After months of reading reviews, mulling, and feeling up the few models I have managed to seek out in shops; I finally bought myself a Filco Zero “white-switch” (FKBN87Z/EB) keyboard recently.
This is easily my single best tech buy this year (surpassing the Samsung 24” monitor).
The difference a mechanical keyboard makes really has to be felt to be believed. I got the model with the ALPS switches which are both clicky and tactile.
The Thinkpad keyboards are good, but this is nothing short of FANTASTIC. My typing speed and accuracy has improved by a noticeable amount. Maybe I should get another one for home.
$169 SGD from CH Computer in Funan Mall, Singapore (great and knowledgeable service; very happy to let me try out the different models on offer.)
My only want? An embedded Trackpoint controller so I can dispense with a mouse…
Interesting to note the resurgence in demand for mechanical keyboards. Syuper-cheap and mass-market items may well flood the market, but it appears that people will seek out and pay for quality.
Cheaper is not always better. And people don’t always automatically buy the cheapest. In the endless quest for ever-cheaper versions of stuff. There must come a point when the quality becomes sufficiently eroded that new markets appear for the original good quality versions.
On the extreme other end is an HP KU-0316 – the single worst keyboard I have used, ever.
The keys are totally mushy and bottomed out quickly. Typing on a KU-0316 is like mashing my fingers on a lump of stress-ball foam. Good for de-stressing, crap for feel, speed and accuracy.
The whole thing also slips and slides around the desktop due a rubber feet deficiency. For some reason, the “5” key is also loose, such that it wobbles like a bobble head doll whenever the keyboard is in use. Nasty.
The sad thing is, this keyboard came with HP’s flagship $5000+ (SGD) Z800 workstation!
See also: The 10 Worst Keyboards of All Time.