IBM Preferred Pro Fullsize

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05 Jan 2022, 19:14

I've found a local offer of these - never used keyboards in boxes, incl. wrist pads. Made in China 2005/03. Does anybody know if they are good or bad keyboards?
I used a 1996 rubber dome IBM KB-8923 before. It was really smooth for typing (possible the best rubber dome I've ever used) but extremely loud (clacky) at the same time.
Does anybody know, how do these IBM Preferred Pro Fullsize compare to that 9 years older model? Thanks!

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05 Jan 2022, 19:56

I've always really liked the preferred pro boards from IBM & Lenovo, they get mistaken as 'mushy' boards when in fact they are just really smooth.
I don't know how they compare to older IBM rubber dome boards though.

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07 Jan 2022, 18:34

Thanks! It's already on its way. I'll share my experience when it arrives.

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07 Jan 2022, 18:59

wobbled wrote:
05 Jan 2022, 19:56
they get mistaken as 'mushy' boards when in fact they are just really smooth.
Is that a thing? Mistaking switch smoothness for mushiness?

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07 Jan 2022, 21:19

There are two nice things about those keyboards: the blue Enter key and the classic IBM font.

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11 Jan 2022, 19:25

It has just arrived. 8-)
ibmpf.jpg (1.96 MiB) Viewed 6685 times
The three-colour keycaps (black, dark grey and blue) are indeed nice. Not sure about the material used... ABS or PBT? Maybe it wasn't a typical question in 2006.

And what about the 'mushiness'? Isn't it rather a personal feeling? After using Kailh or Cherry MX Brown keyboards almost exclusively during the last year it does indeed feel a bit mushy. The keys are very lightweighted. The actuation force seems lighter than MX Brown!
On the other hand, it makes me feel type slower because there's a sort of 'quicksand' resistance if a key should go down fast.

Definitely different to IBM KB-8923. That was extremely clacky but feeling more like mechanical (if I can remember well).
This Preferred is really quiet but probably not so great for typing. Maybe one could get used to it.

Worth buying for less than $10? Definitely!

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11 Jan 2022, 19:42

ABS or POM. IBM wasn’t reverse dyesubbing PBT! And they’re too glossy besides.

They get half points for the half use of icon mods. But I see that bottom row!

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15 Jan 2022, 10:45

Thanks. The surface indeed looks different to PBT keycap surface on my other two keyboards with PBT explicitly mentioned in their specs.

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19 May 2022, 22:12

Does anybody know how does newer Lenovo Preferred Pro II USB compare to this original version?
That Pro II is surprisingly pricey (almost like a basic mechanical keyboard with cheaper switches - Kailh/Outemu etc.) but I could probably get one, never used - just unwrapped, for 1/10 price.
Is the key feel really sooooo amaaaazing with quiet operation at the same time or is the price just bloated up by the Lenovo label?
It's rated 4.6 at Amazon. One of reviewers found the key feel similar to Unicomp buckling springs (but quieter), another one found the keyboard too 'clacky'.


25 May 2022, 18:50

I just tried the Lenovo Preferred Pro II and was pleasantly surprised by the tactility (not mushy). There is some friction so I would not consider them smooth.

There is no high pitched noise, so it's more 'thock' than 'clack'. It's also not silent but still very tolerable in a shared room.

I would use one happily but it's not 'amazing'.

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25 May 2022, 21:45

Thanks for the info, vinzbe! I almost got that 1/10 price one today but had to change my plans because of a meeting.

The friction is indeed a problem for most rubber domes, especially if you hit the key off-centre. I notice that while temporarily swapping for a rubber dome board, typically on Q, A, Z, P keys - i.e. keys pressed by pinkies - I tend to press them only half-way and produce typos this way - missing or swapped characters (if the key actuates but too late).

Could you possibly estimate the key press weight - is it more like 40g or rather 60g? Because the original Preferred Pro version is very lightweight - even for me a MX Brown user.


03 Jun 2022, 11:08

On a second try, I must revise my judgement about friction. I hear friction but I don't feel it much. Also there is no binding.

To me, It feels slightly more heavy than my 45g realforce, so around 45-50g. Though, it might be due to the more pronounced tactility.

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03 Jun 2022, 12:57

You could always put some 205g0 on the underside of the keycaps to get rid of any friction.
Back when I used preferred Pro boards at work, they did tend to get smoother with age

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