I do a lot of typing every day, it’s a part of my job, that’s why a good keyboard is especially important to me. First of all, I’d like to say, that everything I write is about my personal experience, and of course it doesn’t mean you have to agree with it ))
Being a developer, I type on everything which can transform clicks into letters. Sometimes use laptops and it’s a bit of big luck if the keyboard is usable, but if I have a chance I of course sit in front of my PC with a mech keyboard. I had different keyboards for past years, but most of them had Cherry MX black switches. Since I was satisfied with them — I never tried a lot of other types. At home, Asus Claymore was my main keyboard to work and play, and it did everything just fine for the last 3 years, so there was no need to look for smth else, but as time goes it started to look a bit worn out, so I decided to get a new one and this time experiment with another type of switches.
I don’t want to discuss in detail the differences between various keyboard brands here, because it’s a pretty big topic on its own and there is a ton of reviews and videos, so I’ll just focus on what I’ve tested personally. Think once I’ll try out Leopold and Varmilo I might change my mind )) Nevertheless, each brand and model has its pros and cons and in the end, it’s just a matter of taste. I reviewed almost all popular youtube videos and re-read a lot of tests and topics on the latest keyboard selection and finally ordered Ducky One 2 SF with brown switches. I found 65% layout the most comfortable and yet functional in terms of size, design, and usability. Being a user of linear switches for most of the time I wanted to get a bit more tactile response.
Ducky is a great combination of quality and price. It has the best RGB lighting I’ve seen so far. PBT keycaps are very nice and it has a dedicated DEL key which is also very good. But…. Cherry Brown MX… like someone wrote “MX Browns are not that tactile for a tactile switch, the bump is really small and scratchy …”. And that’s really how they felt, not enough feedback at the end and they felt like broken linears… So the question was where to move next? That’s why I decided to return Ducky and get something I can modify to my taste and experiment with.
Looking for a Hotswapable board wasn’t hard, it turns out there’s a lot of them on a market. To get one asap, options were:
- Skyloong GK64XS
- Keychron K6 Aluminum
- DROP ALT
After watching reviews, the decision was to opt for Keychron K6. It has a good layout, nice features in terms of MAC/WIN connections and Bluetooth. The downsides were not the best RGB, its height, and not top-notch ABS keycaps. The last is not a problem since I anyway want to make it more “custom look like” with modified PBT caps. And speaking of its height, which is frequently getting a lot of attention from everyone who’s testing/reviewing it, I just want you to take a look at how it compares to my old Asus Claymore, which I’m used to and consider as very comfortable and good. Maybe it’s just my long time user habit or maybe I’m just not the “low profile keyboard” type of person, but I don’t have any problems with it and work without any wrist rest pads ))
Knowing now that I don’t like browns, I decided to get K6 with Gateron Reds, though I understood they would be too light for my taste and I’ll remove them later to do another setup for someone else. I didn’t want to simply stick with linear switches, because I still have different keyboards with them, but I wanted to give a try to something with really good tactile feedback even if it will also include additional sound like clickies do.
Again, a lot of threads, forums, and video reviews… Once again, it’s all is just a matter of taste, experience, and preferences. But after I watched a video of Linus Tech Tips “Which Mechanical Keyboard Switches are BEST? Blind Test!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqai0_nnTgs I got very interested in NK Sherbet.
There’s a lot of info and reviews of them on the net. I’ll just summarize without getting too deep into technical details how I like them. First of all the Sherbet is very similar to linear switches at the beginning of actuation, just right until the click bar, which gives you an excellent understanding of when it’s at the point when it worked. So much better than browns, a bit heavier than reds. And the sound! It’s good, really, pretty clear, and not too loud for my taste. Of course, you can still piss off someone around you, but if that’s not the case — the sound is very nice and provides an additional level of feedback. I never thought I’ll like clickies that much.
Anyway, it is still far from good old IBM 3278 )) https://youtu.be/hNRH1ULmbNA?t=771
Finally, I had my stabilizers lubed, board soundproofed and o-rings installed on default keycaps until my new PBT set arrives. Overall, it’s a great set. Very glad to have such an experience, which is quite different from linears and tactiles. Now it makes more fun and provides more joy while typing ))