Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 18th Jul 2017 17:29 UTC
IBM

You may not know the Model F by name, but you know it by sound - the musical thwacking of flippers slapping away. The sound of the '80s office. The IBM Model F greeting the world in 1981 with a good ten pounds of die-cast zinc and keys that crash down on buckling metal springs as they descend. It's a sensation today's clickiest keyboards chase, but will never catch. And now it's coming back.

I used several of these growing up, and I've come to understand I'm the only one who didn't - and doesn't - like mechanical keyboards one bit - I find them tiring and way too loud. I want the thinnest possible keyboard with the shortest possible travel while still having a decent, satisfying, but very quiet click. I find Apple's Magic Keyboard is the exact right keyboard for me, but I also know I'll be one of the very few, especially on a site like OSNews.

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RE[2]: I Agree with Thom
by StephenBeDoper on Thu 20th Jul 2017 14:41 UTC in reply to "RE: I Agree with Thom"
StephenBeDoper
Member since:
2005-07-06

1) You need to press a lot harder on them. Last time I tried one of them I wow'ed at just how quickly I could feel that my hands needed a break.


Not all mechanical switches are identical in terms of the force required to depress the keys: they range from as light as 30-40g of force (Topre), up to 70-80g of force (buckling spring, Cherry MX Black, etc).

2) Typing speed is slower because the keys are taller and you have to press harder.


That's the opposite of my experience - I type faster on most mechanical keyboards, which I think is because the tactile feedback makes it clearer when a key has been pressed down far enough. If anything, I find that I also press harder on rubber dome keyboards, to make sure I've pressed the key down far enough.

3) The noise. This is not a plus for me. I like the sound of more quite keyboards a lot better.


That's probably the only objective issue with mechanical keyboards - though there are low-noise mechanical keyboards/switches available, made by companies like Matias, Topre, and a few others.

4) The layout of the Model M is a little bit too classic for my taste. It annoys me that I can't as easily reach keys with both hands as I can with more compact layouts.


That one I agree with, there are also arguable ergonomic benefits to more compact layouts. But again, there are mechanical keyboards available with compact layouts - including REALLY compact "60%" layouts on boards like the ErgoDox. Personally, I find those layouts a little too extreme (anything that requires an Fn key/layer for things as common as the number or function keys is a non-starter for me), but they are available for those who want that.

It's also worth noting that the article is about a replica of the Model F, rather than the Model M - and it appears to be using some kind of hybrid between the old AT layout & a modern "Tenkeyless" layout:

http://pop.h-cdn.co/assets/17/27/980x417/gallery-1499277959-keyboar...

Personally, I'd be more interested if they used a more standard tenkeyless layout (just a regular layout without the numpad chopped off - like the ANSI mods folks have done with vintage AT Model F keyboards), but that still looks easier to get used to than the old AT or XT layouts.

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