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    Keyboard recommendations ask hardware

Please share your favourite keyboards!

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      +1, although I recommend the Type-S variant.

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        Yes, I have the original at home, and I tried to bring it into the office, and my co-workers wanted to kill me. I ended up getting a type-S variant for the office and keeping my other one at home. I absolutely love this keyboard!

      2. 3

        I have multiple keyboards, but my favorite for working is a Topre Realforce 87u which uses similar switches, while also giving arrow keys.

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          My favourite variant is Drop’s Tokyo 60

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            I can second this. I recently got the Tokyo60 and have been absolutely loving it.

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              I want to see what you’re talking about but everything I click on there wants my email address.

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                Sorry, for some reason drop requires an account to view products. I’ll link you an image instead.

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              I use this keyboard for work and absolutely love it. I’m grateful CTRL is in the CAPS LOCK position.

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                I’m currently typing this from a Happy Hacking Keyboard Pro 2, and I enjoy it for the most part. But I do miss the lack of physical arrow keys.

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                  I used an HHKB Lite2 for years and years (over a decade, I believe): it has an inverted-T in the lower right. They are an odd rectangular shape, which I imagine is why I have never seen a mechanical keyboard with the same feature. I thought it was basically the perfect layout for a long time.

                  An under-appreciated feature is the placement of the ESC, \, ~ and BS keys. Once you’re used to it, you really don’t want to go back.

                  There are only one and a half problems with the HHKB. The first is the CTRL key. Yes, replacing Caps Lock with something useful is good, and yes that location is far better than way out on the left and right corners. But it is not ideal for touch-typing, in which one should press modifiers with the opposite hand.

                  The second half-problem is the staggered key layout. I believe that a non-staggered (‘ortholinear’) layout may be more ergonomic.

                  These days I am experimenting with the Boardwalk and XD75 layouts, but with heavy inspiration from the HHKB. I have Hyper, Super (GUI or ‘Windows’), Alt, Ctrl, Raise to the left of the space bar and Lower, Ctrl, Alt, Super & Hyper to the right. The Caps Lock location is used for Compose — since it is not a modifier, having a single version is okay.

                  For arrow keys on the Boardwalk I have Lower+EDSF (like WASD, but fingers never leave the home position). On the XD75 the arrow is in the centre.

                  I know for a fact that I do not want to go back to a full-size board with a keypad, and I know I want to stick with mechanical keyswitches. I may someday want to get into something even more ergonomic, such as a split keyboard or Ergodox.

                2. 1

                  I have used this, as well as a Realforce 87U, for a few years each. Both are great but these days I prefer the Leopold FC660C (with Type-S switches). Specifically with the Hasu PCB Mod, which is also available for the HHKB2, one can turn the board into the custom tool of programmers’ dreams.

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                    Does anyone find value on missing the F keys or the arrow keys?

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                      the form factor being small has value, because it means the device takes up less physical space on your desk and is much more portable. It’s very easy to toss into a bag with a laptop, because it’s only going to be as wide as the laptop itself.

                      The problem with the missing arrow keys is that in order to use the arrow keys you have to use a chorded combination (with the fn key to the right of the right shift). That’s fine when you’re using the arrows on their own, and the key combos are easy to learn and remember and use. Where it falls down is when you want to use the arrow keys and press other keys simultaneously that do NOT want the fn key held down, which is a struggle for games that use arrow keys. That’s the only situation in which I’ve found it bothersome, but that may be more of an issue for me than most since I’m a game developer.

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                        I personally use a fullsize + ten-key WASD v2, which is pretty good. The whole tiny keyboard thing (people are unironically making 40% size boards on /r/mechanicalkeyboards) makes very little sense to me.

                        I miss my old huge compaq keyboard, with F13-F24 on a strip down the left side :)

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                      I can happily recommend the Ergodox EZ (https://ergodox-ez.com/). It really holds up to expectations. I’m using it at my day job and also at home.

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                        The Ergodox legitimately changed the way I see peripherals and even at a deeper level computer interaction. The combination of ortho-linear and split, thumb clusters, and layers made me feel like I’d never been using a keyboard properly my whole life. I’ve been chasing that same thing for mouse input ever since. Obviously I highly suggest haha.

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                          I’m very interested in whether anyone has found a mouse that is similarly game-changing. I think part of what makes Ergodox EZ so impressive is its open source nature, including the firmware, configuration tools, and hardware. I haven’t found any meaningfully open source mouse in production. I just might make a separate post on Lobste.rs asking for mouse recommendations!

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                            I can’t speak for open source but the Logitech MX Ergo has been wonderful.

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                              Not a game changer in the way you’re talking about (open source) - but from a personal ergonomic perspective I got similar benefits to the split ortholinear keyboard from a vertical mouse and prefer to pair the two if possible. I’m not aware of a similarly successful open source vertical mouse design. I use a Kinesis VM4.

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                                I also recommend it. Also have it paired with the ergodox. Very happy with this setup.

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                            I got one a few weeks ago and I’m loving it. It has user swappable key switches which make it super customisable. You can get the exact feeling you want on each individual key if you want to.

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                              I have an Ergodox EZ and I also have a Kinesis Advantage2. I really prefer the Advantage, but both are great keyboards.

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                                I went with Redox (https://github.com/mattdibi/redox-keyboard) - a modified version of Ergodox which is slightly smaller. If one is living in EU and don’t have time/supplies/heart for hardware hacking you may order one from falba.tech (I’m not affiliated, just a happy customer).

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                                  I bought an Ergodox EZ this past summer and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made. It was expensive but certainly worth it- the quality is great. I plan to eventually build a second one when I get the time.

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                                    One of the best choices I made! I’m using the Ergodox Infinity, but that’s kinda similar. Makes typing super comfy. I’m using my mouse in the middle (when using the mouse…).

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                                    I use a Kinesis Advantage 2, which took a while to learn. Now, I’m back to typing speed, and I love it. I prefer to use it with my Linux machine, mainly due to my customized window manager and shortcuts.

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                                      I’ve been using Kinesis ergo keyboards for - no joke - 20 years. I was starting to get some wrist pain, and it stopped when I started using them. I have the same setup at home and work: Kinesis Advantage 2 w/an Apple trackpad velcroed into the center.

                                      I would probably use Ergodox, but my use case is keyboard on lap, feet up on desk, and I’d have to mount it on a board, whereas the Kinesis is one piece.

                                      battle station with Kinesis

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                                        My problem with the Ergodox is that it’s not really that ergonomic. Sure it’s split and has thumb clusters, but the killer feature of the Kinesis is the sculpted key-wells. I find myself awkwardly reaching a lot more with the Ergodox than my Kinesis.

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                                        I’ve been using Kinesis Advantage keyboards for 7 years as my daily driver - I started having pains in my hands on prolonged keyboard usage and it went away immediately. Took me two weeks to get up to speed, but it was incredibly worth it. I still get pain in the hands if I have to use keyboards for longer than two hours that are not the Kinesis. Even if I spend 18h a day over 7d on the Kinesis, I have no trouble whatsoever. On the contrary, it feels like playing an instrument(;

                                        Battlestation: https://twitter.com/preek/status/1243281502890229766

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                                          It only took me about two weeks to adjust to, and that was about 15 years ago. Definitely recommend, it is better for your long-term health.

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                                            I love love love love my Kinesis keyboards. I have two (one for home, one for the office) and I press them on people all the time. I’d like to try a Dactyl, but the cost is pretty steep for something that I’d have to get blind.

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                                            I backed for one of the second-generation Atreus boards, but you can also build your own first-generation right now.

                                            Tiny, “split”, ergonomic/ortholinear, mechanical, hackable. Really looking forward to getting it.

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                                              (Atreus creator here) Thanks! I was just talking on #lobsters IRC about how I was working on a new scheme-based firmware for this that’s been a lot of fun: https://git.sr.ht/~technomancy/menelaus/tree/master/menelaus.scm

                                              Figured folks here might find that interesting. It’s fully functional in about 300 lines.

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                                                It’s crazy how simple that is compared to some more popular firmwares written C… Lovely work as always

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                                                  I just backed - not sure if I’ll end up converted from my Kineses Advantage, but I sure would like a portable option :)

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                                                    That was definitely the original intent; it was designed to complement a larger board for when you’re away from your desk. (That said, I stopped using my larger board once I got used to it.) Enjoy!

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                                                  Also, a proud owner of Atreus here. I can say that assembling Atreus was a fun exercise, it’s a compact and very ergonomic keyboard. My touch typing on Atreus is still slow (and even slower when I type in my native language) after I switched from Pok3r, but I enjoy using it.

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                                                  I’ve been using an Ergodox for the past 2 years.

                                                  The learning curve is steep: it took me around 1 to 2 months before being back to my usual typing speed. But I still recommend it to every person that spends a significant amount of their day typing.

                                                  I don’t think I’m any faster than before when typing, but I’m way more comfortable. even after spending the entire day writing a document, my hands don’t hurt at all.

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                                                    I have also been using mine for 2 years and love it! It is so ergonomic and customizable. My hands never hurt from typing too much and there are some great customization options. I have the “caps lock” location bound to “escape” and I have a trigger where if I hold the “a” key, I get vim arrow keys where hjkl are. I have the ergodox EZ, because I did not want to get into soldering the thing myself.

                                                    That said, if you are looking for pure ergonomics, there are cheaper options. If you are looking for customizable keyboards, there are cheaper options. If you want something ergonomic and customizable, it is an amazing choice.

                                                    I had bad typing habits on a normal keyboard, so I also used the transition from standard keyboard to ergodox to learn how to touch type. Going from non-touch tying on a standard keyboard to touch typing on an ergo dox comfortably took ~1-2 months. I did a week or two of only using it at home (and typing slowly). Then two to three weeks of bringing it back and forth to work, switching to a normal keyboard when needed.

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                                                    I love my MS Natural Ergonomics 4000. If I could get one with the number pad cut off (less reach for the mouse) it would be perfect. They do tend to last and last which is good as they’re getting harder to find when one finally breaks.

                                                    I’ve tried the MS Sculpt but I find the mushy esc key a real drawback (vim user). Overall just not especially nice to type on. I also do use the function keys and the extra media keys on the 4000 a fair bit, so missed them on the sculpt.

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                                                      +1. Had one of these for years until I wore it out. I’d buy another one if it came with mechanical switches…

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                                                        I have standardized on the 4K. They are the only keyboard I use - I ask for them at each company I work at. I’m worried when they finally stop being made.

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                                                        I’m very happy with my UHK (in spite of its awful name). I have three of them:

                                                        • One with blues at home.
                                                        • One with browns home.
                                                        • One in the office I visit every couple of months (I work remotely) with the brown switches + rubber O rings to make it quieter. It ends up being no louder than the Microsoft keyboard IT gave me by default.

                                                        It took a little while to get used to the split, but now that I have I won’t go back.

                                                        The build quality is really solid, and the wooden wrist rests look beautiful. Their keymap configuration utility is pretty flexible and easy to use. I like being able to flip between separate keyboard layouts for Linux and Windows with a keystroke.

                                                        One note to be aware of: the “modules” listed on the page haven’t actually shipped yet. They were working through a backlog of keyboard construction for a long time and are only now getting close to shipping the modules. But the keyboard is perfectly usable without them.

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                                                          Agreed with everything you said here. It’s a pretty compact keyboard. The one thing I haven’t figured out yet, I want the ‘mouse’ key to be an esc when pressed alone, but a mouse key when pressed with other keys. I haven’t spend much time trying to figure it out, but it’s not obvious to me that it’s possible.

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                                                          The Keyboardio Model 01 has been good to me. I tried a number of other fancy ergonomic keyboards, but had trouble reaching the keys on them. I don’t have tiny hands, but smaller than the average programmer, it seems. The Keyboardio is not really smaller, but the layout of the keys makes it easier for me to reach everything without discomfort. It has all but eliminated my RSI, which was so bad that I could barely work at all.

                                                          The hardware and firmware are both open source, which is a plus. But the custom keycaps could be a drawback for those who like to customise them.

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                                                            My top recommendation is the Apple A1243, i.e. the regular Apple keyboard from ca. 2007.

                                                            I own two of them, one in daily use and the other as reserve when the current one eventually breaks. Been using these for about two years now and—while not perfect—it’s by far my favorite keyboard I’ve ever used or owned; the form factor, look, quietness are just lovely, but first and foremost the typing feel is excellent; the switches used in these have just the perfect feel for fast typing in my opinion. You can still get these used in good condition for reasonable prices. You can do a Registry remapping for the modifier keys on Windows to match a standard non-Mac keyboard, or just leave them as is if that’s your preference.

                                                            I also have a Vortex RACE3 mechanical keyboard with MX Brown switches that I bought last year as an experiment, but honestly I haven’t been using it that much. It’s nice for the rare occasions when I play games or just need a better key rollover, but for daily use the ergonomics are quite poor and the noise is annoying. Wouldn’t recommend for regular use.

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                                                              I agree. I have used an Apple keyboard like that at work for a couple of years now, and I’m very happy with it. The one drawback is that it gets dirty/grimy in that weird way only aluminum Apple keyboards do.

                                                              I would buy one also for home, but I’m extremely limited for space there, so I have a CM QuickFire TK there, which has combined arrow keys and number pad in the most ingenious way in order to get both in a tenkeyless form factor.

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                                                              Topre Realforce 87U Variable Weight. My Cherry Blue keyboard is collecting dust since the last 6-7 years I got this one, Topre switches and variable weight keys (keys you press with weaker fingers are lighter) are amazing.

                                                              Pretty much meant that my MK hobby was over quickly and saved me a ton of money, since none of those cool and exciting keyboards coming out use Topre switches :).

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                                                                This looks really good to me. I used a IBM Model M then ended up with a dell generic and I was surprised it was fine. I’m at home back on the ancient M and I’m really interested in variable weight.

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                                                                https://www.pckeyboard.com/page/category/UltraClassic

                                                                Unicomp builds IBM Model M-style keyboards. They’re gloriously clicky and solid, and, in the words of Bender, if you hit someone with that thing…they stay down.

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                                                                  I bought a Planck EZ Glow and I love it! My typing speed increased by like 20 wpm over the shitty Macbook Pro keyboard, although I realize that’s a low bar.

                                                                  Now I want an ergonomic keyboard, but for portability + fitting onto small desks, the Planck EZ is hard to beat. I’ll probably end up buying either Keyboard.io’s Model 01 refresh (the apparently upcoming Model 100) if it’s good, or an Ergodox EZ refresh. I want USB-C.

                                                                  I also am backing the Keyboardio Atreus Kickstarter for funsies, even though it kind of fills the same role as the Planck EZ… I’ll see which one I like better, and give away or sell the other most likely.

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                                                                    Second this, I’m also using a Planck-EZ as my daily driver. I customized it, put in some lubed Holy Pandas and a nicer keycap set. Take a look at my layout!

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                                                                      Nice, I like the spacebar as a layer toggle when held! Very clever, I’m going to have to steal that.

                                                                      If we’re sharing layouts, here’s mine: https://configure.ergodox-ez.com/planck-ez/layouts/9wqxW/latest/0

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                                                                      I was just looking at a Planck EZ the other day. A few questions:

                                                                      • Does the case build quality feel good? It looks like the ones straight from OLKB are aluminum and the EZs are plastic.
                                                                      • Do you like the MIT layout (2U space bar)?
                                                                      • Did you get an older one that didn’t have USB-C? It looks like all the ones today have it.

                                                                      As a no-longer-insecure-about-it Vim user (I tried Emacs three times and it’s not for me), I’m beginning to think that a 40% might be just what I’m looking for (coming from a mechanical 100%).

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                                                                        • It feels pretty solid to me. I wouldn’t use it as a battering ram, but I don’t feel insecure about throwing it in my backpack and carrying it around. When I wrote to the company asking about carrying cases, they said that the main concern was keeping debris out of the keyboard, not really protecting it from bumping against things, it’s pretty sturdy. (I was annoyed they didn’t have any official carrying cases, but I bought a Nintendo Switch case and that fit the keyboard very well once I cut out the irrelevant stand for propping up the Switch inside the case.)
                                                                        • The space bar works pretty well for me. I actually held off on buying a Keyboardio Model 01 because of the strange “space button” configuration where there’s only a single little Space key on the right hand, I was like “I want to be able to hit the spacebar with either hand!” The Planck EZ’s 2U spacebar definitely works in that regard. But I found that when I’m touch-typing at speed, I never hit the spacebar with my left hand, so I probably would be fine with a 1U space button only for my right hand.
                                                                        • No, the Planck EZ I have has USB-C, but that was a reason I bought it over the current Ergodox EZ or the Keyboardio Model 01, neither of which have USB-C.
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                                                                          … or the Keyboardio Model 01, neither of which have USB-C

                                                                          Just fyi, the Model 01 does actually have a USB C port

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                                                                            Whoops, you’re totally right! Maybe I should just buy one after all.

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                                                                            Awesome, thanks! I think I might buy one.

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                                                                        I have a secondhand Lenovo ThinkPad Compact USB Keyboard with TrackPoint‎ which I usually use at work (I brought it from home). I also have a IBM SpaceSaver II, which also has a trackpoint (it’s really old and still has PS/2 instead of USB). Then, I have a mechanical Cooler Master MasterKeys S with brown switches and black, blank keycaps.

                                                                        I’m pretty happy with all of them. But then, I also enjoy typing on the keyboard on my tiny Dell Latitude laptop. By which I don’t mean that keyboards are not important to me. It’s just that you don’t necessarily need a mechanical keyboard.

                                                                        Actually, the more expensive keyboards have more gimmicks which usually only annoy me. For example, the Cooler Master keyboard has macros and some other fancy things. Sometimes I accidentally hit a button, which changes a keyboard state and my keyboard goes all weird. Then, I have to restart the system to have it usable again (makes you wonder why I spent so many bucks on a keyboard in the first place).

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                                                                          I’ve used one of the earlier ThinkPad USB keyboards to the point that it broke. I really like trackpoints, what can I say. Good keyboards, excellent value. If you kan find them with the old ThinkPad layout (not the chiclet ones), they look pretty nice as well.

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                                                                            I also use the ThinkPad Compact USB Keyboard. I swapped out both of my mechanical MX Brown keyboards for them. My dream keyboard would be that ThinkPad keyboard, with a bit better build quality, backlights and with a trackpad, just like how they are on the laptops.

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                                                                            My daily driver is a Keyboardio Model01, the best keyboard I ever owned. The camera mount is amazing for tenting, and the palm keys are incredible. The custom keycaps - while they do limit your options - are a joy to type on.

                                                                            I also have a number of other keyboards for different purposes. For gaming, I use a Dygma Raise and an Azeron Classic. I usually use the Azeron (though I still need to port my firmware of choice to it, it’s default one is meh), but when I need more keys, I fall back to the Raise.

                                                                            (I also have a few ErgoDox EZs, an original Atreus, a Keyboardio Atreus, a Planck EZ, Splitography, Ginni, and a KBD4x, off the top of my head. The Planck EZ is my wife’s, Splitography is for Steno, the rest are currently unused.)

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                                                                              Thank you, Algernon, for all the work you’ve put in on the software for the Model01 and Dygma Raise.

                                                                              As for OPs question, on my own keyboard journey, after years of using stock keyboards, then an entry level keyboard with cherry mx browns (to try mechanical switches), then a Mistel Barocco (to experience split layout — which I now can’t live without). I was given a Keyboardio Model01, but had a hard time with the ortholinear key layout and I didn’t have the time to relearn. I was going to get a Kinesis Edge Gaming, but preordered the Dygma Raise instead because of its full programmability.

                                                                              The Dygma Raise checks all the boxes for me:

                                                                              • mechanical switches
                                                                              • split
                                                                              • fully programmable (Sticky Keys!)
                                                                              • normal key layout (nothing to relearn)

                                                                              Plus it has:

                                                                              • thumb buttons
                                                                              • built in wrist rests
                                                                              • so many LEDs (useful to know which later you’re on)
                                                                              • can be used with only one side plugged in (for gaming mostly)
                                                                              • a WIP tenting solution

                                                                              I recommend checking out the Dygma Raise (even if you don’t play games, I bought it primarily for programming).

                                                                              And if not the Raise, in general, I very strongly recommend a split keyboard… your wrists and shoulders will thank you.

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                                                                              I’ve got three IBM Model M keyboards:

                                                                              • GB layout (1985)
                                                                              • US layout (1988)
                                                                              • US layout (1991)

                                                                              although I’m pretty happy typing on just about anything that isn’t that fucking stupid macbook.

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                                                                                If you’re in the market for something smaller than a tenkeyless board, I would highly recommend building your own, or at least getting one where you can flash customized firmware. A small board is made so much better when you’ve chosen the keymap to be instantly intuitive to yourself.

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                                                                                  I’ve been using Microsoft Natural Ergo 4000 for ages and very happy with that. But looking into a bit more compact one and thinking of Leopold FC750 or similar

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                                                                                      Microsoft Sculpt. $100. Scissor switches. Wireless. Semi-split.

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                                                                                        I’ve had a few of these, I still like them. Reasonably priced, well built, wireless, and ergonomic enough for me (I was beginning to develop RSI-like symtpoms from my laptop keyboard, switched to this, and they went away and never came back).

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                                                                                          The only thing that sucks are the function keys. I’m hoping they will release a new version, with bluetooth support, maybe foldable or fully splitable. It’s probably the single product Microsoft has almost nailed.

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                                                                                            Yeah, it could use some small improvments, for sure. It wouldn’t take much extra plastic to have full-sized function keys, and I’d like to see a function modifier key rather than a switch. And, while we’re at it, dedicated volume controls (though I guess I can remap keys I don’t use like ScrLk and Pause - what do these even do in 2020?)

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                                                                                        https://codekeyboards.com/ w/ Cherry MX Clear

                                                                                        It’s just a perfect ANSI keyboard. My qwerty muscle memory is too strong for me to switch to anything smaller. (Though I do have to tenkeyless version.) And this way I don’t have trouble using laptops or other people’s computers.

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                                                                                          I really like the Happy Hacking Professional Keyboard in it’s Japanese layout. I’m not sure if there’s a second gen one. The Japanese layout has arrow keys. I really like my arrow keys. Picture: http://i.imgur.com/crKGrM5.jpg

                                                                                          Other than that, I’ve bought the Vertex Race 3 (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71v7YUUDpXL._AC_SL1500_.jpg) and Keychron K4 (https://ph-files.imgix.net/e7457560-64d5-47dc-bc85-116f65121b84). Of all of these, I’d rank the HHP Japanese edition the highest, followed by the Vertex, and lastly the K4.

                                                                                          The K4 is really quirky with regards to the F-keys on Linux. You can work around that with some sysfs hacks and using it as an Apple keyboard, but honestly, I don’t want to have to bother with those kind of things for a keyboard. It should just work.

                                                                                          All of them are really solidly built, but the Vertex Race 3 is in a whole other league. Despite it’s small size, it is superheavy, so don’t get one if you intend to take it with you all the time.

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                                                                                            my main keyboard at my office is an HHKB, my keyboard at home is a KBD75 that I built from a kit that I purchased from kbdfans.com. I like that kit a lot, and I’m very happy with that keyboard. Being able to program the firmware with QMK was really fun to me. Here’s an image gallery of the KBD75 that I built: https://imgur.com/gallery/5pSva2A

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                                                                                              I use the Kinesis Gaming Freestyle Edge (with the LEDs turned off :). Mechanical switches and split design without the learning curve that comes with an Ergodox.

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                                                                                                The types of people (myself included) that frequent this site could really benefit from either the (a) Kinesis Advantage2 or the (b) Happy Hacking Keyboard Pro II. Unlike a lot of newer keyboards, both of these have been around the block for a while and have developer favorites for nearly a decade, if not longer. Both are being iterated on as well, so you can buy them new with relative ease.

                                                                                                Choosing between them, however, is the challenge. 🙂

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                                                                                                  My current daily driver is a Keychron K2 with brown switches. The main selling point for me is that I can connect 3 computers via bluetooth (I switch between Windows for gaming and Mac for dev) and it also supports a wired connection, too. Overall it’s nice to type with, looks great, but it is loud.

                                                                                                  I also have a Poker 3 and a Plank. Both great keyboards. The Poker 3 has a great feel, but has started to have an issue that makes the space key enter twice. I love the look of the Plank but it takes a lot of mental effort to use.

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                                                                                                    The Poker 3 has a great feel, but has started to have an issue that makes the space key enter twice.

                                                                                                    Mine had the same issue but with the E key. Spraying contact cleaner inside the switch seemed to fix it for a couple of days, and replacing the switch (which was surprisingly easy) fixed it permanently

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                                                                                                      Thanks for the tip! I’ll have a look into replacing the switch.

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                                                                                                      I got a Keychron K1, and can’t say I’m too happy with it:

                                                                                                      • I never managed to get the bluetooth working on my Linux machine.

                                                                                                      • You need to press Fn+F1 to use F1; it always defaults to the “media keys”. I know there’s a firmware update for that, but it’s Windows-only and haven’t really had the time to badger someone in to installing it.

                                                                                                      • The backlight is annoying; there’s a huge key to switch between all the various annoying blinky modes and I keep accidentally pressing it; I ended up just removing the keycap for it, which kinda fixes it. I also find the lack of a right Ctrl a bit annoying.

                                                                                                      • Worst of all, after only ~6 months of use, the keys aren’t as responsive as they used to be. I tried cleaning it, but didn’t help too much.

                                                                                                      • The keys can activate without the “click”.

                                                                                                      At the end of the day, it still works, and I still use it (typing on it now), but I traded my Filco Majestouch for a few beers after I got this keyboard, and kinda regret that now 😅

                                                                                                      I really liked the Filco btw (brown cherry switches).

                                                                                                      It looks like the K2 is an entirely different keyboard, so perhaps it’s better.

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                                                                                                        That’s a shame about the K1.

                                                                                                        I never managed to get the bluetooth working on my Linux machine.

                                                                                                        I do use the K2 with my media server running Manjaro. However, I connect to this via USB as I don’t have a bluetooth module installed. I couldn’t say whether it works but I think it’s advertised that it does.

                                                                                                        You need to press Fn+F1 to use F1; it always defaults to the “media keys”. I know there’s a firmware update for that, but it’s Windows-only and haven’t really had the time to badger someone in to installing it.

                                                                                                        With the K2, Fn+F1-3 are used to switch bluetooth to each computer. F1-F3 work normally.

                                                                                                        Worst of all, after only ~6 months of use, the keys aren’t as responsive as they used to be. I tried cleaning it, but didn’t help too much.

                                                                                                        I’ve only had it for around 3-4 months, so I can’t speak for the K2’s longevity. I really hope it lasts a few years at least.

                                                                                                        My only major issues with the K2 are: 1) occasionally the keys squeek. 2) Occasionally it wakes my Mac up by itself. I have to switch the bluetooth to another computer before putting it to sleep.

                                                                                                        I really liked the Filco btw (brown cherry switches).

                                                                                                        They do very nice keyboards, but I’m not sure if they do any that support multiple bluetooth connections + wired - something that is a dealbreaker for me. It’s an unfortunate requirement that takes a lot of great keyboards out of the equation for me.

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                                                                                                      I just bought a razer blackwidow elite with orange switches. It’s a very well built and nice keyboard to type on, also quite good for gaming.

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                                                                                                        I use one of these, I forget which switches. Nice hardware! … but the Razer software was a bust on my Mac. Buggy as hell, and the only feature I could get to work was the super-distracting backlight animations, so I uninstalled it.

                                                                                                        I love the idea of per-key backlighting, and it’d be useful if I could configure which keys lit up per-app, to highlight relevant keys, but the gaming keyboards just seem to do show-offy light shows.

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                                                                                                          I know this isn’t useful for Razer products, but for Corsair RGB keyboards (which is what I ended up buying a few years ago because they were in stock at Micro Center…) there’s a very cool open-source driver/frontend for Linux and macOS: https://github.com/ckb-next/ckb-next

                                                                                                          I imagine that you could script a fancy per-app lighting thing, but since the mainline Linux kernel got a driver for these keyboards I’ve just been using white at various brightness levels. On a machine with either the official Windows driver or ckb-next installed, you can program a default lighting configuration and then have it always use that configuration on any machine without the software. OpenBSD did not support the keyboard out of the box because it pulls a lot of power over USB 3. I had to connect it to a powered hub. Linux now has a driver that correctly handles these keyboards, perhaps violating the USB standard (?).

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                                                                                                        Corsair K63.

                                                                                                        • Cherry MX Red keys (i.e. the “somewhat silent spring” instead of the “noisy switches”)
                                                                                                        • rock solid assembly
                                                                                                        • small size (less than 37 centimeters wide) because no numeric keypad
                                                                                                        • reasonable price
                                                                                                        • bonus tracks: multimedia keys, “RGB” (red only) lighting, easy to get localized version, Corsair brand, “muh gaming” aura.
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                                                                                                          I’m typing on a Ducky One (TKL) with black MX switches for about two years now. The caps are made of PBT (that’s why I chose this keyboard) and are not getting shiny so far - the case however is made of ABS(?) and gets a bit weary.

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                                                                                                            The Apple Extended Keyboard II - you can get ADB-USB adapters to use them with modern PCs, too.

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                                                                                                              My AEK I with an iMate adapter does work neither in BIOS nor in boot(8) on OpenBSD.

                                                                                                              The latter might affect you e.g. when using whole disk encryption.

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                                                                                                              I was using a WASD v3 105-Key ISO with Cherry MX Clear switches until mid last year.

                                                                                                              I switched to a Das Keyboard 4 Professional which has Cherry MX Brown switches, which are softer and a bit quieter. I really like this keyboard, in part because of the media controls (they were a bit fiddly on the WASD keyboard, which needs you to hold Fn to use them) and it has a USB hub on the back.

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                                                                                                                I use a das 4 ultimate with browns. I really like it. But sadly, they’ve joined the dark side0, and so I can’t in good faith recommend Das Keyboard anymore.

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                                                                                                                  Huh, that’s strange.

                                                                                                                  That said, I deliberately got the 4 Pro instead of anything newer because I don’t have a need for controlling my keyboard from the OS (it should be the other way around!) and I don’t need pretty light patterns.

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                                                                                                                Leopold fc660c

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                                                                                                                      I think a lot of it comes down to personal taste. I’m currently typing on a Massdrop ALT with Halo True switches (like a MX Brown but requires more force to push). I don’t think I will ever go to anything with closed-source firmware ever again, QMK is too nice. If you’d like the most ergonomic and customizable solution, the Ergodox EZ is fantastic, but it will take you a month or two to get back up to normal typing speed, as the keys are laid out slightly differently.

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                                                                                                                        WASD CODE V3 w/ Cherry MX Brown switches.

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                                                                                                                          No one has mentioned it yet but I’m a big fan of the Kinesis vertical keyboard.

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                                                                                                                            If you want something really custom then look into mekanisk.co or rama.works. The website alexotos.com has a really good vendor list.

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                                                                                                                              At work I have a Steelseries 6GV2 with Cherry MX Black keys - I have to google every time because i can’t keep the stupid colors straight.

                                                                                                                              At home I have a really really old KeyTronic Ergoforce that’s not mechanical but sure feels and sounds like one.

                                                                                                                              The DIY/microindustry around mechanical keyboards fascinates me, but I’m really into that trade money for time phase of my life so I can’t be bothered to build my own.

                                                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                                                I really like this Cougar tenkeyless keyboard with Cherry Blues. It’s marketed as a gaming keyboard, but I don’t play many games and just love it for text input. I originally bought one as an experiment to see if getting rid of the 10 key number pad would relieve an elbow problem. It did, and I’ve since bought a second for my other machine, and both are going strong for about two years now.

                                                                                                                                https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077XG8R3J/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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                                                                                                                                  I love my Vortex Race 3!

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                                                                                                                                    I assembled a Keeb.io Iris rev. 4 with Cherry MX browns and blank key caps. Quite happy with it, but for the next one I will build something which has less height. The soldering was not a problem.

                                                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                                                      I’ve been using a Kinesis Freestyle for about 2 years now. My only complaint is that it doesn’t work well in bed. I tried a Kinesis Advantage, but my shoulder are too broad for it work well, and it was making my wrists hurt from trying to turn my hands to fit it.

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                                                                                                                                        Been using GK64 for a while now. Love it.

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                                                                                                                                          My favorite, especially if not used to smaller form factors is the Vortex rac3r 3 without a doubt! The Vortex pok3r is a great 60% if looking for something smaller.

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                                                                                                                                            If buying today, my must-have requisite is support for QMK. https://qmk.fm/

                                                                                                                                            If it doesn’t run QMK, I’d take my money elsewhere.

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                                                                                                                                              to undercut IBM model M snobs and to point out that you dont need fancy keyboard for comfortable typing, Lenovo 73p5220. no, its not mechanical, yet its similar to what i’ve been typing all my life.

                                                                                                                                              tbh, on work i type das keyboard 4, but thats only because my predecessor left it. i dont feel any comfort in mechanical switches, nor do my colleagues, but i kinda appreciate this volume dial.

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                                                                                                                                                Hm, ‘model M snob’ sounds a bit odd given the wave of expensive suggestions people are coming with here. Meanwhile I’ve been using my model M for about 27 years now - going from plugging it in using the full-size DIN plug to using a PS/2 adapter to using a PS/2 adapter combined with a USB adapter - without looking back. As to whether any of the fancy brands suggested elsewhere in this thread would survive than long remains to be seen.

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                                                                                                                                                  Agreed, I have two Model Ms, a SSK I use at home and a full size at work. My coworkers got used to the clicking, because it sounds amazing! I have been using both these keyboards for decades and they are still working like the day I first received them. it is not snobbery, I enjoy a piece of hardware that feels like an industrial work horse and lasts. I never sat down at one of my Model Ms and asked, what is wrong with this keyboard. The same cannot be said for just about every other keyboard I have ever used for any amount of time.

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                                                                                                                                                I’ve had 3 Noppoo Choc, 2 Mid and 1 Mini, and a Mid has been my daily driver at work, the one I am currently using for the last 7 years. It’s the best mechanical keyboard I have ever owned, but my experience is not that vast. I might buy my coworker’s Ducky One, because it has a numpad and he wants to get something else anyway, but maybe I’m not enough of an keyboard aficionado to care that much - I prefer MX black but would like to try out reds for a prolonged time. That’s the important thing for me, blue is completely out and browns are ok for gaming.

                                                                                                                                                This list is still up to date: https://f5n.org/blog/2018/mechanical-keyboards/ but I backed https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/keyboardio/atreus and am waiting for the summr now.

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                                                                                                                                                  Haha nice, if I had a new backup keyboard I’d send you my Choc Pro for you to add to your collection.

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                                                                                                                                                    I have 2 noppoo choc’s (one brown and one blue), and while I absolutely love the layout, both have been acting up lately, with double (or triple) key activations. Blowing into the depressed switches with compressed air helps for a while, but then the glitching returns. ‘E’, ‘R’, ‘T’ and the space bar are the worst offenders.

                                                                                                                                                    There seems to be an absolute death of compact mechanical keyboards with a short space bar (space bar should extend from beneath the ‘C’ key and end flush with the ‘M’ key). I would love a mechanical keyboard with the same layout as a thinkpad or dell xps: short spacebar and all F keys easily accessible without mode switches.

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                                                                                                                                                    Depending on the desk I got one of those two:

                                                                                                                                                    • Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 V1.0
                                                                                                                                                    • Logitech Ergo K860
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                                                                                                                                                      I bought a Let’s Split v2 kit, and use it with a few keys missing (so there are 30 in total)

                                                                                                                                                      It’s quite nice, but is quite a way off the desk. At some point I plan to build a custom one with lower switches and only 30 keys to begin with, because I find it a bit inconvenient being so high. But building the keyboard, and when I have rests, it’s very pleasant.

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                                                                                                                                                        Nightfox, Filco MJ2 TKL, Varmillo VA69M

                                                                                                                                                        Personally I love my custom board, which is a DZ60 pcb with Hako True switches the most though.

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                                                                                                                                                          I’m a long time user of WASD VP3 61-Key Doubleshot PBT Black/Slate Mechanical Keyboard

                                                                                                                                                          https://imgur.com/ujxKAuM

                                                                                                                                                          Very happy !

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                                                                                                                                                            I’ve recently switched to Anne Pro 2 and I am really happy with it. My first 60% keyboard.

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                                                                                                                                                              Anne Pro 1 is supported by QMK firmware.

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                                                                                                                                                              I currently use Ergodox EZ with Kaihl Silver switches, blank key caps, tilt kit and wing pads and and it’s the best keyboard I’ve used. In the past, in addition to regular keyboards, I had used Microsoft Natural 4000 and Kinesis Advantage 2.

                                                                                                                                                              I picked switches requiring the least amount of force and it completely eliminated palm pain I’ve been struggling with for the past 10 years. This was a surprise side effect as the original motivation for me was using a split keyboard to relive elbow pain I started developing.

                                                                                                                                                              I also recommend DXT Mouse 2 (and vertical mice in general).

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                                                                                                                                                                I really like my Type Heaven, with Topre switches, but I’m not sure if they make them anymore. If I had to get another keyboard, I think I would get a Matias Ergo Pro.

                                                                                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                                                                                  A word of caution against the Matias Ergo Pro: mine had major issues with doubling/tripling key presses, making it virtually unusable. I talked with their support and they shipped me a new connector cable claiming it was the issue, but the problem never resolved. If you look up reviews on e.g. amazon you’ll see I’m not alone.

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                                                                                                                                                                    The L key on my Matias Quiet Pro started doing that, had to replace the switch.

                                                                                                                                                                    The replacement started doing it a few months later. Been too lazy to replace it again. Alps successors these are not :/

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                                                                                                                                                                      I feel your pain. I think there were 4-5 affected keys on mine before I finally threw in the towel and switched to another keyboard. If you use mac os, I had some decent success using a software fix https://github.com/toothbrush/debounce-mac (though it’s not perfect and you may need to tweak DEBOUNCE_DELAY to get it feeling right)

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                                                                                                                                                                      Dang, good to know. That sounds maddening. Not even my least favorite keyboard does anything like that. Thanks for the info.

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                                                                                                                                                                    Currently have a “Cherry MX Board 3.0” which is a “reasonable” choice. Nice keys, (mechanical but not clickety) and “boring” design.