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New Keyboard (Filco vs Customizer vs HHKB)

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First off, this is a crazy useful forum and I'm very glad it exists. It also happens to be high in the Google results. :)

I normally use the keyboards in my laptops (Apple iBook 12" and Asus G1S-B1) but I'm finally going to switch over to using a keyboard+mouse and a monitor with my laptop while at a desk. 19 year old here just learning to code and I'd like something I can type on for *hours*.

I'm looking for:

[*]Standard key arrangement (Mimics the Model M's arrangement/key size)
[*]Moderate force-feedback
[*]Not a really noisy (I'm prepared to sacrifice tactileness for quietness)
[*]USB use (but PS2 wouldn't be bad to fall back on [BIOS configs, etc)[/LIST]
The Filco (FKBN104*/EB) and Customizer both seem to do what I want but I'm not familiar with how different the feel is.

I've seen this asked a few times on the forum and hopefully I finally get an answer: What is the difference between the Blue switches and Brown switches? And how do they compare to the Buckling Springs?

Also I haven't found any info besides a bit of mentioning on this forum about the HHKB, is it worth looking into for what I want?

Any and all relevant opinions are welcome. :)

Buckling springs are NOT quiet. That said, my Unicomp EnduraPro is a bit quieter than my Model M, after a day or two of break-in. There is a greasing treatment that can be done to the springs that makes them MUCH quieter, at the expense of some feel, and Unicomp will do it for a charge of $40 (it's rather labor-intensive,) but you also lose the warranty.

As for feel... for Cherry switches, IIRC, black is linear (no click at all,) brown is tactile (you can feel the click, but not hear it,) and blue is audible (you can feel and hear it.) I'll defer to other posters for how they actually feel, as I've not used any Cherry switch-equipped keyboards.

I'll also note that most modern computers can recognize a USB keyboard in the BIOS, so that's not an issue.

(Obviously, Windows keys are a plus for using it on a Mac, so I would stick to either the Customizer 104 or SpaceSaver, not the Customizer 101, if you go with Unicomp.)

Cherry blues are tactile and clicky, the browns are really light to the touch and they feel quick and clean.

Buckling springs are probably the most tactile switches, and pretty loud, louder than the blues.

After all my research and my late nights with Google looking for perfect keyboard for writing, I ended up with the Filco with browns. It is a dream to type on and it's not loud at all.

The HHKB Pro 2 is very nice as well and feels a bit like the browns, but it doesn't have a standard 101 /104 layout. It uses the Sun type 3 layout (Google a pic of the keys) which a lot of us around here really like. It is also pretty quiet and hella geek-sheik.

Your best bet is to eBay several keyboards to find what you like, but that ends up costing quite a bit.

So, buckling springs, Alps whites, and Cherry blues are all clicky, tactile and loud.

I use the Filco with browns at my desk at home and I take the HHKB Pro 2 back and forth to work and to school and to where ever else I need a good keyboard. Of the couple dozen keyboards I've had, these two are the kings for me. I hope this helped you out some.

Myself, I have my Model M13 at work, and have my EnduraPro at home. :)

IBM Model Ms tend to be common at thrift stores, so you can at least get one of those to feel and hear what it's like...


--- Quote from: bhtooefr;3519 ---(Obviously, Windows keys are a plus for using it on a Mac)
--- End quote ---

How so? I prefer the 101 so I don't have to look at the accused nasty logo. On my Model M, I make caps lock into control, Alt into Apple and control into Option.  I don't see any aspect of Windows to be beneficial to Mac users.


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