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

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: ThinkPads
by StephenBeDoper on Thu 20th Jul 2017 14:46 UTC in reply to "ThinkPads"
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ThinkPads (at least T420/T520/X220/... and older) have a pretty good tactile keyboard (for a laptop at least) with a nice layout - full Home/End/PgUp/PgDn cluster, F keys, ...
But ABS keycaps can get shiny pretty quick ;)

They did also make standalone versions of those keyboards, under the "UltraNav" label - that were literally just the same keyboard as contemporary ThinkPad models, but in a separate enclosure & with an adapter to convert the ribbon cable to USB.

The T410/T420-era "SK-8855" Ultranav keyboards seem to be going for fairly insane prices (at least for a non-mech keyboard), probably they were the last ones with the "proper" classic keys & layout - there's only 1 on eBay right now, and the seller is asking $180 USD. However, it uses the same keyboard part as the T410/T420 ThinkPads, so when that part dies you can just replace it & carry on (the keyboard piece is only about $20-30 on eBay).

I have a dream that one day I'll create full programmable mechanical keyboard with ThinkPad layout, something like this:

That's pretty neat. Split that in two pieces with a hinge mechanism similar to the Model M-15, and give it a good switch (AKA not Cherry MX or its clones), and that's pretty much my ideal keyboard.

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