This is a continuation of my previous post, The best mechanical keyboard for typing.
Unfortunately, most keyboard companies regard mechanical switches for gaming play only. I am not really sure, what they mean, because the lump all mechanical switches in to the same category. What’s worse is the reviewers, who tell us about all of the benefits of mechanical switch keyboards, while from their review it is obvious they have not typed on a mechanical keyboard.
I will just say, I like the linear switches, and I prefer the Cherry MX Black switches to all others. The reason is that my fingers tend to hover right over the key tops, and in the case of all but the Black switches, which have a 65 cN, my fingers tend to inadvertantly activate the keys. In use, I tend to bang the keys, and I like the sound of the bottoming and topping of each key. And by the way, don’t buy the reviewers who claim MX Brown have a 55 cN activation pressure, they are the same as the Blues at 45 cN.
So I was thrilled when I ordered a Perixx Periboard ergonomic for about $60 US. It felt wonderful, a nice curvature, a comfortable split which kept my wrists straight, and a highly adjustable wrist rest, which relieved my carpal tunnel pain. It was also full size, meaning it was like the original MS Natural, with the Page and Home/End keys in two horizontal rows, unlike the newer models which compress the keys in a two vertical columns to save space. (Woo-hoo, 4mm’s saved). This keyboard behaved almost like a mechanical MX Black, except for the bottoming and topping sound of the keys, which is a little more dull and hollow.
As I stated in my previous post, the keyboard has some problems, chief of which is the right space bar’s refusal to activate at the left end; lest you think this was a one off, there are a lot of users of these keyboards, complaining of the same problem. Now, I have been able to get around the issue, somewhat, by using a graphite lubricant. I pop’ed the right space bar and used a small flat bladed screw-driver to stretch the left stabilization pole on the right side. It seemed logical that since the left side of the key was affected, that would be where I had to find a fix. Then I used a #2 pencil and just rubbed it back and forth around the stabilization poles.
It has helped, but not entirely. Unfortunately I am more frustrated by missing space strokes than anything else. Once I start writing, I do not want to lose my train of thought. Anything which hinders the typing process, hinders my train of thought.
Another issue I seem to be running up against is multi-key roll over. I can out-type the electronics of the keyboard, and I only type about 60wpm. Eventually, it appears to catch up and the keyboard locks up. I can reset it by unplugging the USB cable and re-seating it, but obviously that is not an answer.
Then I tried to get another keyboard like it, thinking it have have been a fluke. Perixx no longer makes large ergo keyboards, backlit, and in white. They make them in black, with no backlighting, which is useless for me. They do show a model 512II on the web site, in white, but even though it is shown as a new item, it is not available for purchase anywhere.
I wrote the company, and sent them a link to my blog; the response was my keyboard was not in warranty, (glad they told me) and I could buy a black keyboard without backlighting. No word about the problems I and others have encountered, especially about the right space bar key on the ergonomic keyboards.
Conclusion, forget I mentioned @Perixx or the #Periboard 312 or 512II (MS Natural) clones. I do have two of the Periboard (MS Natural Elite) clones at work, they are the ones with the compressed Home/End keys, and slightly smaller in key size and ergonomic curvature. They are the Periboard 512 (MS Natural Elite) clones, and they work fine in that scenario. But they are a little dull of sound, and key travel seems a mite shorter.
So I took out my Corsair K70 RGB, the one with the MX Red switches at 45 cN of activation pressure, and no ergonomics. Ergonomically it is all-right, as long as I have enough space on the table in front of me to move they K70 away, far enough so my wrists remain straight.
I still prefer an ergonomic keyboard, of the original MS Natural type.
And BTW, I did own the MS-4000, MS-7000 and other variants. MS put sound deadened mechanisms in them, (they are membrane switches, not mechanical). When I type, it feels as if I’m bottoming the key on a rubber tire. It actually makes my finger tips hurt after a while and the sound, well there is very little haptic or audio feedback.
I’ll follow up on my keyboard adventures in future posts. I’d like to also thank Howard, who arranged to place a picture of the original WySE PC keyboard in a comment.
Note, all spacing errors, courtesy of #Perixx.