Author Topic: HHKB Pro 2 v. SMK 85  (Read 15311 times)

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Offline xsphat

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HHKB Pro 2 v. SMK 85
« on: Thu, 27 September 2007, 02:51:46 »
Both of these keyboards blew me away. They can both stand on their own, and I would be happy to use either as my daily 'board. In the end, the HHKB wins, but not by much.

The Alps sliders on the SMK 85 are the best switches I've ever used. The HHKB's switches are in second place. The Alps are so clean, and the HHKB switches seem like they are muffled a bit and that adds a slight artafact to the action. The Alps do not do that, they are wide open, light enough to the touch and balls out loud. So why is my HHKB my favorite keyboard?

It's not because it cost a lot.

It is because of the design. The amount of thought that went into this layout is unbelievable. For Macs it just rules. Use this thing with Unix commands and it's like you have the total control of a full sized keyboard in the smallest possible number of keys. And it's quiet enough for me to use at work and school, which I could never do with the SMK 85.

I still use the SMK 85 for writing from time to time, but the Happy Hacking Keyboard Pro 2 is the best keyboard I have ever heard of, seen, used or have owned.

HHKB Pro 2 v. SMK 85
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 27 September 2007, 03:32:28 »

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #2 on: Thu, 27 September 2007, 03:50:58 »
Quote from: Whiskey in the Jar-o
Your journey is far from over, grasshopper. Behold!

http://www.stenograph.com/productdetails.aspx?id=100001&subid=4620001&childid=&subchildid=&prodid=30070&nocall=1


That was funny. How long have you been saving that one for this kind of opportunity?

HHKB Pro 2 v. SMK 85
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 27 September 2007, 03:57:58 »
Quote from: xsphat
Quote from: Whiskey in the Jar-o
Your journey is far from over, grasshopper. Behold!

http://www.stenograph.com/productdetails.aspx?id=100001&subid=4620001&childid=&subchildid=&prodid=30070&nocall=1


That was funny. How long have you been saving that one for this kind of opportunity?


Ever since you got your HHK.  :D Let's face it, you will never go that far in your quest. :D I've looked at these things before. I am intrigued by their adjustible keyfeel, of which I still know nothing.

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #4 on: Thu, 27 September 2007, 04:56:04 »
What is it for?

HHKB Pro 2 v. SMK 85
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 27 September 2007, 05:00:12 »
Court transcriptionists use them.  I think you need to demonstrate sustained 225 wpm to be qualified.

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #6 on: Thu, 27 September 2007, 05:03:23 »
Man, I'm a writer, not a typist. I could never type that fast.

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #7 on: Fri, 09 November 2007, 03:41:43 »
Well, it's been a couple months since I posted this, so where do I stand on the old SMK 85 vs. HHKB Pro 2 battle after a hundred or so hours on each?

Well, I am using the SMK 85 right now. It is just a better keyboard, that's all there is to it. It types better than the HHKB, it feels more solid and it is even more rare than the HHKB Pro 2. The SMK 85 is loud and strong. Plus, I can type faster on this than any other keyboard I own. If anyone here finds one of these with Apls sliders or Cherry blues, I think you would be mad to not pick it up.

So there you have it folks, the $50 unknown model kicks the butt of the $280 legend.

I don't really know what else to try now. I am thinking about getting something with the Cherry blue switches, since I don't own anything with them. Here is a couple options:

The iOne Scorpious M10
http://www.barrys-rigs-n-reviews.com/reviews/2007/hardware/m10key/m10key.htm

This one looks cool and is cheap, but it is a full size 'board, and I think I would ahave a hard time going back after so long of having space savers.

Option 2 is a the Cherry 1800 series:
http://www.cherrycorp.com/english/keyboards/Industrial/1800/index.htm

I'm not really sure which Cherry switches come with this one, but I have a feeling Cherry makes a model like this with the blue sliders I so desire.

Anyone know of another space saver with Cherry blue switches?

BTW, The Deck 82 key is out - read their forums, the admin posted something stating that Deck 'boards will only use the black linear MX switches, and they have no intentions of switching to the blues.

HHKB Pro 2 v. SMK 85
« Reply #8 on: Fri, 09 November 2007, 04:59:35 »
Quote from: xsphat

Option 2 is a the Cherry 1800 series:
http://www.cherrycorp.com/english/keyboards/Industrial/1800/index.htm

I'm not really sure which Cherry switches come with this one, but I have a feeling Cherry makes a model like this with the blue sliders I so desire.


Not truly mechanical. It's rubber-dome with spring return. Linear feel only.

http://www.cherry.de/english/products/keyboards_g81-1800.htm

http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww7.ocn.ne.jp%2F%7Ehisao%2Fimage%2Fg81hbu.htm&langpair=ja%7Cen&hl=en&ie=UTF8

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #9 on: Fri, 09 November 2007, 11:50:40 »
There are seveal verios of that ketyboard available. Check out my link to Cherry's USA site. It clearly states, several times, that this model comes with some variation of the MX switch.

HHKB Pro 2 v. SMK 85
« Reply #10 on: Fri, 09 November 2007, 16:20:28 »
Quote from: xsphat
There are seveal verios of that ketyboard available. Check out my link to Cherry's USA site. It clearly states, several times, that this model comes with some variation of the MX switch.


Cherry boards usually have model numbers like:

G8X-YYYY

The YYYY part describes the form-factor. X marks the technology.

G80 - mechanical - MX switches.
G81 - semi-mechanical - rubber with spring return.
J82 - membrane cheapy. Made in China.
G83 - quiet membrane. Cheap, soft.
G84 - mechanical - ML switches.
G85 - scissor-switch. 20% larger keytops.
G86 - heavy-duty membrane. Loud, springy. 20% larger keytops. Responsive keys. Can type softly, or hammer away. I like it.

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #11 on: Fri, 09 November 2007, 23:34:00 »
So are you telling me Cherry doesn't even make a keyboard with blue sliders?

HHKB Pro 2 v. SMK 85
« Reply #12 on: Fri, 09 November 2007, 23:50:08 »
They probably do, but the model number would definitely start with G80. Actually on that  link you posted, amongst the various G81-1800 models, there's a lone G80-1800 model (says "MX switches" next to it). Also this is definitely mechanical: http://www.cherrycorp.com/english/keyboards/Industrial/11900/index.htm . I belive that you have the option of clicky sliders, but the default is MX linear. Ask them.

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #13 on: Sat, 10 November 2007, 00:03:18 »
I called Cherry this morning and got a woman's voice mail. She didn't call back, and I knew it was going to be a his is a dead end because girls generally can't stand me, so they never call me back. I'll try again next week.

HHKB Pro 2 v. SMK 85
« Reply #14 on: Sat, 10 November 2007, 01:01:27 »
Everybody loves iMav.

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #15 on: Sat, 10 November 2007, 01:27:39 »
Quote from: Whiskey in the Jar-o
Everybody loves iMav.


:?

Offline iMav

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HHKB Pro 2 v. SMK 85
« Reply #16 on: Sat, 10 November 2007, 06:53:48 »
Ok xsphat.  You are looking for a spacesaving, blue (high tactile) Cherry switch keyboard.  The SMK-88 is an obvious choice...but appears to be no longer available from anywhere (with the blue switches that is).  Otherwise, I think we are going to have to go do some digging.

Offline mr_sf_applet

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« Reply #17 on: Sat, 10 November 2007, 09:03:57 »
Quote from: xsphat
I don't really know what else to try now. I am thinking about getting something with the Cherry blue switches, since I don't own anything with them.


Aside from finding something with Cherry blue switches, how about the Matias Tactile Pro 2.0 with Alps clone switches, despite the supposedly less than stellar build quality?

Or how about the SteelSeries 6G with Cherry non-clicking switches?

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #18 on: Sat, 10 November 2007, 11:58:43 »
I agree with iMav, I'll just have to dig around and keep checking eBay.

I never liked the Matias, but that's a mute point, because I already have 3 keyboards with Alps sliders. I only want blue Cherry sliders because they are supposed to be really good and I want to try them.

As for the SteelSeries 6G, I've never even heard of it, but it looks cool.

I think I should just buy the iOne M10. It's not a space saver, but it's my cheapest option by far, and it got good reviews.

Offline mr_sf_applet

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« Reply #19 on: Sun, 11 November 2007, 01:17:08 »
The Scorpous-M10 definitely seems the way to go if you want blue Cherry switches. You can even see a picture of a Cherry blue on the M10 at http://www.clickykeyboards.com. Do we know of any other keyboard with confirmed Cherry blue key switches?

Yeah, the SteelSeries 6G looks pretty cool. But the SteelSeries 7G, not yet released, and enhanced or bloated -- depending on your point of view -- with gaming/multimedia controls/ports, may be even coolor. I'm not even a gamer, and I find myself lusting after it. I don't have a clue, though, as to the exact type of Cherry key switches used by the 6G and 7G and where they fit into the Cherry typology.

HHKB Pro 2 v. SMK 85
« Reply #20 on: Sun, 11 November 2007, 01:27:55 »
Nice. Though I don't think I'd want to pay the premium for the hand-rest, as nice as it looks. Pretty certain it would have MX linear switches. It's a consiparcy I tell you. It does look a bit like a Filco, though:

http://www.diatec.co.jp/en/det.php?prod_c=448

The "Designed in Denmark" probably refers to the wrist rest and heavy duty cord.  And I think I've seen a somewhere a Japanese Cherry switch keyboard with a wrist rest like that as well.

HHKB Pro 2 v. SMK 85
« Reply #21 on: Sun, 11 November 2007, 01:42:34 »
Filco has this:
http://www.diatec.co.jp/en/det.php?prod_c=9
I think it's Alps though. This is its Japanese 89-key sibling:
 http://tinyurl.com/2nxcqq

Offline mr_sf_applet

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« Reply #22 on: Sun, 11 November 2007, 02:10:57 »
Yep, definitely white Alps sliders on the Japanese one. I sure wouldn't mind getting a compact board with white Alps sliders, but it's almost impossible to get Filcos here, isn't it? I remember a few months back trying to find places where I could order a Filco Majestouch, with no success.

HHKB Pro 2 v. SMK 85
« Reply #23 on: Sun, 11 November 2007, 02:13:22 »
Quote from: mr_sf_applet
Yep, definitely white Alps sliders on the Japanese one. I sure wouldn't mind getting a compact board with white Alps sliders, but it's almost impossible to get Filcos here, isn't it? I remember a few months back trying to find places where I could order a Filco Majestouch, with no success.


No need to tremble with anger: http://www.fdjp.com/

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #24 on: Sun, 11 November 2007, 02:28:44 »
Have you used this site, Whiskey? I'd love to believe in this ...

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #25 on: Sun, 11 November 2007, 02:38:09 »
That space saver by Filco looks so cool, but god knows how much that would cost to ship here. I have seen clones of it around and they all have Alps switches, so I bet that would be a really nice board.

HHKB Pro 2 v. SMK 85
« Reply #26 on: Sun, 11 November 2007, 02:43:34 »
Quote from: xsphat
Have you used this site, Whiskey? I'd love to believe in this ...


Alas, no. But there are others like it. So I don't think the idea itself is a scam. For example, you can order a HHKP2 from amazon.co.jp via these guys:

http://jp-eshopping.com/entry/211_toprated_sellers/amazon_japan.html

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #27 on: Sun, 11 November 2007, 02:51:50 »
Whiskey, you are bottomless pit of keyboard information. I'm impressed.

HHKB Pro 2 v. SMK 85
« Reply #28 on: Sun, 11 November 2007, 03:11:26 »
Quote from: xsphat
Whiskey, you are bottomless pit of keyboard information. I'm impressed.


Oh you... :o  And I only have half-a-dozen keyboards would you believe.

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #29 on: Sun, 11 November 2007, 03:14:13 »
What are they? (only the good ones)

HHKB Pro 2 v. SMK 85
« Reply #30 on: Sun, 11 November 2007, 03:27:40 »
That depends on your definition of good, by which, I suspect,  none of them are.

Northgate Evolution (white alps)
2 x Plum (Cherry ML)
MS Natural ergo 4000 (membrane)
MS Natural ergo Elite (membrane)
Cherry Cymotion Solar (membrane)
Acer Accufeel (ancient membrane, steel bottom)

(The keyboard on my Asus laptop probably doesn't count.)

I don't think mechanicals are my bag. I find ML's too stiff.  I can't help bottoming out on the clicky Alps, and the resulting vibration through my fingers is painful after a while. Perhaps I'd like Cherry MX more. I think they have more travel. I wouldn't mind a decent space-saver scissor-switch for my next keyboard. But then again, I have too many already. I have to stop myself from buying more. I think it's a losing strategy though, because I end up spending heaps of time reading reviews, wondering if I'd want that or other keyboard. Pretty sad really. I'd waste less time if I just got on with it and bought them.

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #31 on: Sun, 11 November 2007, 03:41:24 »
Dude, I'm right there with you. But I also have keyboard moods. Like some days I pull out my other keyboards just for a different feel. My justification of this is that I am a professional writer, and I take my writing very seriously, so the keyboard is my paintbrush. I write differently on the Model M than on the HHKB Pro 2, for example, and it comes out in my voice. I would like to know if I am the only one that feels this way ...

We differ on preferences, but I respect that. I love bottoming out the keys on the SMK 85. It's thunderous and feels so powerful. My girlfriend is used to the clicky-ness, so she really doesn't even notice. Plus, I gave her my SMK 88 with black MX sliders and she started to like the clicky mechanical keyboards, to.

That's why I'm thinking about buying an M10 sometime soon. I have a feeling the Cherry blues are just gonna rock, and the 'board is fairly priced.

HHKB Pro 2 v. SMK 85
« Reply #32 on: Sun, 11 November 2007, 04:48:06 »
Yeah I too have keyboard moods. On the other hand, I feel like they are a diversion - just another way to procrastinate. After all some of the best stuff was written/created in pretty ****e working conditions. Speaking of which, I think that lack of a perfect office chair is all that stands between me and greatness.

Offline mr_sf_applet

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« Reply #33 on: Sun, 11 November 2007, 11:42:09 »
Quote from: Whiskey in the Jar-o
Nice. Though I don't think I'd want to pay the premium for the hand-rest, as nice as it looks. Pretty certain it would have MX linear switches. It's a consiparcy I tell you. It does look a bit like a Filco, though:

http://www.diatec.co.jp/en/det.php?prod_c=448

The "Designed in Denmark" probably refers to the wrist rest and heavy duty cord.  And I think I've seen a somewhere a Japanese Cherry switch keyboard with a wrist rest like that as well.


I think you're spot on about the linear MX switches, Whiskey. Here's a picture of a 6G with a key popped open to reveal a black Cherry MX (from a review at hexus.net):

http://img.hexus.net/v2/gaming/steel/s6g_large_9.jpg

There's no reason to think that the 7G would have different key switches. (Is there a definitive listing somewhere on the web -- aside from this site's Wiki -- that associates the color of the Cherry MX switches with the key action -- linear, tactile, etc.?)

"Designed in Denmark..., produced in Taiwan" makes me wonder if the OEM relationship is with the Strong Man Enterprise Co., Ltd. (the SMK-85, SMK-88, etc.). There's currently a gaming keyboard on sale on eBay with black Cherry MX switches that bears the Strong Man label, though I don't see anything about it on the Strong Man web site:

http://cgi.ebay.com/PRO-Gaming-Keyboard-Cherry-MX-swith-7-Keys-hit-one-time_W0QQitemZ250185969828

Offline mr_sf_applet

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« Reply #34 on: Sun, 11 November 2007, 12:33:13 »
Quote from: Whiskey in the Jar-o
...I think that lack of a perfect office chair is all that stands between me and greatness.

I've had a perfect office chair for the past 7 months, so now there's nothing standing between me and greatness except for, well, me. But at least I'm sitting here in supreme comfort as I wallow in my mediocrity.

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #35 on: Sun, 11 November 2007, 12:35:34 »
Strong man enterprises is a different company. Go to thier site, they don't have a pic of the SMK 85 or the 88, and on the bottom of my 85, it say's Strong Man Electronics Co. LTD.

Those boards on the the site don't look to appealing.

Offline mr_sf_applet

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« Reply #36 on: Sun, 11 November 2007, 12:56:32 »
Excuse me, but go to:

http://www.strong-man.com.tw/index_p03.htm

and compare the SMK-85 E listed there with this:

http://www.notestation.com/smk85u.htm

and now tell me that it ain't the same company.

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« Reply #37 on: Sun, 11 November 2007, 13:21:38 »
Oh, and I forgot to add that Strong Man Enterprise Co., Ltd. apparently made the Matias Tactile Pro:

http://alexking.org/blog/2007/01/09/apple-keyboard-revisited#comment-53908

Don't know if they make the Tactile Pro 2.0, though.

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #38 on: Sun, 11 November 2007, 17:54:33 »
What you have to realize is that the SMK 85 and 88 are actually manufactured by DS International. Just because a certain company has their name on a product doesn't mean they make it. Think of the old Dell and Gateway keyboards with buckiling springs - they were manufactured by IBM or Leximark.

Offline mr_sf_applet

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« Reply #39 on: Sun, 11 November 2007, 18:05:32 »

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #40 on: Sun, 11 November 2007, 18:13:30 »
Call Karl at DS Inernational, his number is on their web site.

Offline mr_sf_applet

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« Reply #41 on: Sun, 11 November 2007, 18:42:50 »
I give up. And no, I'm not going to call Karl.

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #42 on: Sun, 11 November 2007, 18:48:15 »
Cool. I have talked to Karl on the phone, so I know what he told me.

BTW, http://www.dsi-usa.com/input.html

As the site states, they design and manufacture OEM products.

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #43 on: Sun, 11 November 2007, 19:13:16 »
Quote from: mr_sf_applet
I've had a perfect office chair for the past 7 months, so now there's nothing standing between me and greatness except for, well, me. But at least I'm sitting here in supreme comfort as I wallow in my mediocrity.


Since I'm an office set-up dork, what kind of chair do you have? I have only had hand me down chairs, my current one isn't very comfortable and weighs more than my SUV. And I really like your word usage here, very nice.

HHKB Pro 2 v. SMK 85
« Reply #44 on: Sun, 11 November 2007, 19:36:03 »
Quote from: mr_sf_applet

I think you're spot on about the linear MX switches, Whiskey. Here's a picture of a 6G with a key popped open to reveal a black Cherry MX (from a review at hexus.net):


I believe that the MX Linear spec is 50 or 60 million key presses. The click one is supposedly only 20 million. Not sure where I saw this. Most mechanical keyboards with Cherry switches advertise 50 million presses. I think that's a strong indication that the switch they use is linear. BTW, how did you find the G7 page?  It seems impossible to navigate to from their  home page.

HHKB Pro 2 v. SMK 85
« Reply #45 on: Sun, 11 November 2007, 19:38:16 »
Quote from: xsphat
Whiskey, you are bottomless pit of keyboard information. I'm impressed.


This site is quite good for finding OEM information:

http://www.alibaba.com/

(First 4-page thread? Yay!)

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #46 on: Sun, 11 November 2007, 19:58:01 »
That site looks a bit tricky to use at first glance, but I'll give it a try.

Let me ask you something - Do you know the difference between the Alps switches used in the Northgate Omnikey (white), my 1986 Apple Desktop Bus (pinkish) and the SMK 85 (Black)? They are all listed as tactile, but the Apple feels a lot different than the SMK, though it may be it's age, but they both feel great. I am wondering what the Omnikey / Avant Prime would be like compared to the SMK 85, and whether it could be better.

HHKB Pro 2 v. SMK 85
« Reply #47 on: Sun, 11 November 2007, 21:41:28 »
Quote from: xsphat
That site looks a bit tricky to use at first glance, but I'll give it a try.

Let me ask you something - Do you know the difference between the Alps switches used in the Northgate Omnikey (white), my 1986 Apple Desktop Bus (pinkish) and the SMK 85 (Black)? They are all listed as tactile, but the Apple feels a lot different than the SMK, though it may be it's age, but they both feel great. I am wondering what the Omnikey / Avant Prime would be like compared to the SMK 85, and whether it could be better.


No idea to be honest. I suspect that alps colors are all over the place. They are probably consistent in a given time period, but not between different time periods. BTW, are they even manufactured anymore? I can' find anything on the Alps site. Seeing how practically all new mechanical boards are now using Cherry switches, I wonder if that's the case.

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #48 on: Sun, 11 November 2007, 21:49:42 »
Alps still makes the switches, and I understand some keyboards still use them. I would really be sad if they stopped making Alps swtiches for keyboards.

And I have noticed that everything mechanical that's new has the black Cherry MX switches. This is a disturbance in The Force.

Offline mr_sf_applet

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« Reply #49 on: Mon, 12 November 2007, 14:42:34 »
Quote from: xsphat
Let me ask you something - Do you know the difference between the Alps switches used in the Northgate Omnikey (white), my 1986 Apple Desktop Bus (pinkish) and the SMK 85 (Black)? They are all listed as tactile, but the Apple feels a lot different than the SMK, though it may be it's age, but they both feel great. I am wondering what the Omnikey / Avant Prime would be like compared to the SMK 85, and whether it could be better.
I just took delivery of an SMK 85 today at work. It's the silver one with black keys (I gave up looking for the all black version). Not sure if it has Alps or Strongman switches. I'll pop a key tonight when I get home and find out. But if it has black Alps sliders, I'll be able to do a direct comparison with the Avant Stellar and its white Alps sliders.

Offline mr_sf_applet

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« Reply #50 on: Mon, 12 November 2007, 14:46:47 »
Quote from: xsphat
Alps still makes the switches, and I understand some keyboards still use them. I would really be sad if they stopped making Alps swtiches for keyboards.

And I have noticed that everything mechanical that's new has the black Cherry MX switches. This is a disturbance in The Force.


Yeah, but I don't know if Alps is making the switches that keyboard makers want them to make. The Matias Tactile Pro 2 doesn't use Alps switches but is based on a type of Alps switch that is apparently no longer available, if I understand correctly.

Offline mr_sf_applet

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HHKB Pro 2 v. SMK 85
« Reply #51 on: Mon, 12 November 2007, 14:49:49 »
Quote from: Whiskey in the Jar-o
BTW, how did you find the G7 page?  It seems impossible to navigate to from their  home page.
I just googled "Steelseries" and "G7," because I had just found out from googling for info on the G6 that the G7 was about to come out. It's the very first listing.

Offline mr_sf_applet

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HHKB Pro 2 v. SMK 85
« Reply #52 on: Mon, 12 November 2007, 14:54:37 »
Quote from: xsphat
Since I'm an office set-up dork, what kind of chair do you have? I have only had hand me down chairs, my current one isn't very comfortable and weighs more than my SUV.
I have an Aeron Chair:
http://geekhack.org/viewtopic.php?p=821&sid=2efffdc751551114c23d6901a30254af#821

For years I had used a folding wood slat chair. Most unergonomic, and very hard on the butt. But it seemed okay because I was ascetic to the point of masochism (except for computer toys), so this year I decided my body deserved to be more kindly treated.

Offline xsphat

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HHKB Pro 2 v. SMK 85
« Reply #53 on: Mon, 12 November 2007, 15:04:48 »
I forgot you were the one with the Avant. I am really interested in your impressions of the SMK 85, whether it has Cherry blues or black Alps.

What is so big about those chairs? I live in a town that has has only a decade since the last tracter-pull was hosted here, and mullets are plentiful, so the most expencive chair they sell here is $300. Are they really $1500, and if so, are they worth it?

Offline mr_sf_applet

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HHKB Pro 2 v. SMK 85
« Reply #54 on: Tue, 13 November 2007, 01:06:38 »
xsphat, guess what! They're white. My SMK85 has *white* Alps sliders. Hahahaha! So I really can't compare my Avant Stellar with the SMK85 as far as key action goes, because they're just about identical, although my impression is that the keystrokes on the Avant Stellar sound a bit more echoey, and slightly louder, than than on the SMK85.

I was expecting either black Alps sliders or High Audible Strongman Mechanical Switches. I was thinking I might get Strongman switches because I was getting an SMK85 in silver with black keys with a USB connector, and both the DSI sales site (http://www.notestation.com) and http://www.ergocanada.com listed silver and black USB SMK85's as having the Strongman switches, although http://www.notestation.com had it as out of stock (transition to Cherry linear?). The web site I ordered it from said it had Alps switches, but I couldn't be sure if that was a mistake.(I ordered it from http://www.ergo-tech.ca for $70 USD plus shipping).

So I can't compare white Alps sliders with black Alps sliders. But xsphat, this means that instead of getting an Avant Prime, you can get a second SMK85, this time with white Alps sliders,as a companion to your all black PS/2 SMK85, and do the comparison yourself.


So let's see, we now know that SMK85's have had black Alps sliders, white Alps sliders, High Audible Strongman Switches (available from http://www.ergocanada.com, and Alps low audible linear sliders, whatever they are (also from http://www.ergocanda.com). And from what I gather here from iMav and xsphat, they're going to have black Cherry MX linear switches (ugh!).


BTW, I think this SMK85 is a really great keyboard: nice layout for a mini, with the clicky, tactile, audible goodness of Alps sliders. I hate the two-tone color scheme (as far as I'm concerned two-tone only looks good on the Honda Element), but you can't have everything. I don't know whether I like it better than the HHKB Pro 2, but hell, it's $200 less, and certainly in the same ballpark as far as quality goes. I don't know whether it's better than the all black SMK85 with black Alps sliders that xsphat has, but still, it's a mighty fine board.

Offline xsphat

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HHKB Pro 2 v. SMK 85
« Reply #55 on: Tue, 13 November 2007, 02:14:38 »
I'm happy for you either way. The SMK 85 is a great keyboard with any of the above listed switches. I was under the impression strong man switches are the loudest Alps switches, but I don't know where I got that from.

I'm thinking about selling my HHKB Pro 2 now. With that money, I could buy a bunch of keyboards with different switches. The HHKB is nice, but it's switches aren't as good as the Alps.

Offline iMav

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HHKB Pro 2 v. SMK 85
« Reply #56 on: Tue, 13 November 2007, 09:11:13 »
Nice score with the white alps sliders.  At least according to the info we've compiled in the wiki, those are the audible click feel switches...clickier than the black tactile feel black ones.

I don't like the key layout of the SMK-85, otherwise I'd definitely own one and try it out for myself.  

Since I've been back, I simply have not been able to pull myself away from my Model M mini.

Offline xsphat

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HHKB Pro 2 v. SMK 85
« Reply #57 on: Tue, 13 November 2007, 11:58:30 »
I think when the HHKB Lite 2 sells, I'm going to order another SNK 85. If the white Alps are better than the black ones, I swap the guts so the better of the two has the black case. I think that black keys on silver bezel looks like poo.

HHKB Pro 2 v. SMK 85
« Reply #58 on: Tue, 13 November 2007, 19:39:39 »
Quote from: xsphat
I'm happy for you either way. The SMK 85 is a great keyboard with any of the above listed switches. I was under the impression strong man switches are the loudest Alps switches, but I don't know where I got that from.

I'm thinking about selling my HHKB Pro 2 now. With that money, I could buy a bunch of keyboards with different switches. The HHKB is nice, but it's switches aren't as good as the Alps.


Sounds like a good idea, considering that it's most likely that alps no longer make keyboard switches. So stock up for a lifetime! BTW, Northgate Omnikey Evolution has white Alps switches. Very clicky. I got one from here:

http://www.c-techsys.com/products.html

It's a real battleship of a keyboard. (personally I don't like it, 'cause I hate the fact that I can't help but bottom out  after the click). Interestingly enough, it has green sliders here: http://tinyurl.com/32ul8p

Offline mr_sf_applet

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HHKB Pro 2 v. SMK 85
« Reply #59 on: Wed, 14 November 2007, 03:31:42 »
Quote from: xsphat
I think that black keys on silver bezel looks like poo.
Yeah, definitely a change for the worse.