Posted in Product Review

New Keyboard

I know, many moons have passed since I put in an entry here. I hope to rectify that in the future with more regular thoughts posted. I have some new typewriters to test out with typecasts, and a few cameras I’d like to talk about.

But for today I want to talk about this new keyboard that I just got and this is the first time I am typing on it. My previous keyboard that I have used both at home and in the office was the HHKB Professional 2 which was equipped with Topre type keys and it was a very compact unit. I really liked it and got used to having to use a Fn button to get to up/down etc. functions, but I think something is wrong with it as I kept getting shocks from the USB ports on the back. The keyboard works fine, but something is amiss.

The Happy Hacking Keyboard

So I did a little research – not as much as I have done in the past – and even got a little sample keyboard thingy with Cherry MX switches. None of which I liked a whole lot. I used my old Unicomp buckle spring keyboard for a while but while I like the touch, I find the extra noise a bit distracting for touch typing – like it had too many clicks for just one keystroke. Besides, the keyboard is huge and didn’t leave much room on my computer desk.

The Unicomp version of the IBM keyboard.

So I thought about a DAS keyboard but then I went to something a bit more retro (with knock-off switches). The Artix Medium keyboard shown below.

I could really do without the LED lights under each key, but I like the retro style and I really like the round keytops that remind me of some of my older typewriters. So far the key tops are fine for touch typing and the rest of the buttons like the shift and return seem to be in good positions for no-looking typing.

The keyboard is wired which I wanted as my Linux box sometimes won’t see bluetooth reliably, and the build quality seems fine. It has a nice heavy base that stays put and it seems to be made of actual metal – the base, anyway. The switches are not, I believe, Cherrys, but they seem fine so far.

And it was under $100 which is nice. I paid about three times that for the HHKB keyboard and while that lasted a long time, I didn’t want to put that kind of money into a new one.

So time will tell, but so far this seems to be pretty good and certainly quick to get used to. And it doesn’t hurt that its looks hearken back to a good old Smith Corona Silent.

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