Mechanical Keyboard Questions...

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by minisuds7, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. minisuds7 macrumors member

    minisuds7

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2012
    Location:
    The U.P. of Michigan
    #1
    Well I'm in the market for a mechanical keyboard that is Mac specific. I've thought about getting an old Extended keyboard, but they're getting harder to find in good condition for a decent price on eBay. And I thought about an old IBM Model M "buckling spring" keyboard, but again, I want the command keys (yes I know I could just remap the keyboard, but it's not the same). So I think I've narrowed it down to the Matias Tactile Pro 4 and the Das Keyboard Professional Model S for Mac. Does anyone here have any experience with either of these? I'd love some feedback to help me with my decision! I'm mostly torn between whether I should get the Matias' Alps switches or the Cherry MX Blues in the Das. I've also heard that there's been build quality issues in the past with the Tactile (but it looks nicer), while the Das seems to be built like a tank (but it's as ugly as one too :p). Please help! Also speak out about any Mac mechanical keyboards if I have forgot about any. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Twin Cities Minnesota
    #2
    I would recommend some of the older (and still available new) Macally keyboards. They have a nice feel to them, and come in many variants with the correct keyboard mapping and icons (Command, volume, etc..). I have used them for many papers, and articles over the years.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/MACALLY-IKE...64?pt=PCA_Mice_Trackballs&hash=item257420a0f4

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Macally-USB...46?pt=PCA_Mice_Trackballs&hash=item460b5518f6

    An other good option would be some of the older Black Apple USB keyboards that came with the early G4 systems. Many can be found in great condition, at prices near $20 for an OEM model on ebay.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/APPLE-M7803...USE-/350679007660?pt=Mice&hash=item51a61901ac
     
  3. minisuds7 thread starter macrumors member

    minisuds7

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2012
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    The U.P. of Michigan
    #3
    Can you confirm if any of these are mechanical switch keyboards? I don't want a rubber dome or membrane keyboard. That's what I'm trying to get away from haha. I had a chance to use an Apple Extended Keyboard I on a friend's Macintosh IIfx, and I now want a mechanical keyboard of my own...
     
  4. siurpeeman macrumors 603

    siurpeeman

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    the OC
    #4
    i have experience with the das, and i didn't like it. it might have been just me, but the key tops were just a little too narrow for my liking, and the key presses were a little mushy despite being a "clicky" keyboard. for me, it was clicky in sound only, and i ended up returning it after about a day.

    my strongest recommendation is to buy a keyboard based on the typing experience first and not the mac compatibility; remapping keys really is no big deal. i have a filco majestouch 2 tenkeyless, both with brown and red switches. love them both. here's a link for one with the blue switches.
     
  5. minisuds7 thread starter macrumors member

    minisuds7

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2012
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    The U.P. of Michigan
    #5
    I had read really good things about Filco boards in general, so I'll have that in my consideration. I'd still love to hear about people's experiences with Alps though (not saying that Cherry MX's are bad!)
     
  6. colodane macrumors 6502a

    colodane

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2012
    Location:
    Colorado
    #6
    Experience with DAS

    I'm using a DASkeyboard now after some time with the Apple USB keyboard with number pad on my 2011 iMac. I loved the appearance of the Apple keyboard, but had issue with the mushy keys and the need to hit them in the center to activate them in some cases.

    Overall, I like the DAS a lot. Key action is what I would expect (and like) for mechanical switches. It is noisy, however, so if you plan to use it in a shared workspace I would not recommend it. A more minor issue is that the legends printed on the key tops are very small and hard to read in some cases, especially the punctuation symbols.
     
  7. minisuds7 thread starter macrumors member

    minisuds7

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2012
    Location:
    The U.P. of Michigan
    #7
    Thanks for the input! Yeah I know that these boards in general will be loud, but I've got an Apple BT Keyboard for when my roommate is in the room, so no worries there! I want this keyboard mostly for when I'm writing papers and when I have the room to myself, which is actually quite often...
     
  8. minisuds7 thread starter macrumors member

    minisuds7

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2012
    Location:
    The U.P. of Michigan
    #8
    I was scouring around online and found another Mac mechanical... It's made by a company called Razer and is called the BlackWidow. It's kinda cool because it's backlit and all and you can get the Cherry MX Blue switches in it. Does anyone have experience with this? They seem to have quality issues once in a while after some light reading on it, which is unfortunate. Also waiting for feedback on the Matias or anymore on the Das.
     
  9. minisuds7 thread starter macrumors member

    minisuds7

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    #9
    Well I've decided on the Das due to it's availability, a good deal on Amazon, and a friend of mine recommending it. I will do a brief informal review on this thread once I get it on Thursday! Thanks for the feedback everyone!:apple:
     
  10. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

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    May 9, 2006
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    around/about
    #10
    I just got one for Christmas, which I'm currently using on my gaming PC. Personally, I love it, but I'm also judging it primarily against the old slimline scissor-key keyboard that it replaced. Nice action, nice sound. Keys require a good, firm press, so I feel less likely to make blatant typos. Build quality seems excellent from the little that I've tossed it around.
     
  11. minisuds7 thread starter macrumors member

    minisuds7

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2012
    Location:
    The U.P. of Michigan
    #11
    It came in today!

    Well I'm typing this reply on the Das right now, and I gotta say that I'm thoroughly pleased with it! It feels great beneath my fingers and I love hearing the click. It'll take a little getting used to so that I don't bottom out the keys, but that'll come with time. The build quality seems excellent, and I personally find the width of the keys adequate for my fingers. Maybe it's because I have smaller violinist fingers :rolleyes:. My beefs with the keyboard is that to use the printed media and sleep functions on the function keys, you have to hold down the "fn" key, which is the opposite of a regular Mac keyboard and is throwing me off. It also looks a little out of place... It looks more PC than Mac which is somewhat bothersome, but I can live with it since it feels so darn nice! Oh and I personally despise the font they used for the keycaps but that's just me. I will add to this if I think of anything else to say about it later!
     
  12. Yester5 macrumors regular

    Yester5

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    Nov 26, 2009
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #12
    I use the Matias Tactile Pro and I love it.:)
    Well-built, two USB ports and very easy to type on.
     
  13. minisuds7 thread starter macrumors member

    minisuds7

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2012
    Location:
    The U.P. of Michigan
    #13
    When I save up some money, I do plan on getting myself one of those just for comparison's sake. Plus, I think the special characters printed on the keys and it's overall better "Mac layout" make it a winner alongside the Das! I'd love to have a go at the Alps switches as well.
     
  14. Yester5 macrumors regular

    Yester5

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #14
    Get one...you won't regret it.
    Best keyboard I have ever used...very high quality.
    The only downside...took forever for it to be delivered, but I think its because I ordered it when they were first advertised and did not realize that production had not finished yet. But, it was worth the wait:eek:
     
  15. minisuds7 thread starter macrumors member

    minisuds7

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2012
    Location:
    The U.P. of Michigan
    #15
    Yeah now that I look back when I was comparing the two boards Matias is having pre-orders for the 4th gen right now so I wouldn't have gotten it as quickly and it would've been a tad more expensive. Once these Tactile Pro 4s are being sold by third party vendors though and I've saved up some money, I'll give it a go! Thanks for your feedback!:apple:
     

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