Okay now. The Celeritas got here alright. It is a really good deal, like new condition, but so much cheaper than new. Comparing it to the Quickfire TK, it is excellently built. Heavy, stable, sleek. The keycaps are much thicker and rougher in texture which is pleasant. The printing is ok. I would be lying if I said the keycaps look better than the red LED keycaps on the QTK. But they feel a lot more solid. Ergonomics are fine. If you're a heavy typist I'd say get wrist rest, as the keys are quite high. But the angled edge helps and looks really good at the same time. But I'd say the QTK is better, ergonomically. The thin cheap keys have the advantage of being really light, and are easy to press, so definitely less tiring.
But now for the most important part: The switch!
Well I have to say I'm underwhelmed, this being my first time typing on browns. I have typed for a whole day on the Celeritas now and it still feels exactly like you said: Like grit stuck in my reds (you may say "told you so" if you like).
My colleagues agree, the tactility is really not very pronounced (one of them uses rubberdomes, the other has a G710+ at home which should in theory have the exact same switch, plus O-rings).
I'm sure it's something one can get used to well, and the build quality of the Zowie is definitely admirable. The cheap loud space bar on the QTK (despite O-rings) is just an entire level below the Zowies, and I paid more for it. In fact, if you avoid bottoming out all the time, the Celeritas is so quiet it doesn't need O-rings.
After a few days...: I was about ready to send this thing back but after using it for a while (and after comparing it to the MX-Board) it seems too hard not to keep. I will live with the discoloration (geekhack says rubbing alcohol helps) and probably live with the fact that I didn't love browns from the get-go. The more I type with it the more it feels like the tactility is there for a reason, and is fine the way it is. The less force you use pressing down the keys, the less it feels like something is wrong with it, or like something's stuck inside. I will still get the O-rings because they're not too expensive and are likely to improve my experience when I'm too busy to notice whether or not I'm bottoming out.
Excellent keyboard, if you definitely know you can live with browns, and don't mind a little discoloration of the laser printing. If you can get it at discounted price, like I did, it is an absolute steal and I doubt there is anything of the same quality in the <100€ price range.
PT 2: Cherry
The MX-Board 3.0 got here and I gave it a spin after lunch. I was disappointed by the cheap build quality which was apparent from the moment I unwrapped it. Even the keycaps on my Quickfire TK feel more solid, and trust me those are quite thin to begin with.
Out of fairness I still used it for a little over an hour but the quality of the housing and keycaps does not make the experience very enjoyable at all. In fact, it barely feels like you're even typing on a mechanical. I understand that the switches don't come cheap but there are rubberdomes that feel more solid at half the price. The spring feels much weaker than on the QTK, they have the same Cherry MX Red switch but I imagine that the caps, which are only half deep, are to blame for this impression since they reduce the travel.
The thin quality plastic, plate mounted switches and weak spring with short travel make the MX-Board a high-pitched clickety-clackety affair that can in no way stand its ground against the competition.
Now I know it's unfair to compare it to the Zowie, which originally had a retail price of 120€. The sad part is that my two cherry boards, that I got used for 1€, or 5€, respectively, feature better keycaps and a much more solid frame, of higher quality plastic.
I am not a keyboard snob. I have never typed on a Model M, Topre, Filco or even Ducky board. My benchmark of quality is currently the Zowie, but I think the Mx-Board 3.0 feels so cheap it doesn't warrant a recommendation.
In the end, I don't know who this is for.
Keyboard enthusiasts will definitely be disappointed. If you didn't know it had cherry switches and judged it only by look and feel, it seems like a POS board that came with your Mom's computer.
Beginners? They are much better off spending a lot less, with a used board with Mx Blacks. Or, spending around 50€, and picking from a selection of blue, clear or black switches on a new G80 3000. If the keycaps and frame are anything like the G80 1800, they are much better than that of the MX-board. Or, like me, they could try to look for a bargain with b-stock stuff, with only minor drawbacks.
It needs to be drastically cheaper to make any significant impact on the market in Europe. I imagine the situation is even more clear cut in the US and Asia, where you can get a lot of good boards for cheap.
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