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    ElfPirate

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    Default Looking for a new keyboard for the Old Skool gamer

    I'm in bit of a pickle. I want to replace my faithful servant, a Logitech Cordless Desktop keyboard of some vintage. But I find I'm having difficutly navigating the brave new (!?) world of mechanical keyboards and whatnots.
    I'm finding it easier to say what I don't want than what I want. I suspect there's a keyboard out there for me, but last I tried buying one you got a Logitech keyboard or one of the computer-beige nameless brands.
    The keyboard is for my main gaming/work computer, i.e. the one with all the fancy hardware in it. But I'm not a hardcore gamer as such.

    Absolutely no "compact" keyboards. Also Apple is a fruit, nothing else. I'm also going to need something that is widely available enough that I can get it with Scandinavian keys.

    Backlight, I want to be able to see what keys I hit in the dark, that's really why am thinking of a new one. Apparnetly some "backlit" keyboards do it more for show, I don't want a rainbow, I want to see the keys.

    Cord. Yea I want one. I have a cordless one and I've changed more batteries than I care to ever again. Esp considering above. The keyboard has never bene further than 3 feet from my computer anyway. Apparently there's like recharageable keyboards now, so I guess that's an option if it ticks all other boxes. And still got a wireless mouse sucking rechargeable batteries like there's no tomorrow.

    I don't want it to clack. Yea I'm not sold on the idea of "mechanical" keyboards. If I wanted that I have an early 90s vintage IBM one probably beats any "gaming" keyboard on mechanical quality.

    Programmable keys, don't need 'em, don't really want them. But if it ticks all the other boxes I guess I can live with that.

    Design is an ugly word. The Lamborgini Countach was awesome looking when I was 14. I'm no logner 14 and don't really care for the "gaming" keyboards that look like a teenager drew them in the 90s.

    Doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Some of the stuff I looked at was 200+ euros. I don't care how good Bananas in Pyjamas is at playing Candy Crush or whatever it is they do but I'm not paying a dime for their "brands".


    What's your favourite keyboard?

    In what I find somewhat ironic twist, when looking around I notice most people want wireless keyboards and wired mice. I want the opposite so am also looking for a decent wireless mouse(though these seem easier to find options for).

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    Default Re: Looking for a new keyboard for the Old Skool gamer

    I'm still not sure what you want in a keyboard other than backlit, Scandinavian keys, corded, and cheaper. Do you want mechanical? They are usually better for gamers, as they have faster key recognition and can have different "feels". If so, do you want them to be silent or make a sound when used? Do you want them soft, medium or hard?

    As for a mouse, I like the Logitech M705. Have 5 of them I think. The batteries last a good long time, like a year or two. I rarely replace them and think they are reported to normally last 3 years, but not sure about that.
    Last edited by LordEntrails; 2017-12-27 at 12:04 PM.

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    ElfPirate

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    Default Re: Looking for a new keyboard for the Old Skool gamer

    I'm thinking "no to mechanical" I don't see the point. I don't do such gaming that speed like that is required. And I definitely don't want something that sounds. The quieter the better really.

    Something like the Logitech K800 is probably what I'm looking for. Just with a cord.

    That mouse looks pretty good. Similar to what I have shape wise.
    Last edited by snowblizz; 2017-12-27 at 12:59 PM.

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    Default Re: Looking for a new keyboard for the Old Skool gamer

    Quote Originally Posted by snowblizz View Post
    Something like the Logitech K800 is probably what I'm looking for. Just with a cord.
    That would be the Logitech K740. Same keyboard, just the wired model.

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    Default Re: Looking for a new keyboard for the Old Skool gamer

    If it's been ages since you've dealt with it, I'd point out just as a point of interest that the battery life in wireless keyboards and mice has gone up by leaps and bounds. I used to use a Logitech mouse (and I work from home and do a ton of gaming so I'm here at my desk almost all day, most days) and only had to change the batteries a couple of times a year. Also there's a solar charged keyboard from Logitech, the K750, that my wife uses and just puts under a desk lamp when she goes to bed so it charges. ;D That's just for the sake of information, though. If your desk setup isn't hampered by a cord, there's no reason not to use a keyboard with one.

    I'm afraid the biggest hurdle to suggestions is that I have no idea about what does or does not come with Scandinavian keys, or if they could be added aftermarket.

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    ElfPirate

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    Default Re: Looking for a new keyboard for the Old Skool gamer

    Still thinking about it. I should maybe clarify the Scandi keys thing. Mainly it's in finding a manufacturer big enough that they offer options (as it is, most "nordic" laptops come with combination-scandinavian keyboards with keys painted on for Danish, Swedish and Norwegian, usually the same 5-6 keys but with partly different setups for the countries. It looks...messy, I've got one with 6 different signs on it on the Surface Typecover. Logitech certianly does, Microsoft certianly does. But I don't know many other makers to know what their policy is vis a vis obscure languages (keyboard layouts). If I'm going to have fork out I'd rather have one with the right keys and no extra carved letters.
    At this point I think I might as well take all suggestions and then figure out which ones can actually be puchased locally. Mainly I'm hoping to avoid those ever so helpful "my local Walmart has these US keyboards cheap, they are super!".

    Speaking of Logitech I looked at the suggestion and I kinda like it but damn, 100 euro. And a wired one is more or less as expensive as a wireless one! I was hoping to save a bit.

    Wondering about the wireless mice and batteries. The one I have at home and remove batteries everynight sucks em fierce. I've been using one at work that's a bluetooth one and I'm on my 4th pair of batteries in under a year. It was a cheapo one am told and bought on sale so no idea how old. I used to think rechargable mice and keyboards came with their own batteries but that may not be the case? It's all well and good for Logitech to claim 10 days operating time with a rechargeable keyboard but if I'm the one providing batteries I doubt that. I've killed at least one set of rechargable batteries through use over decade or so I've had my current Logitech mouse/keyboard.

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    Default Re: Looking for a new keyboard for the Old Skool gamer

    As far as wireless mice go, I can say with certainty that when I was using the Logitech M510 my batteries lasted for an absurd amount of time, again with near constant daily use. I didn't even bother using rechargeable batteries because of how infrequently I had to change them. I used to use another one with my laptop for TT sessions before I switched to the Logitech M570 trackball, and that also seems to have a ridiculous battery life. So while I can't speak for other manufacturers, Logitech's wireless mice seem to be in a really good spot as far as battery life goes.

    As for a keyboard... hrm. Is something like this what you're looking for? Forgive my shoddy American education as to foreign keyboard layouts if not. ;D



    If so and you can use Amazon (or find it elsewhere), it's this link here and only $30 or whatever that is elsewhere.

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    Default Re: Looking for a new keyboard for the Old Skool gamer

    Quote Originally Posted by snowblizz View Post
    What's your favourite keyboard?

    In what I find somewhat ironic twist, when looking around I notice most people want wireless keyboards and wired mice. I want the opposite so am also looking for a decent wireless mouse(though these seem easier to find options for).
    Yeah, I like wired keyboards and wireless mice, the wire interferes with the movement of the mouse.

    For a keyboard I'm using this:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Amazon tells me I bought this on 15 May 2013, and it's still going. It's not backlit, but then if you touchtype you don't need that (or maybe it's that I leave the lights on when I play games). Cherry are just about big enough that they might localise in your area. I have previously paid more than half the current price (9) for keyboards that lasted six months or less. When this fails I will buy another, or maybe the next version.

    I'd be very interested in hearing of a wireless mouse with two buttons and a scroll-wheel that's half as durable.
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    Default Re: Looking for a new keyboard for the Old Skool gamer

    Quote Originally Posted by Psychoalpha View Post
    As for a keyboard... hrm. Is something like this what you're looking for? Forgive my shoddy American education as to foreign keyboard layouts if not. ;D
    Argh. That was exactly the type of backlit I specificly am avoiding. That looks like a Gemrnan setup. But if they do something they might have scandinavian.

    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    Yeah, I like wired keyboards and wireless mice, the wire interferes with the movement of the mouse.

    For a keyboard I'm using this:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Amazon tells me I bought this on 15 May 2013, and it's still going. It's not backlit, but then if you touchtype you don't need that (or maybe it's that I leave the lights on when I play games). Cherry are just about big enough that they might localise in your area. I have previously paid more than half the current price (9) for keyboards that lasted six months or less. When this fails I will buy another, or maybe the next version.

    I'd be very interested in hearing of a wireless mouse with two buttons and a scroll-wheel that's half as durable.
    Cherry. That rings a bell. I amy have to have a look if there's some backlit options. Backlit is an absolute requirement for me. So many times I like to sit in the dark and play (and type). And I'm not touchtyping, ever.

    Baseline pricepoint looking much more reasonable though.
    Last edited by snowblizz; 2018-01-15 at 12:13 PM.

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    Default Re: Looking for a new keyboard for the Old Skool gamer

    Quote Originally Posted by snowblizz View Post
    Argh. That was exactly the type of backlit I specificly am avoiding. That looks like a Gemrnan setup. But if they do something they might have scandinavian.
    For the record, most (not all, but most) rgb backlit keyboards let you control what the lighting is like, both color and brightness. I use a Corsair keyboard that can do all the flashing and rainbows and etc, but I just set it to a nice cool teal shade and leave it there. A bit of lighting around the edges, and up through the etched keycaps. I've seen one or two that stick you with a default rainbow setting or some other nonsense, but on most you have plenty of control and can even just turn it all off if you want.

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    Default Re: Looking for a new keyboard for the Old Skool gamer

    That's quite true. In addition, even if you don't want any special effects or have ideas like color-coding specific keys based on the game you're playing (I rather like disabling the lighting on keys with no use, for example), the ability to select the exact shade you want your back-lighting to be is quite nice. Personally, I found plain white to be somewhat unpleasant, and prefer a nice amber.

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    Default Re: Looking for a new keyboard for the Old Skool gamer

    Quote Originally Posted by Psychoalpha View Post
    For the record, most (not all, but most) rgb backlit keyboards let you control what the lighting is like, both color and brightness. I use a Corsair keyboard that can do all the flashing and rainbows and etc, but I just set it to a nice cool teal shade and leave it there. A bit of lighting around the edges, and up through the etched keycaps. I've seen one or two that stick you with a default rainbow setting or some other nonsense, but on most you have plenty of control and can even just turn it all off if you want.
    See now this is the kind of information keyboard manufacturers should know put in their friggin descriptions! Thanks, that does help me by telling me I likely have more options than the clowncollege ones.

    But man is this frustrating, the options that I feel would work for me are few and far between. Found e.g. a good Cheery one but that only comes with a German setup. Only localised that works for me was of the bogstadard models.


    It's like buying a pair of pants and having 3 legs for all the options I can find.

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    Default Re: Looking for a new keyboard for the Old Skool gamer

    UPDATE.

    Because I'm spitting mad at the moemnt.

    Bought a K740 wired backlit one. Really nice looking. Was very happy. Until I strted up Assassin Creed for short go and started wondeirng why I can't run up a wall.

    Truns out the combination of W Shift and Space is blocked on the K740. For no apparent reason than what some might term malicious design. So a key combo that a vast majority of gamers need just won't work becuase Logitech are idiots or willfully malicious. Great. Has soured me on everything Logitech to put it mildly.

    Back on my old stupid infrared wireless keyboard that's like 15 years old but still better designed than this crap I jsut bought that's going back to shop tomorrow and I can't even begin to describe how much I'd like a Logitech person to rage at.

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    Default Re: Looking for a new keyboard for the Old Skool gamer

    Logitech claim this limitation is because they redesigned the keyboard matrix to make desktop typing better. Several posts I've read on forums claim Logitech did this to force people to buy their $110 "gaming" keyboard rather than the $80 regular one. Seems ridiculous to me--my comparatively cheap Saitek Cyborg Evo can handle that key combination just fine!

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    Default Re: Looking for a new keyboard for the Old Skool gamer

    It is a fundamental design limitation. Any non-mechanical keyboard will have "ghosting" problems, because the only way to prevent certain key combinations from being pressed at one time is to make each key entirely independent - in other words, a mechanical keyboard. Every other type of keyboard has "clusters" of keys that are engaged to various forms of pressure device, which causes the limitation, as too many inputs on a single cluster overloads it. The best thing a manufacturer can do is make sure that these "overloads" are assigned to the most obscure combinations possible. "Shift-W-Space" is an extremely unusual input, particularly in the settings that usually use that type of keyboard, so they arranged that as one of their "does not work" options.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rollover_(key)
    Last edited by Gnoman; 2018-04-25 at 04:46 PM.

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    Default Re: Looking for a new keyboard for the Old Skool gamer

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Several posts I've read on forums claim Logitech did this to force people to buy their $110 "gaming" keyboard rather than the $80 regular one.
    Knowing nothing about it, I'd back this theory. I'm also assuming that both are membrane, instead of the "gaming" keyboard being mechanical?
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    Default Re: Looking for a new keyboard for the Old Skool gamer

    Having now returned it am looking for arepalcement.

    Current candidate is a Steelseries Apex 350. Anyone got one of those and have played Asassin Creed on it? And this is an unbelieveably specific question I didn't think I'd have to ask.


    My old wireless Logitech keyboard works fine with this "obscure" key combo that 99% of all FPS games use. It also has no problems with normal typing. Yes if you do both Shift and quick brown fox it gets less keys through than new one did when I tried, but no normal person can type that way anyway. Just as no normal person would ever use w shift space. For what should be indsutry standard manufacturer Logitech that's pretty darned weak.

    The irony is I stood there for a long time choosing between a K800 and a K740. Thanks to this smart Logitech design they instead lost a customer.

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    Default Re: Looking for a new keyboard for the Old Skool gamer

    Valid considerations!

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    Default Re: Looking for a new keyboard for the Old Skool gamer

    Quote Originally Posted by snowblizz View Post
    Having now returned it am looking for arepalcement.

    My old wireless Logitech keyboard works fine with this "obscure" key combo that 99% of all FPS games use.
    If it is so common, then why is Assassin's Creed 2 the only game where people are noticing it? In any game I can think of, there is no penalty whatsoever if the shift button cuts out in that combo, because the things shift does and the things space does almost never happen at the same time.

    Generally, space is a jump button that you tap briefly. If your shift key cuts out for half a second, you'll never notice it. AC2 is, as far as I can tell, the only game that requires all three to be active at once.


    More importantly, the keyboard you bought is intended more for home office use. Gaming considerations are secondary to ensuring that rollover (if you type fairly fast, you'll be hitting the next letter while the first is still registering, even if you aren't still physically striking it) doesn't affect typing.


    The keyboard wasn't a good fit for your specific needs, but that doesn't mean that it wasn't a reasonable design choice. There is a reason why gamers are shifting to mechanical keyboards (and why the old IBM model M only faded from popular use among gamers when supplies dried up completely) - they just work better, and this is a classic example why.
    Last edited by Gnoman; 2018-04-26 at 03:01 PM.

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    Default Re: Looking for a new keyboard for the Old Skool gamer

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    If it is so common, then why is Assassin's Creed 2 the only game where people are noticing it? In any game I can think of, there is no penalty whatsoever if the shift button cuts out in that combo, because the things shift does and the things space does almost never happen at the same time.

    Generally, space is a jump button that you tap briefly. If your shift key cuts out for half a second, you'll never notice it. AC2 is, as far as I can tell, the only game that requires all three to be active at once.


    More importantly, the keyboard you bought is intended more for home office use. Gaming considerations are secondary to ensuring that rollover (if you type fairly fast, you'll be hitting the next letter while the first is still registering, even if you aren't still physically striking it) doesn't affect typing.


    The keyboard wasn't a good fit for your specific needs, but that doesn't mean that it wasn't a reasonable design choice. There is a reason why gamers are shifting to mechanical keyboards (and why the old IBM model M only faded from popular use among gamers when supplies dried up completely) - they just work better, and this is a classic example why.
    You say AC2 is the only game where this is a probem. Yet did I say AC2 was the game where I had this problem? I'm currently playing AC Unity. Next up AC Syndicate. I've not tried this ofc on AC 3 or IV, or Brotherhood but they all work on the same principle. So the entire AC series. It also impacts gameplay in Fallout4. Broadly speaking any FPS type game is liable to be impacted by this. It's not the SHIFT key that cuts out. It's Space or W. You can't move forward and jump and keep going forward basically. And if you have something where a sprint+forwards+jump action is required your totally screwed.
    And I'm not alone. While googling to understand the problem the same or similar issue exist in other games. The most ironical example was a keyboard sold as a "gaming" keyboard that had problems with these keys. Sure, at some point there is something that will be very marginal, bound to be. But this is something affecting an entire class of very popular games, anything that is FPS like, from RPGs to FPSs.

    My problem is also on this whole "gaming" and "office" dichtonomy. I need a keyboard that works reasonably for both but I can't be allowed to buy one of those apparently? Because the only two allowable options for some reason is that I only type lots or only game lots? Why? I say again, my old dumb Logitech keyboard didn't have that problem and I type very very fast (but not very well, which would be my counter to this "people need to type so fast", people do not need to type that fast. There is corrected cognitive failurerate of about 4% on average anyway. Type a lot and fast and you type incorectly regardless of what the keyboard input registers). And I also type a lot. I've written a PhD on that keyboard without ever having the problem that striking a key meant registering another key.

    There's no way you can convince me there isn't a middle ground between costs $5 to make and retails for $100 and costs 15$ to make and retails for $100.

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    Default Re: Looking for a new keyboard for the Old Skool gamer

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    There is a reason why gamers are shifting to mechanical keyboards (and why the old IBM model M only faded from popular use among gamers when supplies dried up completely) - they just work better, and this is a classic example why.
    Being mechanical doesn't mean as many keys as you want can be pressed simultaneously. That's a separate feature called "n-key rollover." True, most keyboards with n-key rollover are mechanical, but that has more to do with the fact that both features are desired by overlapping groups.

    I have a Model M from 1984. It's better than the Logitech mentioned above, but I finally replaced it because it did not have n-key rollover. The keys are grouped in ways that can't always be registered simultaneously, it's just that those groups are a little harder to notice. I switched off of it because I couldn't hold down multiple control keys while running and strafing simultaneously. So, it was like the Logitech situation above, but with A or D added at the same time.

    Since mechanical switches and n-key rollover are independent features, it is possible to manufacture a non-mechanical keyboard with n-key rollover. I only know of one that has been made, since as I mentioned, the demographics prefer a different combination of features. But the Cougar 500k is, in fact, a membrane keyboard with n-key rollover. Weird, but possible and in existence.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harnel View Post
    where is the atropal? and does it have a listed LA?

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    Default Re: Looking for a new keyboard for the Old Skool gamer

    Quote Originally Posted by gomipile View Post
    I switched off of it because I couldn't hold down multiple control keys while running and strafing simultaneously.
    I thought the control keys (like shift, alt and ctrl) could always be pressed at the same time as other keys without issues? Yeah, sure, you might not be able to hold A and D at the same time--although I'm struggling to think of a reason why you'd want to, given the usual usage of those keys--but that shouldn't also cause issues with the control keys. This is why the keyboard controls for the PC version of Tomb Raider made heavy use of those keys, because they were the only keys guaranteed to be detectable at the same time as regular keys on the keyboards around at the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gomipile View Post
    Being mechanical doesn't mean as many keys as you want can be pressed simultaneously. That's a separate feature called "n-key rollover." True, most keyboards with n-key rollover are mechanical, but that has more to do with the fact that both features are desired by overlapping groups.

    Since mechanical switches and n-key rollover are independent features, it is possible to manufacture a non-mechanical keyboard with n-key rollover. I only know of one that has been made, since as I mentioned, the demographics prefer a different combination of features. But the Cougar 500k is, in fact, a membrane keyboard with n-key rollover. Weird, but possible and in existence.
    Most mechanical gaming keybaords have 10 key rollover I find. And anything hooked up to an USB can only take 6+ 4 function keys anyway.


    Razer Ornata is a membrane keyboard with 10 key roll-over.
    If I coudl find it with the "yellwo switches" that might be for me.

    I also found that that the Razer blackwidow has usb and audio pass-through. I didn't know that existed but now I know I want it. On something that's not a Blackwidow though.

    It's also highly annoying that I can't find a place where I can really go have a look at stuff and feel those keyboards either. Small communities suck in this aspect.

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    Default Re: Looking for a new keyboard for the Old Skool gamer

    Quote Originally Posted by snowblizz View Post
    I also found that that the Razer blackwidow has usb and audio pass-through. I didn't know that existed but now I know I want it.
    My (ancient, these days) Saitek Cyborg Evo has those? I never bother with the audio pass-through, but I have my USB mouse plugged in to the keyboard.

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    Default Re: Looking for a new keyboard for the Old Skool gamer

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Yeah, sure, you might not be able to hold A and D at the same time--although I'm struggling to think of a reason why you'd want to, given the usual usage of those keys
    Usually it's to do a spiraling circle-strafe, or to adjust the radius of a circle strafe. Also, to serpentine while maintaining aim at an enemy I'm running towards.

    This is mostly in Quake games and Overwatch, though it applies in most FPS games.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harnel View Post
    where is the atropal? and does it have a listed LA?

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    Default Re: Looking for a new keyboard for the Old Skool gamer

    Quote Originally Posted by gomipile View Post
    Usually it's to do a spiraling circle-strafe, or to adjust the radius of a circle strafe. Also, to serpentine while maintaining aim at an enemy I'm running towards.
    I generally alternate A to D to "serpentine".

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    Default Re: Looking for a new keyboard for the Old Skool gamer

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    I generally alternate A to D to "serpentine".
    Without holding W at the same time? Are we taking about the same thing? If you mean while holding W, that's different words to describe exactly the same thing as that part of what I said.

    Edit: I'm assuming in all of this that when you said "hold A and D at the same time" you really meant "or." Since in the post of mine you're responding to, I said "or," not "and."
    Last edited by gomipile; 2018-04-28 at 04:04 AM.

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    Default Re: Looking for a new keyboard for the Old Skool gamer

    Oops. Must have misread that, sorry!

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