now. I do prefer a backlit keyboard for working in a dimly lit room: it helps me feel more "grounded". I don't look at the KB for ordinary typing, but appreciate the non-typing keys being more visible. However, I know I consciously avoided RGB backlighting and at the time I bought this one, and it was quite hard to find a non-"gamer" lit keyboard.

I've used one of those MS ergonomic keyboards Craig mentioned for many years at work and liked it just fine as well. If it had come with simple backlighting, I would have bought one of those when my old one died.

If there's any retail outlets left in your area where you can actually lay hands on the keyboards, that's always best because it can be surprising how different their keypress action can be. I like a relatively soft touch and quiet, but that's a very personal choice. If it doesn't "feel right", you're never going to really like the thing.

Paul_Boland
04-28-2019, 07:09 PM
If there's any retail outlets left in your area where you can actually lay hands on the keyboards, that's always best because it can be surprising how different their keypress action can be. I like a relatively soft touch and quiet, but that's a very personal choice. If it doesn't "feel right", you're never going to really like the thing.

Thanks for the continued input on this topic. I totally agree with what you said here. I have a Harvey Normans and PC World nearby who have some keyboards out that you can touch and get a feel for. That's how I fell in love with the Razer Ornata Chroma, the keys have such a superb tactile feel to them. But at €110, no matter how much I love it, I just can't afford, or justify, buying it. If they could rip out the RGB lighting effects and just leave that great tactile feel and take fifty euro off the price, that would be awesome ;)!!