Author Topic: I bought an HHKB Lite 2  (Read 5906 times)

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Offline xsphat

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I bought an HHKB Lite 2
« on: Sun, 21 October 2007, 23:27:09 »
I bought it for work so I don't have to carry the Pro2 around with me. I'll put together a review of it to tell all of you how it rates against it's big bro and all the other good keyboards out there.

Offline iMav

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Re: I bought an HHKB Lite 2
« Reply #1 on: Sun, 21 October 2007, 23:34:51 »
Quote from: xsphat
I bought it for work so I don't have to carry the Pro2 around with me. I'll put together a review of it to tell all of you how it rates against it's big bro and all the other good keyboards out there.

I've always assumed that I wouldn't like the feel of the HHKB Lite keyboards. I'm very interested in hearing your experiences.

Offline xsphat

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I bought an HHKB Lite 2
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 21 October 2007, 23:40:15 »
I am thinking (and hoping) that they so it right, as you've said of Unicomp's membrane models. Either way, love it or hate it, we will all know what I think of it is a few weeks.

Offline karlito

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I bought an HHKB Lite 2
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 28 October 2007, 04:56:46 »
xsphat,

How's that review coming? I would really like to know what you think of the lite vs the pro hhkb.

I've been hunting for a keyboard for awhile now and HHKB pro seems like the best choice but I can justify the $280 price tag.

I currently use a logitech G15 as it's the best feeling keyboard I've been able to find in a store but it's huge.  I tried sawing off the numpad but when I cut the contact board (some flexible thing that looks like a circuit board) only a few of the keys still worked :(.

Which brings me to another question: has anyone opened up a  Das keyboard II or the M10 and seen whether or not it would be possible to remove the numpad?  I'm thinking that if I had just rolled up the circuit board of the g15 the keys would still work and I would have a tiny keyboard.  I emailed das keyboard support asking if it was possible to remove the numpad through custom modification but well they never replied LOL.

-karl

Offline xsphat

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I bought an HHKB Lite 2
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 28 October 2007, 08:51:49 »
Mechanical keyboards use circuit boards, and I know I am not smart enough with electronics to hack the board and have any hope of it not burning my house down. The HHKB Pro 2 is one of the best keyboards out there, I am typing on it right now, in fact. I bought the Lite 2 off eBay, and it should be arriving in about a week. I will post my thoughts on here ASAP, because I know I would have liked a to see a keyboard junky's comparison as well.

Now, you said you've used the Logitec board, which has membrane switches, but you f'ed it up. What are you using now? What has been your favorite keyboard so far? I have an SMK 85 with Alps switches made by DSI and it is better feeling than the HHKB Pro 2 to type on, and it's a space saver design (no numpad) so maybe that's something you should look into as well. Check my review in the wiki.

Offline karlito

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I bought an HHKB Lite 2
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 28 October 2007, 13:07:34 »
xsphat,

I still use a logitech g15. I had 2 (one for work and one for home). So I experimented on one. The frustrating things about it are it's huge and it transposes characters when you type really fast (I'm only a 60wpmer so it doesnt happen that often to me).  I wish I could prove it but it's just one of those thing you have to take my word for. I have a friend who can type a lot faster than me (90wpm or so) and he agrees that it registers key clicks out of order.

I'm a programmer so moving the | \ key (on the SMK 85 keyboard) on me would probably drive me nuts. My other constraint is I'm a gamer so I need to be able to have at least 5 keys down at once, something I would have assumed all modern keyboards would support but it turns out it is pretty difficult to find. Many MS keyboards only support 3 keys down at once.

It's very strange to me that my keyboard requirements are so misaligned with the general public. The only person I've met that ever uses a numpad is my mom and she's an accountant...

So given all my "crazy" keyboard requirements I havent really had the guts to buy anything expensive online to try it.  I like to be able to return it to the store when it sucks... and bestbuy walmart etc carry a pretty poor selection of keyboards :(

*Edit*
Yea I know HHKB moves the \| key too but they place it in a much more reasonable location and well I just have something against large Enter keys :P.

Offline iMav

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I bought an HHKB Lite 2
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 28 October 2007, 13:27:32 »
karlito,

What about an 82-key Deck keyboard?  

Space saver form factor (no numpad), gold cross-point mechanical switches, diamond-plate bottom pan (SOLID!), sane key layout (\ | key in the right place), and it's a gamer keyboard...so you'll likely not have an issue with multiple keys being recognized at the same time.

Sounds perfect to me!

Offline mr_sf_applet

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I bought an HHKB Lite 2
« Reply #7 on: Sun, 28 October 2007, 14:17:33 »
One thing about the Deck is that it uses *linear* mechanical switches, and some people don't like that. I've seen it compared unfavorably to the electric capacitance keys of the HHKB Pro, for example. Also, the Deck is 1-1/2" high, so you need to make sure you adjust your keyboard tray accordingly. I've been tempted to get one, but I think I'll save my money to get a second HHKB Pro 2 instead (for backup and to take to work).

I keep wanting to try the SMK85 with black Alps sliders that xsphat has (DSI never got back to me when I emailed them; maybe I'll try phoning them this week). xsphat says the typing feel is better than the HHKB Pro 2, but I find myself much preferring the key action of the HHKB Pro to the white Alps sliders of the Avant Stellar, so I'm curious if the SMK85 feels any different from the Avant Stellar.

Also, this Ask MetaFilter thread is worth checking out about multiple keys being pressed. It turns out the Northgate/Avant Stellar boards are, well, stellar in this regard. Definitely the wrong form factor for the original poster, though. The Avant Stellar, at 20-1/2" wide, is just about the bulkiest keyboard around.

Offline xsphat

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I bought an HHKB Lite 2
« Reply #8 on: Sun, 28 October 2007, 14:25:26 »
As a gamer, I really don't know if the HHKB is the one for you either. There are no F keys, you have to press the Fn key to make the numbers turn to the F keys. That is why I don't use the HHKB for gaming - for that I use the SMK 85.

The deck is a cool looking 'board but I would want to try it out before I buy it, and really, what the crap am I going to do with another keyboard?

Offline iMav

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I bought an HHKB Lite 2
« Reply #9 on: Sun, 28 October 2007, 16:00:11 »
Quote from: mr_sf_applet
One thing about the Deck is that it uses *linear* mechanical switches, and some people don't like that.

He currently uses a LOGITECH keyboard...I'm guessing the Deck feels a LOT better.  ;)

Decks have a very fierce following among gamers.  I think there is a very good chance the keyboard would serve him well.

Offline xsphat

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I bought an HHKB Lite 2
« Reply #10 on: Sun, 28 October 2007, 18:44:04 »
But I know I don't like the switches, so I would want to type on it before I bought it, which I never have, so I would have a hard time recommending this one to anyone.

But Cherry's black ML switches rock. Weird, huh?

Offline karlito

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I bought an HHKB Lite 2
« Reply #11 on: Sun, 28 October 2007, 21:56:23 »
iMav,

That deck looks neat. My only complaint would be the `~ key where left alt is suppose to be (but I'm sure I could rebind it as I rarely use ~).  I use Eclipse I'm not a 1337 vi programmer :P so I need my left alt.

I think I'm just going to get a HHKB lite since as you pointed out I'm used to crappy logitech/dell/gateway/etc keyboards I'm sure I will not be disappointed (oh yea i can't forget the Saitek eclipse keyboard holy crap that thing was designed to be used by the Hulk! has anyone else tried to type on it? the keys are soo hard to press).  Some day I'll have to get one of the mechanically switched keyboards to see what all the hype is about :). I have to admit listening to the das keyboard and HHKB pro keyboards on youtube.com they sound pretty darn cool.

Thanks for all your guys help. This site rocks, I think it's the only site out there that deals w/ nice to type on keyboards.

*edit*
xsphat,
Counter strike doesn't use the F keys so I think im good there :).  I can't think of any games I play that really use the F keys... usually they are for save/load/print screen and that's it so i dont think pressing FN+number key would bother me too much.

-karl

Offline karlito

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I bought an HHKB Lite 2
« Reply #12 on: Sun, 28 October 2007, 22:51:18 »
woh, I was looking at another post from xsphat and I noticed he had a cool layout smk 88 like this one:

http://www.notestation.com/smk-88.htm
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2050/1574172739_65113b2df7_o.jpg

does anyone know if that thing works w/ windows? as it's a "mac" keyboard but i would assume it works.

Offline xsphat

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I bought an HHKB Lite 2
« Reply #13 on: Sun, 28 October 2007, 22:57:11 »
Hold on, I'll bust out "the nasty" and give it a shot.

Offline xsphat

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I bought an HHKB Lite 2
« Reply #14 on: Sun, 28 October 2007, 23:07:02 »
I am typing on the SMK 88 in XP right now. The keyboard works fine. The command key is the Windows key, trhe rest are the same. The volume controls don't work, nor does the eject key. This is what we all expected, but I figured I'd test it anyway. It is a good, solid keyboard. The switches are a bit strong, though.

Now, back to Mac ...

Offline iMav

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I bought an HHKB Lite 2
« Reply #15 on: Mon, 29 October 2007, 00:08:47 »
Quote from: karlito
does anyone know if that thing works w/ windows? as it's a "mac" keyboard but i would assume it works.

I own two of these. There is absolutely no reason for them to not work in the nasty.  In fact, I am using one at work...where I am actually forced to use the nasty...no issues whatsoever.

Also, don't discount the Cherry ML4100's.  Several members here like them very much.