back to article Das Keyboard 4C TKL: Plucky mechanical contender strikes happy medium between typing feel and clackety-clack joy

Mechanical keyboard aficionados spend years (and an unconscionable amount of money) searching for typing perfection. One recent pocket-crushing contender in this arena is the Das Keyboard 4C TKL, which retails at $139 (or £139 in Blighty). The Das Keyboard 4C is a conservative affair. While other mechanical keyboards ( …

  1. Keythong
    Meh

    My Cherry MX Board 1.0 still looks better

    It's cheaper, is a full keyboard, is supplied with an optional hand rest, has a variable White backlight, and comes in Red or Brown Cherry MX switch versions.

    1. Tom Chiverton 1

      Re: My Cherry MX Board 1.0 still looks better

      So is a Sun Type 7...

      1. ovation1357 Bronze badge

        Re: My Cherry MX Board 1.0 still looks better

        During the UK lockdown I decided (like a great many others) to invest in a proper set up rather than sitting hunched over two laptops all day.

        I desperately wanted a sun keyboard (usb type 6 or 7, but UK layout with full size enter key was a must) but to my surprise there weren't any on eBay! I did find a company in London claiming to sell new ones for something like £45 but I think that didn't include shipping.

        I then went though a tonne of keyboard reviews, decided that I'd try two different ones made by 'Havit' (Chinese) which were around £50 each and both included a 'gaming' mouse.

        The full size keyboard is based on Cherry Blue (probably knock-offs) switches and the 60% one uses Browns. I wasn't really aware of the difference until I tried them. Blues for me equal very tired fingers and a lot of noise and the browns were a lot nicer but still a bit noisy.

        The 60% keyboard had the advantage of Bluetooth and switching between three devices. I started using the odd combination of one keyboard but two separate mice.

        I spend a lot of time in Linux shells and the immediate problem for me is that I use both the up arrow cursor and the forward slash but they're on the same button.. I can choose which of those it is by default but I still always type the wrong thing and it's a nuisance that I just can't deal with....

        Cue yet more keyboard review reading.... And I discovered another Chinese brand called 'Durgod' which uses genuine cherry switches, no backlights and has very genuine-looking excellent reviews. Another £120 down and I now have a retro-looking white Durgod with proper keys in the right places but no numeric keypad - it's fairly similar in layout to this Das Keyboard. I opted for the Cherry MX Silent Red switches and I'm really exceptionally pleased with them.

        I think it's likely that once I've got myself a much larger desk I shall be buying another Durgod the same and selling on the Havits (although I'll be meeting the mice)..

        I've somehow from someone unwilling to consider paying more than about £20 on a keyboard to someone who's sunk over £200 on three... I did look at the eye-wateringly expensive Happy Hacker keyboard but I'm not convinced I'd survive without dedicated cursors and for a keyboard costing about £300, the build quality looks shockingly bad.

        1. Mark Honman

          Durgod

          Based on a recommendation from a fellow commentard, I bought a Durgod TKL from the big river place's returns dept ("warehouse"). This one has regular reds which still make significant noise when they bottom out (I'm not a subtle typist).

          On the whole I've been very happy with it, but would probably have gone for the silent reds if I knew then what I know now. The only weird thing is that the ~# keycap has the legend the wrong way round, but I've been working with Unix so long that this one's in muscle memory.

          If not this keyboard, I probably would have gone for the Razer Blackwidow or maybe the Corsair K63

          1. Vometia Munro

            Re: Durgod

            Based on these recommendations, I gave a Durgod K320 a go: I've been looking for a new TKL for a while now, something with "MX Noisy Reds" in it, and haven't found very much that took my fancy. Pleased to say it's every bit as good as implied. I stuck a set of Drop MT3 keycaps on it which complements it quite nicely.

        2. exovert

          Re: My Cherry MX Board 1.0 still looks better

          With the same conditions of UK layout, I also failed over some time to source a Sun Type 7 - I found instead a Type 5 to USB adapter - https://drakware.com/product/Sun2USB (this was available for shipping + exorbitant customs charge, via popular e-junk retailer).

          I have already had the Type 5 (which works wonderfully). I rather suspect more Type 5 than 7 keyboards to have existed.

          Though I've never used a Type 7, I suspect it to be more like the Type 6.

          1. hmv Silver badge

            Re: My Cherry MX Board 1.0 still looks better

            I've got two type 7's stashed away (the "UNIX" country layout type). They're a little more solid than the type 6 and very nice keyboards if you don't mind the slightly mushy key switches.

            1. ovation1357 Bronze badge

              Re: My Cherry MX Board 1.0 still looks better

              "the "UNIX" country layout type"

              Eek! So you mean a small enter key which is easy to miss and a totally blank, dead key somewhere over near the escape key?

              Please tell me they don't also have caps lock and control reversed :-D

              I used to work for Sun in the UK and there was a very annoying mixture of US and UK keyboards around - the one best suited to the 'C' locale usually resulted in my swearing at it

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: in the meanwhile...

          I'm very happy with 10 quid ms wired 600 (and rather quiet), with large rtn key and numpad. I bought 4 or 5 in one go, all 2nd hand, but clearly unused. It takes me, on average, 3 - 5 years to go through each, with very intensive use.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Todd Harrison

    No back light on a black keyboard?

    Reading the article I was just at the "Take my money!" stage until the end. I don't need 126 colors and every key it's own special shade but being able to see it in a dim room is mandatory. Close, so close Das Keyboard.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: No back light on a black keyboard?

      Actually, I would be buying it because it has no lights.

      If your room is so dim you need lights on your keyboard, may I suggest you invest in these newfangled things known as light fixtures?

      1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        Re: No back light on a black keyboard?

        You want me to play Alien: Isolation with the lights on. What sort of wuss do you think I am?

        1. juice Silver badge

          Re: No back light on a black keyboard?

          > You want me to play Alien: Isolation with the lights on. What sort of wuss do you think I am?

          Not wanting to critique your game playing technique too much, but if you need to keep looking down at the keyboard when playing a game in which you're being stalked by something which can insta-kill you, I suspect you might not last too long.

          Still, I can remember when playing Doom on the family PC, in the dark, on an early Win95 PC which didn't come with DOS sound drivers. As a result, I'd had to switch the game over to using the beeper for the sound effects. Which is a bit of a brutal downsampling - it's akin to expecting to hear the purr of a well tuned Porsche engine, and instead being treated to the noise of a backfiring tractor.

          As a result, after several minutes of quiet wandering around a mostly-depopulated level, I nearly jumped out of my skin when I rounded a corner and came face-to-face with an imp, who snarled and threw a fireball at me, which the beeper translated into something sounding like a bag of nails being used to smash a glass bottle.

          I turned the sound off after that ;)

          1. John Miles

            Re: well tuned Porsche engine, and instead being treated to the noise of a backfiring tractor.

            Which could also be a Porsche - since they have made tractors

            1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

              Re: well tuned Porsche engine, and instead being treated to the noise of a backfiring tractor.

              As do Lamborghini , there's an old one on a farm near us.

    2. Imhotep Silver badge

      Re: No back light on a black keyboard?

      I'm told there are people who don't actually need to look at the keys when they are typing, so lighting probably isn't an issue for them.

      Them, showing off, hitting keys with all their different fingers.

      Me, I need to see where my index fingers need to go.

      1. James 139

        Re: No back light on a black keyboard?

        *raises hand* I can do this.

        It just takes years of usage and becomes second nature eventually.

        1. Vometia Munro

          Re: No back light on a black keyboard?

          Huh, I've been typing for nearly 40 years and still need to look at the keyboard otherwise I get completely lost. At my first programming gig a cow-orker who did things with a mainframe was formerly a secretary and she could type without ever looking at the keyboard. Witchcraft, if you ask me. She also used to tell me off about my spelling. Often.

          1. sabroni Silver badge

            Re: Witchcraft, if you ask me.

            There's two little ridges on the f and j keys, if you put your first finger of your left hand on f and the first finger of your right hand on j then you can reach all the keys without moving your hands. It's called touch typing. It's easy to get a computer to teach you, that's how I learnt (though I learnt on a dedicated word processor with an A4 sized green screen!)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: second nature eventually

          I have recently reached a point where I can actually finger-guess where the right number keys are, without looking. Which is, kind of, strange, because I should have learnt it while learning to touch-type, but somehow, I didn't and it only happened recently, when I need to use numbers a lot :)

      2. hmv Silver badge

        Re: No back light on a black keyboard?

        Yep.

        Back in the day when people used to be able to walk up to my desk, I could freak people out by turning my head to greet them whilst carrying on typing. It's worth learning to touch-type properly just for this reason <evil grin>

        1. Quando

          Re: No back light on a black keyboard?

          I can touch type until I realise I'm doing it, then it gets all like the centipede considering how it walks...

        2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: No back light on a black keyboard?

          I could freak people out by turning my head to greet them whilst carrying on typing

          I used to work with someone who could do that and hold a conversation on some banal issue while continuing to write code. She really freaked people out.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I could freak people out by turning my head to greet them whilst carrying on typing.

          these days (youngsters, etc.) you freak people out by actually knowing how to use a computer (cause mobiles)

    3. legless82

      Re: No back light on a black keyboard?

      Not a TKL keyboard, but 6 months ago I bought a Das Keyboard Prime 13 - variable white backlight, Cherry MX Brown switches and I haven't looked back.

    4. l8gravely

      Re: No back light on a black keyboard?

      Another good option might be the TKL CODE keyboard from WASDkeyboards.com.

      It's not perfect, the keycaps are wearing off on one of mine around the ASD side of things, but otherwise it's been holding up and working well. It's got the Cherry MX Clears, which are a little less clicky, though I still get crap when on conf calls that they can here me banging away. A headset seems to have solved that issue... otherwise I just mute and ignore them.

      What I'd *really* like would be a TKL with added function keys on the LEFT side of the board, sorta like the old Northgate OmniKey keyboards (still got one stashed away) and also a plethora of more function keys above the top row function keys.

      To me, the big reason to go TKL is to bring the mouse in closer, so I don't get carpal tunnel or pain the shoulder from putting the arm way way way out of the right.

      Anyway, the CODE has a nice white backlight, it doesn't slide around on the desk, and just works well. No fancy programming stuff, it's not a gaming keyboard, but one to work with and hopefully pass on down to your kids.

      A more perfect keyboard would have doubleshot keycaps out of ABS so that it's even more durable, but that's a minor quibble which I'm sure will be rectified by someone in time.

  4. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
    Pint

    Obligatory Four Yorkshiremen

    When I were a lad there were ten of us huddled about trying to program with punch cards by the light of a single match, held by the manager 100 yards away for 1 minute per hour once every month & we still had to buy the matches.

    Icon - Pint for Timbo!

  5. TinTinTeroo

    What is the point of putting “click to enlarge” under an image when the resulting image is exactly the same size?

    1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

      Slight amusement from the story's submitter?

    2. sabroni Silver badge
      Unhappy

      re: What is the point of putting “click to enlarge” under an image...

      I guess on a different sized/aspect ratio render the image is bigger but the link isn't showing conditionally.

      Should've been caught in testing though, whatever the reason.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not to mention the flat out appalling quality of the image to start with..

    4. coconuthead

      The resulting image is actually *smaller* on a Retina iMac.

  6. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

    "which retails at $139 (or £139 in Blighty)."

    Why do the bastards always pull that shit?

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Given that UK retail prices include 20% VAT and that the exchange rate is less than 1.3, there's not presently the discrepancy that you imagine.

      When there is a larger discrepancy, it's usually because sufficient people will complain vociferously, but part with their money regardless, so why would you sell it cheaper?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Not only that, but with the much longer mandatory warranty period, that is also factored into the price. I'm surprised we aren't yet seeing items where the number of £s is more than the number of $s.

        1. Psmo Silver badge

          It already is- I don't imagine they are produced separately.

          They have to produce something that is free of manufacturers defects for 2 years for many markets.

          Selling that second year as an extended waranty is an extra profit stream.

    2. sabroni Silver badge
      Boffin

      Because anyone who pulls "that shit" is automatically considered a bastard.

    3. Sam8191

      Ahh yes theres a term for this

      We call this the "Adobe Price" as they started it and their reason is the relative price and eggs, bread and milk are more expensive in the UK (this was asked at a trade show), so obviously they consider us made of money and so fleece at every opportunity. I'm out of ideas for how to get our own back.

    4. martinusher Silver badge

      We'll pay an extra ~10% in sales tax (it varies depending on where you live). Your sales tax -- 20% VAT -- is already rolled into the price.

      The awful reality is that the unit probably cost $25 to make. The answer to the price question is "Because they can" -- the price you pay for something is not connected to what it costs to make but what you're prepared to pay for it. Its the modern way.

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Holmes

        VATMan

        VAT is usually only included in retail outlets....trade its added on at point of sale so its nice & easy on the bookeepers\accounting.

    5. TomPhan

      The $139 usually doesn't include local sales tax, which can be anything between ) and 10%, whereas the £139 includes VAT.

  7. Peter Galbavy

    Wot, no numeric keypad? For how much? Thanks, but no thanks.

    1. Louis Schreurs Bronze badge
      Unhappy

      In my mind this is the second review of a fantastically great keyboard..... with no number keys.

      I NEED NUMBER KEYS .

      And I don't even code.

      Boy.

      1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

        Whereas I explicitly do not want a number pad. Not having one avoids massive mouse*-related RSI problems for me.

        *Actually, I use a trackball now for the same reason.

        1. PTW

          @ Mr Cumberdale

          100 times this! I now have the exact same setup.

          When forced to use a silly big keyboard for any amount of time (and a mouse) I'll switch to using the mouse left handed, it's so much more comfortable than stretching past a number pad.

          1. Glen 1 Silver badge

            Re: @ Mr Cumberdale

            Numpad, I can live without. However, I'd be much obliged if I could get a keyboard with Home and End keys without having to do an 'Fn' related monstrosity.

            I don't always get a choice though.

            1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

              Re: @ Mr Cumberdale

              Next time you get a choice, perhaps consider one of these. They're quite serviceable, and no silly Fn business with the Home/End keys. I use one as my main keyboard, and I rather like it. Especially considering the cost.

              1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

                @ Mr Cumberdale Re: Perixx

                Looked at these when I was trying to find space-saver keyboards for my little desk at home, but the lack of a UK enter key and the location of "#" was the deal breaker.

                Still not found a good compromise, but I'm using cheap reduced size (no bezel around the keys) 'boards until I do.

                Ideally, I'd like to KVM between the two systems I want to use and put my Model M in the middle of the desk, but unfortunately work security rules prevent any devices being shared between the two systems I need to use (although they are both plugged into the network, but one has a dedicated VPN for all network access other than the encrypted traffic to the router.)

                1. GiantKiwi

                  Re: @ Mr Cumberdale Perixx

                  Corsair K63 - Has a proper layout, doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg if you get the refurbished version. (£45 from a certain PC retailer in Bolton) It even escapes death by RGB, as it predates that fad.

            2. Paradroid

              Re: @ Mr Cumberdale

              That is exactly what a tenkeyless layout gives you. It's a full sized layout with arrow keys, extra editing keys, but no numeric keypad.

      2. hmv Silver badge

        You /could/ get a separate number pad and stick it on the left. Thus moving the mouse hand closer to the middle whilst still having the pad.

        Mind you this is coming from someone using an excessively large keyboard with a number pad on the right /and/ a separate number pad on the left.

        1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

          Numeric key pad?

          I've never been sure quite how many people actually use the numeric keypad in day-to-day use.

          I know I've seen people who deal with numbers all day long use them for rapid number entry, but that's about it (oh, and some games use them in cursor key mode to get diagonal movement), but I largely ignore the extra keys, and am quite happy working on keyboards without them (like now). Some programmers seem to like them. Does one of the IDEs they have functions mapped to the numeric keypad, like EDT did on VT terminals on DEC mini's?

          Actually, the keyboard I'm using right at this moment is an IBM SpaceSaver II keyboard from the HMC of a Series z9 HMC (when the mainframe was being decommissioned, they were going to throw it out so I nabbed it!) This is like a normal full travel keyboard with arrow keys and the 6 keys above them in the right place, but with the numeric keyboard completely hacked off. Oh, and a trackpoint. Not a buckling spring keyboard, but pretty good.

          1. dajames Silver badge

            There's a word for that ...

            This is like a normal full travel keyboard with arrow keys and the 6 keys above them in the right place, but with the numeric keyboard completely hacked off.

            "Tenkeyless" (Cambridge dicttionary)

            Mine is one of these.

            1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

              Re: There's a word for that ...

              Strangely, the number of keys removed appears to be 17, not 10 (although numlock still sort of exists as a shifted key).

              So the name "tenkeyless" taken literally is inaccurate.

          2. Vometia Munro

            Re: Numeric key pad?

            tbf the DEC LK201 keyboards were a thing before desk-rodents were commonplace. Well, IME at least. I actually came to like All-In-Bits' use of the keypad as a bunch of function keys, though I never quite understood why it was chosen in place of the actual function keys; nor why the latter were numbered the way they were.

            The IBM SSKs are nice, much the same as you describe in that they're a PS/2 buckling spring without the keypad; though the massive bezel still makes them nearly as big as an original PC keyboard.

          3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: Numeric key pad?

            Does one of the IDEs they have functions mapped to the numeric keypad, like EDT did on VT terminals on DEC mini's?

            I have the EDT/EVE keypad functions so ingrained in muscle memory that I still use a version of emacs hacked to implement them on every OS I've ever used.

          4. GBE

            Re: Numeric key pad?

            I've never been sure quite how many people actually use the numeric keypad in day-to-day use.

            In my experience: one.

            A mechanical engineer I used to work with did a data entry job while in college, and he could (and did) tenkey when entering numerical data.

            1. Vometia Munro

              Re: Numeric key pad?

              I did something similar during holidays at college, data entry clerk at a local business. The machine in question was some IBM midrange horror but the keyboard was lovely, though I still never appreciated what I was using at the time. IBM 5251 twinax beastie, probably weighed more than I did, its beam-spring keyboard was a delight to type on. As if the tactility wasn't enough, it had a clunker with enough enthusiasm to make the desk shake with every keypress just so you were absolutely certain it'd done it. Even as a rubbish typist I could get up to machine-gun-like speed using that thing's keypad.

              But as I moved on to writing tangles of C and too much time playing chase-the-clicky-box with the mouse on badly-designed GUIs, keypads are now a thing of the past for me.

      3. dajames Silver badge

        Not so surprising

        I NEED NUMBER KEYS .

        And I don't even code.

        I know quite a few people who just don't get keyboards without a numeric keypad -- they tend to be people who spend their days entering a lot of numeric data, they do not tend to be coders.

        1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

          Re: Not so surprising @dajames

          My post talked about people entering numbers frequently as the first group that do use the numeric keypad.

          When I was working at a council back in the early 1980's I worked next to the data prep. team that keyed data in from various slips and returns, so I know that people do use these keys. But they are probably now a minority of computer users.

      4. Paradroid

        It's probably the other way round. I code and don't use a number pad, so tenkeyless is ideal for me. People who don't code are likely to spend more time in office tools like Excel, where it becomes useful.

      5. tonkei
        Meh

        Optional separate number keypad please!

        I'll occasionally use the number pad more than the rest of the keyboard, but there are so few separate number pads that aren't white label junk :'(

    2. Paradroid

      For plenty people, a tenkeyless keyboard is a great option.

      The review says it's ideal for smaller desks, but this misses a much more important advantage - it puts your mouse or trackball much closer to your keyboard. Also I like it because it makes it easier to centre the qwerty part of my keyboard up with my screen, which my OCD seems to require. While still keeping my trackball close enough.

  8. farvoyages

    I'm bidding on an Apple Nimitz keyboard at the moment. then I'll need a USB-ADB adapter ...

  9. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Happy

    No typist needs lights

    I've worked for years with typists who never even look at the keyboards that they are typing on, all they look at is the screen - they never look down at all if they have a decent keyboard. Most of them started off just watching the little golf balls spinning around, I started watching the levers fly up and down.

    1. Glen 1 Silver badge

      Re: No typist needs lights

      One of the the things missing from (some) typing trainers is a ghost keyboard on the screen highlighting the typed character.

      When I mess up, I have to look down. It breaks the flow of things. Having it on screen means I no longer have to look down.

      Anyone remember Typing of the dead? (Its sequel is available on Steam, and is Very NSFW)

  10. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Happy

    No thanks

    Just over year ago I got a technet keyboard. Nice tactile switches - moderately noisy, metal chassis, no number pad and backlit (with various backlight options). I liked it so much I immediately bought a second one - from Amazon of all places. I can't remember exactly but I think they were about 20 squids each.

  11. NullNix

    That's downright cheap!

    You can't get *decent* mechanical keyboards (the sort that'll live for a decade or more) for much less than this is going for. Ergonomic ones routinely cost two or three times as much.

    It looks good to me (though I'm not interested in it because RSI means I'm forced to use ludicrously expensive ergonomic keyboards -- and, because spending that much money is a sort of mind control, I'm forced to evangelise them at every possible opportunity too QWERTY SUCKS even when it makes no sense and is SPLIT KEYBOARDS FOREVER obviously shoehorned into the FNORD conversation.)

    1. hmv Silver badge

      Re: That's downright cheap!

      Can't help with the ergonomic ones, but yes you can get decent mechanical keyboards that last a good while and the company is even mentioned in the article - Unicomp. It's a direct descendant of the IBM Model M and built in the same factory; not quite as robust as the old Model M, it does well enough.

      I'm typing this on my modified Unicomp PC 122 5250 that recently celebrated it's 10th birthday and it hasn't been molly-coddled during that time.

      1. hmv Silver badge

        Re: That's downright cheap!

        "its" not "it's"!! Need more coffee.

      2. NullNix

        Re: That's downright cheap!

        I didn't say you couldn't get mechanical keyboards: I said they weren't going to be cheap. This is not a bad thing, as you still save money in the end because the thing'll take many times longer to wear out than a cheap keyboard would. It's Vimes's "Boots" theory of socio-economic unfairness applied to keyboards.

        (Ergonomic *everything* is much more expensive. It doesn't matter: my trusty Maltron might cost a lot but I bought it in the early 2000s, have used it to the exclusion of everything else, and it still works. The keyswitches wore out once and were replaced: doing the replacement cost about £70, and was worth every penny. It *is* important that you have a method in place to avoid the possibility of ever spilling anything on the keyboard!)

  12. IGotOut Silver badge

    I'm still using an ancient WYSE.

    Must be one of the first USB ones they did, and I'm very happy with it.

    Makes a heck of a noise mind.

  13. Mike 137 Silver badge

    One unmentioned issue

    One thing this review doesn't mention is how the key tops are labelled.

    I bought a black Cherry MX3000 a while back and although the key action is superb, the key tops are not. They're printed with some kind of white resin ink that seems to be porous. It rapidly accumulated grime and turned grey and has proved uncleanable. Oh for the old IBM-type double shot moulded key tops!

    Another Cherry in my possession has laser engraved key tops, which, although not as good as double shot, are at least immune to the MX3000 problem.

    It seems that pretty much all keyboards are labelled after the key tops are fitted these days, so the way this is done is a very important factor.

    1. hmv Silver badge

      Re: One unmentioned issue

      They weren't double-shot; they were (and are) dye-sublimated.

  14. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    HOW MUCH?????!!!!

    You can buy an entire computer for that much.

  15. Steve Todd Silver badge

    Seems a little on the steep side for a reduced size keyboard

    I’m personally happy with a Chinese EagleTec KG010 (you can set the silly RGB lighting to off, or to a constant colour), which is available with Blue or Brown switches (no doubt copies), and is full sized for around £50.

  16. RichardBarrell

    "No backlight" is kind of a weird complaint to hear about a Das Keyboard. The whole gimmick of the original Das Keyboard was that it came without any glyphs on the keys so you could show off that you're a touch-typist.

    Note: I do not own any DK products or stock, nor do I have any commercial relationship with them. My current favourite keyboard is a TKL with cherry brown switches, so a similar format to this, but mine has ridiculous RGB backlighting because I LIKE IT WHEN IT LOOKS LIKE NYAN CAT and I just turn off the backlight if I'm playing something that's meant to be scary like Stalker or Metro.

  17. Adair Silver badge

    I look ...

    at the 'Model M' before me.

    My fingers hit the keys.

    The room is shaken

    (not stirred).

  18. Paradroid

    Black lettering on black keys

    I've got a black Topre keyboard, and had a choice of white or black lettering. Thought it would be big and clever to go for black lettering but I do find myself regretting it at times, in certain lighting conditions (e.g. home office) it's not easy to read at all.

    1. I am the liquor Bronze badge

      Re: Black lettering on black keys

      Sounds ideal for flying yourself into the sun.

  19. D. Evans

    Too large!

    If you're after a TKL keyboard the question is why? Travel or space issues. So I find this (and the overpriced Logitech G915 TKL) just too big. In a another post (on mice and traveling) I say I have have used a Vilros keyboard+mouse for over 2 years. The keyboard is a little small, I'd like one 2cm or 3cm longer but it works for me where space is an issue. Traveling with it has been fantastic.

    I would pay more for a premium product and I've tried a lot of of the smaller keyboards, at great cost. It's seems there is an almost an inverse relationship between cost and life span of the product (and cost and usability).

    I've also found bluetooth drops too many characters and USB ports are a precious commodity, so a single wireless USB for both the keyboard and mouse is mandatory for me. And the best has been a cheap, little undersized, but perfectly usable Vilros.

    Pity as I love the feel of a good keyboard. And having learnt touch typing on manual typewriter I appreciate the feel of modern keyboards.

  20. msobkow

    Backlighting is NOT needed for typing if you learn to type PROPERLY.

    I look *specifically* for keyboards that don't have all that god-awful LED garbage I need to shut off to make it tolerable. All the LEDs ever seem to do is make the keyboard *unreliable.* :(

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