Author Topic: My HHKB Lite 2 review  (Read 10954 times)

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Offline karlito

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My HHKB Lite 2 review
« on: Thu, 01 November 2007, 00:34:27 »
So I got an HHKB Lite in today...

Pros:
1)It's tiny! (see image below of my G15 eating it)

2)Replacing CAPLOCK with Control is surprisingly easy to get used to and once you do you realize it's far superior.

3)There is a dip switch on the keyboard so you can change a few of the default keys around. For example you can change the delete key (see image) to a backspace and the strange diamond key to alt.

4)According to the spec it's capable of registering 10 different keys down at once.  I only tested it w/ 5 keys down at once and it worked flawlessly.

Cons:
1)The force required to press a key is very tough and it's almost linear in toughness. Keys also have a very limited travel compared to any other keyboard I've used (except for laptop keyboards)

2)By default the key above Enter is a Delete key and to make it a backspace you press the Fn key + delete and it turns into a backspace. However, if you're like me and prefer a backspace key to be above the Enter you can flip a switch on the keyboard but Fn+backspace does not turn into delete like you would hope.
I.E.
Dip switch 3 off:
delete key deletes the character to the right of the cursor
Fn + delete key deletes the character to the left of the cursor
Dip switch 3 on:
delete key deletes the character to the left of the cursor
Fn + delete key deletes the character to the left of the cursor (I would have expected it to delete the character to the right)

3) Moving the |\ key has proven to be extremely difficult to deal with.  My pinky cant really reach beyond the += key.

Potential Cons:
1) The Fn key does not appear to be sent to the computer at all, I.E. windows doesn't pick up a keyevent when you press the Fn key.  I'm not 100% on this as I don't know of a reliable way to test this.  No game was capable of binding to it and a quick and w/ a quick and dirty Java program I didn't get a keyevent.

The stiff crappy feel of the keys is just a complete deal breaker for me. If it wasn't for the horrible feeling keys I would probably give this keyboard a 9/10 rating as I would probably just use Auto hotkey or some other tool to rebind |\ key to something else.

As for how bad the keys are (to me and my friend) I did a blind key feel test between this keyboard and an old $9 gateway keyboard, both myself and my friend choose the gateway keyboard as having better feeling keys.  I didn't do the test vs my G15 as both of us use that keyboard as our primary keyboard so we're too familiar w/ it and I know we both would have chosen it.

G15 eating the little baby of a keyboard


The ancient gateway keyboard (no i never bought a gateway computer i got the keyboard from directron.com i have no idea why they were selling them lol)

Offline iMav

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My HHKB Lite 2 review
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 01 November 2007, 01:00:04 »
First off, thanks for posting your impressions...I've always been curious about the feel of the keys on the Lite.  

I do have a few follow up questions if you don't mind humoring me.  :)

You said the the feel is pretty linear from top to bottom.  Do you have to bottom out the keys for the keystroke to be registered?  And, if not, is there any feedback whatsoever that the key has been registered other than seeing it on the screen?

Offline xsphat

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My HHKB Lite 2 review
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 01 November 2007, 01:04:37 »
Mine is scheduled to deliver today, maybe I should just toss it in the garbage.

Offline iMav

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My HHKB Lite 2 review
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 01 November 2007, 01:06:43 »
Quote from: xsphat
Mine is scheduled to deliver today, maybe I should just toss it in the garbage.

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!

Don't prejudge it.  I'm anxious to hear if your impressions are similar.

Offline karlito

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My HHKB Lite 2 review
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 01 November 2007, 01:16:19 »
iMav,
hmm ok here goes my poor explanation of the keys:
I did my best to do an accurate measurement of how far down the keys go when pressed and my measurement is 2mm (millimeters).

So basically you're pressing the key -> resistance -> resistance -> membrane collapses -> you're also bottomed out. So you pretty much bottom out to register a key press

So it's a constant linear resistance until the key registers and then you can hold the key there with very little resistance as the membrane is collapsed.

The G15 has about 4mm or travel and the membrane collapses around mm 3 or so it almost collapses and bottoms out at the same time like the HHKB lite 2 but not quite.

xsphat,
lol  you better test yours out first cause i would really like to know what you think.

Offline xsphat

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My HHKB Lite 2 review
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 01 November 2007, 01:55:54 »
I'll try it, but no guarantees it'll make it through the night if it sucks.

You guys don't understand - my life has been really bad the last couple days, like really really bad, and this would be the ultimate badge of failure for me, a real, "Thanks, God," moment. This, I think, means it can't be good.

Maybe I could donate it to willitblend.com ...

Or, maybe since the worst of it seems to have passed, you got a bunk one and mine will be OK. I bought it to leave at work, after all. Well, in any case, if the UPS person catches me, we'll know for sure later today.

Offline karlito

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My HHKB Lite 2 review
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 01 November 2007, 02:48:49 »
lol willitblend.com never seen that before.

As for my HHKB lite it's being returned to PFU they charge a 15% restocking fee :(. oh well.

Offline xsphat

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« Reply #7 on: Thu, 01 November 2007, 02:58:57 »

Offline xsphat

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My HHKB Lite 2 review
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 01 November 2007, 03:11:42 »
Quote from: karlito
1) The Fn key does not appear to be sent to the computer at all, I.E. windows doesn't pick up a keyevent when you press the Fn key. I'm not 100% on this as I don't know of a reliable way to test this. No game was capable of binding to it and a quick and w/ a quick and dirty Java program I didn't get a keyevent.


The Mac doesn't register the Fn key on my HHKB Pro 2 either, but that is the same story with EVERY external keyboard I own that has an Fn key. The internal keyboard on the MacBook is the only one that does, but only in Keyboard Viewer. I think the Fn key is a modifier only for the keyboard and not for the OS, because the Fn keys works flawlessly for me regardless of the program or OS I'm using.

Offline mr_sf_applet

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Re: My HHKB Lite 2 review
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 01 November 2007, 03:16:14 »
Quote from: karlito
2)By default the key above Enter is a Delete key and to make it a backspace you press the Fn key + delete and it turns into a backspace. However, if you're like me and prefer a backspace key to be above the Enter you can flip a switch on the keyboard but Fn+backspace does not turn into delete like you would hope.
I.E.
Dip switch 3 off:
delete key deletes the character to the right of the cursor
Fn + delete key deletes the character to the left of the cursor
Dip switch 3 on:
delete key deletes the character to the left of the cursor
Fn + delete key deletes the character to the left of the cursor (I would have expected it to delete the character to the right)


If the HHKB Lite 2 is anything like the HHKB Pro 2, then Fn + DELETE always functions as a backspace key (i.e., deletes to the left of the cursor), regardless of dip switch settings, and Fn + "tilde" key (the rightmost key in the top row) always functions as a DELETE key (i.e., deletes to the right). That way, you always have a BACKSPACE and a DELETE key available no matter how dip switch 3 is set.

Fess up, karlito. Is that an Aeron chair I see in the pic?

Offline iMav

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Re: My HHKB Lite 2 review
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 01 November 2007, 03:58:47 »
Quote from: mr_sf_applet
Fess up, karlito. Is that an Aeron chair I see in the pic?

Wow, good catch.  I initially thought, "what chair?"

Offline karlito

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My HHKB Lite 2 review
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 01 November 2007, 12:20:41 »
lol it is indeed an aeron chair.  i wouldnt recommend it to any twitchy sitters like myself. I like to sit on one leg turn sideways etc so the metal rim on the chair can be painful. however, if you can sit "properly" for hours on end then it's probably the chair for you.  they sold me on the 12 year warranty though, i used to go through a 100-200 dollar office max chair every 2 years as they would tend to break.