You spend all your waking time at a keyboard. This blog post is about keyboards, and can be summarized as: Buy quality, cry once.

I spend a lot of time typing on a keyboard, yet I have never looked into what keyboard would be best for me. There are natural keyboards and kinesis keyboards that people speak well of, but I spend a lot of time typing on laptops and don’t want a completely different setup for laptop and desktop.

I had the same concern before switching to Dvorak back when I was a consultant (thus often using other peoples managed machines), but happily switched after verifying that even on a locked down Windows machine as a non-admin user I could select Dvorak. Also there are adapters from Dvorak to Qwerty that I could use in extremely locked down environments such as the CCIE lab (they required a doctors note though, long story).

So it would have to be a keyboard that looks like a normal one. Preferably with Dvorak on the keycaps. It seems that mechanical keyboards are all the rage, so I thought I’d give that a go.

I ended up buying a 88 key Cherry MX brown-based keyboard from WASD Keyboards, with Dvorak plus some custom keys. Some reasons:

  • DasKeyboard has a big tacky logo, while WASD Keyboards are just the keyboard without the extra yuck.
  • It’s what CGPGrey bought.
  • They have ISO 88 and 105 style keyboards (big enter key).
  • Cherry MX blue get better reviews, but are not recommended for open offices for sound reasons.

I thought I wouldn’t notice that it’s better, that it would only feel better after a day at the keyboard. Not that I have a problem with tiring out from typing, but presumably a better keyboard is a better keyboard for this. What instead happened was that as soon as I started typing I noticed that it’s much more comfortable. It just feels better.

I’ve seen several reviews of keyboards on YouTube, and not knowing what’s better about a better keyboard I found them all to be too subjective to be useful. Having used one for a few weeks let me add my equally useless review: It’s great. I love it.

Drawbacks of this keyboard:

  • I missed the numpad more than i thought, so I’m buying a 105 key one, and am picking Cherry MX blue this time. If it’s too loud for the office I’ll have that one at home.
    • Update: I bought another one with a numpad. I’ve realized I don’t actually care about the numpad now.
  • No built-in USB hub. That would’ve been nice to have. But I’ve only missed it when I’ve plugged it into a Raspberry Pi with a limited number of USB ports.
  • The USB cable isn’t snapped in place, so if you’re someone that tends to move your keyboard around that may put some stress on the USB connector in the keyboard or its cable.

My awesome keyboard