If you do a lot of writing on your computer, you might appreciate the value of a high-quality keyboard. But that raises a question: what is a high-quality keyboard? What features set apart the best — from the rest?
I think the answer is clear: the best keyboards are mechanical keyboards, as opposed to the rubber-dome style that characterizes most keyboards these days. The cheapest $10 keyboards use rubber-dome key contacts.
Mechanical keyboards, on the other hand, have hard mechanical switches underneath each key. They give precise tactile and audible feedback, letting you know for sure when a key has been pressed.
A popular option is the Das Keyboard 4, which uses so-called Cherry MX Blue linear switches. There are other models of Cherry switches that are distinguished by their different color names (Brown, Red, etc), and each provides a different level of tactile and audible feedback. You can hear short clips of the different sounds made by the blue and brown switches here:
But Das Keyboard is expensive.
There is another option that is an altogether different style of mechanical switch from the linear Cherry switches. This style is called the buckling-spring keyswitch. It was invented by IBM and used in the classic Model M keyboard. IBM stopped manufacturing these keyboards long ago. And then so did Lexmark.
But I think they’re the best.
You can buy used models online. They will probably have a PS2 connector. Not all computers these days still come with a PS2 connector. Here’s a website that sells used Model Ms:
If you want a cheaper, brand new model, there’s a better option.
Unicomp is a company located in Kentucky. They acquired the patents, the molds, and the machines that first IBM, and then Lexmark, used to manufacture the original Model M.
They still make them, brand new, with modern USB connectors.
And at a cheaper price than you can find a used Model M for.
If you’re in the neighborhood for a new keyboard, you might want to look into the Unicomp models. Start by clicking this link:
Their Classic 104 white buckling spring model is the original. But, they sell different models in different colors, too.