Mechanical Keyboards Are Thriving Because Apple and Microsoft Don't Make Them

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clickykeyboards

30 Jul 2019, 19:34

Today we saw a surge in web traffic and new orders and we were wondering where all the traffic was coming from.

Nice writeup on mechanical keyboards written for a general audience on www.vice.com

Mechanical Keyboards Are Thriving Because Apple and Microsoft Don't Make Them
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/ywya ... -make-them

"Early PC keyboards were both heavy and extremely definitive in keyfeel—the IBM Model M, with its buckling springs, was a beast compared to the simplistic and minimal Apple Magic Keyboard, for example. But while taking up less room on your desk, lower-profile keyboards sacrificed a lot to get there—including heft, key actuation, and ergonomics. Some have blamed the overly flat, thin aesthetic of scissor-switch desktop keyboards for giving them repetitive stress injuries, but the biggest knock on these keys is their feel—with less space, there’s less clickiness, and keys “bottom out” with much less force. When using a laptop, sacrifices often need to be made; using a desktop setup requires none of those sacrifices, yet we’re making them anyway."

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Chyros

30 Jul 2019, 21:23

Very interesting point. Really like that particular way of putting it as well, need to remember that :D .

Wazrach

30 Jul 2019, 22:28

I die inside when people say "it's just a keyboard". :(

listofoptions

30 Jul 2019, 22:34

Wazrach wrote:
30 Jul 2019, 22:28
I die inside when people say "it's just a keyboard". :(
yeah me too, family thinks I'm nuts (they're all car folk) for collecting vintage keyboards, and computers

Wazrach

31 Jul 2019, 00:55

listofoptions wrote:
30 Jul 2019, 22:34
Wazrach wrote:
30 Jul 2019, 22:28
I die inside when people say "it's just a keyboard". :(
yeah me too, family thinks I'm nuts (they're all car folk) for collecting vintage keyboards, and computers
You should roll your eyes and say to them: "It's just a car."

brainandforce

31 Jul 2019, 01:59

My favorite quote from the article: "Of course, not everyone is ready to solder their own keycaps..." I'm certainly not ready to solder any of my keycaps either.

listofoptions

31 Jul 2019, 02:45

brainandforce wrote:
31 Jul 2019, 01:59
My favorite quote from the article: "Of course, not everyone is ready to solder their own keycaps..." I'm certainly not ready to solder any of my keycaps either.
yeah I did a double take when I read that. gave them the benefit of a doubt none the less. I recall having to explain the distinction between caps and switches to several eBay sellers :/ its not "pull up a switch" its "pull up a cap".

Findecanor

31 Jul 2019, 13:58

brainandforce wrote:
31 Jul 2019, 01:59
My favorite quote from the article: "Of course, not everyone is ready to solder their own keycaps..." I'm certainly not ready to solder any of my keycaps either.
I have solvent-welded a couple, but that's still not close.

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Muirium
µ

31 Jul 2019, 14:37

"Thriving" is a relative term indeed. If I saw as many good keyboards out and about in reality as I do modern Apple, Dell, etc. ones, I'd be more inclined to believe it. There may well be more interest in mechs these days than ten or twenty years ago, but it's still very much a niche.

Souped up cars, meanwhile. Those I do see! Ugh…

Findecanor

31 Jul 2019, 15:03

Hmm..
In this article on Techchrunch, they visited Microsoft's design lab.
The article has issues, but it also says (emphasis mine):
Keyboard switches, the actual mechanism under the key, have become a major sub-industry as many companies started making their own at the expiration of a few important patents. Hence there’s been a proliferation of new key switches with a variety of aspects, especially on the mechanical side. Microsoft does make mechanical keyboards, and scissor-switch keyboards, and membrane as well, and perhaps even some more exotic ones (though the original touch-sensitive Surface cover keyboard was a bit of a flop).
Huh? Microsoft has made rubber-dome gaming keyboards in the past. Does this mean that Microsoft has a mechanical keyboard model prototype that they intend to release?
Or have I missed something?

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Muirium
µ

31 Jul 2019, 15:30

I have frequently heard people describe the smart keyboard cover for the iPad as a "mechanical keyboard." Folk say things like: "I don't like typing on the screen, I prefer mechanical keys."

Mechanical has turned to mean "moving parts" to normals. And, actually, they're right. That's a mechanism too.

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chuckdee

31 Jul 2019, 21:19

One of the things that stuck out to me was in that blowout image of the Nightfox kit, they don't show the PCB. Switches, I can understand... but PCB?

Findecanor

31 Jul 2019, 21:29

Eh... because Parak's PCB routing isn't exactly very beautiful?
I don't intend to step on anyone's toes, but, his style has been criticised a lot.

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chuckdee

01 Aug 2019, 06:59

but that's a pretty obvious oversight for anyone who knows anything about MK.

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fohat
Elder Messenger

02 Aug 2019, 01:35

That white Apple rubber dome about halfway through was one of the most abominable keyboards ever (my daughter (about 12 at the time)) had one and loved it because it was "cute" ....

Pure soggy mush, and the author called it "a joy" to type on!

listofoptions

02 Aug 2019, 02:26

fohat wrote:
02 Aug 2019, 01:35
That white Apple rubber dome about halfway through was one of the most abominable keyboards ever (my daughter (about 12 at the time)) had one and loved it because it was "cute" ....

Pure soggy mush, and the author called it "a joy" to type on!
even comparing apple rubber domes and laptop boards to other products of the same quality they're just rubbish.
i can safely say i get more satisfaction from the commodore pet blister keyboard than any keyboard apple has made since the AEK 2. they've regressed in the name of thinness, and design wank. and that's just the keyboard! don't even get me started on the lack of decent thermo-regulation on just about all their machines.....

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Touch_It

02 Aug 2019, 17:21

I like my keyboards like I like my women. Thiccc and pleasant to the touch. Typing this on an AEK with salmon alps. Probably one of the better products Apple ever made.

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depletedvespene

02 Aug 2019, 17:28

Touch_It wrote:
02 Aug 2019, 17:21
I like my keyboards like I like my women. Thiccc and pleasant to the touch. Typing this on an AEK with salmon alps. Probably one of the better products Apple ever made.
I like my women to be smart. OTOH, the "smart keyboards" from the late '90s - early 2000s, were anything but that. Never again! :x

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