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It’s roughly 20 years ago that I’ve switched to use notebooks for work. Before my time at Sun i was able to convince my manager that i really needed the Powerbook G4 … yeah … the Titanium “one more thing” Powerbook. Was a great device, i loved it. Well … i had to give it back when i left the company to join Sun and there i got a Toshiba notebook.
It was a good notebook but at the end it wasn’t my preferred operating system and when i really don’t like an operating system it is Windows. Linux wasn’t up to the task to be a notebook operating system for desktop tasks at that moment. I remember i had to carefully shut down the notebook before yanking it into my backpack because it had the tendency under Linux to heat the backpack. So, Windows it was. But again … that was 20 years ago. On my desk i had a Sun Ultra 10 or later a Sun Ray anyways.
Since then i had just two types of keyboards. Notebook keyboards (or keyboards close to a notebook keyboard) and the Type 6 and Type 7 Sun keyboards. Most of the systems had really okayish keyboard, but none of them were really great ones. Well, they are always a compromise because of room to integrate one into the system. Not only the layout, but what kind of mechanics you can integrate into the keyboard.
Interestingly i purchased some years ago an external Apple keyboard. The full-size one, because i really like the full-size variant of keyboards. However i used it seldomly, because it felt like a notebook keyboard and I think my train of thought was “If it’s not much better than a notebook keyboard, then why using it”. At the end i just used it when keyboard build into my notebooks stopped working. Which they did. I was haunted with the Butterfly keyboard problems. Once Apple Care helped me. Afterwards i was quite adept at repairing it on my one. Keyboards and me was always a problem: There is even a video of a talk at Froscon over 10 years ago, where I had to use a cabled keyboard at my notebook because the build in stopped working a few days before the talk.
Why full size? I can work with notebook keyboards integrating the cursor keys without any separation because of the necessities of notebook keyboards and the way Apple is integrating them in the layout is okay. I got used to it. But as soon as I sit in front of a fully size keyboard muscle memory sets in and it still just feels much more natural if you can call the situation sitting in front of a computer „natural” at all.
For my workplace renovation project I mentioned in the last blog entry, I thought after a while: This desk needs a good keyboard. At the end it’s the device I’m using all day.
A while ago I saw a Keychron keyboard in the flesh and had something like a “Must have” reflex. Someone, which really trust had a Keychron keyboard and so Keychron was really set for me. At first, I purchased a K10 pro. But as my father had a lot of problems with his plain-standard Logitech keyboard, the K10 pro ended up on my father’s desk as a very belated birthday present. Because I had a different idea on a hunch meanwhile: I opted for the high-end model. Because honestly … how many keyboards of this quality do I plan to buy and how long do you want it to use. The usual excuses when you want to spend money.
I’m now a proud owner of a Keychron Q6, one with a knob. Did i mention: I really like full size keyboards.
My experiences so far:
- Those keyboards are really loud. I’ve opted for the Gateron Red switch version. Those are said to be relatively quiet. Well … today I’ve got the suggestion from colleagues to mute my microphone in a telephone conference, because it was clearly heard by everyone in the conference that I was typing … i hadn’t this “problem” with my notebook keyboards or the Apple keyboard so far.
- I don’t know, if I will do one of the mods people describe on Youtube. I really like it the way it is.
- The keyboard is heavy. It doesn’t move at all. And probably you can use it as a weapon at the next Zombie apocalypse. Really … without barbed wire and a nail driven through it. It’s that heavy …
- The typing feel is great … however my fingers must get used to it again, it seems they must work a lot more. Still missing some keys. However apart from these missing keystrokes, I’m faster now at typing. It’s lot more like the keyboard of my first PC, a Zenith Z148.
- The RGB stuff is funny … for a day or so … i the switched backlight to present a single-color backlight that is not moving or changing. The changing colors would have driven me insane.
- The disadvantage of the Q6 is the fact that it’s a wired keyboard. I just cleaned up my desk with a Caldigit docking station to just one cable, but now where are two again. The bluetooth version came a few days later. Well …
- About the knob. Well, I’m undecided on that … I’m still using the keys more often than the know to adjust the volume of the system. Perhaps I find a better use case for the know … was thinking about scrolling up and down with it. Will figure it out in my vacation.
At the moment I’m glad that I have listened to this trusted person. It’s a great keyboard. I really recommend it.