Author Topic: Kinesis Freestyle vs Goldtouch -- need a tactile keyboard  (Read 12211 times)

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Offline davo

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Kinesis Freestyle vs Goldtouch -- need a tactile keyboard
« on: Sat, 14 May 2011, 05:33:53 »
I'd be grateful for any first-hand comparisons of the key action / feel on the Kinesis and the Goldtouch.  To me, the key action is more important than the split / tented ergo features.

I'm beginning a new assignment with my company and will get a new keyboard soon.  The one I have now is a very cheap Dell that has a built-in elevation for the rear of the keyboard, and generic rubber dome action.  I don't like it: it doesn't feel tactile;  the end of the keystroke feels like a brick wall;  and I sometimes get doubled characters.  Bounce settings in the OS do nothing to help my double-strike problem, but it goes away with a good mechanical switch 'board.  Maybe it's because of all the piano playing I've done, or my experience with mechanical typewriters.  I just know that I need a full, tactile key stroke.  At home I have the Das Keyboard, two kinds of Deck Legend, and a Unicomp buckling-spring 'board.  Unfortunately, my company won't let me have these.

My choices are limited to the company's standard keyboards, which are: several Dells (no thanks), a Microsoft Natural Elite (no thanks), the Kinesis Freestyle or Maxim, and the Goldtouch.

I've looked at plots of key force vs travel and was the most impressed with the Goldtouch.  But I'm worried by recent reviews on Amazon that complain that the Goldtouch isn't made as well as before, and complain about broken or sticking or difficult keys.

So I'm looking for info and opinions about the quality of the key action on these two 'boards.  Thanks in advance!

David

Offline appie747

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Kinesis Freestyle vs Goldtouch -- need a tactile keyboard
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 14 May 2011, 05:50:44 »
I use the freestyle at work, it`s not my first choice, (the kinesis contoured would be) but the typing on it is pretty good, considering it`s a rubber dome.
Kinesis Freestyle Incline (work), Compaq MX 11800 (browns), AlphaGrip AG-5 FOR SALE! (home)

Offline sapht

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Kinesis Freestyle vs Goldtouch -- need a tactile keyboard
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 14 May 2011, 08:37:49 »
I haven't tried the Goldtouch nor Kinesis Freestyle. Make sure you don't pick the Kinesis Maxim though; I have one and it has gruesomely bad key action. I'd pick a Dell over the Maxim, hands down.

I actually like Microsoft's Natural Elite though, when it comes to rubber domes, they're around the best ones I've tried.
Current hoard: Filco Majestouch Tenkeyless Brown, Das Keyboard II Professional Blue, IBM Model M double shot keycaps, HHKB2 blank white

Offline hoggy

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Kinesis Freestyle vs Goldtouch -- need a tactile keyboard
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 14 May 2011, 16:40:39 »
Is it that they will buy you one of those 'boards and those boards only, or that the IT team are too scared to attempt to type on anything more exotic?

Would they let you take in your unicomp if you agree to keep a trashy dell plugged in as well?

I don't think you'll be happy with any of the keyboards listed above.
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Offline davo

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Kinesis Freestyle vs Goldtouch -- need a tactile keyboard
« Reply #4 on: Sat, 14 May 2011, 19:07:48 »
Quote from: hoggy;346296
Is it that they will buy you one of those 'boards and those boards only, or that the IT team are too scared to attempt to type on anything more exotic?


I've been told that they can only purchase off the standard equipment list.  There's a policy forbidding use of any non-standard computing equipment, but there seems to be some wiggle room.  My old group is a research group that enjoys a little more freedom, and I'm using my personal Das Keyboard there, with approval.  Before that I had the Unicomp.  But people aren't as tightly packed there, so the noise wasn't as much of an issue.

In my new group, there are three issues: 1) I'd rather the company paid for my work equipment, given a choice; 2) I'm not sure they would say yes if I ask to bring a keyboard from home; 3) I don't know whether the noise of a Unicomp would be too much for close quarters.

Quote
I don't think you'll be happy with any of the keyboards listed above.


Really?  Is the Goldtouch that bad?

If bringing my own keyboard becomes the best solution, my first choice would be another Das Keyboard Model S Professional.  Except.  I'm only about 3 or 4 feet away from co-workers.  I wonder if the Das "Silent" model would satisfy me. . .

I'm still hoping the Goldtouch might turn out to be great, since it would also straighten my wrists and reduce some tension with that ergo design.  I like the smaller footprint, also, since it lacks the keypad.

Offline davo

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Kinesis Freestyle vs Goldtouch -- need a tactile keyboard
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 15 May 2011, 20:49:38 »
Quote from: hoggy;346296
I don't think you'll be happy with any of the keyboards listed above.


Even the Goldtouch?  Goldtouch's info claims that they have light, tactile keys with a soft stop.  On paper that sounds like what I want. . .


David

Offline DesktopJinx

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Kinesis Freestyle vs Goldtouch -- need a tactile keyboard
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 16 May 2011, 06:50:52 »
Eight nickels doesn't trigger a Kinesis Freestyle key, but nine nickels does.

If you're used to buckling springs, the Freestyle keys feel a little wiggly.

I've used a Goldtouch before. It struck me as no different from any other Free-With-Computer-Purchase keyboard.
M15 for life

Offline davo

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Kinesis Freestyle vs Goldtouch -- need a tactile keyboard
« Reply #7 on: Mon, 16 May 2011, 10:08:24 »
Very cool!  I really appreciate all the info.

I found a Keyboard Keyforce / Travel Comparison Study conducted by Keytronics Reliability Laboratory.  It compares the Kinesis Maxim, Goldtouch, and Microsoft Natural.  Do you trust their findings?  That was my initial basis for thinking that I might prefer the key feel of the Goldtouch.

Offline Evil_Spork

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Kinesis Freestyle vs Goldtouch -- need a tactile keyboard
« Reply #8 on: Mon, 16 May 2011, 11:57:56 »
The Goldtouch is a rubber dome. We have several here at work and I dislike them quite a bit.
Most/all of ours are broken, and none really feel too good, especially compared to a mechanical switch board.
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Offline davo

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Kinesis Freestyle vs Goldtouch -- need a tactile keyboard
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 17 May 2011, 01:32:58 »
Ah.  Just read the RipOmeter post.  Fantastic!  I'm learning a lot.  Now I think the Filco / Brown Cherries looks really interesting: tactile with a light touch, not quite as much noise for my co-workers, and the TenKeyless form factor makes the trackball easier to get to.  Unfortunately, my choices will probably be the Kinesis Freestyle or the Goldtouch. . .  although the idea of buying my own keyboard and bringing it in is gaining some momentum.

Offline hoggy

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Kinesis Freestyle vs Goldtouch -- need a tactile keyboard
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 24 May 2011, 16:23:51 »
Sorry, haven't checked this thread in a while.

Both the freestyle and the goldtouch are pretty good for rubber domes (I've got both).  I prefer the goldtouch out of the two (to each their own I guess).

The adjustability of the goldtouch was a godsend when I was getting a lot of pain a few years ago.

"I don't think you'll be happy with any of the keyboards listed above." - I was thinking that if you were used to a unicomp...
GH Ergonomic Guide (in progress)
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=54680.0

Offline davo

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Kinesis Freestyle vs Goldtouch -- need a tactile keyboard
« Reply #11 on: Tue, 24 May 2011, 23:31:21 »
Quote from: hoggy;350872
I prefer the goldtouch out of the two (to each their own I guess).

The adjustability of the goldtouch was a godsend when I was getting a lot of pain a few years ago.


Do you like the key action on the Goldtouch as well as the Kinesis?  So far, I think I care more about that than I do the ergo layout.

I'm trying to resist the urge to buy a Filco with Cherry browns, maybe just for home.  I really like the Deck Legend I'm using now (Cherry clears) but it does feel heavy after a marathon session, and my forearms feel tired.

Offline hoggy

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Kinesis Freestyle vs Goldtouch -- need a tactile keyboard
« Reply #12 on: Wed, 25 May 2011, 00:29:38 »
Quote from: davo;351110
Do you like the key action on the Goldtouch as well as the Kinesis?  So far, I think I care more about that than I do the ergo layout.
 My freestyle is well worn and the goldtouch is fairly new so I'm not sure if I'm comparing like with like.  Before I had a mech. 'board - I was quite happy with the goldtouch.

If you're having problems with your forearms then either of the two boards will offer at least some help. I'd say the freestyle will give you more options on positioning.  Get the one with the longer connecting lead and make sure you get one of the accessories to suit.

If your company has this list, has anyone in the company got one?  Or is it that it's a list from a preferred supplier?

If you get your employer to buy you a keyboard you don't like...  Well you won't know until the day you get it.  Change is good, buy yourself something else on ebay, take it into work and swap often, or at least give the impression.

Quote from: davo;351110
I'm trying to resist the urge to buy a Filco with Cherry browns, maybe just for home.

You're in the wrong place for that, I'm afraid.
GH Ergonomic Guide (in progress)
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=54680.0

Offline davo

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Kinesis Freestyle vs Goldtouch -- need a tactile keyboard
« Reply #13 on: Wed, 25 May 2011, 02:47:28 »
Quote from: davo;351110
I really like the Deck Legend I'm using now (Cherry clears) but it does feel heavy after a marathon session, and my forearms feel tired.


Just a note: I was curious about the force on this keyboard.  It's a Deck Legend with tactile key switches (Cherry clears).  So I did a ripometer test, stacking nickels on the F key and also on the N key.  With dither, both held 12 nickels without tripping, and activated with the 13th nickel.  So: 65g, right?  I think that's on-spec.

The Deck is very solid.  It's built to last.  I really like the individual LED-lit keys.  That's the main reason I bought it, since I like to type late at night, and don't want to turn on a bright light.  Old programming habits, I suppose.  But I think a lighter touch might help me.

Offline sordna

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Kinesis Freestyle vs Goldtouch -- need a tactile keyboard
« Reply #14 on: Mon, 01 August 2011, 14:41:24 »
I just rip-o-metered my black Goldtouch GTU-0077 and got 40 grams. Even on the spacebar. It's very consistent and I love the feeling and the sound of this keyboard. Judging from videos (not real experience with Topre) I would say Topre-ish ... ok don't flame me but my Goldtouch has a satisfying thick glop sound that I don't get in other rubber dome keyboards.

edit: I've used an older white PS/2 Goldtouch in the past and I think it felt a bit different than the black USB one I own, and it had a slightly different layout too. From my experience and stuff I've heard, I believe there have been different incarnations of the Goldtouch keyboard, with varying quality.
« Last Edit: Mon, 01 August 2011, 14:55:03 by sordna »
Kinesis Contoured Advantage & Advantage2 LF with Cherry MX Red switches / Extra keys mod / O-ring dampening mod / Dvorak layout. ErgoDox with buzzer and LED mod.
Also: Kinesis Advantage Classic, Kinesis Advantage2, Data911 TG3, Fingerworks Touchstream LP, IBM SSK (Buckling spring), Goldtouch GTU-0077 keyboard