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geekhack Community => Keyboards => Topic started by: karlito on Sat, 17 November 2007, 21:43:16

Title: iOne Scorpius-M10 review
Post by: karlito on Sat, 17 November 2007, 21:43:16
The iOne Scorpius-M10 seems like a very study well constructed keyboard that will last a long time.  The key caps are a standard textured key cap and the lettering of the keys is printed on so I would imagine the lettering will wear off.

The keys are indeed blue stemmed Cherry mechanical switches. After about 1.25mm - 1.5mm of travel the keys click letting you know a key was registered.  The keys have about 2.5mm-3mm of travel before they bottom out.  

The feel of the clicking is great and is vastly superior to that of black stemmed cherry (linear) mechanical key switches and any membrane keyboard I have ever used.  That being said the key switches are stiffer than I would like. In fact they are noticeable stiffer than the keys of my Logitech G15.  Note that I am very picky about key stiffness; they are less stiff than any keyboard I have ever used save for the G15.

Now for the sound of the click, it is quite annoying.  It's a somewhat high pitch clicking noise.  It is very similar to lifting up the clip on a pen cap and letting it smack back down onto the cap.  As the typist you could get used to the clicking sound except for one major flaw, the space bar is about two or three times louder than any of the other keys.  I found this to be extremely distracting, every time I would hit the space bar I would think about how loud it was.  As the space bar was driving me nuts I removed the cap for it thinking I would find two or more switches under it but there is only one so I donít know why itís so loud.

Another thing to note about the sound of the key switches is that a lot of the noise comes from bottoming out the keys.  Thereís a plastic on plastic thud when you bottom them out, which is also present in the black stemmed cherry key switches.  I think it would be great if Cherry added some sort of rubber shock absorber so when you bottomed out it didnít make any noise cause all you really need is the ďclickyĒ sound when the key registers.

I opened up the Scorpius hoping that I would be able to remove the numpad or at the very least remove the key switches and put them into my SMK-88, which uses linear switches.  Sadly removing the numpad seems like it would be impossible and changing out the key switches would require a whole lot of soldering which Iím not sure Iím willing to do yet since the SMK-88 seems to have supply issues.

As far as registering key presses for gaming it is capable of registering at least 5 keys at a time.  I did not try more than 5 keys as I only have 5 fingers on my left hand so whatís the point?

So all in all if you want a low priced clicky mechanical keyboard this seems to be the way to go.  However, it will not be replacing my G15.

I got mine off of eBay from ergogeekcom ($10 cheaper from eBay then their own website ergogeek.com) for $40 + $10 shipping.  I ordered on a Sunday and they shipped it Monday via UPS ground (sigh no choice in shipping method or courier).

(http://www.proggame.com/keyboards/scorpius/scorpius1s.jpg)
(http://www.proggame.com/keyboards/scorpius/scorpius2s.jpg)
(http://www.proggame.com/keyboards/scorpius/scorpius3s.jpg)
(http://www.proggame.com/keyboards/scorpius/scorpius4s.jpg)
(http://www.proggame.com/keyboards/scorpius/scorpius5s.jpg)
Title: iOne Scorpius-M10 review
Post by: Whiskey in the Jar-o on Sat, 17 November 2007, 22:25:01
Nice review. Sounds just like the white Alps switches in my Northgate Evolution. The hard landing shortly after the click really bother me.
Title: Re: iOne Scorpius-M10 review
Post by: mr_sf_applet on Sat, 17 November 2007, 22:48:52
Really informative review, karlito. Thanks. Great pictures too. Hope you didn't have any problems putting the keyboard back together.

Quote from: karlito
Now for the sound of the click, it is quite annoying.  It's a somewhat high pitch clicking noise.  It is very similar to lifting up the clip on a pen cap and letting it smack back down onto the cap.  As the typist you could get used to the clicking sound except for one major flaw, the space bar is about two or three times louder than any of the other keys.  I found this to be extremely distracting, every time I would hit the space bar I would think about how loud it was.  As the space bar was driving me nuts I removed the cap for it thinking I would find two or more switches under it but there is only one so I donít know why itís so loud.

You know, that would also be the one issue I have with the Avant Stellar, the fact that the space bar is noticeably louder than, and sounds different (sort of a low-pitched thud when it bottoms out) from the rest of the keys. I haven't taken it off to see what's underneath. But it was the very first thing I noticed when I started typing on the Avant Stellar, and boy, did it distract me. I've sorta gotten used to it after all these months, but it stll bothers me when I notice it.
Title: Re: iOne Scorpius-M10 review
Post by: mr_sf_applet on Sat, 17 November 2007, 23:07:32
Quote from: karlito
The feel of the clicking is great and is vastly superior to that of black stemmed cherry (linear) mechanical key switches and any membrane keyboard I have ever used.  That being said the key switches are stiffer than I would like. In fact they are noticeable stiffer than the keys of my Logitech G15.  Note that I am very picky about key stiffness; they are less stiff than any keyboard I have ever used save for the G15.


I wonder if the light tactile brown Cherry MX switches that I've been looking into might be more your style. Except, of course, that they don't seem to be found on any keyboards that are readily available in the US except for the Kinesis.
Title: iOne Scorpius-M10 review
Post by: xsphat on Sun, 18 November 2007, 01:21:38
Nice review, I think I'll be picking one of these up after all.

Do most of you other clicky keyboard users not bottom out the keys? I think I do on the majority of my keystrokes. I really enjoy a good solid click followed closely by a spring. It reminds me of an old typewriter.

The space bar is almost always the loudest key, except on my SMK 85 - strangely enough the loudest key on that one is the backspace.

Keep the reviews coming, and keep doing them like this  :D
Title: iOne Scorpius-M10 review
Post by: karlito on Sun, 18 November 2007, 03:04:15
Quote
Keep the reviews coming, and keep doing them like this


Haha, I think I'm done purchasing keyboards. I have a pretty good idea of what I want now.  I'm just going to keep my eyes open for a compact blue stem cherry or a logitech G* that doesn't have a numpad.  Or if DSI ever gets SMKs instock again I might get brave and bust out the ole' soldering iron and see if I can't make my own blue stem smk :P.  Seriously I want to slap the next company that comes out with a "gaming" keyboard that has a numpad.
Title: iOne Scorpius-M10 review
Post by: xsphat on Sun, 18 November 2007, 03:14:48
Here you go then:

http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/gaming/wolfking-dual-hockey-puck-gaming-keyboard-gets-a-name-and-its-hardcore-warrior-xxtreme-322895.php
Title: iOne Scorpius-M10 review
Post by: Whiskey in the Jar-o on Sun, 18 November 2007, 03:27:15
Quote from: karlito
Quote
Keep the reviews coming, and keep doing them like this


Haha, I think I'm done purchasing keyboards. I have a pretty good idea of what I want now.  I'm just going to keep my eyes open for a compact blue stem cherry or a logitech G* that doesn't have a numpad.  Or if DSI ever gets SMKs instock again I might get brave and bust out the ole' soldering iron and see if I can't make my own blue stem smk :P.  Seriously I want to slap the next company that comes out with a "gaming" keyboard that has a numpad.


I've not gamed in ages, but when I did, I remember using the cursor keys. I see that now everybody is using the WASD keys.  In that case, keeping the numpad is dumb dumb dumb. But keeping the cursor keys and the block above it, like on the IBM space-saver, is definitely worth it. BTW keyfeel is a strange thing. It's really hard to make sense unless you've used the board for a while. You try a board at the store and think it feels great.  After a week you want to throw it against the wall. The opposite can also happen. I am not convinced that mechanical switches are the be all and end all of keyboards. Some rubber-dome keyboards feel very good to type on.
Title: iOne Scorpius-M10 review
Post by: xsphat on Sun, 18 November 2007, 03:46:37
Quote from: Whiskey in the Jar-o
I am not convinced that mechanical switches are the be all and end all of keyboards. Some rubber-dome keyboards feel very good to type on.


It's a very personal thing, Whiskey, just like anything else that's worth talking about or doing. I have typed on a few membrane keyboards that felt really nice. The one I remember was a Microsoft ergonomic model I tried at a store, and this is coming from a guy who hates Microsoft and is stupid for mechanical switches. I have a feeling your Cherry is pretty nice, and if I used it I might like it as much as you do.

There is no cut and dry answer to the best keyboard unless that answer is choice. There is no monopoly on electronics yet, and in the future the devices may not even use keyboards anymore in favor of the next input system. The way the industry is going we will all carry one device that will have all our stuff on it and it will wirelessly sync with everything else we own. So for now we should all stick with what works and do our best to try stuff before we buy or trust reviews from people with like interests.
Title: iOne Scorpius-M10 review
Post by: karlito on Sun, 18 November 2007, 12:09:27
Quote from: xspaht
Here you go then:

Oh I've been tempted many times to get one of those Wolfking gaming keyboards :)

Quote from: xsphat
and in the future the devices may not even use keyboards anymore in favor of the next input system.

hmm Matrix...

Quote from: xsphat
So for now we should all stick with what works and do our best to try stuff before we buy or trust reviews from people with like interests.

It's true you should never blindly trust anyones opinion but if it wasn't for this site I could a made a lot more foolish purchases... Kind of like the HHKB lite 2 I really regret buying that thing even though I was able to return it (at a 15% restock fee :( ).  Whereas these two keyboards (scorpius and smk88) I do not regret getting (I'm sure a lot of it has to do w/ price) and it was only because of this site that I knew I would like to try them.
Title: iOne Scorpius-M10 review
Post by: iMav on Sun, 18 November 2007, 12:09:41
Review has been posted in our wiki.

Check it (http://wiki.geekhack.org/?page=KBreviews-scorpm10-karlito).
Title: iOne Scorpius-M10 review
Post by: xsphat on Sun, 18 November 2007, 12:23:30
I would make worse choices without this site as well. My only regret about the SMK 88 is that I gave it to my chick. She likes it, and it makes her happy, and ever since she has not said a word about my loudest keyboards, so this act of kindness was not without it's personal upsides. Like you, Karlito, my only recent keyboard regret is the Lite 2. I bought it off eBay, and I am selling it on eBay, but I am getting taken on the price.

You know, the HHKB Lite 2 is just all around a crappy keyboard. Weird how a the makers of the HHKB Pro series could mess a keyboard up that bad and still give it the HHKB branding. WTF
Title: iOne Scorpius-M10 review
Post by: mr_sf_applet on Sun, 18 November 2007, 14:14:25
Quote from: xsphat
Do most of you other clicky keyboard users not bottom out the keys? I think I do on the majority of my keystrokes. I really enjoy a good solid click followed closely by a spring. It reminds me of an old typewriter.

Yeah, I usually bottom out. The keyswitch web page (http://www.ergocanada.com/ergo/keyboards/mechanical_vs_membrane_keyswitches.html) at ergocanada.com says:

Quote
IMPORTANT NOTE: Many people who are used to Membrane Keyboards will press the keys down too far on a Mechanical Keyswitch, 'bottoming out' on every keystroke, resulting in a loud clack in addition to the light click of the keyswitch which is generated half-way through the key travel distance. Once a user learns to not press the keys completely down with every keystroke, the level of noise generated when typing on a mechanical keyswitch keyboard is substantially reduced.

I can't do it though. I can't keep from bottoming out. It doesn't hurt my fingers though. Sometimes on a warm-up typing drill I'll go through a few words or a phrase or two without bottoming out, and then it feels like I'm really flying, but I can't sustain it.

(It may be that I'm just not a very speedy typist. I go anywhere between 55WPM and 70WPM on simple prose; I'm usually in the 60's, although I seem to be breaking 70WPM with increasing frequency. Next year I'm going to do the "Typing of the Dead" game and Cortez Peters drills to try to move my speed up a notch.)
Title: iOne Scorpius-M10 review
Post by: mr_sf_applet on Sun, 18 November 2007, 14:33:22
Quote from: xsphat
There is no monopoly on electronics yet, and in the future the devices may not even use keyboards anymore in favor of the next input system.

http://www.microsoft.com/surface/

Also, speaking of multitouch technology, Apple has recently applied for patents for adding tactile feedback to a multitouch keyboard (sounds very much like a  FingerWorks TouchStream, whose technoolgy it bought, but with tactile feedback added).
Title: iOne Scorpius-M10 review
Post by: xsphat on Sun, 18 November 2007, 15:04:35
A while back, Alpine made a car stereo that used a touch screen and it supposedly use electrical feedback to add the sensation of buttons to it. This scares me, to say the least. I never used one, but people I talked to that did said it worked OK, but I am not sure it ever hit the consumer level.

If Apple makes something like that, it would definitely fit into the try before you buy category. I have no faith in Apple keyboards - the last good keyboard they made hit end of life in what, '90?
Title: iOne Scorpius-M10 review
Post by: Whiskey in the Jar-o on Mon, 19 November 2007, 07:23:09
BTW, Alpine is a subsidiary of Alps.
Title: iOne Scorpius-M10 review
Post by: Whiskey in the Jar-o on Mon, 19 November 2007, 07:40:30
Quote from: xsphat
Quote from: Whiskey in the Jar-o
I am not convinced that mechanical switches are the be all and end all of keyboards. Some rubber-dome keyboards feel very good to type on.


It's a very personal thing, Whiskey, just like anything else that's worth talking about or doing. I have typed on a few membrane keyboards that felt really nice. The one I remember was a Microsoft ergonomic model I tried at a store, and this is coming from a guy who hates Microsoft and is stupid for mechanical switches. I have a feeling your Cherry is pretty nice, and if I used it I might like it as much as you do.


The trouble with MS membranes is that they deteriorate. Keys that start out pretty tight start to clatter after a while, or fail altogether. That's just the nature of rubber-dome technology. As rubber ages, some keys become siff, others sticky. Keytronic and Cherry membranes last much longer. MS usually rates theirs for 1 million key presses. Cherry Cymotion is rated for 20 million (and feels like it can go the distance). This may be by design. Most new MS boards are either split or comfort-curve. So you get used to it and forced to buy a replacment from MS.

Personally I don't care for extreme longevity (unless something happens to  be such a precise fit, that nothing else will ever do). I do hate the scenario that I described - variable deterioration over time. As far as I understand it, when a mechanical switch fails, it fails.
Title: iOne Scorpius-M10 review
Post by: xsphat on Mon, 19 November 2007, 09:41:36
Quote from: Whiskey in the Jar-o
As far as I understand it, when a mechanical switch fails, it fails.


In my experience, they are balls out or dead in the water. Though I have only one switch that died, or more to the point, was DOA.
Title: iOne Scorpius-M10 review
Post by: mdf on Wed, 28 November 2007, 20:31:38
Thanks for the review, based on this I ordered a couple for the office to try out.  I'm trying to transition off a Model M because of the high noise, hopefully this feel close but be a little quieter.
Title: iOne Scorpius-M10 review
Post by: iMav on Wed, 28 November 2007, 20:38:19
Quote from: mdf
Thanks for the review, based on this I ordered a couple for the office to try out.  I'm trying to transition off a Model M because of the high noise, hopefully this feel close but be a little quieter.

Look forward to hearing your impressions of the Scorpius.  If they made a numpad-less one, I'd own one for sure.
Title: iOne Scorpius-M10 review
Post by: mr_sf_applet on Wed, 28 November 2007, 21:19:32
Quote from: mdf
Thanks for the review, based on this I ordered a couple for the office to try out.  I'm trying to transition off a Model M because of the high noise, hopefully this feel close but be a little quieter.

If it's anything like Das Keyboard II -- and it should be since they use the same blue Cherry MX switches -- it'll definitely be quieter than the Model M. But it's still clicky, and it will make what some sensitive ears would consider too much of a racket. This review (http://www.barrys-rigs-n-reviews.com/reviews/2007/hardware/m10key/m10key.htm)has a link (http://www.barrys-rigs-n-reviews.com/reviews/2007/hardware/m10key/images/photos/scorpius-m10.wmv) to an .wmv file of the Scorpius M10 in action. Check it out.
Title: iOne Scorpius-M10 review
Post by: fkeidjn on Wed, 28 November 2007, 22:06:39
Quote from: mr_sf_applet
If it's anything like Das Keyboard II -- and it should be since they use the same blue Cherry MX switches -- it'll definitely be quieter than the Model M. But it's still clicky, and it will make what some sensitive ears would consider too much of a racket. This review (http://www.barrys-rigs-n-reviews.com/reviews/2007/hardware/m10key/m10key.htm)has a link (http://www.barrys-rigs-n-reviews.com/reviews/2007/hardware/m10key/images/photos/scorpius-m10.wmv) to an .wmv file of the Scorpius M10 in action. Check it out.


I saw that vid.  The sound coming from the keyboard is amplified by the wooden table, and it sounds more hollow than the actual keyboard you'll receive.
Title: iOne Scorpius-M10 review
Post by: mdf on Wed, 12 December 2007, 13:11:58
I got two in the office last week, they're great.  Much quieter than the Model M I was using before, but still by no means quiet.  It is a lot more pleasant though, the noise from the M was really starting to grate on my nerves.

The keys are lighter than the M, but still very crisp and responsive.  After a week I really like it.  It just took a few days to stop bottoming them out all the time.

I have a few gripes about it.  The molding around the arrow keys is kind of odd, its not like the M or most other keyboards where the keys are fully exposed, there is some plastic that shrouds them a little on the bottom and a lot on top.  I got used to it pretty quickly, so I guess its really not that big of a deal in practice.  I can't stand the windows keys though, especially since the right Alt is moved over a bit to fit them all.  Other than that is seems like the keys are all in the same places as the M, but its not the same enormous form factor.  I kind of liked having a spot for my ruler and pencils without resting them on the F keys.

All in all, I can see this being the new standard around the office for anyone that is picky about keyboards but doesn't want a M.  I gave one to someone that was lamenting the loss of an old dell keyboard at his previous job, and he said its pretty close to it.
Title: iOne Scorpius-M10 review
Post by: karlito on Wed, 12 December 2007, 14:34:34
Quote from: mdf
I can't stand the windows keys though, especially since the right Alt is moved over a bit to fit them all.


if you're accidentally hitting the right windows key instead of right alt just use keytweak to rebind the windows key to alt. it's pretty simple.

http://webpages.charter.net/krumsick/