Noob Here

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Hi all, Happy Friday!
I'm looking to get my first mechanical keyboard and hoping you all could help point me toward a good entry level rig. I'm a desk diver, so this is just general use - lots of email, Slack, etc.
The wireless Logitech I had been using is driving me nuts with lag and missed key strokes, so I'm going full Office Space on it. I have been contemplating dipping my toes in to the world of mechanical keyboards and figure this is as good a reason as any. I also use my num pad quite a bit, so seems I am going to need to get a separate piece for that?
Thanks in advance for any guidance and advice you may have to offer!
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Loving these overall feel of the board, the Cherry Brown switches and the angle provided by the adjustable stage feet.
Thanks for the input, all!
Went with a Ducky One 2 Skyline with some Cherry MX Brown switches. Given my num pad use (and I use the arrow keys a fair amount when editing) I don't know that a 60% board would work for me. I would have had to also purchase a separate num pad piece, and that started to add up. I figured this would be a good entry point at under $100 and I can always make the change later on my switches, caps, layout, etc.
Johnny831
283
May 9, 2018
Great choice, the Ducky is a great value. Browns are awesome for typists, and quieter than the blues. In the future, if you wanna try new switches grab a tester kit! Cheap and give you a great idea of what type of switch you want next. I went with linear keys after the browns I had on a Logitech 710+ (great keyboard IMO). The Ducky should do you fine! Have fun.
SHiNe.tO
48
May 7, 2018
Hey buddy, i read what you're sayin and its a wise move to go mechanical. It will be a vast difference. Anyway i paid attention to what you wanted and would recommend you this :-
https://kono.store/products/kira-mechanical-keyboard
it has a nice numpad, functions and all and very cozy, saving space. Might be of great interest to you, since i use the numpad fairly often and find it a real hassle on a 60% keyboard. I myself would get it, but abit pricey.
regards
That's cool, save the space by taking out all the bezels.
P0W3S3RG
0
May 7, 2018
the corsair k68 is what im using atm cherry mx reds feel great. takes some time to get used to them but worth it and also the keyboard is fully programable so you can
AvionNDVR
344
May 7, 2018
Honestly brother, if what you're​ used to is rubber domed keys, then any mechanical keyboard will be an upgrade... hopefully.
I suggest stopping by your local Best buy and testing out some of the display models, get a feel for what switch type you like, and then buy a budget variant off Amazon.
Best of luck
BlueCrowned
5305
May 5, 2018
The GMMK would be a great starter board. It's hot swappable so you can choose any switches, comes in a standard TKL or full size layout so it's compatible with any keycap set, and has RGB backlighting with an option for white if you're not into that, and a sleek simple metal case with no ugly branding. It's also very reasonably priced.
BlueCrowned
5305
May 8, 2018
I didn't make it so you'd have to ask the guys behind cultofthepartyparrot bc i'm not that talented but different bird species would be cool
Johnny831
283
May 9, 2018
10/10 I would have first started with this if I had known about hotswap when I first got into mech boards. Lucky for me, I know I like linear switches, so I grabbed a Razer with yellow keys. Getting the ALT coming out too! Super excited for hotswap, I got some Gold, Silver, and Bronze speed switches waiting... Cheers.
Cloaca
1906
May 5, 2018
I first came to Massdrop to buy a new mechanical keyboard. But I have a second fetish beyond mechanical, which is that it be compact. I used the Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional JP for many years, which is a 60 percent keyboard with Topre keyswitches. I came here to buy a Vortex Core with Cherry blue keyswitches, which is a 40 percent keyboard.
Topre keyswitches are mechanical keyswitches that nevertheless incorporate a rubber dome, so they are softer in feeling. They are hard to find on keyboards. Topre is a Japanese company, Tokyo Press, whose main gig is sheet metal pressing for automobiles They have other businesses (including bath tub covers, one of which I own) none of which relates to keyboards. I have no clue how the key switch business started inside such a company.
Hacking Hacking Keyboards was established to make a keyboard designed by a legenday computer science professor at Tokyo University. It has the control key to the left of the A, which makes it easy for geeks to use commands in terminal mode, for instance emacs and vi. The original version had no arrow keys, since geeks use control key combinations to move the cursor, but my version had small arrow keys crammed in. HHK's maker is now owned by Fujitsu.
60 percent keyboards are the size of the Apple wireless keyboard, Standard keyboards have 19 mm key pitch, i.e. the keys center to center (or left edge to left edge) are 19 mm apart. You don't want to make that smaller, so to make a smaller keyboard you just remove keys. A 60 percent keyboard is missing a dedicated function key row at the top, as well as the navigation pad and num pad.
A 40 percent keyboard also is missing a dedicated number row, and has fewer keys left to right also. It's 4 rows tall by 13 keys wide. To enter numbers you need to put the keyboard into another mode or use a function key (function-tab will produce a 1, function-A a 2). Additionally, some of the punctuation requires use of a function key. 40 percent keyboards are four keys high times 13 keys wide. They remain mostly hobby projects that people build from parts, but mine is a commercial keyboard from a company in Taiwan, the Vortex Core. It has no tray extending outside the keys. So it's even smaller than most 40 percenters. It looks normal to me, but other people just laugh.
https://www.massdrop.com/buy/vortex-core-47
I think I'm starting t share the compact fetish. As frustrating as the Logitech was (https://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/keyboard-k360) it was nearly 2.5 inches shorter than the previous keyboard I had. Going back to the old one yesterday was a bummer on my limited desk space (about 34 inches wide).
Daisy_Cutter
1286
May 6, 2018
My experience is limited, but it sounds like it would be useful for you.
My first work keyboard (that wasn't issued) was a little wireless Logitech thing. It was nice for what it was, but then the internet introduced me to the world of mechanical keyboards.
One day, I was browsing Woot, saw the daskeyboard heavily discounted, and bought two. At this point I was clueless about keyboards. I didn't even know what switches were in the keyboards I'd bought (silenced red). When they arrived, I did a bit more research and was disappointed to learn that red switches appeared to be the most boring switches you could get. No tactile bumps or clicks or anything. They just went down and up. What was the big deal with mechanical switches then?
Still, I paid good money for those daskeyboards, and I was determined to use them. Over time, I got used to the switches, and they just faded into the background as part of my typing/gaming routine. A while later, I realised how much I'd fallen in love with those keyboards when I had to type something out on someone else's rubber dome keyboard. Everything felt wrong and gross, like trying to write on soggy paper.
Years later, I found out about the HHKB Pro 2. I was intrigued. When a suitable deal came by, I pulled the trigger. At first, I wasn't that impressed with the feel of the Topre keys. They reminded me of rubber domes, just crisper. It was also a real bitch trying to learn the HHKB's function layer.
Eventually, I got used to it. I found out that Topre keys start to really shine when you get into the flow of typing. The actions of pressing and releasing Topre each have a distinct feel and sound, and when you string them together in typing, the result has been described as being like the steady fall of rain. The satisfaction derived from Topre keys is not unlike that of chaining combos in Street Fighter. I still love the feel of red switches, but the Topre keys are on a different plane.
Also, I got used to the HHKB layout, and came to love the placement of the Ctrl and Del/Bksp keys. The size of the HHKB gave me much more desk space, and I could easily chuck it out of the way when I wanted to lay paper documents across my whole desk. Plus, I never realised how much time and effort I'd wasted reaching for my mouse across the arrow keys and numpad.
Recently, I got another keyboard for working from home. I settled on a Ducky One TKL with brown switches. This has been OK so far, but I think I've been spoilt by my Topre switches. The really nice thing about this keyboard though, is that it's programmable without the need for any software, so you can swap keys around or even program macros (though there are probably better ways to do macros). I basically used this to get my Ctrl and Bksp keys to where they are on the HHKB.
OK. Enough rambling. What does this all mean for you?
First, I'd borrow as many different mechanical keyboards as possible before buying. It takes a while before you can tell whether you like a particular keyboard for a particular purpose, and tastes can vary wildly. I ended up liking red switches, whereas my wife loves blues (and I dislike them).
Next, since you're interested in compact layouts, I'd strongly recommend trying the HHKB Pro 2. Note I say try, not buy. The HHKB Pro 2 is not a cheap keyboard, and definitely seems to be an acquired taste. There are plenty of other keyboards with compact layouts that may suit you better.
If budget is an issue, I'd recommend Ducky keyboards. Having used them, I'd say they represent a good price to value ratio.
Finally, coming away from a wireless system, you may feel like you're giving up something. Trust me, you're not. Once you've got your wires squared away, it is exactly the same thing. When I first got my wireless keyboard I thought I'd be typing on my lap all day. Never happened. These days, my office actually bans wireless keyboards because their signals can be intercepted. Something to think about as well.
Best of luck, let us know how it goes!
K0ruptS0uL
43
May 5, 2018
When it comes to keyboards I tend to recommend the vortex pok3r 3 for those just getting into the world of mechanical keyboards. A great 60% keyboard with a nice clean look to it.
toes
9
May 5, 2018
I've never seen a complaint about a Corsair keyboard. That would be my recommendation. As Asheikm said you should do a little research on your favorite search engine about the different types of mechanical keys available. I personally use DuckDuckGo as a search engine because they do not retain any personal information about you. I also use Firefox for the same reason, they both protect your privacy!
BlueCrowned
5305
May 5, 2018
A lot of Corsair boards have a weird layout which makes getting replacement custom sets hard if that's an aspect you're interested in.
aew3
3
May 7, 2018
the layout is fully standard, except for the bottom row on corsair keyboards 1.5 | 1 | 1.25 | 6.5 | 1.25 | 1 | 1 | 1.5 <- corsair layout, also found on some other gaming keyboards 1.25 | 1.25 | 1.25 | 6.25 |1.25 | 1.25 | 1.25 | 1.25 <- standard layout i actually changed to some cheap generic PBT keycaps which I got for $18AUD off ebay on my strafe because ABS is just not as good a typing experience, particuarly the really thin caps corsair put on my strafe. Everything except the bottom row was fine to change, and it honestly made such a big difference that I cant recommend ABS keycaps at all. I can't really recommend corsair from my experience, just based on the keycaps which you are going to want to replace. And with the STRAFE, just about their cheapest mech which cost me $140 AUD, that means adding 20-40 for keycaps onto the price, which really isn't a competetive price compared to all the high quality chinese brands around. I'm getting a Durgod Taurus TKL for $80AUD when massdrop gets around to shipping it and at $60 dollars less you get good PBT caps, a high quality board from what I've read online and lose out of the full size board and the red backlighting of the strafe (who even cares about backlighting). It just isnt a good value proposition on the corsair. Find a chinese board off amazon or aliexpress, I've sure you could get a pretty decent full size one at less than $100 with cherry mx switches.
Asheikm
2535
May 4, 2018
I have a Ducky zero and love it. I use the numpad, calculator button, and volume control buttons quite frequently. Seems like the zero is no longer available, but the Ducky One is. It was apparently available on MD once too (https://www.massdrop.com/buy/ducky-one-full-size-mechanical-keyboard). I am no keyboard expert, but I have had no issues with mine, and can recommend the brand. http://www.microcenter.com/product/486039/One_Blue_Backlit_Mechanical_Keyboard_-_Cherry_MX_Blue
You might want to determine the switch type that will be best for you. Some are very loud, some require more force than others, etc. https://www.pcgamer.com/best-mechanical-switches-for-gaming/
This is great to hear! Mine arrives tomorrow. I think brown is going to give me the right feel, and noise is less of an issue since it will be set up in my home office.
NoggiZen
103
May 8, 2018
I used browns for work also but switched them for clears. Both go really well in the office i think. But i have to say that noise isnt really an issue where i work. My colleague uses blues since i couraged him to use them. I like how they sound :D congrats on that nice keyboard :)