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Keyboards

     
6:35 am on Dec 25, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Following up on the state of technology, use, and economics.

My current keyboard, Saitek Eclipse II (2006) has seen hard use in 11 years, but has outlasted three different desktops during that same time period. I'm about to get a new kb as this one is dropping "h" and doubling "e", and failing to space from time to time. Makes coding more difficult as the typos double the time spent proofing.

On a secondary machine I have a $5 generic that types like krap (touch typist from the pre-computer days on manual type writers, then electric, to Selectric/DEC), but still does the job. But is not something I want to use for hours at a time.

Recommendations for what I can find in the $50-70US range that is miles above generic but not in the realm of gamer boards for which I have no use. The dollars are bang for buck as I rarely have keyboards last more than eight years.

Would love mechanical keys, but that's not usually available in that dollar range.

Meanwhile, what are you using, how has it lasted, and while comfort/ease is subjective, how responsive?
6:57 am on Dec 25, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I would go to a big box PC store and do this:

    1) Tell them you are there to buy a mid to high end general use (not gamer) KB
    2) Try the displays in touch mode to find a feel you like
    3) Ask them to move a demo or unbox a new one and plug it into a PC and type away.
By the time you hit step 3 you should have 1-2 choices max. You sound like a Logitech 550 or 710 or 740 person.
7:58 am on Dec 25, 2017 (gmt 0)

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For the last 5 or 6 years I have used the same keyboard, replacing it each year with another one.

Logitech MK270 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo.

Has an on/off switch to save battery. Types very well, takes a beating and costs about $20.
3:23 pm on Dec 25, 2017 (gmt 0)

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That is a long time to use an piece of computer equipment. Have you ever serviced or maintained your keyboard? While some parts may have actually worn out, it might be the case where the electrical contacts have oxidized and have stopped working. Keyboards function in a relatively clean environment, are largely gently used, almost never physically damaged and can be maintained.

If you like your stuff, try to fix it. Take apart your keyboard and examine the parts. Vacuum loose gunk. Buy some aerosol electrical contact cleaner, one with a thin straw, and spray the errant keys contacts. Then button everything up and see if it works better. If you opt to take the whole thing apart, have an image of the keyboard arrangement handy so you don't need to guess where the keys actually go.

A new keyboard will provide you minimal new dodads and benefits from an 11 year old one. If you like the keys, the click mechanism, the sound, then try a repair and keep using it. it should take you no more than 20 minutes.

I have taken apart many keyboards, mostly for fun but some for repair. Desktop keyboards have a circuit board printed on a thin piece of transparent plastic. I have used this transparent keyboard film as a book cover, for a self-bound notebook. It looks pretty high tech.
4:48 pm on Dec 26, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Mine must be getting on for a simular age now, about a quarter of the letters are worn away but it still works fine and as I also touch type I seldom look down at the keys anyway.
7:01 pm on Dec 26, 2017 (gmt 0)

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My Saitek (one of the early back lit, laser cut keys) looks a mess. Easier to count the letters that are not worn off than the white blobs for everything else.

I've taken this thing apart at least three times. I have a beard. Like all hairy beasts I shed. Some of those whiskers get into the keyboard. That part is not so tough to clean up, but the rebound on the keys is off (wearing out) and that I can't fix.

Won't use a wireless keyboard (though have have used them at clients). Nice enough, but I can't be held hostage by a dead battery, nor am I enthusiastic about MIM snooping for keystrokes, for those FEW wireless keyboards which are NOT secured.

I miss my DEC, which I used for nearly 20 years until there were no more dongles to match it to the ever changing inputs on systems. Thing weighed 21 pounds, had a steel frame, aluminum sheath, and mechanical keys that were STILL jumping nice and tight when I was forced to let it go down Obsolescent Lane. Had a 7 pound IBM keyboard after that and might still be using it if it hadn't been stolen.

I like the feel of the Razor keyboards, but the price is ridiculous.

Over the years I've used MS keyboards, but never had one last longer than a year.

A Dell keyboard (can't remember the model) lasted nearly as long as this one. Liked it well enough, but was a PS/2 and I have enough crap hanging off the back of my machine to avoid yet another dongle! Same thing with an early HP kb .... I really liked that one! (Got stepped on durning a move).

Corsair? haven't tried one, looked like Razor competition anyway.

Logitech and me do not get along. I don't know why. Seem to break withing weeks/months. Roomate recently spent $20 on a semi-fancy mouse and within a week the left mouse button would not work unless you stood on it. Hard.

I thank all for their comments. Guess I'll just have to hit Microcenter and see what they have ... most of the time I get their demo stuff (with new warranty) and save a few bucks. Might find a replacement keyboard that will last another ten years or so.
9:17 pm on Dec 30, 2017 (gmt 0)

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hehe... I type this on a DEC keyboard that came with the DEC Starion 700 PC that I probably got back in 1995/96.
I've moved it along to some 8-9-10 replacement workstations since then. Has never given me any problems,
and I'm a two-finger typist akin to "driving nails" -- as my first wife explains it.
9:33 pm on Dec 30, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I use Logitech k200's. (buy them by the dozen for work and home). They sure don't last very long, but I like them. I get about two years out of them (but they are inexpensive) and I do love the way they type when they are new.
7:10 am on Dec 31, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Thanks, Brett ... on that I'l give 'em another try. Might be interesting to see the sales person's face when the critter crashes and burns. :)

(I hope not! I really am looking to replace a keyboard with something usable, but also affordable)
9:33 am on Dec 31, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'll never use a wired keyboard or wired mouse again. What a PITA. It's not difficult to secure your network. It should be secure anyway.
 

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