Why can't modern Mechanical keyboard build like Northgate Omnikey?

User avatar
cineraphael

13 Mar 2019, 16:45

Most keyboard now a day often suffer a quality issue from China.

- Logitech G910 Orion Spectrum - have a great Omron Romer G Switches but they are not as good as their older Omron B3GS switches and it can be crack easily too.

- Razer Blackwidow Ultimate - use Greetech switch rebranded as Razer Green and It not reliable as to what I heard about Razer green switches.

- Corsair K95 K70 - Have a German Made Cherry Switch but the font are hideous(older K70 and K95 have better font ) and they are not double shot and it cost $100+.

- Unicomp Model M - Made In USA and feel just like a 1986 IBM Model M but they worn out Molding machine made the quality of the Model M Suffered.

- Chinese Clone/ <$50 Mechanical Keyboard - according to Thomas, Gateron Blue on Lingbao made the worse sound than a Cherry MX Blue.

- KBParadise V80 - Got wonderful Alps designed Matias Switch but they also suffered a Reliability Issue as well.

-----------------------------------
What Modern Mechanical Keyboard have In common?

- opened case top (like Corsair K95 and LingBao)
- Hideous Gamer Font
- Cherry MX Design Switch
- RGB
- ABS Keycap
- Aluminum everywhere on some

------------------------------------------------------------------------
What Northgate Omnikey have that all of the Modern Mechanical Doesn't have?

- A Build Quality - Even the Cover in the bottom is metal and heavier than a flying pan

- Real Alps SKCM Switches - Real Click and Tactility

- Double Shot ABS with Possibility to Swap with a Double Shot PBT Keycap.

- Reliable (Unless you are too lazy to put a cover on Alps Keyboard to prevent dust.)

- Made in Taiwan

- Dip Switches

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Often, all the modern keyboard use less plastic which made them very hollow. But I think that all the Modern Mechanical Keyboard are really good too but It won't be as good as the 80s Mechanical Keyboard.

Anakey

13 Mar 2019, 17:11

Cost, back in the 80s keyboards were expensive so could afford to be made of higher quality so they would last. Now there is no market for a quality board that will last as most gamers who are the biggest market would upgrade their system/keyboard every few years anyway. The rest of the world is on cheap domes so leaving the minute enthusiast market left and no manufacturer is going to put in the necessary development costs to make something that they will get no return from their investment unless like every enthusiast bought 100 boards at 1980s pricing.

User avatar
Chyros

13 Mar 2019, 17:40

Anakey wrote:
13 Mar 2019, 17:11
Cost, back in the 80s keyboards were expensive so could afford to be made of higher quality so they would last.
Yes, and no. In 1992, an OmniKey 101 cost $89 which is $162 today. That's not cheap, but most manufacturers field a keyboard that costs around that much, or more even.

I think it's mainly that it's no longer considered a priority to build a durable product. From what I've seen it's pretty obvious that most customers are more than willing to buy overpriced crap as long as it has RGB and says "gaming" on the front. Besides, disposability has been an increasing thing for decades now.

Besides, compared to the boards they come off of, even a Razer or Corsair is already an improvement. Back in 1992, people were used to having the best of the best - you couldn't really get away all that well with manufacturing crap or using mediocre switches (hence why Cherry wasn't really talked about much during the late 80s, while Alps keyboards were frequently lauded in reviews).

User avatar
fohat
Elder Messenger

13 Mar 2019, 19:02

When I bought my first computer system in 1987, each component was a separate, expensive piece costing one or more hundreds of dollars - keyboard, printer, monitor, if my memory serves me (and it may not) I think that even a mouse cost $50 or something like that.

And I am referring to common, consumer-grade gear, not any kind of expensive "specialty" pieces.

User avatar
lhutton

13 Mar 2019, 19:54

Chyros wrote:
13 Mar 2019, 17:40

I think it's mainly that it's no longer considered a priority to build a durable product. From what I've seen it's pretty obvious that most customers are more than willing to buy overpriced crap as long as it has RGB and says "gaming" on the front. Besides, disposability has been an increasing thing for decades now.
Marketing and brands sell, it's why Apple is able to do what it does as well. The most valuable brands in the world luxury vendors and everyone is chasing that. Raw material cost isn't much on most consumer electronic type things these days, most of that margin is eaten into by marketing and buying things like "Instagram influencers" to hock your wares.

Materials have changed in the last 30 years along with manufacturing practices and expertise. PCs have also gone from something that only sold a few million units per year back in the late 80s to early 90s to selling many hundreds of millions of units per year in the peak of the mid to late 2000s. There probably wasn't much of a way to keep up with such a sky rocketing demand and keep everything at the same quality. Plus with people upgrading more and more often at the peak it didn't have to last as long. Doing things like using adhesives, using snap together parts instead of screws, etc aren't as much about saving money on materials as saving the robots or workers a couple of minutes on sticking the thing together so they could keep up the pace.

Frankly I amazed that Unicomp is able to do what it does for the price it does and still stay afloat. I live a few hours away from their factory by car, I wonder if I could get a tour one day ...

User avatar
Hypersphere

14 Mar 2019, 18:26

It is odd how fashions and expectations change.

In desktop PC computer systems for Windows and Linux, I think that the build quality of the CPU unit is about the same or perhaps better than it was in the 80s or 90s, and the capabilities of the hardware are vastly superior now to what they were in the past. Computer mice are also better in most respects. Strangely, it's the keyboard that has suffered.

However, some modern keyboards have rather good build quality, and of course some of these come at a very high price, such as Realforce boards. Although I do not like typing on Cherry mx or clone switches, these switches are highly reliable and durable. In addition, some of the keyboards in which these switches are housed have rather solid builds.

I am typing this on a Northgate Omnikey 101 that I purchased some time ago from "Northgate Bob". It was a newer vintage with "bamboo" switches, so I swapped out the tops and silders with parts from SKCM Orange Alps switches. I also put dye-sub PBT caps from an IBM P70 keyboard on the alphanumeric keys, nav cluster, and number keys on the NumPad. The mods and spacebar are blank blacks from Matias and there are some red accent keys from Tai-Hao. I also installed an Orihalcon-Soarer converter and flush-mount micro-USB connector. Altogether, quite a lot of time, effort, and money was invested in this board. It is mostly a joy to type on, but the "A" key exhibits some occasional chatter -- something I've never encountered with Cherry mx or Topre switches.

One of the many things I appreciate about the Northgate is that the stabilized keys do not rattle at all. In contrast, the Right Shift on my brand-new Realforce R2 PFU Edition TKL board has an annoying rattle -- I may try to remedy this someday by opening up the board and lubing the stabilizers.

The point is, no keyboard is perfect. Even the stalwart notables from yesteryear and today have some faults. At the same time, some contemporary boards are in fact quite solid and dependable, although they are more likely than not to be built around switches that many of us disfavor.

samuelcable

14 Mar 2019, 18:37

cineraphael wrote:
13 Mar 2019, 16:45
Most keyboard now a day often suffer a quality issue from China.
-----------------------------------
What Modern Mechanical Keyboard have In common?

- opened case top (like Corsair K95 and LingBao)
- Hideous Gamer Font
- Cherry MX Design Switch
- RGB
- ABS Keycap
- Aluminum everywhere on some

------------------------------------------------------------------------
What Northgate Omnikey have that all of the Modern Mechanical Doesn't have?

- A Build Quality - Even the Cover in the bottom is metal and heavier than a flying pan

- Real Alps SKCM Switches - Real Click and Tactility

- Double Shot ABS with Possibility to Swap with a Double Shot PBT Keycap.

- Reliable (Unless you are too lazy to put a cover on Alps Keyboard to prevent dust.)

- Made in Taiwan

- Dip Switches

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Often, all the modern keyboard use less plastic which made them very hollow. But I think that all the Modern Mechanical Keyboard are really good too but It won't be as good as the 80s Mechanical Keyboard.

ABS is the best material for high quality doubleshots and there is no good pbt doubleshot set as of yet imo
And yet later on you list abs doubleshots as one of the good features of the omnikey.


And what's wrong with aluminium being everywhere on a board?


I don't like modern gaming boards but your arguments arent logically backed and hypocritical of themself


I have this strong feeling you haven't actually used a lot of the shit you make these topics on and are just watching YouTube videos and basing your entire mindsets off of that without actually trying the boards you praise

User avatar
cineraphael

15 Mar 2019, 16:21

samuelcable wrote:
14 Mar 2019, 18:37
cineraphael wrote:
13 Mar 2019, 16:45
Most keyboard now a day often suffer a quality issue from China.
-----------------------------------
What Modern Mechanical Keyboard have In common?

- opened case top (like Corsair K95 and LingBao)
- Hideous Gamer Font
- Cherry MX Design Switch
- RGB
- ABS Keycap
- Aluminum everywhere on some

------------------------------------------------------------------------
What Northgate Omnikey have that all of the Modern Mechanical Doesn't have?

- A Build Quality - Even the Cover in the bottom is metal and heavier than a flying pan

- Real Alps SKCM Switches - Real Click and Tactility

- Double Shot ABS with Possibility to Swap with a Double Shot PBT Keycap.

- Reliable (Unless you are too lazy to put a cover on Alps Keyboard to prevent dust.)

- Made in Taiwan

- Dip Switches

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Often, all the modern keyboard use less plastic which made them very hollow. But I think that all the Modern Mechanical Keyboard are really good too but It won't be as good as the 80s Mechanical Keyboard.

ABS is the best material for high quality doubleshots and there is no good pbt doubleshot set as of yet imo
And yet later on you list abs doubleshots as one of the good features of the omnikey.


And what's wrong with aluminium being everywhere on a board?


I don't like modern gaming boards but your arguments arent logically backed and hypocritical of themself


I have this strong feeling you haven't actually used a lot of the shit you make these topics on and are just watching YouTube videos and basing your entire mindsets off of that without actually trying the boards you praise
Aluminium is not bad but any mechanical switch will sound so bad on it. I did tries a Northgate Omnikey 102 and it literally my perfect keyboard. But some of the particular keyboard problem are often from the youtuber that has them though.

User avatar
St0ckz

15 Mar 2019, 16:38

There's more to keyboards than OEM now and from yesteryear.

Custom keyboards are a direct reaction to wanting higher quality keyboards as well as wanting a certain degree of customization.

Highly disagree with "aluminium keyboards make everything sound bad" where in fact low profile style cases are the cause.

Post Reply

Return to “Keyboards”