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 Post subject: Keyboards -- Full, TKL, 60%, 40%, ...
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:46 am 
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First some background info;

A few weeks ago, I had a 'work-injury'. No, no cool scars or anything, but I had an inflamed tendon in my right wrist. Probable reason is that I've been working on my laptop from the couch in the evenings in a less than ideal ergonomic position for my hands. This also reflected at work because my work consists of spending the day behind a computer.

So, after I've done some research on the net, I decided that maybe a smaller form-factor keyboard would be in my advantage because of the reduced travel for my fingers. Also, the position of the mouse improves a lot compared to placing it next to a full-sized keyboard like I'm using right now.

So here's the options I have been looking at:
- Full-size (which I am using now)
- TKL (Ten Key Less, without the numpad)
- 60% (TKL, without the arrow keys column and function keys)
- 40% (60% minus the number row)
Spoiler!


Most 60% and 40% boards have programmable keys, which means that the keys you are 'missing' visually are actually available in a key-combination. Pretty much like the $ sign is available by pressing SHIFT+4.
For me, this makes the TKL a less preferable option since I'm trying to downsize and would still be stuck with a rather large keyboard and having to move my right hand in order to reach either the arrow keys or the delete/home/end/etc. keys.

So, 60 or 40 it is. The 60% still has the number row, which can definitely come in handy when typing lots of special characters. I must admit that I do use these characters a lot at work, so that's a good reason for me to get a 60%.
However, these symbols are also available on the 40%'s, they just need an extra key-combination. For example, if '4' is programmed under Fn+D, then the $ sigh would be Shift+4, or in this case Shift+Fn+D.

The 2 boards I'm checking out right now are:
Vortex/KBC Pok3r (Poker 3) (60%)
Spoiler!

Vortex Core (40%)
Spoiler!


I've looked at alternatives (like the Anne Pro for 60%), but I am a fan of well-built devices, and keyboards are no exception.

So, are there people on SRF that currently use anything else than a full-sized keyboard?
And if so, what are your experiences?

PS there's also 30% keyboards (mostly home-built) and they're cute but ummmmmmmm... Idk if that's work-material :sohappy:
Spoiler!

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Last edited by cin on Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Keyboards -- Full, TKL, 60%, 40%, ...
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:27 am 
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I would honestly think that all the obscure key combinations you would need to achieve results will just have worse effects on your hands...
You'd be making all manner of weird finger stretches and press way more buttons to achieve the same result, wouldn't you?
Rather a full keyboard seems the healthiest cause you can occasionally offload number pressing to your other hand...
At least, that's what I do with the numpad; I use my mouse hand.

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 Post subject: Re: Keyboards -- Full, TKL, 60%, 40%, ...
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:38 am 
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Good point and I've thought about that as well. However, I find it hard to really say anything about this without having tried a smaller keyboard first. The reviews online vary from negative (not being able to get used to the programmable key sets) to very positive (people actually typing faster and enjoying the custom layouts of their keyboard).

So I personally would like to get some experience on those boards to really say whether it's better/worse/different than a full-size unit. Can't hurt to try right? 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Keyboards -- Full, TKL, 60%, 40%, ...
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:40 am 
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As long as there's a proper refund policy :P

Btw have you looked into mechanical keys and all manner of switches and whatnot?

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 Post subject: Re: Keyboards -- Full, TKL, 60%, 40%, ...
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:47 pm 
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poehalcho wrote:
As long as there's a proper refund policy :P

I found em both 2nd hand, so half price. Worth the investment to me :)

poehalcho wrote:
Btw have you looked into mechanical keys and all manner of switches and whatnot?

I'm currently using blue cherry switches on my gaming keyboard, and brown gateron switches on my (cheap) work keyboard.
The ones I'm getting 2nd hand have blue switches (the 40% Core) and clear switches (the 60% pok3r), both from cherry.
The blues I'm already used to, the clears are new to me but are basically browns which require more force and have a more defined bump for feedback. Pretty sure I can work with both. As long as they provide feedback basically, so red and black aren't the ones for me when working.

I'll probably have the Core by tomorrow evening, and the pok3r the day after.
Will posts my experiences once I use them at work. :sohappy:

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 Post subject: Re: Keyboards -- Full, TKL, 60%, 40%, ...
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:18 am 
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Skipped a lot of the texts. I'm a huge fan of TKL, but those missing numbers suck for work. End up being worst on my hands because i'm using FN/Shift keys on my two top rows.

I might be wrong but I think there's software you can use to make programmable keys. i.e. pressing Alt + Shift + 1 could be assigned to a macro in the same way a keyboard with dedicated keys could.

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 Post subject: Re: Keyboards -- Full, TKL, 60%, 40%, ...
PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:54 am 
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I thought this was a spambot post at first :D :D

That 60% looks hella cute though

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 Post subject: Re: Keyboards -- Full, TKL, 60%, 40%, ...
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:35 am 
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dom wrote:
I might be wrong but I think there's software you can use to make programmable keys. i.e. pressing Alt + Shift + 1 could be assigned to a macro in the same way a keyboard with dedicated keys could.

That's correct. The 2 keyboards I got are from Vortexgear, and they have built-in software (on the keyboard itself) to program pretty much every key on the board.

The 40% one has 2 function keys through which you can access your macros. As you can see below, the numbers row is available through pressing Fn1, which unlocks the charset in red. If you'd need a dollar sign, then you'd have to press Fn1+SHIFT+D which would equal to SHIFT+4.
Spoiler!

Again, this can be fully programmed, so you could have completely different charsets beneath Fn and Fn1. The Pok3r (60%) can be programmed on 4 different layers, which would theoretically be useful if you'd for example need to switch between a Windows and Unix environment a lot and would have a specific set of macro keys you'd want to address.

Currently working with the 60% Pok3r at work, will see how the day goes. I am already in love with the keyboard but that's because I was using brown Gateron switches and this board has clear Cherry switches. Which are pretty much the same thing, but better quality and they need around twice the force compared to browns. Will post later this week how the work itself goes :sohappy:

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 Post subject: Re: Keyboards -- Full, TKL, 60%, 40%, ...
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:50 pm 
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Not having arrow keys would make my job impossible. I know you've got programmable keys, but still. How do you live with that? :p

The smaller keyboards look visually appealing, though, haha.

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 Post subject: Re: Keyboards -- Full, TKL, 60%, 40%, ...
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:10 pm 
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You're absolutely right in that not having the arrow keys is a big miss right now. But it's the only thing I'm missing compared to my full sized one. Except perhaps the number keys, but they're missing on most laptop keyboards as well so it's not a real biggy for me to use the horizontal numbers row.

I'm going to attempt programming my arrow keys to Fn+WASD instead to make them more natural to use.

The 40% keyboard is well ummm... a nice gimmick at best. I understand that it would make for a fine keyboard when mobility is required (e.g. typing in the train, or moving from one workplace to the other and just carrying it around with you in your bag), but for work it's really counter-intuitive.

What feels weirdest to me is the fact there's no numbers row. It feels very unnatural to be typing on the farthest row of a keyboard. I'm sure I could get used to the keyboard if I'd use it at work for 2 weeks straight.. but tbh I bought it for fun, to try out, and I w

ill probably just take it to friends that are curious about the thing :)


Again, the cherry clears on the white pok3r keyboard I got are AMAZING.
Totally make up for the lack of numpad :sohappy:

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 Post subject: Re: Keyboards -- Full, TKL, 60%, 40%, ...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:20 pm 
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Been using HHKBs for a while. Modded mine a bit as well. Silenced, lubed, and has some egrips on the bottom to prevent shifting when I'm Mad Online. Might get a Type S in the future or maybe the BT version. I've had other TKLs before, but the HHKB has been my favorite of all time. I love the layout and Topres are amazing.

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 Post subject: Re: Keyboards -- Full, TKL, 60%, 40%, ...
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:12 am 
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@strangelove, that keyboard looks AMAZING.
I've been looking at hhkb's as well but they're very pricey.
I got my pok3r second hand for a third of the retail price,
which was great to get a feel of the 60%. And I love it.
My next one will probably be a hhkb. And I'll also be looking
to match my cable to my keys xD

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 Post subject: Re: Keyboards -- Full, TKL, 60%, 40%, ...
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:07 pm 
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@cin

Thanks! I've had a Poker II before, great board. The HHKB was my end-game* keyboard so I ended up trading in the Poker and a Filco to pay for the HHKB. It was a bit risky because I'd be out two boards (my only boards) and I had no idea what Topre switches felt like. I'd say if you like 60% boards and ~45g switches, you'll enjoy this board. The layout takes some getting used to as well because even the Fn keys are in non-traditional positions. Definitely gotta match that cable. 8)


*for now :D


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 Post subject: Re: Keyboards -- Full, TKL, 60%, 40%, ...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:55 pm 
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Here I am upgrading to a mechanical keyboard for the first time and you folks are already doing more advanced shit. Hmm if I was looking to lessen stress on my hands I think I would try to figure out if there are newer continuous switches with less than 45g out of there.

edit: proper wrist support would be another big one I would think. Those small keyboards don't seem particularly conductive to ergonomic configurations.

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 Post subject: Re: Keyboards -- Full, TKL, 60%, 40%, ...
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:17 am 
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Love wrote:
Here I am upgrading to a mechanical keyboard for the first time and you folks are already doing more advanced shit. Hmm if I was looking to lessen stress on my hands I think I would try to figure out if there are newer continuous switches with less than 45g out of there.

edit: proper wrist support would be another big one I would think. Those small keyboards don't seem particularly conductive to ergonomic configurations.

Well we've all started with upgrading to mechanical at some point..
Unless strangelove went straight from the IBM planks with spring system to the current cherry/gateron/topre.

You can get cheap keyboards made in China to try out, which cost a fraction of what the hhkb's cost.
That way you can get to try a few switches on full-sized keyboards before making the investment of a more 'end-game' type keyboard. And the price that comes with it.

About wrist supports.. I'm really comfortable typing on my Pok3r because it's a wedge shape (a.i. it's slightly higher in the rear than it is in the front). The 40% (Core) keyboard that I got is completely flat, and I'm not sure if I could work on that 8 hours straight without any type of wrist support.

There's companies that make wrist rests for 60% keyboards as well. They come in various prices. A quick search on the net gave me these recommendations;
https://www.pcgamingrace.com/products/g ... est-padded
https://www.amazon.com/Grifiti-Mechanic ... B004DANDN4

But like I said, the keyboard is really comfortable so for now I'm rolling without any wrist support.

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 Post subject: Re: Keyboards -- Full, TKL, 60%, 40%, ...
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:49 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Keyboards -- Full, TKL, 60%, 40%, ...
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:43 am 
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