Although, it's not yet in this thread, I decided to still post about the STK here. If you want it moved, feel free to do so.
Hello Deskthority community,
today I'd like to share my experiences and findings with my first ever mechanical keyboard. First of all I have to thank MrInterface who - with his generous offer of sending me his Switch Try Keyboard
- gave me the opportunity to find my preferred switch.Profile
Since finding the "right" switch is always a matter of personal opinion and what you use your PC for, I'd like to start by giving you a quick overview of myself and what I use my keyboard for.
For the last 15 years or so I have been using rubberdome keyboards, in the last years always Logitech ones. Currently I own a G15, which is an awesome keyboard, since the display is extremely useful for me. But anyway, what do I actually do, when I'm on the PC?Gaming:
I play a lot. When I do, I prefer role play games like Skyrim. But I also play egoshooters like BF3. Yet, I almost exclusively play them offline, meaning I'm in no way "pro" and care about the very last bit of speed or performance. And then of course the all time favorite and most loved EVE Online, which you can mainly play using F1, the rest is done using the mouse.Writing:
I don't write lengthy texts (apart from the occasional forum post
). Most writing I do is ICQ, short Mails or such.Touch Typing:
Just two weeks ago I decided that I should really be able to touch type, so I used a program and tought myself to do so. Beforehand I could virtually write blind using two fingers and I was somewhat fast (reaching speeds of around 73 WPM in this
test). My touch typing currently clocks in at around 43 WPM, but I'm still making a lot more mistakes.
So to sum it up, I play, I don't write much and if I do, I do it slowly and with a lot of mistakes Before the test
Just for reference and to see, how the "prefered" switch can change due to and while testing, I will quickly write down, what I thought about the switches before actually trying them:
I want to feel my keypresses and don't just "fall" into the key. Therefore Brown/Clear should be my ideal key, Red/Black will most likely don't give me the feedback I want to. I won't like Blue, cause the noise will disturb me and I prefer it quite.The test
Disclaimer: As I said before, I never used a mechanical keyboard, so the following fingings are influenced by that and are completely personal. They might not correlate with your own experiences.First contact
First I began by testing each switch individually with one single finger.Red:
They feel like something is missing, almost like it is somehow broken, they move just soooo lightly. I think accidental key presses might be too likely.Brown:
The first surprise. I imagined the bump to be much more noticable. I seem to bottom out my keys (which of course comes from the rubberdomes) and I thought the bump would be more like a real stop. For gaming while bottoming out the bump might even be disturbing a little bit.Black:
They feel really comfortable, I enjoy pressing the keys. I could very well see myself gaming on them.Clear:
They are too stiff. You really need a lot of pressure to actuacte the key and I don't like that combined with the bump as it feels a little bit like you are grinding sand inside the key while pressing it.Blue:
As expected, I don't like the audible feedback at all. As the release point of this switch lies above the actuation point, you need to get used to the key, when releasing it slowly.
When the keys are pressed very fast the Brown just feels like the Red and the Clear feel like Black.Writing for the first time
After single slow key presses I "wrote" on each switch type on its own.Red:
If you don't want to bottom out, they might be hard to type on. But if you do, they feel very lovely and are nice to type on.Black:
It's more or less the same as with the Red. Due to the stiffness, it might be exhausting to type for a while, especially for the pinky.Brown:
They should be ideal if you don't want to bottom out. If you do, the bump feels a bit unnecessary, but not as disturbing as I first thought.Clear:
Due to the bump they feel even harder to type on than on the Black. Other than that they feel the most like rubberdome.Blue:
I still don't like the sound. They feel like somewhat in between the Brown and Clear.Back to the old rubberdome keyboard
Wait a sec, why do all these keys feel so stiff, weird and ... squishy. They feel so undefined. That's it, you changed me, I'm buying a mechanical keyboard. I even enjoy writing on this Frankenstein more than on my old one already.Tests over the next days
Within the next days, I switched forwards and backwards from rubberdome to mechanical and vice versa, testing every switch directly compared to rubberdomes for writing and gaming. My feelings toward the different switch types changed quite a lot compared to the very first contact. My final test results are as follows.Red:
I got a bit used to them and I like them very much now. I still have that feeling that I might accidentally press them but it never really happened to me in the tests, so it's probably not a problem after all. If you get yourself used to them, I think it might be a very easy and relaxing way of writing.Black:
Everytime I pressed them directly after the Red, they felt way to stiff. But compared to the rubberdomes they felt just about right, maybe still a tiny bit to hard to press. A switch with the actuation force in between the Red and the Black might be perfect. Accidental key pressed are extremely unlikely and you can easily rest your fingers on the keys.Brown:
I have a split opinion about the Brown. As far as gaming is concered, I think the bump is redundant. Walking with WASD is all about bottoming out and keeping the key down, so you don't need to feel a bump. For typing I can only assume, that the tactile feedback might increase your performance after you get better and actually register the feedback. By now, I don't think I can process this information.Clear:
The Clear are just too much work to use, I didn't like them very much.Blue:
The good old sound problem, you either love it or you hate it. I'm one of the latter. Especially for things like scrolling webpages down with the arrow keys or jumping in a game the sound annoyed me.Conclusion
Testing the keys prior to buying was one of the best things I ever did and I would highly recommend this to anyone who is planing on buying a mechanical keyboard. Looking at force diagrams and reading what other people said about the switch type will not give you the definite answer to what key you prefer.
As I said, I thought Brown might be my preferred keys, but right now I'm more tending towards Red/Black, a result I hadn't expected.
So now I have to find the right keyboard that has all the features, I want to have.