Recommendation for 60% mechanical keyboard

NapoleonWils0n

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Im looking to get a new 60% mechanical keyboard
or is a 65% keyboard a better idea

Some of the features im looking for are a backlight keyboard,
wired usb that works with Freebsd

Does anyone have any recommendations in the £120 price range

I came across the Ducky ONE2 Mini RGB Backlit Silent Red Cherry Mx Switch on amazon

Are the Silent Red Cherry MX Switches good to type on,
at the moment im using Macbook Air with chiclet keyboard and would let to get a better keyboard

cheers
 

fernandel

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I do not about above keyboard but I am using all my computer life Cherry keyboards and I am typing now on 20 years Cherry 3000 R/M and when I clean it it looks like a new and not problem with anything all this time. The same with Cherry keyboards which I had before. Also on my iMac at work I have the same keyboard.
 
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NapoleonWils0n

NapoleonWils0n

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cheers fernandel

im just looking at which cherry switch to get blue or brown,
i think id rather have some tactile feedback rather than a linear switch
 

mark_j

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I have used a G512 logitech tactile (and similar previous versions) at home for ever. They're loud but to me they are the best. (I also like the lighted keyboards).
I found them so much less tiring that I now use one at work.
I come from an era of mechanical keyboards and WYSE terminals. Those mushy keyboards they mass produce these days make my hands ache.
 

scottro

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That particular one seems silent. (For awhile, I've been looking for a mechanical that is really quiet as my wife heard my blue switch keyboard one day, then started noticing--sort of once heard, can't be unheard.). Right now, I'm using a mechanical feel Apex Steelseries 150 which I like. It really does come close to mechanical feel. However, I prefer a small keyboard at my desk, That 60% however, seems pretty small. No arrow keys which is a bit of a pain for me. (Not necessarily a deal breaker though I feel if I'm paying over $100 for a keyboard it should make me very happy.) I'd prefer a 65% if you find one that pleases you as much as the one you linked.
That's just one person's opinion though--some people don't like mechanicals, some need a full size, and so on. For what it's worth, I like the one you linked and am, despite the price, debating getting one for myself, again, what I like is the small form factor (though that's a bit too small) and that looking at a few videos, it does seem quiet enough so that my wife wouldn't mind.
 
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NapoleonWils0n

NapoleonWils0n

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That 60% however, seems pretty small. No arrow keys which is a bit of a pain for me.
The Mecha Mini does have arrow keys,
they are on the ijkl keys

You have to press some keys to access them,
a bit like switch modes in emacs
 

scottro

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Sorry, I should have explicity stated that. I meant that not having dedicated arrow keys was a bit of pain for me.
 
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NapoleonWils0n

NapoleonWils0n

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that gave me a little chuckle

i couldn't find any other backlit metal keyboards with a uk layout
 

scottro

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I'm getting mine from a US vendor, hopefully, it has a US layout. If not, I can type well enough so that if I set it us layout I'll be ok. Looking at the picture (getting from Amazon which was a slight mistake, I have gotten directly from vendor and saved about 2 dollars) it seems to be US layout. (Judging by the fact that the 3 key has # over it rather than £
 

scottro

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Just got mine today. As quiet as a membrane keyboard, save for the space bar, which isn't really loud, just louder than the other keys. (Started using it while wife is sleeping, that's how confident I am). It was with a US layout. I'm enjoying it so far. I'll have to get used to the function key on the right, but aside from using arrows (which I don't use that much) I won't need it too often. Thanks for calling it to my attention.
 

pva

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Im looking to get a new 60% mechanical keyboard
or is a 65% keyboard a better idea

Some of the features im looking for are a backlight keyboard,
wired usb that works with Freebsd

Does anyone have any recommendations in the £120 price range

I've found that I like having separate arrow and Page Up and Page Down keys, so I prefer the 65% layout over the 60%.

I currently have two TADA68s, one with Gateron Blues that I use at home and another with Gateron Silent Browns for work. If I didn't work in an open-plan office, I would've gone with the noisier Blues there, too, just because they feel more satisfying to type on. I can also confirm the TADA68 works flawlessly with FreeBSD, although I really don't see why it wouldn't. BT keyboards, on the other hand, are a whole other kettle of fish.

Things that I like about the TADA68:
  • It can be programmed with the open-source QMK firmware. I think programmability is a must-have feature for smaller keyboards, and I loathe proprietary flashing tools.
  • The PBT dye-sub Cherry profile keycaps feel really nice to type on, and the legends should be really durable. The vaguely 90s black-and-beige colour scheme isn't half bad, either.
  • The US ANSI layout has felt more convenient for programming than the ISO layout we're used to here in Europe.
Things that I don't like:
  • The placement of the tilde/backtick key in the upper right corner. I suppose this is a necessary evil because there isn't a function key row, and I suppose I could always map ~ to, say, Fn+Esc and ` to Fn+Shift+Esc, but I haven't yet felt an overpowering urge to do so.
  • I would've preferred a USB-C connection over the Mini USB because the former is more futureproof. However, this is a minor inconvenience at best.
Overall, I think at $99 the TADA68 represents tremendous bang for the buck. Sadly, it currently seems to be out of stock (thanks, COVID-19!), but you might find it for sale on other Chinese e-commerce websites.
 

scottro

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How silent are the silent brown switches? Of course, now that the keyboard's arrived, I see a few TKLs with silent switches. (Though the Ducky one won't be available until March 25th at https://mechanicalkeyboards.com/ and they say their confidence in the delivery date is low. (Also, it gets a bit expensive. as I suspect I'll get used to the arrow and page up, etc. keys, shortly. I realize I also miss the separate ` and ~ keys which I use in some neomutt macros) Ah well, first world problems and the small size on an already crowded desk is a major plus.
 
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NapoleonWils0n

NapoleonWils0n

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Ducky one 2 mini review

I couldnt get the version with the metal case on Amazon so i got the plastic version

The plastic version is fine really solid

I got the the UK layout with Cherry MX Blue switches

Heres some tips

The dip switches on the back of the keyboard control the position of the Fn key
You want to turn on switch 1,2,3 this puts the Fn at the bottom right of the keyboard to the far right,
and also turns the caps lock into the Fn key

You really want to turn the Caps lock in the Fn key because itsa much easier to use the Fn key with you left hand,
then you can access the arrow keys which are on the ijkl keys

Im running Freebsd on a an old Macbook Air 2011
which on the left hand side has the fn key, ctrl, alt and cmd

on the Ducky the layout is alt, windows, ctrl

To swap the keyboard layout i used xkbcomp

Bash:
setxkbmap -layout gb -variant mac ctrl:swap_lalt_lctl,altwin:alt_super_win

My 000-keyboard.conf in /usr/local/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/ looks like this

Bash:
Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier "Keyboard0"
    Driver      "kbd"
EndSection

Section "InputClass"
    Identifier  "Keyboard0"
        MatchIsKeyboard "on"
        Option "XkbLayout" "gb"
        Option "XkbModel" "pc104"
        Option "XkbVariant" "mac"
        Option "XkbOptions" "terminate:ctrl_alt_bksp,ctrl:nocaps,ctrl:swap_lalt_lctl,altwin:alt_super_win"
EndSection

I use the i3wm tiling window manager so i map the keys on the left to
alt, super, ctrl

The keyboard backlit works perfectly

I tried to remap the keys using the built in macro instead of using xkbcomp but didnt have much luck
was a bit hit and miss but maybe thats just me blundering around

Another really cool things is you can control the mouse from the keyboard up down left right,
and even right click

The keyboard width is about 11inchs the same width as my Mac book Air to give you a size comparison
if you dont know what 11 inches look like ( insert willy joke here )

If you like vim keybindings turning the caps lock into the function key lets you access the arrow keys with ijkl
so its actually much easier to hit caps lock then move your fingers from hjkl to ijkl than moving your right hand to the bottom left of the keyboard

The Cherry Mx Blue switches are a dream to type on,
i was a mac user so have been typing to chiclet keyboards so the past 15 years

After typing on the Cherry Mx Blues using a chiclet keyboard feels like typing with sponges on your fingers

The sound of the Cherry Mx Blues is a like in those old second world war films with a dog fight in the sky,
with one plane strafing the other plane with machine gun fire rata, tat, tat

If anyone in your house complains about the noise tell them there is a gang war outside and to keep there head down

To summarize

The build on the plastic version is great. all the backlighting modes work,
you get some replacement keys and a key puller in the box

The keyboard is connected with a usb 3 cable,
but the keyboard doesnt have any usb ports to plug in usb devices

I have the keyboard plugged into a usb hub and then my Macbook Air running the Freebsd 12 p13,
im also using a Zowie EC2 mouse which works with Freebsd out of the box

You can get the keyboard with several different Cherry Mx switches

If you want tactile feedback when typing then you want the Cherry Mx Blues,
the Cherry Mx Brown also have tactile feedback but arent as loud as the Blues

I tried the different switches in a shop and the browns arent as nice to type on as the blues in my opinion

If you want a linear switch with no tactile feedback then you might want to get the Cherry Mx silent Reds,
they are very responsive more suited to gaming, but you may make more typos

Although it might sound like a mad idea to use a 60% keyboard with Freebsd it actually works really well

The Ducky mini with Cherry Mx Blue Switches is the best typing experience i have ever had with a keyboard,
and you dont lose anything with the smaller size because you have access to secondary keys via the Fn key

So i have more keys on the Ducky mini than i do on my Mac keyboard

And one more thing the keyboard looks amazing especially with the year of the pig space bar and the gently glow of the backlit keyboard

The keyboard is a floating key design so the edge doesnt come up over the bottom of the keys,
which does make it louder but easier to clean

So if your looking for a new keyboard the the Ducky one 2 mini might be the one for you
 

scottro

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I wound up returning mine. I found I use the arrow keys more than I thought and though I suspect I could get used to it, using function and j,k,l, and i was annoying. Also, what I'd really wanted was a silent mechanical TKL keyboard and once I'd bought the Ducky, I started seeing a bunch of them. I'm hoping the silent red switches are as silent on the one I chose (a Fnatic TKL) as they were on the Ducky. Regardless, I'm glad I tried it, as I wasn't aware of 60% keyboards, and probably would have gotten one by mistake in the future. :) Also, to learn that silent reds are as quiet as membrane keyboards.

At work I use blue switches which i like (though I also like brown). It's a tech place so no one cares about the loud keyboard. (One guy did mind, but he's left the company--not because of that, when he complained, I changed to a brown switch till he left.) So..
my big complaints were all personal prejudice and a refusal on my part to give it a few weeks to get used to the arrow keys. (Also, for some reason, using the function key to get a backtick messed up a couple of my neomutt macros that use the backtick). On the other hand, had I kept it long enough to get used to it, I might not have been able to return it.
 

ralphbsz

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I'm an old piano player, were "old" means that I've practiced intensely for over 50 years now. And I grew up on a Bechstein with a Renner mechanism, so I'm quite spoiled. I've been using computers a lot for the last 40 years. A lot of that was either DEC or IBM machines, so again, I'm quite spoiled by using good keyboards. In particular, I'm very fond of the IBM "clicky" keyboards; while pressing the key takes a little extra effort, you get accurate mechanical feedback, which means you can type really fast and accurate.

So far, so good. For the last ~20 years, I had IBM keyboards in my office and at home - not a surprise, since I worked at IBM. And just dumpster diving when people retire and their offices are cleaned out kept me supplied with wonderful keyboards. When I switched to using Macs, I bought two Unicomp keyboards with the Mac layout and USB cables; those are the original IBM mechanisms, spun out of IBM in the 80s or 90s, and still being manufactured. So far, so good.

A few years ago, I started working at a different company, where we sit in close proximity to each other. And a few of my colleagues are annoyed by the noise the Unicomp keyboard makes. So I've switched back to a terrible generic rubber dome keyboard, which makes me type slower and create more typos. If I had some more time, I would research getting a really good but silent keyboard to replace my Unicomp in the office.

On the other hand, my laptop is now a 2017 model MacBook pro. And the new Mac keyboard is single-handedly the worst keyboard ever. The lack of key travel and of tactile resistance is just awful. Given that I do a lot of typing with the laptop these days (I don't sit at a desk where I can have a big keyboard all that often), maybe I need to give up on being a snob and just get accustomed to bad keyboards.
 

Minbari

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I wound up returning mine. I found I use the arrow keys more than I thought and though I suspect I could get used to it, using function and j,k,l, and i was annoying. Also, what I'd really wanted was a silent mechanical TKL keyboard and once I'd bought the Ducky, I started seeing a bunch of them. I'm hoping the silent red switches are as silent on the one I chose (a Fnatic TKL) as they were on the Ducky. Regardless, I'm glad I tried it, as I wasn't aware of 60% keyboards, and probably would have gotten one by mistake in the future. :) Also, to learn that silent reds are as quiet as membrane keyboards.

At work I use blue switches which i like (though I also like brown). It's a tech place so no one cares about the loud keyboard. (One guy did mind, but he's left the company--not because of that, when he complained, I changed to a brown switch till he left.) So..
my big complaints were all personal prejudice and a refusal on my part to give it a few weeks to get used to the arrow keys. (Also, for some reason, using the function key to get a backtick messed up a couple of my neomutt macros that use the backtick). On the other hand, had I kept it long enough to get used to it, I might not have been able to return it.
You should try a 84 keys keyboard (TLK 75%). This one is awesome or if you prefer one with battery like this. The only downside so far is that the Insert key is Fn+I instead of a dedicated key. Personally this bind sucks especially when I'm using xterm and I have to use Insert key, but in urxvt I don't have this problem.
 

scottro

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Right now no silent red (just blue and red) which is unacceptable to my wife. The trouble is that once she noticed it (I had a blue switch for a few months before she noticed) she can't un-notice it. Which is fair, it's her house too. I like that one though and I don't use the insert key very much. If I really like the Fnatic, (should be receiving tomorrow) I may invest in replacing the keycaps.
 

Steyla

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My wife and I, we are both software developers, buy our keyboards at Unicomp
We use IBM Model-M style keyboards for decades and were never disappointed.
 

jmos

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My clear recommendation is to have a customized keyboard made by Varmilo. It was a long way to go, but I definitely don't regret this decision! (And if you take a closer look, you might come to the conclusion that even Ducky is producing there…) I would also recommend to get ahead the different switches separately - and also some keycaps: Otherwise I would have ended up with different switches…

Mine (temporary): https://www.jmos.net/stuff/varmilo_keyboard.jpg
 

Alain De Vos

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I own a Logitech G413 Carbon with Romer-G mechanical switch. Also good for games.
It does not collect dust.
 
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