Author Topic: Best Keyboards for Every Occasion  (Read 7415 times)

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Offline bigpook

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Offline bigpook

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« Reply #1 on: Mon, 29 December 2008, 15:26:57 »
I vote for the Logitech G11. Its the awesome!
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Offline lam47

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« Reply #2 on: Mon, 29 December 2008, 15:38:07 »
Whilst looking for a good keyboard (and eventually finding this site and buying 10) I tried both the cyborg and tarantula. At the time I thought they were rubbish and way over priced. My opinion has since dropped considerably.
Keyboards. Happy Hacking pro 2 x2. One white one black. IBM model M US layout. SGI silicone Graphics with rubber dampened ALPS. IBM model F. ALPS apple board, I forget what it is. And some more I forget what I have.

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Offline xsphat

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« Reply #3 on: Mon, 29 December 2008, 15:57:20 »
Quote
Note: This does not focus exclusively on keyboards released in 2008. Keyboards from last year or even the year before that have stood the test of time and are still great deals.

Takes brains.

And like all people use keyboards for is gaming, media and generic. We're all generic here since we actually type on keyboards. And I would like to note that the number one generic keyboard was a brand name, as were all of them in that Piece(OS). Thank you.

Offline bigpook

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« Reply #4 on: Mon, 29 December 2008, 16:10:55 »
I see this thread is taking a negative spin. You  all need to get into the spirit of the awesomeness.
At least the slashdot link makes mention of the Model M, but strangely, no mention of HHKB, Filco or ?
Are we really that different than the mainstream?
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Offline xsphat

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« Reply #5 on: Mon, 29 December 2008, 16:21:54 »
Take a look at webwit's avatar, yeah, we're that different.

Offline wellington1869

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« Reply #6 on: Mon, 29 December 2008, 17:07:19 »
Quote from: bigpook;16459
strangely, no mention of HHKB, Filco or ?
Are we really that different than the mainstream?


I fear that we are.  I had never heard of any of the other boards that I've tried (except for the M) until I stumbled on geekhack. Never heard of cherries, or even alps, or filco or topre or DSI or even scorpius, not anything else. And I've been in and out of the computer world for most of my life though not a programmer (EE undergrad and of late university tech support). But thats how outside the mainstream these brands still are (and why I keep complaining to these companies that with just a little ambition on their part, the world is waiting for them)

"Blah blah blah grade school blah blah blah IBM PS/2s blah blah blah I like Model Ms." -- Kishy

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Offline lowpoly

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« Reply #7 on: Mon, 29 December 2008, 17:19:01 »
Quote
1. Logitech Cordless Desktop Wave Pro

Couldn't read any further. :(

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Offline bigpook

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« Reply #8 on: Mon, 29 December 2008, 17:19:41 »
I can agree with you wellington, I found the Model M on my own but EVERYTHING else I learned about keyboards has been on this website. I didn't think there was a whole culture dedicated to keyboards. To be honest I have been here since April, I thought I would have been long gone by now. But outside of this group, NO ONE that I know is even remotely interested in computer keyboards.
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Offline bigpook

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« Reply #9 on: Mon, 29 December 2008, 17:20:39 »
Quote from: lowpoly;16483
Couldn't read any further. :(


Oh come on! Chin up man! Keep reading, it only gets better : )
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Offline lowpoly

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« Reply #10 on: Mon, 29 December 2008, 17:29:29 »
Quote from: bigpook;16486
Oh come on! Chin up man! Keep reading, it only gets better : )

LOL, I did, thank you. :)

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Offline bhtooefr

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« Reply #11 on: Mon, 29 December 2008, 18:33:29 »
Alps aren't that unknown, thanks to the Northgate OmniKey.

But, the only keyboard anywhere near the mainstream geek consciousness with Cherrys is the Das Keyboard, and many consider it overpriced. (But, Metadot does Slashvertise the hell out of it.)

And, Topres? Most haven't even heard of the HHK Pro, and the other HHKs are rubber dome.

You know it's not mainstream when you have to import the keyboards from Japan.

Offline bigpook

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« Reply #12 on: Mon, 29 December 2008, 18:43:08 »
Quote from: bhtooefr;16505
Alps aren't that unknown, thanks to the Northgate OmniKey.

But, the only keyboard anywhere near the mainstream geek consciousness with Cherrys is the Das Keyboard, and many consider it overpriced. (But, Metadot does Slashvertise the hell out of it.)

And, Topres? Most haven't even heard of the HHK Pro, and the other HHKs are rubber dome.

You know it's not mainstream when you have to import the keyboards from Japan.

Very good point. For what I pay to import a Filco, the Das looks like a bargain.
That is so sad to me.
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Offline bigpook

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« Reply #13 on: Mon, 29 December 2008, 18:55:15 »
Quote from: webwit;16516
I just puked and poked my eyes out.


At the same time?
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Offline Therac-25

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« Reply #14 on: Mon, 29 December 2008, 19:22:05 »
Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap and crap.

I'm typing this on a Razer Lycosa (you can take a break to vomit if you want...), which I think retails for $80 or so here.  That's the same as ordering a new Model M from Unicomp, give or take a bit of shipping.   I don't understand why average users will line up to buy expensive garbage, but when faced with equally expensive quality will complain that it's too expensive.

The only interesting things on that list were the layouts of some of the gaming input devices.  If that Logitech G13 thing was built with decent keyswitches, it could make a worthwhile attempt at a one-handed keyboard.
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Offline bigpook

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« Reply #15 on: Mon, 29 December 2008, 19:27:45 »
Where is here?
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Offline bhtooefr

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« Reply #16 on: Mon, 29 December 2008, 19:35:49 »
Simple.

Razer has connections with Microsoft, and Microsoft and Logitech are trusted names in input devices. Combine that with heavy Slashvertizing, and spamming the gaming rags that will give anything a good review if you give them enough money (*cough*ExtremeTech*cough*,) and you've got yourself a recipe for people paying lots of money for crap keyboards.

Also, there are quite a few gamers that hate the Model M, and not just because of the 2-key rollover.

Offline bigpook

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« Reply #17 on: Mon, 29 December 2008, 19:51:17 »
Quote from: webwit;16534
Even on Slashdot the Model M is more myth than actually being used. I think something like the 45g Topres would be much more liked by the main public. The 86U would be perfect if it was cheaper (the HHKB is not accessible enough), as whenever the topic comes up, most people do not like the numeric keypad. But it is not going to happen.


How do you arrive at that conclusion? The Model M is a very popular keyboard here in the states, as far as I can tell.

The 86U might very well be perfect but like you say, the price kills it.

Don't get your meaning on the numpad. Can you elaborate?
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Offline Therac-25

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« Reply #18 on: Mon, 29 December 2008, 19:51:49 »
Quote from: bigpook;16525
Where is here?


Canadia.  What the hell -- just checked the price and these pieces of **** are now approaching $100 (that's a local store I shop at often, so that's a real price, not a theoretical list price).
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Offline bigpook

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« Reply #19 on: Mon, 29 December 2008, 19:53:13 »
Quote from: Therac-25;16542
Canadia.  What the hell -- just checked the price and these pieces of **** are now approaching $100 (that's a local store I shop at often, so that's a real price, not a theoretical list price).


But it has an "awesome host of features" !!!

So what is it about this keyboard that sucks?
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Offline bhtooefr

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« Reply #20 on: Mon, 29 December 2008, 20:07:55 »
bigpook: Very popular with geeks, almost unknown outside of the geek world. And, even on Slashdot, you'll see a lot of people LIKE their rubber domes. Outside of Slashdot and Geekhack... I had a friend that defended her Dell rubber dome keyboard almost as much as I defended Model Ms.

Offline Therac-25

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« Reply #21 on: Mon, 29 December 2008, 20:08:24 »
Quote from: bigpook;16543
But it has an "awesome host of features" !!!

So what is it about this keyboard that sucks?

Maybe I'll post a review or something.

I picked this up somewhere where it was listed as an open box for like $59 or so.  I thought it looked kind of cool, and I was kind of wondering if the keys had scissor switches underneath them, as they're very low set.

The large keys -- tab especially -- are very sensitive to being hit at an angle.  I use tab alot to do completion/indenting/task switcher, and the tab key sticks ALL THE TIME.  I want to tear this stupid thing off.  I'll hit it at an angle, and it'll just kind of twist outwards.

The LED backlighting, which is probably why people think it's so cool, is seriously weak.  You can hardly see the letters on them at all.  Weak blue light + black = really hard on the eyes.  For people who aren't touch typists, this board would be largely useless.  It doesn't bother me that much, but it certainly underwhelms.

And really, other than blue LED backlighting and a shiny black finish, it's basically the same as every other crappy rubber dome keyboard. There's some kind of media keys in the top corner, but they aren't really keys -- just blue backlit symbols on a touch-sensitive area.  The charming thing about this feature is that the backlight is so weak that you can't see them if your face is more than about 10 inches from them.

It's pure USB, and has a USB port on the back -- but it's one of those ones that needs a separate USB plug to do the pass through.  That is, it's basically a keyboard and a USB extension cable.  It also has mic and headphone extension cables, which I guess is useful?  Apparently there's some kind of onboard memory that the Razer software uses to do cool stuff for programmable use in games, as well? So the software that came with it might add value to people who don't actually use the keyboard for typing.

I dunno, I can't even see this being that awesome for gaming.  The weak backlight kills it for that -- it usually takes a while to touch type a set of game commands in the same way as normal typing.

OTOH, if you turn the backlight off, you have a cheap and crappy DIY Das keyboard that you'll hate typing on.

Probably the only good thing about the keyboard is that the keys have an interesting rubberized coating on them that I don't recall seeing elsewhere.
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Offline bigpook

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« Reply #22 on: Mon, 29 December 2008, 20:13:02 »
Quote from: bhtooefr;16545
bigpook: Very popular with geeks, almost unknown outside of the geek world. And, even on Slashdot, you'll see a lot of people LIKE their rubber domes. Outside of Slashdot and Geekhack... I had a friend that defended her Dell rubber dome keyboard almost as much as I defended Model Ms.


You know, there are a lot of geeks out there. Though most will probably not admit it. But I guess you are right when it comes to outside of the geek world.
I can accept that some people like their rubber dome keyboards. I mean, people bought the Yugo when it was available so what the heck.
Not sure how you could defend the Dell rubber dome keyboard though. I have typed on them, they are just cheap plastic keyboards. But then some people think Taco Bell is real good Mexican food.
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Offline Therac-25

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« Reply #23 on: Mon, 29 December 2008, 20:14:24 »
Quote from: bigpook;16547
You know, there are a lot of geeks out there. Though most will probably not admit it. But I guess you are right when it comes to outside of the geek world.
I can accept that some people like their rubber dome keyboards. I mean, people bought the Yugo when it was available so what the heck.
Not sure how you could defend the Dell rubber dome keyboard though. I have typed on them, they are just cheap plastic keyboards. But then some people think Taco Bell is real good Mexican food.


On the bright side, everyone I know who types something for a living finds the current Mac keyboards as repulsive as they should.  So there is hope...
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Offline bhtooefr

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« Reply #24 on: Mon, 29 December 2008, 20:21:22 »
bigpook: Her board was the previous-gen basic USB board.

(You can tell them apart by the key color (charcoal on the old one, black on the current one,) and the Windows keys (Vista dimples on the new one, none on the old one.))

The new one, all of them are mushtastic, but with the previous-gen one, a few made it out of the factory with quite nicely tactile rubber dome sheets that don't turn to mush right away!

Hers was one of these good ones.

Oh, and seeing as she's a bookkeeper, she wouldn't consider a keyboard without a numpad. ;)

Offline bigpook

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« Reply #25 on: Mon, 29 December 2008, 20:24:35 »
Quote from: Therac-25;16546
Maybe I'll post a review or something.

I picked this up somewhere where it was listed as an open box for like $59 or so.  I thought it looked kind of cool, and I was kind of wondering if the keys had scissor switches underneath them, as they're very low set.

The large keys -- tab especially -- are very sensitive to being hit at an angle.  I use tab alot to do completion/indenting/task switcher, and the tab key sticks ALL THE TIME.  I want to tear this stupid thing off.  I'll hit it at an angle, and it'll just kind of twist outwards.

The LED backlighting, which is probably why people think it's so cool, is seriously weak.  You can hardly see the letters on them at all.  Weak blue light + black = really hard on the eyes.  For people who aren't touch typists, this board would be largely useless.  It doesn't bother me that much, but it certainly underwhelms.

And really, other than blue LED backlighting and a shiny black finish, it's basically the same as every other crappy rubber dome keyboard. There's some kind of media keys in the top corner, but they aren't really keys -- just blue backlit symbols on a touch-sensitive area.  The charming thing about this feature is that the backlight is so weak that you can't see them if your face is more than about 10 inches from them.

It's pure USB, and has a USB port on the back -- but it's one of those ones that needs a separate USB plug to do the pass through.  That is, it's basically a keyboard and a USB extension cable.  It also has mic and headphone extension cables, which I guess is useful?  Apparently there's some kind of onboard memory that the Razer software uses to do cool stuff for programmable use in games, as well? So the software that came with it might add value to people who don't actually use the keyboard for typing.

I dunno, I can't even see this being that awesome for gaming.  The weak backlight kills it for that -- it usually takes a while to touch type a set of game commands in the same way as normal typing.

OTOH, if you turn the backlight off, you have a cheap and crappy DIY Das keyboard that you'll hate typing on.

Probably the only good thing about the keyboard is that the keys have an interesting rubberized coating on them that I don't recall seeing elsewhere.


Thats a pretty damning review : )
I don't think I could deal with the sticking tab key. My wife was using a cheap logitech rubber dome for awhile that had the same behaviour. At first the logitech was fine and she was happy with it but she is a pretty good typist ( She does close to a 100 WPM) and after a month or so the keys started to get wonky. They had to be pressed down directly, not at an angle. She complained a bit but I couldn't fix it. I ended up giving her a DasIII. She has been happy ever since. I expect that keyboard to last awhile. I don't get the blinky light thing or the extra cruft that goes with. Its all form over function. And open box at 59 dollars is no bargain either.
What a ripoff.
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Offline bhtooefr

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« Reply #26 on: Mon, 29 December 2008, 20:25:06 »
Slightly sticking keys are one of the bigger reasons I got rid of my M13.

Offline bigpook

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« Reply #27 on: Mon, 29 December 2008, 20:25:58 »
Quote from: Therac-25;16548
On the bright side, everyone I know who types something for a living finds the current Mac keyboards as repulsive as they should.  So there is hope...


So what do they do? Do they grin and bear it? Or are they replacing their keyboards. I would think it would be torture to type all day on a POS keyboard.
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Offline bigpook

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« Reply #28 on: Mon, 29 December 2008, 20:28:13 »
Quote from: webwit;16549
Don't know about the States, but here no one cares. Among geeks some know it, but I never met a Dutch guy the past decade with a clicky keyboard except those I met in trading.

About the numpad, I just noticed it is a common theme, people mentioning they don't like it - it is not used and takes space. -When- people think about keyboards, a lot think, hmmm, cut that part off. Again this is purely anecdotal.


I can see where for some people the numpad is important but for me its like an unneeded appendage, just hanging over the right hand side. Makes for poor ergonomics for right handed people going for the mouse.
I mouse on the left hand side but still don't want the numpad. I just don't have a need for it.
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Offline bigpook

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« Reply #29 on: Mon, 29 December 2008, 20:37:38 »
Quote from: bhtooefr;16550
bigpook: Her board was the previous-gen basic USB board.

(You can tell them apart by the key color (charcoal on the old one, black on the current one,) and the Windows keys (Vista dimples on the new one, none on the old one.))

The new one, all of them are mushtastic, but with the previous-gen one, a few made it out of the factory with quite nicely tactile rubber dome sheets that don't turn to mush right away!

Hers was one of these good ones.

Oh, and seeing as she's a bookkeeper, she wouldn't consider a keyboard without a numpad. ;)



I suppose. Yeah, a bookkeeper would need a numpad. We are flogging a dead horse here, lol.  Most people just don't care and really, thats ok.
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Offline Therac-25

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« Reply #30 on: Mon, 29 December 2008, 21:01:37 »
Quote from: bigpook;16552
Thats a pretty damning review : )
I don't think I could deal with the sticking tab key. My wife was using a cheap logitech rubber dome for awhile that had the same behaviour. At first the logitech was fine and she was happy with it but she is a pretty good typist ( She does close to a 100 WPM) and after a month or so the keys started to get wonky. They had to be pressed down directly, not at an angle. She complained a bit but I couldn't fix it. I ended up giving her a DasIII. She has been happy ever since. I expect that keyboard to last awhile. I don't get the blinky light thing or the extra cruft that goes with. Its all form over function. And open box at 59 dollars is no bargain either.
What a ripoff.


Indeed, but combine a new shiny black case with four blue LEDs with fake promotional pictures of the keyboard and poor impulse control -- a "discount" was enough for me to give it a shot.  (This was a new box with no existing keyboard for it, so I wasn't replacing anything with the purchase...)

Quote from: bigpook;16554
So what do they do? Do they grin and bear it? Or are they replacing their keyboards. I would think it would be torture to type all day on a POS keyboard.


Depends.  The only programmers I know that have Macs have laptops, so they don't have to deal with throwing theirs out or anything.  They just don't buy it (aside from how horrible it is, it's also just expensive for a crappy keyboard anyway -- like $50 in Canadia dollars.  Again we're back at expensive crap, while equally priced quality is ignored).  

I don't think any of the current gen Macs in the graphics department at work still have the default keyboards (but I could be wrong on that one, I'm not One Of Them, and they aren't really typists anyway).  Even my mom brought this one up with me, as she's doing some more work on her PhD, and has to type alot on her iMac.  I can just feel my fingers curl back running my fingers over the Mac keyboard, so I can imagine how she felt about facing lots of typing on it.  Other than the F/J bumps, there's no tactile way to tell where you are on the keyboard... *shudder*

Quote from: bigpook;16555
I can see where for some people the numpad is important but for me its like an unneeded appendage, just hanging over the right hand side. Makes for poor ergonomics for right handed people going for the mouse.
I mouse on the left hand side but still don't want the numpad. I just don't have a need for it.


That's why my wife learned to use the mouse with her left hand.  Stupid ergonomics of the keyboard.  The only use I've ever had for the num pad is for extra keybinds in some games.
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Offline itlnstln

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« Reply #31 on: Tue, 30 December 2008, 01:18:46 »
I love how "soft and cushy" keys are considered pros.  I think those adjectives are completely the opposite of the majority of feelings on this site, so, yeah, we're that different.


Offline lowpoly

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« Reply #32 on: Tue, 30 December 2008, 11:34:34 »
Quote from: Therac-25;16548
On the bright side, everyone I know who types something for a living finds the current Mac keyboards as repulsive as they should.

You don't know my wife.

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Offline Therac-25

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« Reply #33 on: Fri, 02 January 2009, 23:03:39 »
Quote from: Therac-25;16557

I don't think any of the current gen Macs in the graphics department at work still have the default keyboards (but I could be wrong on that one, I'm not One Of Them, and they aren't really typists anyway).


Sadly, I have to report that this isn't the case.  Almost all of the graphic artists in that dept. at work have the Alu keyboards.

*sigh*.  To be fair, they aren't typists.

My dad even likes his (although neither he nor his wife touch type, so it's not mystifying).  He just liked the shorter travel on them, which would be a nice change coming from the average PC keyboard.
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