Author Topic: Fastest keyboard for typing - dome AND mechanical?  (Read 2635 times)

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Offline Quark

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Fastest keyboard for typing - dome AND mechanical?
« on: Sun, 12 August 2012, 20:19:17 »
Hi everyone,

I'm a pro typist (transcriptionist) and after doing a fair chunk of research into purchasing a new board I have finally come here for help.

I know there have been a number of threads touching on this before but I thought I would just see what the current thinking is regards this, and also see if there are any other pro key bashers than can give me some industry specific advice, I know a lot of people on here are into gaming etc which I think have a different set of needs compared to someone who is typing 8-10 hours a day.

So -

Mighty Keyboard Oracle of the intertubez that is collectively known as GEEKHACK! >:D

Please recommend me both a Rubber Dome keyboard and a Mechanical keyboard that are most suited to my needs and once recommended I shall charge forth a purchase them both immediately!!

Why both? - because I like the option of having both and I'm also a very heavy handed typist - and domes are just... good for that imo. 

Thanks for all you're help you amazing crew of geeky key lovers.   ;D
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Offline Djuzuh

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Re: Fastest keyboard for typing - dome AND mechanical?
« Reply #1 on: Sun, 12 August 2012, 20:21:57 »
Could you please describe your work?

Are you alone? what's your WPM? what are you currently using? etc…

Also, and more importantly what do you expect in your new keyboard ?

Offline Quark

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Re: Fastest keyboard for typing - dome AND mechanical?
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 12 August 2012, 20:29:39 »
Could you please describe your work?

Are you alone? what's your WPM? what are you currently using? etc…

Also, and more importantly what do you expect in your new keyboard ?

Hey that was really quick.

No, I'm not alone - so loudness is an issue. I'm aprox 120 WPM sustained - goes up or down depending on fatigue etc but never really drops below 90 WPM.  I'm currently using a Microsoft ERGO 4000 split keyboard and also have a Logitech MK700 low profile keyboard mouse combo.  I've used DAS in the past but within months one of the switches went - then another - I made the mistake of cherry blues on the DAS as well - which were way too loud and it has been repaired and relegated to home use.  TBH - I found myself faster on the dome's at the time and my error rate went up on the blues.... but this may just have been me - I didnt have enough time to get used to the DAS as it was just too loud.

What I expect in a keyboard?

An old school layout (ala' with large function keys that are easy to hit, a full sized board ie with num keys etc) - very quick to bottom out - large curved keys that I can get to fast (low profiles are not an option as I find my fingers roll and creak into other keys around them).

TBH the Ergo MS thing is really good - but the space bar died very quickly and it makes a hell of a noise now - plus I doubt how ERGO it actually is as I still get a fair amount of pain - I think its the best of a cheap bunch.

Does that help?
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Offline Djuzuh

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Re: Fastest keyboard for typing - dome AND mechanical?
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 12 August 2012, 20:37:02 »
Could you please describe your work?

Are you alone? what's your WPM? what are you currently using? etc…

Also, and more importantly what do you expect in your new keyboard ?

Hey that was really quick.

No, I'm not alone - so loudness is an issue. I'm aprox 120 WPM sustained - goes up or down depending on fatigue etc but never really drops below 90 WPM.  I'm currently using a Microsoft ERGO 4000 split keyboard and also have a Logitech MK700 low profile keyboard mouse combo.  I've used DAS in the past but within months one of the switches went - then another - I made the mistake of cherry blues on the DAS as well - which were way too loud and it has been repaired and relegated to home use.  TBH - I found myself faster on the dome's at the time and my error rate went up on the blues.... but this may just have been me - I didnt have enough time to get used to the DAS as it was just too loud.

What I expect in a keyboard?

An old school layout (ala' with large function keys that are easy to hit, a full sized board ie with num keys etc) - very quick to bottom out - large curved keys that I can get to fast (low profiles are not an option as I find my fingers roll and creak into other keys around them).

TBH the Ergo MS thing is really good - but the space bar died very quickly and it makes a hell of a noise now - plus I doubt how ERGO it actually is as I still get a fair amount of pain - I think its the best of a cheap bunch.

Does that help?

Since you already played a bit with a DAS, what were your thoughts about the tactile feel (the bump in the middle of the stroke) ?

Also, not a lot of us are very familiar with rubber dome keyboards, so you'll mostly get advice on the mechanical part, sorry. But Maybe something funky like the typematrix 2030 does interest you? I heard they were decent.

Offline Quark

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Re: Fastest keyboard for typing - dome AND mechanical?
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 12 August 2012, 20:43:41 »
Hey -

The main thing I liked about the DAS was the build quality - fantastic build quality - the switches I wasn't so keen on - when I type I just bottom the key out - probably from years of habitual typing that way. I've heard you can train yourself to get faster by going for the bump... but they are too loud for where I work.  Someone mentioned reds may be the go.

I've seen the typematrix but it looks cramped, and I'm a big dude with big hands LOL.

No problems about the lack of rubber dome people, that's fine I realize this is mechanical keyboard centric - but I've seen some rubber dome geeks on here - fingers crossed one of them reads this.

I should also mention - I'm a COLEMAK typist and also switch between DVORAK and QWERTY depending on how much pain I'm getting and what the job is - COLEMAK native though... unsure if it will matter but thought I'd throw it out there.

Thanks for your help so far!

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Offline sth

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Re: Fastest keyboard for typing - dome AND mechanical?
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 12 August 2012, 21:01:13 »
Aside from your colemak requirement (and I assume you touch type so it's probably nbd)--- get a Topre Realforce. It is a rubber dome + capacitive switch design which means it uses rubber for the tactility and a capacitive circuit for actuation, and it's one of the most amazing 'switch' types to type on. I use a 45g at work and I really can't see using anything else now that I am used to the topre feel. I have cherry stuff at home but I don't type nearly as much there as I do at work so the harsh bottoming-out of MX switches is not as big a deal (I too bottom out quite a lot and I'm not really that interested in changing my behavior at this point :P).

YES they are expensive. NO you will likely not regret the purchase, given about a week of getting used to it. If you're self-employed you can write off the expense. And if you end up really not liking it you can sell it for near new price here.   

As far as straight mechcanicals go, you'd probably want something with linear switches or MX browns since they are relatively quiet. I don't think I can really recommend cherry boards to people who are just looking for one good board that will last a long time, though. I love modding switches and playing with keycaps as much as the next guy but when I need a keyboard for Serious Business it's Topre all the way.

For RDOMS (rubber dome over membrane switch, which is what you probably are referring to with the phrase rubberdome) the Dell QuietKey is pretty much the favorite. Check thrift stores and e-cyclers. There is no shortage of these boards so you should be able to nab one for $5-$10.
« Last Edit: Sun, 12 August 2012, 21:05:53 by sth »
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Offline Quark

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Re: Fastest keyboard for typing - dome AND mechanical?
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 12 August 2012, 21:48:29 »
Aside from your colemak requirement (and I assume you touch type so it's probably nbd)--- get a Topre Realforce. It is a rubber dome + capacitive switch design which means it uses rubber for the tactility and a capacitive circuit for actuation, and it's one of the most amazing 'switch' types to type on. I use a 45g at work and I really can't see using anything else now that I am used to the topre feel. I have cherry stuff at home but I don't type nearly as much there as I do at work so the harsh bottoming-out of MX switches is not as big a deal (I too bottom out quite a lot and I'm not really that interested in changing my behavior at this point :P).

YES they are expensive. NO you will likely not regret the purchase, given about a week of getting used to it. If you're self-employed you can write off the expense. And if you end up really not liking it you can sell it for near new price here.   

As far as straight mechcanicals go, you'd probably want something with linear switches or MX browns since they are relatively quiet. I don't think I can really recommend cherry boards to people who are just looking for one good board that will last a long time, though. I love modding switches and playing with keycaps as much as the next guy but when I need a keyboard for Serious Business it's Topre all the way.

For RDOMS (rubber dome over membrane switch, which is what you probably are referring to with the phrase rubberdome) the Dell QuietKey is pretty much the favorite. Check thrift stores and e-cyclers. There is no shortage of these boards so you should be able to nab one for $5-$10.

Correct NBD - I don't look at the kb when I type.  I've seen the Topre's but the problem I have is I'm in Australia and they are mighty mighty expensive - just out of what I would consider a justifiable expense for my business.

They also seem loud on youtube - but not sure.

I've got the Dell Quietkey as a pending alert for my ebay account - will keep and eye out.

Btw - I'm also with you, key basher all the way and can not see it changing any time soon :)

If I get a  brand new Topre do you know if they come with a good warranty? If I'm to buy this keyboard from one of the two distributors I know in Oz - it will cost almost as much as my work computer!!!
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Offline sth

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Re: Fastest keyboard for typing - dome AND mechanical?
« Reply #7 on: Sun, 12 August 2012, 21:53:22 »
I got mine used so I am not too sure about the warranty. EK warranties boards for a year but depends on the vendor. You might have an easier time trying to source one from japan.

I haven't found my topre to be that loud but I did switch from cherry blues so it's pretty muted in comparison. It's also a much more pleasant, lower-pitched noise (a lot of people call it 'thocking' instead of clicking). Most of the noise on mine seems to come from the rebound - even bottoming out is pretty quiet since you're bottoming out on rubber instead of hard plastic as is the case with Cherry boards.

I thought the same, regarding the costs, but I lurked for a while to get a good deal on mine and I have zero regrets. If you don't mind going used, you might be able to convince the seller to drop the price by $10 or so since the shipping will be pretty pricey. GL!
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Offline dorkvader

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Re: Fastest keyboard for typing - dome AND mechanical?
« Reply #8 on: Sun, 12 August 2012, 23:08:36 »
If you're heavy-handed, and like the "old school" layouts, you should consider IBM/unicomp. I've had both, and my unicomp is my daily driver. The keycaps are PBT (excellent) and you can re-arrange them to show colemak, so even if you don't need to look at the keys, it's easy to see that you know your typing. If you contact Unicomp, I am sure they'll be able to sell you a keyboard with blank keycaps, too.

Other than that, I'd say you want some cherry blacks (or clears!) with o-rings maybe? Blacks are linear switches, and the O-rings will help with bottoming out, and it not hurting. Clears are also heavy and tactile.

I find that my typing speed is pretty quick on my unicomp. It could be just me, but I think I can go faster on it.

If you do a lot of typing at your transcriptionist job, and you can touch-type properly, you should consider a kinesis. It's not heavy, but it's a great typing experience, and I highly recommend it.
---
I really hate the rubber domes I have to use at work, but my favourite rubber dome keyboard is an olivetti I got NIB earlier on. I have read that goldtouch and kinesis make good rubber domes as well.
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Offline Quark

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Re: Fastest keyboard for typing - dome AND mechanical?
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 13 August 2012, 00:35:13 »
If you're heavy-handed, and like the "old school" layouts, you should consider IBM/unicomp. I've had both, and my unicomp is my daily driver. The keycaps are PBT (excellent) and you can re-arrange them to show colemak, so even if you don't need to look at the keys, it's easy to see that you know your typing. If you contact Unicomp, I am sure they'll be able to sell you a keyboard with blank keycaps, too.

Other than that, I'd say you want some cherry blacks (or clears!) with o-rings maybe? Blacks are linear switches, and the O-rings will help with bottoming out, and it not hurting. Clears are also heavy and tactile.

I find that my typing speed is pretty quick on my unicomp. It could be just me, but I think I can go faster on it.

If you do a lot of typing at your transcriptionist job, and you can touch-type properly, you should consider a kinesis. It's not heavy, but it's a great typing experience, and I highly recommend it.
---
I really hate the rubber domes I have to use at work, but my favourite rubber dome keyboard is an olivetti I got NIB earlier on. I have read that goldtouch and kinesis make good rubber domes as well.

Hey,

I've seen those Kinesis boards in my travels and they look really interesting.  The main issue I would have is the re-learning time and of course the price. I've said to my wife that I will probably have to move towards a similar setup eventually as my pain / discomfort increases from years of data entry.  Actually, the main thing that causes me pain is the mouse....

I've seen gold touch and its both in my price range and readily available in Australia - the main issue I had was the quality of the domes etc I've also seen Olivetti (god I love early 90's industrial keyboard designs) but a lot have odd connectors - does yours have a standard one?

I came very close to purchasing a custom unicomp shipped from the states - but once again the 100+ fed ex and mandatory insurance costs just blew it out of the water :(

May have to look at Goldtouch again... thanks for reminding me.  :)

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Offline mich

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Re: Fastest keyboard for typing - dome AND mechanical?
« Reply #10 on: Mon, 13 August 2012, 12:01:53 »
Actually, the main thing that causes me pain is the mouse....
Get a trackball. They don't need to lay flat on the desk and hence don't force you to keep your hand in the same position for the whole day. When you are getting tired you can stuff something below the trackball to tilt it outwards, lay your hand upside down and put the trackball onto it and so on.

Offline Djuzuh

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Re: Fastest keyboard for typing - dome AND mechanical?
« Reply #11 on: Mon, 13 August 2012, 14:59:21 »
yeah, I got pain in my wrests from my mouse too.

Bought a trackball, it's definitively better.

Offline Quark

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Re: Fastest keyboard for typing - dome AND mechanical?
« Reply #12 on: Mon, 13 August 2012, 20:17:34 »
Sean Wrona who is one of the fastest typists alive uses both a Logitech Illuminated and a DAS Professional. Per his interview he doesn't think keyboard type matters much.  According to him what matters more is mastering efficient keyboard "rolls"; modifying hand positions to quickly crank out large words quickly.

I know of Sean - seen his video's on Youtube etc - from what I've read on other forums Sean doesn't traditionally touch type does he?  He works on that shifting hand technique and handles words individually dependent upon complexity.

I'm in two minds about that - seems to work for short sprints up to a page or so - but I wonder how it works over a very long period of time.  I don't think much beats the traditional rigor of classic touch typing for proper "work".

He's impressive, but I've always been skeptical of his technique.  Makes you wonder how much faster he would be using proper technique on a COLEMAK?
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Offline Quark

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Re: Fastest keyboard for typing - dome AND mechanical?
« Reply #13 on: Mon, 13 August 2012, 20:18:01 »
yeah, I got pain in my wrests from my mouse too.

Bought a trackball, it's definitively better.

Can you recommend a brand for all day work?
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Offline shibbyllama889

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Re: Fastest keyboard for typing - dome AND mechanical?
« Reply #14 on: Mon, 13 August 2012, 21:42:34 »
Sean Wrona who is one of the fastest typists alive uses both a Logitech Illuminated and a DAS Professional. Per his interview he doesn't think keyboard type matters much.  According to him what matters more is mastering efficient keyboard "rolls"; modifying hand positions to quickly crank out large words quickly.

I know of Sean - seen his video's on Youtube etc - from what I've read on other forums Sean doesn't traditionally touch type does he?  He works on that shifting hand technique and handles words individually dependent upon complexity.

I'm in two minds about that - seems to work for short sprints up to a page or so - but I wonder how it works over a very long period of time.  I don't think much beats the traditional rigor of classic touch typing for proper "work".

He's impressive, but I've always been skeptical of his technique.  Makes you wonder how much faster he would be using proper technique on a COLEMAK?

Sean actually considers himself a better "endurance" typist. According to his website http://www.seanwrona.com/typing.php he sustained 174wpm over 50 minutes. His technique is probably very hard to learn (he admits to not really being able to explain it. he just learned to type that way from the beginning), but I can't imagine him switching layouts. His technique relies so much on being familiar with the layout by feel it would be quite a daunting task to switch layouts. I'm pretty astounded you type regularly on three layouts (do you consider yourself a polyglot of keyboard layouts?).

The fact you type all day long for work, you have the most incentive to invest a lot of money in a good keyboard. Of course incentive does not equal means, and keyboards can be expensive! Since you type for so long and have mentioned wrist pain, I'll give my two cents on the Kinesis Advantage. Let this be prefaced by the fact that I only type in QWERTY.

My office bought one of these for an intern a few years ago (crazy, right?), and when I found it I immediately tried to use it. First off, you will lose productivity the first couple of days. I recommend, if you decide to get one, to learn on it at home when your work will suffer. Also, take days off from it. I found myself terrible the first day, took a day off from it, and then returned on the third day and I was much more proficient.

The Advantage is great for two hand typing. The layout is designed for exclusively typing with two hands. While I don't expect you to type with one hand, I often find myself using one hand on the mouse and one hand on the keyboard for quick inputs (renaming folders, specifying file names, etc). The Advantage is terrible for things like this. This may be a no issue with your type of work though. Another thing to consider is how much text editing you do, and if you use text editing short cuts (ctrl + shift + arrow key, shift + end/home, etc). I think that the Advantage has the potential to be amazing at text editing. The arrow keys and modifier keys are much closer to your hands than on a standard keyboard, but I have found it very difficult to get very good at text editing on the Advantage. I keep a standard keyboard around and switch to it when I have to do a lot of text editing.

Those are some of the bad aspects, but it has many, many positive qualities. In addition to your hands and wrists being supported and in a better position, all of the main letter keys are closer to you fingers (I'm not sure about the number keys yet, but they aren't far away either). I think this key proximity gives you great potential to type faster than you do now. The number row keys are also easier to hit once you learn their positioning (they are slightly different due to the parallel key columns). I find myself never being able to find the number 6, but with the split it is quite easy. Lastly, there is the glorious backspace and delete keys under your left thumb. I make a lot of mistakes while typing, so being able to quickly correct them is very handy. The backspace is directly under your left thumb while the delete key is just to the right. The End and Home keys are also surprisingly easy to access. And don't be put off by the positioning of the Ctrl key, shortcuts are still just as easy to do, I've found.

It comes in Brown and Red switches, both of which are the quieter switches. I'd give it a consideration.


Offline Okita

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Re: Fastest keyboard for typing - dome AND mechanical?
« Reply #15 on: Wed, 15 August 2012, 00:06:51 »
Topre boasts they're the most accurate switches in the world, world, world, world... Anyway, I believe they're used in Japanese airports due to their reliability? +1 for Topre

Offline Djuzuh

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Re: Fastest keyboard for typing - dome AND mechanical?
« Reply #16 on: Wed, 15 August 2012, 01:39:32 »
yeah, I got pain in my wrests from my mouse too.

Bought a trackball, it's definitively better.

Can you recommend a brand for all day work?

I have a CST L-Trac. But Since it's the only model I have, I can't compare it, sorry.

Offline Quark

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Re: Fastest keyboard for typing - dome AND mechanical?
« Reply #17 on: Wed, 15 August 2012, 23:46:39 »
Thanks everyone for your sagely advice.

I managed to find a distributor of Cherry boards in Australia. - http://www.cherryaustralia.com.au/

Whats you're thoughts on the G80-3000 MX in Red Switches with a Cherry MW 2300 mouse?
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Offline Larken

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Re: Fastest keyboard for typing - dome AND mechanical?
« Reply #18 on: Thu, 16 August 2012, 01:48:37 »
I have a cherry red and a cherry brown board, and in my personal experience, while I can go faster on the Reds, Browns are typically better for precision due to the tactile feedback. Its not really a case of whether you go for the bump or not - I have been bottoming out since youth, and occasionally still bottom out on my browns depending on my state of mind, but having the tactile feedback does help eventually, even if you don't really feel it, and over extensive periods of usage, you'd find yourself unconsciously adapting to the bump anyway.

That said, I definitely don't have your speed or precision - though I do type alot, for writing and programming, about 70-80 wpm sustained if that helps. The decision between cherry reds and browns will be likely down to a personal preference. I like the feel of reds better, but I have to admit to myself that I do better with browns in my own experience. You'd likely have to try the board out yourself to find the answer.

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Offline DaClownie

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Re: Fastest keyboard for typing - dome AND mechanical?
« Reply #19 on: Thu, 16 August 2012, 02:20:55 »
I think given the fact that you bottom out your keys, and like the stiffer feel you could always go for MX Black keys... They're linear, and the stiffest of the MX Keys, and also very quiet. Coupled with some O-Rings it should be very quiet, without taking away the familiar feel of the rubber domes you're used to.

With that being said, I wouldn't recommend going for non-tactile for typing purposes if it's because you bottom out the keys... you get used to the tactile bump and adapt pretty easily, and you'd be surprised how much faster you get, while also reducing the fatigue/wear and tear on your fingers/hands/wrists. I started on old school mechanicals which I wish I had kept, switched over to crap rubber dome for MANY years, and am now back on the mechanical side of the fence and After about 6 months, I've almost fully stopped bottoming out keys on my MX Browns. It's to the point where I use a rubber dome keyboard at work and I have to consciously SLAM the keys, or I won't fully depress them and end up misspelling words like crazy.

I'm a touch typist, using all proper minus the almost complete lack of right hand pinky, as well as using left handed modifiers exclusively. I sustain about 100WPM, peak around 120WPM.

Best wishes and let us know what you decide on!

Offline vorxaw

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Re: Fastest keyboard for typing - dome AND mechanical?
« Reply #20 on: Thu, 16 August 2012, 02:27:30 »
since you asked for dome as well, I am using a WYSE KB8933 at work and it is surpriiiiiiising nice to type on! I have used mx black and brown switches before and I have to say, for 10 bucks, its got a really good feel and crispness to it. If you can get your hands on one, doesnt hurt to try it out :)
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=WYSE+KU-8933+USB

Offline Burz

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Re: Fastest keyboard for typing - dome AND mechanical?
« Reply #21 on: Thu, 16 August 2012, 02:39:35 »
Hi Quark, interesting thread...

After lurking on the old GH site for a couple months I took the plunge rather cheaply with a Dell AT-101W. I'm also a Colemak native, if you don't count the years I was an untrained 4-finger typist. However, I don't type all day like you.

The Truly Ergonomic brand is gaining in stature I think here and elsewhere. Their product was the first to come to mind when I read your post because the TEs are also angled for each hand like the MS Natural you're using. They use a Cherry brown keyswitch which is considered much quieter than the blues, but they still make a noise.

I would also put the Advantage into consideration as others have recommended. Besides using Cherry switches, it has another thing in common with the TE in that the horizontal staggering has been removed from the layout.

Here are some other interesting alternatives:
http://www.datadesktech.com/desktop_base.html
http://www.dsi-keyboards.com/mechanical-switch-keyboards.aspx

The "left-handed" boards are kind of intriguing because they provide reduced mouse-reaching distance to a right-handed user without trying to be a "small keyboard". I wonder what it would be like to do left-handed tenkey. :)

Matias Mini QuietPro  \\ Dell AT101W - Black ALPS  \\ SIIG MiniTouch x2 White XM - Monterey  \\ Colemak layout.

Online N8N

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Re: Fastest keyboard for typing - dome AND mechanical?
« Reply #22 on: Sat, 18 August 2012, 15:00:05 »
For a heavy handed typist, I would think that clears or browns are the way to go.  Just get a cheap board in a bog standard layout with those switches and try it out.  Leopold maybe?  Not sure how expensive they are over there.  I also think that if you like the dome that if you don't want to pop for a Realforce that an old Dell QuietKey is the way to go, just make sure that you get the right one!  The one that has the good feel is the RT7D5JTW.  I had one and personally didn't like it much, but it was NOS and I didn't pay a lot for it.  If you watch eBay one might show up for you.
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Offline dorkvader

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Re: Fastest keyboard for typing - dome AND mechanical?
« Reply #23 on: Sun, 19 August 2012, 09:53:18 »
Reds weren't so bad for typing, but you need to learn to "float" your hands and not bottom out. With practise, you can actually go quite fast.
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Offline tgujay

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Re: Fastest keyboard for typing - dome AND mechanical?
« Reply #24 on: Sun, 19 August 2012, 15:00:25 »
Blues are not loud, with the Das the problem is the switch bottoming out and due to the metal plate there is a loud clack.  The click is actually quite quiet and soothing to me, I know I'm typing.  Dampened blues are in my opinion the best cherry switches, tactility, sound feedback, and no clack.  If you're going to go Cherry and will still bottom out I highly recommend the o-ring mod.
Gotta collect them all

Offline Findecanor

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Re: Fastest keyboard for typing - dome AND mechanical?
« Reply #25 on: Sun, 19 August 2012, 18:56:17 »
I would recommend a keyboard with Clear Cherry MX switches. It feels a bit like a rubber dome, at the beginning of the stroke, then it actuates and the resistance increases sharply greatly cushioning the stroke.
The biggest problem is that they are quite unusual. The second biggest problem is that the tactile bump tends to wear down faster than on other Cherry MX switches.
Cherry makes them with product codes G80-3000LQCUS and G80-3000LQCEU -- and these have to be the exact product codes, except for a "-0" or "-2" at the end, which signifies colour (grey or black).
Leopold makes a keyboard with Cherry MX Clear switches too, but you would probably have to import that one too.

The Red and Brown Cherry MX switches are as light (or may at least feel lighter) than the Blue switches Das Keyboard that you already have.

Have you looked at getting a vertical mouse? It has helped me with pains in my right hand. The Evoluent should be pretty common, and I would be surprised if it was not available in Australia. It also comes in a left-handed version.
"Smart" phones make people stupid.

My daily driver: Phantom (lubed Cherry MX Clear, thick lasered Cherry PBT, custom retro case, custom firmware).

Offline KeyboardRookie

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Re: Fastest keyboard for typing - dome AND mechanical?
« Reply #26 on: Mon, 20 August 2012, 01:32:18 »
I would recommand you Topre Realforce.
It's mechanical and also it has dome as well.

It would be great if you use Aluminum case as well.
(Sorry, I just wanted to see someone using that case before I buy that.. :D :D )
I'm in chronic intoxication to keyboards,

Offline mvh11

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Re: Fastest keyboard for typing - dome AND mechanical?
« Reply #27 on: Mon, 20 August 2012, 01:43:10 »
Hey -

The main thing I liked about the DAS was the build quality - fantastic build quality - the switches I wasn't so keen on - when I type I just bottom the key out - probably from years of habitual typing that way. I've heard you can train yourself to get faster by going for the bump... but they are too loud for where I work.  Someone mentioned reds may be the go.

I've seen the typematrix but it looks cramped, and I'm a big dude with big hands LOL.

No problems about the lack of rubber dome people, that's fine I realize this is mechanical keyboard centric - but I've seen some rubber dome geeks on here - fingers crossed one of them reads this.

I should also mention - I'm a COLEMAK typist and also switch between DVORAK and QWERTY depending on how much pain I'm getting and what the job is - COLEMAK native though... unsure if it will matter but thought I'd throw it out there.

Thanks for your help so far!
Why not do the O-ring mod on the Das Keyboard? It will be substantially quieter and it's pretty cheap. The blue switches on the Das are not the source of most noise. That would be the switches bottoming out and hitting the plate, and o-rings will substantially dampen the noise of this and make the noise much more tolerable. I'd give it a shot before you invest in another board altogether.

Online mbc

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AW: Fastest keyboard for typing - dome AND mechanical?
« Reply #28 on: Mon, 20 August 2012, 03:07:22 »
Go for a tipro. They are programmable and modular. Perfect if you need to add more keys for special characters

Online N8N

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Re: Fastest keyboard for typing - dome AND mechanical?
« Reply #29 on: Mon, 20 August 2012, 11:17:31 »
I may be making a lot of assumptions here, but I'm assuming that the OP is not actually a keyboard geek but just wants a "tool" keyboard.  E.g. something that conforms to the standard laid down by IBM lo these many years ago when they introduced the venerable Model M so as to not have to deal with a non-standard layout and key spacing, and something that has a very consistent keyfeel across all keys to minimize typing errors.  My next assumption is that OP wants something with nice feeling, durable keycaps, because this will be an all day every day tool.  The only other info. that I have is that OP is apparently heavy-handed.

So my suggestions are still:

1) Something with Cherry MX Clear switches.  If a tenkeyless is acceptable, that's a no-brainer - Leopold FC200.  If TKL is not acceptable (in other words, OP needs a full sized 101 or 104 key board) then we're into keyboard geekery, as I'm not aware of a widely available KB with clears.  If noise is not an issue, then MX Blue would be almost as good and opens up a lot more options - as someone who isn't here anymore used to say "nobody ever got fired for buying a Filco" and while I'll bet that's not completely true (if I tried to expense a Filco, I might be) a Filco MJ2 (maybe a Ninja so the keycaps don't wear so obviously?) with blues would fill the bill nicely, although another good suggestion would be to get a WASD "naked" board and then get some of IMSTO's PBT keycaps.  That would be a heck of a nice feeling board.  However, based on previous comments, I don't think that blues are really the way to go.

2) a real deal IBM Model M.  At least here in the US you can still occasionally find them in junk stores, or just pick one up off eBay for $30 or so.  If you can deal with the spectacular racket that it makes, it is an awful nice feeling keyboard for those with heavy-handed tendencies, and is darn near indestructable.  Dye-sublimated PBT keycaps *STOCK* make this essentially a stronger, heavier, louder version of my WASD blue/IMSTO PBT suggestion above.  There's a reason I have two of these beasts still.  Will require an active PS/2 to USB adapter if you do not have a PS/2 port.  If you decide to go down that road let us know and I'll tell you the part number I'm using when I get home... there are some that aren't that good and a few that are known to work well with a variety of vintage boards.  But if MX Blues are too loud... well then.  Might as well scratch this one off the list.

3) A Dell AT-101(w) or SGI Granite board.  I personally am not much of an Alps fan but it can't be denied that their tactility kicks any MX's butt.  The difference is that the tactile/actuation point is very near the top of the keystroke, unlike the Cherry MX or Model M which is about halfway down.  The thing that I don't like about them, but some might not have a problem with, is that the force to depress falls off a cliff after you pass the tactile point, so at least for me it is darn near impossible to keep from bottoming out, while I can "float" on my board with MX clears with just a little concentration and effort.  But these boards as well will have to be purchased used.  I don't know anything about the newer Alps keyboards that are on the market, whether they're any good or not, and which would have comparable tactility to the old ones.  If noise is an issue then go for the dampened cream Alps in the SGI board, but those are becoming hard to find.  Both will require adapter as above.

4) Dell QuietKey as mentioned above (the best of the domes.)  Will also require adapter as above.

5) if tactility is not important, Cherry MX Black might be acceptable as well, and actually are really nice as a change from the clears/browns/etc.  Sometimes I just rotate between my Filco that I modded to clears and my old Wyse PS/2 board with blacks just to give my fingers a different feel.  The lack of tactility isn't as important as you think when the key switches actuate at the same travel distance across the board.

The sad truth is, aside from the new wave of high quality keyboard manufacturers (mostly using Cherry MX switches, and most often browns, blues, or blacks - although more often recently reds as well) like Filco, Leopold, WASD, Das, etc. the best keyboards you are likely to find are not on the shelves at your local electronics sellin' emporium, but in a dusty closet in the CS department of your local college or univerity (or in the dumpster of same!)  Keyboards were much higher quality 15-20 years ago than they are today, sadly - and some of the $5 specials that come packaged with new desktops are unmitigated garbage (with some of the more expensive ones being fancier garbage with more features that doesn't feel any better.)

I have a feeling that my criteria for getting a keyboard were nearly the same as the OPs a couple years ago... I needed a board for work, where I sit in front of a PC for hours at a stretch.  I got sick of using the garbage in the IT closet, but my beloved Model M apparently was irritating to coworkers.  At the time Leopold hadn't introduced the FC200 w/ clears yet so I bought a used Filco MJ2 w/ browns, swapped all the switches to clears, and just for some desk bling added some old school Cherry Corp. doubleshot beige/grey keycaps, with some RGBYs and a red ESC key thrown in for good measure.  (yeah, the last was extraneous.  but it looks awesome.)  This board is damn near perfect for what I need it for, and every time I swap it out for something else I keep coming back to it.

Here's what I would do in the OP's shoes TODAY - just get the Leopold FC200 "Tactile Force" (code for clears) since it is available, and at the same time purchase a Goldtouch or Filco separate numpad.  That way the numpad would be available for use but you wouldn't have such a reach from the right hand home position to the mouse in normal typing.  I'm keeping an eye out for a numpad for just that reason; I love my Filco 104, but while I do use the numpad it is not as often as I switch between typing and mousing, and I already have a FC200.  2nd option - if the OP does not think that tactility is important, and thinks that a heavy linear like the Cherry MX Black would be acceptable (they do feel nice!) then I would just get one of any number of the quality MX Black boards, either TKL or full size, although again, I'd be tempted to get a naked WASD so I could pick my own keycaps, and then get a set of those nice dye-sub PBTs for the best feel on the fingertips.

Just my thoughts...
« Last Edit: Mon, 20 August 2012, 11:36:41 by N8N »
Filco Majestouch-2 with Cherry Corp. doubleshot keys - Leopold Tenkeyless Tactile Force with Wyse doubleshots - Silicon Graphics 9500900 - WASD V1 - IBM Model M 52G9658 - Noppoo Choc Pro with Cherry lasered PBT keycaps - Wyse 900866-01 - Cherry G80-8200LPBUS/07 - Dell AT101W - several Cherry G81s (future doubleshot donors) (order of current preference) (dang I have too many keyboards, I really only need two)