"Real" Keyboards for Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by JeffreyP, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. JeffreyP macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    #1
    Ever since Logitech discontinued the S530 I have been searching a keyboard for my Macs that resembles a "real" keyboard with full-throw keys that are shaped like keyboard keys and dished like keyboard keys and resemble something on which people would expect to be able to type 100 wpm (not that the S530 was all that, but it was close and had other nice features).

    Let me put it this way – on my PC I use a 1984 IBM Model M PS/2 keyboard that weighs about 15 lbs and has keys that stand up, looking for a punch. I remember the days when keyboards were function over form…

    If there is a non-Mac-specific option that still has enough features to keep my Macs functional, I would welcome that too, i.e. I'm not married to an Eject button, but Ctrl-Option-Command need to be in the right place.

    Thanks!
     
  2. NoSmokingBandit macrumors 68000

    NoSmokingBandit

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2008
    #2
    You can use a normal PC keyboard and just rearrange the modifier keys in System Preferences.
    I use a keyboard for Gigabyte that has media keys and whatnot, and its a joy to use with USB Overdrive.
     
  3. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #3
    I don't own one as I'm pretty much laptop only now but I'd suggest that a Matias Tactile Pro might well suit.
     
  4. oldweirdharold macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #4
    Love those 80s IBM keyboards with the satisfying "click/pop" when they hit bottom. Still my standard for what a keyboard should feel-like.

    Odd that no one seems to make one like it anymore.
     
  5. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #5
    You can buy brand-new Model-M keyboards here. They bought the rights from IBM...
     
  6. JeffreyP thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    #6
    Holy cow, these look awesome! I've gotten try one out whether it works out on the Mac or not. Thanks!
     
  7. R94N macrumors 68020

    R94N

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    Yeah, that clicking sound is great. Most laptop keyboards make a dull thud sound when you type - very disappointing! :D
     
  8. mward333 macrumors 6502a

    mward333

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    #8
    I LOVE my Tactile Pro 2.0 and would highly recommend it. I actually have two of them---one at work and one at home. I could never go back to a regular keyboard, and I feel so disappointed when I'm working on a laptop, e.g., my BlackBook now (although the BlackBook keyboard is much better than many other keyboards on laptops).

    Anyway, I am curious if anyone has used the new Tactile Pro 3.0 yet??? Anybody on here using it yet??? [Although I don't want to derail the OP's thread..... I'm just curious!]

    The 2.0 version is extremely loud, by the way. I can type well over 100 words per minute, and I think that I cause a lot of distraction when I'm doing that.... I usually keep my door shut as a result, when I really get serious about my typing!
     
  9. JeffreyP thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    #9
    Okay, I'm looking seriously at this again. They have the Tactile Pro and I see the Tactile Pro 2.0 as being a discontinued product, so I'm assuming the one labeled Tactile Pro is the 3.0. Love the special character labels on the keys. I'm set to order one.

    You mean, loud like you wouldn't be typing during a phone/skype/speakerphone call?
     
  10. mward333 macrumors 6502a

    mward333

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    #10
    The original Tactile Pro has not been available for years and years---it was discontinued long ago. The 2.0 version was available a couple of years ago (I bought mine in 2007), but it has been discontinued too. So the 3.0 is available now. I've never used the 3.0 version.

    The 2.0 version is very loud! You definitely could not use it during a phone of skype or speakerphone conversation if you are a fast typer. Every keystroke will be loud enough to interrupt the conversation, if you type the keys in an energetic way (like I do). In fact, when I'm typing, I generally shut my office door so that I don't bother the professors or students nearby. You can hear me all the way down the hallway. In an open-office setting where people have cubicles and cannot close the door, the Tactile Pro keyboards would not be appropriate to use---way too loud.

    I hope that is helpful for you. I love my 2.0 and have considered buying a 3.0.
     
  11. jgmacrum macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    #11
    I've had the tactile pro 3 for a few months now. Starting about a month ago I started noticing that some characters had a tendency to double up - both the 'i' and 'p' character. I figured that was just my own doing and didn't think about it. As time has gone on though, it's been getting worse and worse. It seems to be spreading from the upper right, the 'g' key is the latest to be affected, and the 'p' is *really* bad. Even if I turn the key repeat settings in OSX to their absolute slowest (which is unusable for real world purposes, but good for a test here) it'll still happen.

    I've emailed them repeatedly and never heard back from them, the one time I had a chance to call them I got a message that their number had changed. I have a feeling that I'm screwed, and would definitely caution people for now.
     
  12. jgmacrum macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    #12
    Depends on your tolerances. I use an old Model-M at work (not one of the new Unicomps, a real IBM branded one, I've got a bunch of them at home that I accumulated over the years) and a Tactile Pro 3 at home (ignoring for now the issues that I just described).

    I think that the model M might be overall louder, but the TP3 has a much higher pitched/tinnier sound that would probably be a bit more irritating to someone nearby. That being said, I type away on my M at work no matter who is in earshot (there are multiple people sharing the same office) and another coworker has one of the Unicomps in a similar publicly shared space.

    I've had a couple of complaints late at night at home, but c'est la vie.

    In both cases, I don't think twice about typing while on the phone and such, but yes, the people will know that you're typing.
     
  13. mward333 macrumors 6502a

    mward333

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    #13
    Thank you for the warning! I would love to see other reviews from users of the Tactile Pro 3..... Now I'm not so sure about buying one of these new versions, and maybe I'll just stick with my Tactile Pro 2.......
     
  14. JeffreyP thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    #14
    I went ahead and ordered one five days ago before seeing this. :eek:

    It arrived promptly. It is a dream to type on and has all the keys I consider essential.

    In all respects, it is spectacular! It is the answer to my post.

    I'm hoping you just got a lemon (sorry :(), but I'll report back if I start having any problems with it. It's truly a joy and a gem, but it's too expensive to risk, if the problems are pervasive and the company unresponsive.

    Thank you for your posts!
     
  15. mward333 macrumors 6502a

    mward333

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    #15
    Yes, please let us know if it continues to be a "dream to type on" (I hope so!), or if the quality starts to degrade slowly. We would appreciate knowing. Thank you! Good luck to you!
     
  16. axma macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2006
  17. axma macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2006
    #17
  18. JeffreyP thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    #18
    No love to report. :(

    The period key has already started doubling-up and repeating on one hit.

    Very, very, very disappointing…
     
  19. JeffreyP thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    #19
    This just in … a reply from the VP of the company to our issues:

    Hello Jeffrey,

    Thanks for letting us know about the issue you are having with the keyboard. Of course, we would be happy to refund your purchase if you wish - just e-mail back proof of purchase and we'll take care of that and give you return instructions for the old keyboard.

    I took a look at the discussion link you provided, and I was quite surprised. We've had the same phone number for 10 years, so I'm surprised that one of the thread members got the message that our number had changed. I'm also surprised that repeated e-mails were never replied to. We actually care quite a bit about replying to customer questions and/or issues. Can you double-check the e-mail address used? The general help e-mail is help@matias.ca. My personal e-mail is steve@matias.ca.

    As for the defective key issue you experienced and another person experienced, yes a small percentage of keyboards in any production process will be defective. In those situations, we replace the keyboard or refund the purchase. However, the overall defect rate is quite low.

    We are passionate about making high quality keyboards, and spent a lot of money designing the new Tactile Pro Keyboard (version 3).

    Best Regards,
    Steve
    ----

    Steve McGowan
    Vice President
    Matias Corporation
    steve@matias.ca
    905-265-8844 (voice)
    905-265-8744 (fax)
     
  20. jgmacrum macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    #20
    Cool. I've been away for about a week and just checked this. I've been emailing suppport@matias.ca as ppper httteir website, not helppp@matias.ca. I'm off tomorrow so I'll try to get in touch with them.

    (I left the repeat chars in intentionally justt to give a sense for thinggs)

    hey all, just wanted to say that i emailed steve and he emailed me back almost immediately and a repplacement looks like it'll happpepn. I did really enjoy using this KB before it started going crazy, so fingers crossed, but glad to see them respponsive now that I'm using the correct email address!
     
  21. jgmacrum macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    #21
    Just one more update, I just received my replacement KB today, and so far so good. Steve couldn't have been more helpful. I have to wait a bit before making a final declaration as it was at least a month before I started seeing symptoms on my previous KB, but at least for now I'm pretty stoked.

    Funny aside, I'm actually typing just as slow as I had been because I keep hitting delete every time I type the letter 'p' out of habit, except that now I don't have extra p chars everywhere ;)
     
  22. doktordoris macrumors 6502a

    doktordoris

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    #22
    I find it somewhat interesting that you find using the modern mac keyboards such a chore. My typing style is somewhere between hunt and peck and touch typing, I don't use all my fingers, but I rarely look down at my keyboard, but since I became a macist a few months ago and spent a few days getting used to the short travel of the keys on my MBP I find that my typing is way faster than it used to be with my old microswitched cherry that I cherished for the last 15 years.

    Strange how different peoples experiences can be.
     
  23. pcguru83 macrumors 6502a

    pcguru83

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #23
    I have had a similar experience. My typing speed is in the 80-90 WPM range and I find that I'm much more comfortable (and faster) on a keyboard with short key travel. I absolutely adore my aluminum Apple keyboard, I can really go to town on that thing.

    Despite that, I sure do love the feel of these older keyboards. I think it's awesome that these things are still being manufactured in some form or another.
     
  24. jgmacrum macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    #24
    I was actually pleasantly surprised with the current apple keyboards, much moreso than the pre-chicklet ones that they had. The one thing that was a total dealbreaker for me (and is what led me to the matias) was how they got rid of the volume/eject keys in the upper right and merged them with the F-keys. It seemed that I could either have them work as the F-keys or as the utility keys, but sometimes i want one, and sometimes i want the other. That was really annoying.
     
  25. Xombie11 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2009
    #25
    I think the DasKeyboard may be right up your alley (albeit maybe not the price haha). It's one of the sleekest, most modern-looking mechanical keyboards on the market, and is said to be very, very good.
     

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