Author Topic: Best mechanical keyboard off Amazon  (Read 495 times)

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Offline VimLover

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Best mechanical keyboard off Amazon
« on: Tue, 10 July 2018, 22:39:06 »
Hi,

So I'm in a situation where I need to purchase a new mechanical keyboard, but I'm limited to Amazon. Which kind of sucks, because I was really hoping to get some ergodox, or kono, or laser etc. but I have a gift card for amazon, and money is really tight right now for the wife and I, so we've decided I should just stick to the gift card. We both agree that I need a new keyboard for work, since I'm typing 50 hours a week. So far I've owned an HHKB and a WASD CODE, both of which I had to sell, just for reference of what I've tried.

Here are some of the things I'd like to have in no particular order:
- USB-C instead of micro usb
- RGB lighting
- Little to no branding (I like timeless looking keyboards)
- Clears or Topre (I've also tried blues, reds, and browns on loaners that I didn't like. I love the feel of the clears and topre about equally)
- Easily moddable in the future if I ever do get some money
- TKL
- Maybe something ergo?
- Maybe wireless?

So far I have looked at the FC660, the HHKB BT (although I don't like that it's powered by AAs), another HHKB Pro 2, another CODE, a Vortex board.

My budget is something under 500$. I'm looking for some expert opinions on what I should be looking at, and what would be the best keyboard if I can only own one board.

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Best mechanical keyboard off Amazon
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 11 July 2018, 00:58:58 »
You have a few issues on your list.
USB Type C is going to knock out almost everything and RGB will take off almost anything worthwhile. The big companies you would want to buy from are slow to change while the upstarts buying white labels out of China are quick in order to get in and make a few bucks before the big players encroach. Easy to mod is another issue, companies have not embraced easy to service switches, they don't have a need to. Bluetooth kind of falls into the same problem as RGB and type-c. Most importantly, none of those have any impact whatsoever on your typing experience.

On one hand, my advice is buy one of the ones you have listed, they work well and then save your pennies and start watching the custom market. Stop lusting for ultra high end, and consider smaller manufacturers and Chinese stuff, you don't need $500 to get a nice custom. I've priced out some for well under $200. There is a lot out there, they're just not as well known, but I have an alternative.

Buy a Varmilo VA87, this has clears, but comes with dyesub keycaps caps, no rgb, wireless or type C... but it's a very good solid foundation. Then buy an aluminum case like this. Then install your key caps. Now, it's not a full custom kit, and lacks the flash, but it feels like one and so what you will end up with is  one heck of a fantastic keyboard that will last a long time and be a joy to type on.

Is it smart? Yes and no. There is no cheap TKL aluminim case, and as for the keyboard, it's rgb and such, it's overpriced for what you get.  People rag on Filco for being overpriced and frankly, this is even worse, but like I always say, you won't go wrong with it. 5 years down the road that money extra money spent no longer matters (especially from a gift card), and you still have a great keyboard on your desk.
Filco MJ2 L.E. w/Vortex case, hand milled case, custom feet, custom paint, Klaxxon key caps, lubed and o-ringed Jailhouse Blues made from vintage Cherry MX Blues, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, removable cord, sound dampened. Winkey blockoff plate | Magicforce 68 w/Outemu Blues |KBT Race S L.E. w/Ergo-Clears, custom WASD keyset | Das Pro w/browns (Costar model) | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline killyou

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Re: Best mechanical keyboard off Amazon
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 11 July 2018, 08:50:02 »
Can't you just buy something for someone else with that gift card and get the money back from the friend instead? That's what I do when I have a gift card that I'm not particularly caring for. I just ask around if anyone needs anything in exchange for money so I can spend cash however I want.

Going back to your question for that kind of money I'd just buy two Vortex boards that suit you most to cover you both at home and office, soldering station and some braided USB cables.

Online hineybush

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Re: Best mechanical keyboard off Amazon
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 11 July 2018, 09:28:13 »
Ducky has a few USB C boards, not sure if they're on Amazon though. I've certainly seen Ducky on there, maybe it's third party vendors. Some Ducky boards have RGB and sometimes dyesub PBT as well.

HHKB's sell on Amazon IIRC.

Varmilo is def a good option, another that's very similar is Leopold.  They don't have RGB (or in switch LEDs pretty much at all for that matter) but their doubleshot PBT caps on their MX boards are very nice. Afaik they don't sell boards with clears though. Their Topre selection is really nice, def keep looking at the 660C. If you need a numpad or do a decent amount of number crunching at work, the 980C has a fantastic layout and is barely wider than a TKL.

Offline SpAmRaY

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Re: Best mechanical keyboard off Amazon
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 11 July 2018, 12:38:32 »
2018 New Edition LANCERTECH NiZ ATOM66 Keys Mini Size Dual FN Keys Electrostatic Capasity Keyboard (BT4.0/Wired Dual Mode With RGB Backlit, ATOM 66 Keys)
 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FDYHB9S/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_Y.JrBb5KGSZJT

It can be found cheaper elsewhere but it checks off most of your wants.


I personally would recommend a leopold.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: Wed, 11 July 2018, 12:41:45 by SpAmRaY »

Offline VimLover

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Re: Best mechanical keyboard off Amazon
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 11 July 2018, 14:09:16 »
So it seems like the better question is just, should I pick the HHKB, the HHKB BT, or the Leopold? I've used an HHKB quite a bit and really love dit, but I also like the look of the Leopold. How do they differ? And is getting the HHKB BT worth it? I'm not a huge fan of cords.

Online hineybush

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Re: Best mechanical keyboard off Amazon
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 11 July 2018, 14:20:25 »
Apparently Leopold has metal plate-mounted topre housings vs. the HHKB's plastic top case mounting, which apparently adds some tactility. If you're interested in wireless, then go with the BT.

Offline saint emerald

  • Posts: 9
Re: Best mechanical keyboard off Amazon
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 11 July 2018, 16:13:01 »
Hi,

So I'm in a situation where I need to purchase a new mechanical keyboard, but I'm limited to Amazon. Which kind of sucks, because I was really hoping to get some ergodox, or kono, or laser etc. but I have a gift card for amazon, and money is really tight right now for the wife and I, so we've decided I should just stick to the gift card. We both agree that I need a new keyboard for work, since I'm typing 50 hours a week. So far I've owned an HHKB and a WASD CODE, both of which I had to sell, just for reference of what I've tried.

Here are some of the things I'd like to have in no particular order:
- USB-C instead of micro usb
- RGB lighting
- Little to no branding (I like timeless looking keyboards)
- Clears or Topre (I've also tried blues, reds, and browns on loaners that I didn't like. I love the feel of the clears and topre about equally)
- Easily moddable in the future if I ever do get some money
- TKL
- Maybe something ergo?
- Maybe wireless?

So far I have looked at the FC660, the HHKB BT (although I don't like that it's powered by AAs), another HHKB Pro 2, another CODE, a Vortex board.

My budget is something under 500$. I'm looking for some expert opinions on what I should be looking at, and what would be the best keyboard if I can only own one board.
Why not just get it custom built?
The Jian, also known as “the bird that shares wings,” only possesses one wing. Unless a male and female pair lean on each other and act as one, they’re incapable of flight. They’re imperfect, incomplete creatures, but for some reason, their way of life struck me as profoundly beautiful.

Offline rxc92

  • Posts: 42
Re: Best mechanical keyboard off Amazon
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 11 July 2018, 20:19:58 »
Well, if you wanted to get it off of amazon, perhaps a Realforce RGB? It only comes in full size, but it has RGB and little branding. 
Or perhaps a Realforce R2, but that'd be off Japan Amazon! They have it in TKL, it's presumably modded like other RF boards, and it also has minimal branding. 
 
However, your options for Topre boards are sadly pretty limited. You only really can choose between a fullsize RGB (~$250) or a fullsize/TKL R2 (~$210) or another HHKB. 
 
How about a Ducky? They always push the latest in RGB tech, they're quite well made, don't have much branding, are as moddable as any other board, and come in TKL/fullsize also because the company is huge. 

Ergo is a bit more tricky. The best option would probably be an ergodox, but those are custom made. You could always get a Kinesis Advantage (classic design, still being made but quite large) off Amazon, they're going for a bit over $300, but only come in Browns/Reds.