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#1 2015-07-30 16:24:12

jt
Member
From: Bermuda Triangle, NC USA
Registered: 2014-05-21
Posts: 1,408

The Keyboard Wars Thread - which is best and why?

Interesting tangents have developed in a thread over yonder.

I just pulled caps off half a dozen KBDs of various brands for inspection of make and I did a comparison of the tactile feedback of the bare, capless keyswitch nubbinsw hile I was at it. Best Macintosh KBD in my collection: Macintosh Portable, hands down. (AEK I is conspicuously missing from my sample though)

Not only YMMV, YMPDV, and why would that be?

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#2 2015-07-30 21:53:15

LCGuy
Administrator
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-13
Posts: 821

Re: The Keyboard Wars Thread - which is best and why?

Apple keyboards? For desktops, the Apple Extended Keyboard II. For laptops, the PB 1400, 190/5300/3400/Kanga or Wallstreet keyboards are all nice.

In general? Anything with Alps or Cherry keyswitches. On my desktop PC I use a Das Keyboard with Cherry Blue's. Its awesome.

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#3 2015-07-30 22:14:57

bbraun
Member
Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
Website

Re: The Keyboard Wars Thread - which is best and why?

My personal preference for keys is clear tactile response (I don't necessarily need a Model M buckling spring, but would rather err on that side than a Duo keyboard), and nice easy key depression path.
The primary problems I've had with many Apple keyboards has been that the keys get stuck unless you have an absolutely perfect straight downstroke.  If you hit the keys at an angle, the key wouldn't depress all the way.  The worst of these were the original USB keyboards with the first iMacs, the AppleDesign keyboards, and to some extent even the AEKII.  Duo keyboards also have this problem for me.
Lack of tactile response being another problem, mostly demonstrated by the Duo keyboards.
A secondary concern of mine is space.  As much as I admire battleship keyboards, desk space is at a premium for me, so I tend to prefer more compact keyboards.

For ADB keyboards, I kind of like the M0116, partly because control is in the right place.  smile
I don't really mind the chicklet keyboard for modern laptops and the aluminum usb/bt keyboards they're making these days.  It at least meets the basic requirements for a keyboard for me, which is pretty unusual for Apple keyboards.  Faint praise, but hey.

I haven't tried out the new 12" macbook's keyboard, but I'm interested in trying it out, being a new key technology.

For my desktop, I have a tenkeyless with cherry blue's.  I put some rubber washers around the base of every key to both shorten the stroke, and to pad when I bottom out (I know, I'm not supposed to, but I do).

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#4 2015-07-30 23:59:17

Garrett
Member
Registered: 2015-07-30
Posts: 78

Re: The Keyboard Wars Thread - which is best and why?

My favorite modern keyboard is the Asus SK-2045. My new Apple extended keyboard (that I paid $49 for through Apple) is nice, but there are some issues such as I frequently miss keys, and it will often wait a second to turn on the Caps Lock, thus resulting in lower case "I"'s and such. But I do like how it actually has the correct keys (for example, the Command Key) and it actually takes less force to push a key.

The keyboard on my 13" Early 2014 MacBook Air is okay, but nothing to write home about. I like the track pad, although it took just a day or two to get used to.

For LEAST favorite keyboard, I would have to say the Apple A1048 (mid-2000s Apple extended keyboard) is up there. I felt like I'd break my finger before getting the stiff keys to push down. Well, they threw ergonomics out the window.

Last edited by Garrett (2015-07-31 00:02:33)

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#5 2015-07-31 00:43:35

volvo242gt
Member
From: Duvall, WA
Registered: 2014-05-22
Posts: 409
Website

Re: The Keyboard Wars Thread - which is best and why?

The 1048 was pretty bad.  The earlier Apple Pro keyboard is a little better, but still kinda rubbery.  AEK II is better, but not great, especially if it's a later one without the Alps switches.  The M0115, M0116, and the A9M0330 (IIgs) are the best ADB boards, in my experience.  Feel closest to a Mac Plus (or 128/512) or early Apple //e keyboard.  Loud, but, comfortable to use and provide great feedback.  If only Apple made a USB version of the M0115.  I'd be in heaven.  Yes, the iMate works, but, if you need to access the startup menu, boot from a CD, do a PRAM zap, etc, on a newer Mac, you need an actual USB keyboard.  For a while, I had an iMac keyboard connected, but sitting on top of my G4 DA while I used my M0115 keyboard, just in case I needed to go into open firmware or zap the PRAM when I was booted into OS X.  That was one nice thing about the B&W G3.  It didn't need the iMate to use a M0115 keyboard.

-J


modern: Mac Pro 2.8GHz 8-core 6GB/500G/DVD-RW, A1150 MBP 2GHz CD, 2GB/80G/DVD-RW
Pre-Mac: ][+, //e
other: iPhone 6s 128GB Space Gray

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#6 2015-07-31 00:49:57

techknight
Member
Registered: 2014-05-22
Posts: 449

Re: The Keyboard Wars Thread - which is best and why?

LEAST favorite: Modern laptop, and rollable/foldable rubber keyboards.

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#7 2015-07-31 01:03:40

Garrett
Member
Registered: 2015-07-30
Posts: 78

Re: The Keyboard Wars Thread - which is best and why?

Apple's keyboard are, for the most part, fine. Mice - not so much.

The MBA keyboard is okay, but as I said - it took some getting used to (as I'm so used to typing on an extended keyboard with a numerical keypad.) Foldable and rollable keyboards I can imagine are hell, as they offer no support so you don't really know if you pressed the button or if you didn't. Bad idea and concept...

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#8 2015-07-31 05:08:55

jhorvath911
Member
Registered: 2015-07-07
Posts: 3

Re: The Keyboard Wars Thread - which is best and why?

When it comes to my adb keyboards my favorite is definitely the M0116. I seem to be able to type faster and more accurate on that one than any of the others including the AEK IIs I have.

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#9 2015-07-31 06:48:43

mcdermd
Member
From: Corvallis, OR
Registered: 2014-05-12
Posts: 970
Website

Re: The Keyboard Wars Thread - which is best and why?

The Saratoga. That's my daily ride at work. Hands down my favorite.

Coming in second may surprise - the modern, chicklet Apple Keyboard. They have a very positive action point that helps a lot in the fell of the keyboard. Many other manufacturers have tried to emulate it but I haven't found another that gets the bounce as right as Apple does.


Daily Drivers: 27" iMac 2.8 GHz Quad-Core i7 (Late 2009), 21.5" iMac 2.7GHz Quad-Core i5 (Late 2013), 11" Macbook Air 1.6 GHz i5 (Mid-2011)
See the restored heroes here.

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#10 2015-07-31 08:30:13

cc333
Member
From: North S.F. Bay Area, CA
Registered: 2014-05-23
Posts: 575

Re: The Keyboard Wars Thread - which is best and why?

Apple's trackpads in all the unibody MacBooks that I've used (Mid-2009 MBP 15", Mid-2012 MBP 15", 2010 White Unibody MB) have been very likely the best trackpads I've used. My favorite features are the two-finger scroll gesture and two-finger tap for right click.

The worst? Probably the one in my Dell Studio 1737. It'd randomly go dead every now and then and I'd have to pound it quite hard to get it working again (while working, it's okay. Nothing special.)

c

Last edited by cc333 (2015-07-31 08:31:30)


Main Macs: Early '09 Mac Pro, Mid '12 MacBook Pro 13"
Secondary Macs: Early '08 Mac Pro, Mid '12 MacBook Pro 15"
Playthings: Mac SE/30, 3.0 GHz Mavericks-based HackServe, Many others....
Desired: Lisa, Kanga PowerBook G3, Apple IIc, Apple II, Spare parts, etc.

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#11 2015-07-31 13:24:32

TheWhiteFalcon
Member
Registered: 2015-04-27
Posts: 504

Re: The Keyboard Wars Thread - which is best and why?

The modern Apple chicklet design introduced with the MacBook Air. The white MacBook is somewhat close but the polycarbonate means it flexes too much, where as the aluminum unibody is appropriately stiff.

I haven't tried most Apple desktop keyboards though. I do like the TiBook keyboard somewhat, as well as the Plus keyboard, but I think I'd be deaf if I used the Plus one for any length of time.

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#12 2015-07-31 14:54:34

jt
Member
From: Bermuda Triangle, NC USA
Registered: 2014-05-21
Posts: 1,408

Re: The Keyboard Wars Thread - which is best and why?

mcdermd wrote:

The Saratoga. That's my daily ride at work. Hands down my favorite.

Sarabridgecollapse.jpg
USS Saratoga CV-3

'nuf said. tongue



edit: mebbe not  .  .  .

Nice workup on the AEK on that deskauthority page. BTW, this would be its Achilles' heel:

320px-Apple_M0115_ADB_port.jpg
Had the sockets been indented far enough so the ADB connectors/cables could have been angled out of the way, that'd be one thig. Had apple made RA ADB cables that would be another  .  .  .  like for maybe for every friggin' Rodent ever produced  .  .  .

.  .  .  NUKEM!!!!!!!!!!! roll

Last edited by jt (2015-07-31 16:09:29)

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