Everything Else

Good quiet keyboards? - Page 1

For the most part I find that the keyboards that come with computers are cheap peaces of junk, especially the dell keybaords that have overrun the place where I work. I have found that the clicky keyboards (old IBM Model-M) are some of the best keyboards out there, so I have one of my own that I use at work. However, they have the drawback of being rather noisy. Mine can drive my current office mate nuts. I can really sympathize with this since there are some backgound noises that can drive me nuts.

So, any suggestions as to a good, sturdy keyboard with a good feel? I am looking for a generally no-frills keyboard. No speakers, cables, displays, etc (with the possible exception of a built in toaster or espresso machine). For the most part, when I go looking for good keyboards I find that most sources of information are overrun with people promoting their special keyboard...
I like the Microsoft natural keyboard myself. I like the split ergonomic design and its sturdy but not overloaded with unnecessary crap. I've used these for years and not had any problems with them at all. I've had to clean the keycaps and underneath the keys (cookie crumbs, etc.) occasionally, but other than that they just keep on working. I've dropped them on the floor numerous times with no ill effects.
I'll second the MS Natural. I have a PS/2 version at work that I've used for a LONG time, probably 10 years or more. I picked up a USB version for less than half the cost of my PS/2 a couple years ago right before they stoped making them with standard inverted-T arrows and the old standard INS/HOME/PGUP/DEL/END/PGDN layout. It seems just as good as the original. I've stayed away from their new ones, mostly because I use too many different machines to have one keyboard with completely different arrows.

That all said, some might not want the split design, and the older ones take a good chunk of desk space. The other keyboards I'm currently using are the new flat apple keyboard and a sun usb keyboard from a SunRay. The apple works pretty well once you get used to it, but it's really flat. I have a Logitech wired PS/2 keyboard I like that is also flat, laptop style keys.

The sun keyboard feels pretty good and it's on my Windows 7 machine, the only issue there is key layout. It only has CTRL on one side which is a problem when using VirtualBox (host key is the RIGHT-CTRL, and I don't have one!). It also doesn't have a windows key labeled (but one of the keys works for it. No context key, but I don't really use that one anyway.

I have a stack of keyboards in the closet and I've had different favorites over time. My wife doesn't like the split ergonomic design and I don't have space for it anyway right now. Unfortunately my current favorites are all for non-windows platforms which is tough because the key bindings are so handy.

I'm interested in what others favorites are, especially in the wired windows world.
do you want PS/2 or USB? for PS/2 you can get a dell at101 (search for 227KN) on ebay for pretty low prices, it's not too loud although yeah louder than a membrane keyboard would be. For USB and a membrane (rubber dome) the SGI usb ones are pretty good, they're like $15 on ebay but are all ISO layout (105 key) if I remember. For a USB non-membrane keyboard the ABS M1 keyboard is pretty cheap on newegg.
:Indy: :rx2600: :Indigo2: :Indigo2: :Indy: :Indy:
I don't think that I will go with the split design, thought I have considered some of the ones that are split and have the cup like layout.

Dell: I would really like something with a better feel than the standard cheap dell keyboards. It looks like the 227KN is better than the new ones. However, I ought to be able to do better. Given that I will be using this keyboard for a large chunk of time I don't think over $100 will be an issue IF I am actually getting a good keyboard. PS/2 or USB does not matter; I have both ports.

Oh, and I would love a 227kN locomotive, not that I would know what to do with it.
a SGI granite keyboard, as shipped with the Indy, is what I swear by. Good keyswitches, and not too loud.

Granted, my model M would get more use if the roommate could stand it sounding like a machine gun when I type.
:O3000: :1600SW: :Indigo2IMP: :0300:

"Remember, if they can't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy."
SGI one has some rubber parts on the switches that the dell doesn't

here's both of mine http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v104/ ... ll_sgi.jpg and the alps switches http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v104/ ... _black.jpg
:Indy: :rx2600: :Indigo2: :Indigo2: :Indy: :Indy:
D-EJ915 wrote: SGI one has some rubber parts on the switches that the dell doesn't

Assuming the layout is OK, would you say that the SGI is better than the dell?

Thanks for the info!
No it just feels softer.
:Indy: :rx2600: :Indigo2: :Indigo2: :Indy: :Indy:
The best keyboard feel I've experienced was the keyboard on an NCD17 X terminal. I don't know why those keyboards always felt so nice, but they did. Still, these days I prefer a split ergonomic keyboard when I can manage it.
I have been using the new aluminum BT keyboard from apple, and I am pretty pleased with it. It is not everybody's cup of tea, but I prefer the ultra low profile to the split keyboards. It is very small so I can place almost anywhere on the desk...

Input devices (and monitors) are things that I don't mind spend good monies on, since I have to spend a significant portion of the time using them. Ironically, computers themselves are becoming commodity, to the point that once I find a monitor/keyboard/mouse combination they tend to outlive multiple CPUs ;-) (I still have my kinesis keyboard in the closet, that thing lasted me for years... alas I don't think I have a PS2-ported computer anymore).
"Was it a dream where you see yourself standing in sort of sun-god robes on a
pyramid with thousand naked women screaming and throwing little pickles at you?"
i also have the Apple aluminum BT keyboard. it's nice because it's quiet; i don't have to listen to my wife bang away at night. other than that i have no preference for keyboards anymore, it's best not to form attachments, in anything.

DECUS Member 368596
skywriter wrote: ...it's best not to form attachments, in anything.

You're taking up Buddhism ?
I'd rather get new co-workers than a new keyboard - Seriously, every time I set down with my Apple Extended II and type my username and password, I let out a satisfied sigh. The joy of a good keyboard is second to very little (that happens in the office, at least).
noisetonepause wrote: The joy of a good keyboard is second to very little (that happens in the office, at least).

So you're not a sanctimonious Republican governor, I take it ?
Ah, the apple extended II was another good keyboard, but also somewhat on the noisy end. I really like the Macintosh Portable keyboard; it is similar to the extended II. That makes the only portable Mac ever to have a real keyboard built in.

Anyway, my coworkers are generally nice people. And I can understand the issue with noise; I am also easily distracted by background noise. Ideally we would each have our own soundproof office. That way each person could work without having to worry about disturbing others. But this is not an ideal world. As is, I am lucky to have a window office (with an OK view) and only one person to share it with (keep in mind that I am a junior employee, having finished a bachelors a few years ago).

I am thinking about trying out a kinesis keyboard; they look like they might be nice.
If you can get one of the classic kinesis keyboard and pedal sets, they are built like a tank... and they do make a difference. They are not too noisy, but they are quite pricey.

I used one for years, and I highly recommend them. The layout is a bit awkward at the beginning, but within less than a week one gets used to it.
"Was it a dream where you see yourself standing in sort of sun-god robes on a
pyramid with thousand naked women screaming and throwing little pickles at you?"
I quite like the one from http://www.deckkeyboards.com

the only disadvantage is there is no number pad, and also the oddball placement of the ~ key. They have full-size ones now, unfortunately I already promised myself this would be the last keyboard I buy :roll:

ps: It's not really that quiet, much quieter than the M keyboard though.
Google: Don't Be Evil. Apple: Don't Be Greedy. Microsoft: Don't Be Stupid.
This is a problem I've had for years. I can't find a keyboard I like at all. At best I make do.
These days I have a stack of old Compaq keyboards that I swiped from the scrap at the school I worked at.
I just find them really nice to use. Not too soft and have some sort of possitive feedback and weight due to them still having some metal in them.

But for the best keyboards I've ever used....
I loved the keyboard from the old WYSE 120 terminals. They just felt great and used proper switches underneath, not rubber bits and membranes. Only problem with them was the caps lock and crtl keys were swaped from a PC layout. Screwed me right up for a while.
The other one has to be the keyboard from my old BBC Model B. Clunky, yes. Noisy, sure, but yet again the feel of it was great. I typed most of my school work on one until I got a PC.

The SGI one's I have are okay, but have suffered a little from being left outside in the rain for 2 years. If they'd been properly stored then they'd be fine.

Currentlly at work I'm using a Dell QuietKey thats a little older than the current models. I agree that the new ones are rubbish.

Everytime I go into a computer shop these days I try the keyboards, just to see if I get one I like as yet no luck.

My imposible quest continues.

Doing that Lone Wolf thing. Without the ninja killing and revenge.

Mac Book Pro 13" Running Lion.
All SGI's now in the hands of people that will use them more.
I suspect that the old Wise ones are a lot like the Model M keyboards...

For now I got a kinesis keyboard. It took a week or two to get used to, but now that I am it works fairly well. And it is barely quiet enough once I turned off the clicker noise thing. Too bad that they don't make some that are built like the Model M. Of course, then it would once again be too noisy.