A keyboard for work


22 Aug 2011, 18:10

Hello there,

I'm looking to buy a keyboard for work (I'm a programmer). I'm getting tired of my Microsoft Ergo Natural 4000.
I need :
- AZERTY and ISO : I'm too used to that layout to have anything else at work.
- Tenkeyless : My desk is pretty small and the numpad is definitely growing on my nerves
- Sturdy and well-built
- Not too noisy

As for now, I've set my choice on a Filco Majestouch Tenkeyless with browns. It sounds like it fills most of my expectations. That said, I don't know if I'll like the brown switches. This is not a huge concern, but I have a DAS with blues, and I already find them a bit too light for my lumberjack taste. Blues are perhaps a bit to noisy for the office, and red and blacks aren't tactile.
I know Topre makes tenkeyless French keyboards, but the price tag put it out of my range (and I wouldn't buy something that expensive if I can't try it).
I don't know if any other brand makes French Tenkeyless mechs.

What do you think about that ? Am I missing something else ?

Thank you !


22 Aug 2011, 21:08

I think that you have made a good choice. I also use a tenkeyless with brown MX at work, as a programmer (not a Filco, though)
I find that because of the lack of tactility in the browns MX, they can give me more fatigue than blues.


23 Aug 2011, 02:08

I don't think that it is ideal either, but I can't think of a much better off the shelf option.

I just took the exact keyboard you'll be buying (but 104-key and ANSI layout) and changed the switches to MX clear over the weekend. I also put on a set of black Cherry corp. doubleshot keys (I bought it used, and told the seller to keep the keycaps to keep the price down b/c I had tons of caps, both doubleshot and PBT, and I like the lower profile of the Cherry keys anyway.) Now it's pretty close to my ideal work board. Since you find the blues too light I think you will find the browns to be the same, but the only other available option is blacks which are heavier than blues/browns but are linear, and I really like a tactile switch for typing.

I'm hoping someone (WASD?) will come out with an off the shelf board w/ clear switches, but so far it's down to Deck and surfing eBay for old Cherry boards, but those aren't as nice as the higher-end options because they use PCB-mounted switches. I was using a POS Cherry board (Point of Sale, that is) w/ clears and I could detect some flex in the PCB when typing, which annoyed me (although it didn't seem to affect functionality at all.)

Edit: I just reread the paragraph above and it might look like I was implying that Deck keyboards use PCB-mounted switches which is not the case. They're expensive, and use an odd key layout (and font!) but do have plate-mounted switches, If you can get past the odd keys and font, they should be a quality product from all I've read. I just don't need the backlighting and like to have a more "standard" and understated keyboard.

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