Yep, it's that stupid question again... I have been here for a couple of days hunting for a mechanical keyboard. Its quite difficult deciding what keyboard is suitable. The term "Suitable" is so subjective because as quite rightly discussed a user has many preferences and some users weigh the importance of particular preferences differently and therefore the ultimate keyboard is likely to be a combination of keyboards. I think I have managed to whittle it down to two main contender however some discussions on the forums have given me some doubt. To put my decisions in perspective I'm going to say a little about myself.
I live in the UK, have been a programmer for a long time and I've been in the realm of Linux for approximately 15 years (avid user of gentoo). My main development environment is vim and I code in a variety of languages. My desktop at present is a tiling window manager (these desktops typically require heavy use of keyboard for navigation). I used to play games but rarely do so now (looking forward to Diablo III so that may change :-)). Apart from browsing or using the virtual machine (very rarely) I rarely use the mouse. I like qwerty it suites me better the dvorak and I average a fairly average 80-90 wpm.
For the past 8 years I've been using the Microsoft USB Natural Ergonomic Keyboard (the one with blue multimedia switches). I bought this second hand from a computer market for £10 which is roughly $16 I guess.
OK. so onto options ....
I don't need to save space but I don't actually use the numpad so the tenkeyless option makes sense to me (though I may be wrong). I'm not particularly fussed about the locale of the keyboard, i.e. my laptop is US, my ergo keyboard is UK. I am very fussed when it comes to keyboard layout, i.e. HHKB would be out of the question for me. I mean I used to own the MS elite (ergo with no multimedia keys) but the arrow keys drove me crazy! I don't mind hearing the keyboard but I don't want it to be loud (rules out cherry blues) and some feedback would be nice to acknowledge key register (rules out black).
Being in the UK I'm not exactly spoilt for choice. I've found keyboardco
and they stock both Filco and RealForce (both very popular on the forum). And I think the actuation sweet spot for me may be 45g though I could be wrong.
From what I've read it seems that cherry brown would be ideal for me and the Filco Majestouch-2 tactile (Tenkeyless) might just be the keyboard for me. hxxp://www.keyboardco.com/keyboard_details.asp?PRODUCT=804
However this "Ping" business is holding me back though can anyone confirm the ping on the Majestouch-2 (brown cherry)? I think it was demoed here for filco Majestouch brown (Tactile?)? if that's the ping then there is no way I can tolerate that! hxxp://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Island:12131
which would leave me with the RealForce Topre 88 tenkeyless
But the discussions:hxxp://geekhack.org/showthread.php?9709-Realforce-87U-I-don-t-get-it&highlight=realforce+review
Leaves little to be desired.
Apologies for the long essay I just didn't quite realise how important a keyboard was until I stumbled on this forum.
Have I got my bearings? Will I regret going tenkeyless? and cherry red? Is the price of a realforce justifiable (I suspect not - but ping . ping . pingping
) ahhhh going crazy just thinking about it tbh.
I would really welcome and appreciate your insight.