Mechanical Keyboards - Matias Tactile Pro, Kensington Studioboard, or Apple Extended

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by mleok, Mar 26, 2005.

  1. mleok macrumors member

    Jan 12, 2005
    La Jolla, CA
    I'm looking to purchase a keyboard with mechanical keyswitches, and I'm consider one of the following options:

    Matias Tactile Pro
    Kensington StudioBoard
    Apple Extended Keyboard II + Griffin iMate (ADB to USB)

    I'm particularly interested in binary comparisions from people who've used more than one of the above. Comparisons with the IBM Model M keyboards based on the "buckling spring" keycaps would also be helpful.

    I currently have the Macally iceKey and the Kensington SlimType keyboards. The iceKey seems stiffer than my Powerbook keyboard, and the SlimType has a feel which is closer to the Powerbook.
  2. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    Why do you want to do this again?

    The Apple Extended keyboard sounds good.... I like the Apple keyboards overall. Very nice.
  3. mleok thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 12, 2005
    La Jolla, CA
    I'm looking for a nice tactile feedback when I type, as opposed to the mussy feel which is common today, with the proliferation of membrane based keyboards.
  4. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    I get pretty good tactile feedback with my cheap-o unbranded Dell keyboard (it's the exact same keyboard Dell uses with all their computers, except it doesn't have a "Dell" on the top), and my wired Apple keyboard. That Matias keyboard looks really cool, but $100 for a keyboard? :eek:
  5. mleok thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 12, 2005
    La Jolla, CA
    Perhaps I'm just being nostalgic, but I miss the feel of the old IBM keyboards which came with the first PCs, and the current generation of Apple keyboards just pale in comparison.

    If you're happy with your keyboard, that's great, but I'm primarily trying to get feedback from people with first hand experience with two or more of the keyboards I mentioned, so that I can get a sense of their relative merits.

    As for $100 for a keyboard, there are people on this forum talking about spending an extra $500 for an Apple branded 20" LCD over the functionally equivalent (some might say superior) Dell 2005FPW, simply because of aesthetics.

    Truth be told, a keyboard is something you use everyday, and finding that elusive one that you're comfortable with is worth the expense, IMHO.
  6. Quark macrumors regular

    Jan 9, 2002
    Matias vs. Apple keyboard

    While I not familiar with the Apple Extended Keyboard II, I am familiar with the standard Apple keyboard that comes with the Apple computers (except for the mini). I also have the Matias keyboard, because I, too, want that quality tactile feedback.

    I used to work extensively on the old IBM computers and their keyboards were the best in the industry, in my opinion. The Matias Tactile Pro keyboard gets close, but isn't quite the same. I have been strongly debating, in my own mind, whether or not to just bite the bullet and get the "Advantage Pro USB for Mac" ( keyboard. I don't know if it has good tactile feel and haven't actually seen one that I could check out -- anywhere.

    The Matias keyboard is definitely a step up as far as the keys are concerned. The construction of the keyboard casing is a little lacking in the quality control department. The only other thing that I find that bugs me just a little is that the keyboard is wired via USB. I was hoping that they would come out with a Bluetooth version, with some sort of recharging cable, but that hasn't happened yet.

    Good luck in your decision.

    Take Care,
  7. Izmunuti macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2005
    I'm typing on a Kensington StudioBoard right now (hear the clickety-click?).

    I at first purchased a Matais but it was, unfortunately, defective with a few sticky keys and had to be returned. Matais' return procedure was fine but I went for a refund instead of replacement and purchased the Kensinton.

    At first glance the keyboards are identical. They both felt fine to me. The Kensington's "return" key is a bit wierd and I found myself hitting backslash by accident at first. They were both fairly loud, as this type of keyboard is prone to be, with a solid "click" when a key is pressed.

    There's not much to distinguish the Matais from the Kensington. If the Matais hadn't been defective, I'd probably still be using it happily.

    I'm kind of tired of the "clear plastic" look, though. I wish someone would make the exact same keyboard in black or charcoal.
  8. za9ra22 macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2003
    My preference is an Apple Extended II ADB keyboard, used with a Griffin iMate. Next to the original IBM keyboards, this has by far the best tactile feedback and keyswitch feel in general.

    My second choice is the Matias Tactile Pro, which has excellent feel and key action, but which is a bit noisy in a quiet work environment. I have also found that mine has suffered a bit of loss of key labels which are starting to rub off the space bar (which hardly matters) and a couple of other keys. I suspect that's my typing style rather than anything, but I recall a similar comment from another Tactile Pro user a while back.

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