Monday, June 3, 2013

Goods Resource - Keyboards:

This inaugural post in the "Goods Resource" series features the forum community that taught me more about mechanical keyboards than I could have imagined when I was first exposed to Filco Majestouch models at Cleverly 2 in Akihabara:  GeekHack.

The GeekHack forums are where you can take the pulse of the online English-speaking mechanical keyboard enthusiast community.  You can learn what distinguishes the various colors of Cherry and Alps-branded keyswitches, or what makes Topre capacitive keyswitches better than standard membrane switches (despite the incorporation of a rubber dome in their design).  You can see what latest models from the Far East (China, Korea, and Japan being the biggest players and markets in the mechanical keyboard industry) are attracting attention and depleting wallets.  Having been out of the keyboard game for a while, I learned from my last visit to GeekHack that several U.S. or U.S.-accessible companies (Cool Master, Keycool, etc.) have entered the game.  Cool Master is particularly interesting, as they use the same manufacturer for their boards as Filco - Costar - but offer their products at roughly 2/3rds the price.  Cool Master also is the only player in the market that currently offers a tenkeyless board with Cherry MX Green keyswitches (the CM Storm QuickFire Rapid), which is reputed to be as close to buckling spring tactility as Cherry has been able to achieve.  I currently have one on order at Amazon.

That's the dual perk and peril of visiting GeekHack:  you come away with more knowledge in your head (and a potentially better typing experience at your fingertips), but less money in your wallet.

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