Not all mechanical keyboards are created equal

2009-03-03 23:45:31 GMT

I'm using a Das Keyboard for two months and it's an incredibly elevating experience. It's so much better than any traditional keyboards that it's hard to describe it with words. I'll write about Das Keyboard in a long post, but I've already made some research to find out whether all mechanical keboards are superior to their dome switch / scissor switch counterparts.

It turns out that the answer is a definite no.

I've heard about / tried the following ones: KPT-102, DTK and Everex. It's not a miracle that you probably haven't heard about anyone of them because they are all crap. Mechanical doesn't mean quality. Apart from the Cherry keyswitches and the original buckling spring mechanism all I see is inferiority.

Comment written by gabor at 2013-12-02 16:48:44 GMT:

There are some crap mechanical keyboards out of the world, I am sure, too, for example I don't like the white alps keyboards generally. For me all of these are unpleasant to type.
But I must say the mentioned KPT-102 is not crap at all, it's very pleasant to type on it. I've got one and I like it a lot. After my Buckling Spring Model M it is my second favourite.
It's quite similar to the blue cherry keyboards but the keypressing is a bit harder and not as loud. (around 70%) For me cherry blue is too smooth.

Comment written by Laci at 2013-12-02 16:59:02 GMT:

Gabor, I wrote this post such a long time ago that I totally forgot about it, not even speaking about the KPT-102. Is this a mechanical board by any chance? In the meantime I've tried a lot of boards and I certainly don't consider Das Keyboard the top of the cream because its internal tabs break upon disassembly. I have encountered with some very high quality boards but none that fit my needs, that's why we're working on

Comment written by gabor at 2013-12-02 21:17:47 GMT:

I've already checked but never tried this UHK - but it looks very promising. And also expensive. I were looking for cheaper solutions when I stopped using rubber domes and as I remember I found this japanese keyboard too expensive to buy. Perhaps I did not found the central european version either, but I am not sure. So I've bought a Das Keyboards (brand new), and it was an amazing experince to use it after the regular rubber domes. But imagene, I "successfully" bought a factory error one. One key just did not work as the others and finally I needed to solder out that whole key and I replaced it with an ancient key from an ancient cherry mx blue keyboard. After this operation it worked properly - sometimes the space bar creaked a bit (was really annoying). Then bought an Unicomp one just to try, and I immedately fell in love with buckling springs - the Das Keyboard had to go. And I bought an another Unicomp. After half year I had problems belonging to it's quality - which was really low level. What a shame. They are made in USA, but 99% cheap plastic. Some keys some parts of the keyboard stopped working. After some month the same happened to the another Unicomp, too. I got an another for free from Unicomp and I handled it with extra care. It's still OK, but I am not using it anomore because meanwhile I got some decent IBM Model Ms which gave me 100% satisfaction finally. I solved with Autohotkey the problem of the missing windows key and these keyboards are just great.
Regarding the KPT-102, it has it's own mechanical switch called KPT-102, which is something between the cherry blue and the buckling spring - at least for me. It's very light keyboard and does not look too serious but well built and great for typing. Much better than the cheap Uncomp and also better than Das Keyboard (which is not great but not too bad either). The KPT switch looks like this:

By the way, I would love to try that UHK but for the moment it's hard to imagine there is any keyboard what I would prefer instead of the original model M from IBM.
Cheers, G

Comment written by Laci at 2013-12-02 23:04:28 GMT:

Thanks for elaborating on all that! If you're located in Hungary and preferably in Szeged then you could have a chance to test a prototype before the release. If so you're welcome to send me an email to discuss details. Cheers!