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AngelWriter42
02-18-2013, 05:51 AM
Hello everyone, I am a very new newbie here. Hopefully this is a good place to ask this question? What type of keyboard do you use? I'm going to be buying a new one and wondering which ones are best for writers. I am considering an ergonomic keyboard. Any reviews of keyboards you are very happy with would be fantastic. thanks!

L.C. Blackwell
02-18-2013, 07:06 AM
I'd honestly hate to say how old my standard keyboard is, but it suits me just fine for writing. That and I prefer older, heavier keyboards for both stroke resistance and balancing in my lap, but that is strictly a personal quirk.

I do use wrist support sometimes for the mouse.

Writelock
02-18-2013, 07:17 AM
I use the cramped, virtual one on my Ipad, but that is mostly for convenience as most of my writing is done "on the run".

thothguard51
02-18-2013, 07:26 AM
For my desk top, I've used the Microsoft Internet Keyboard for about 5 years now. I don't know that its the best, but I have become very comfortable with it...

At work, I just used the keyboard that comes with the computer and have no trouble with them.

My Kindle, I don't do much writing on that, mostly just notes.

With my Dell laptop, the keyboard is usable, but I use a wireless mouse instead of the built in mouse because I am faster with the wireless mouse and make less mistakes.

Kylabelle
02-18-2013, 07:38 AM
The main issue I've had with keyboards is I tend to wear off the letters on the keys. I've obliterated three so far, to the point nobody else could type on them (well, unless the person was a touch typist which I really am not either but I kind of have learned my way around......) Two Macs and one Dell, that was....

So I always think, gee, I really need an industrial strength keyboard, but I have to use what I have as I am not able to upgrade my equipment.

But boy do I have dreams. :D

Brightdreamer
02-18-2013, 07:40 AM
I use a Microsoft Natural Ergonomic keyboard. It takes a little getting used to, but I find it easier on my wrists than a regular keyboard.

Kerosene
02-18-2013, 07:52 AM
dasKeyboard ultimate. MC cherry Blues with blank keys.

I used to wear out keyboard quickly, and have had this bastard for 2 years and still going strong. I absolutely love it, but it might be pricey for some and the noise might irritate people (I love the noise).

Mechanical keyboards don't make you faster/better typist, but they are more fun to type on.



The only good ergonomic keyboards I've heard that work are those split ones that the keys curve up around the hands and those vertical ones. The wrist never needs to move.

Most problems caused my keyboard and mouse usage is placement, not the mouse/keyboard. I used to have wrist problem until I learned to type with my wrists elevated and my arms at 90degrees.

Blackwell! Ah... you might want to get rid of that wristwrest. Most problems with the wrist is caused by stress on and within it. There has been many studies that have proved wristwrests to cause more pain because you're applying pressure on the carpal tunnel.


What I recommend:

If you have the money and you slave away at your keyboard for almost 4 hours a day, invest in a mechanical keyboard.
- IBM Model M run about $50-60 on ebay. They use a PS2 plug, so you might need to get a PS2 to USB adapter. But, they last a lifetime.
- dasKeyboard. $100-130 There's regular and silent. The silent are quieter and you can google "o-ring mod" and that will make them deathly quiet. If your typing alone, go for the regular for sure. Regular vs Ultimate, is blank keycaps. I recommend if you can already touchtype to get the blanks.
- Filco/ducky. $140+. Not better than a das, but are more standard and have a lot more options.

If you're going to spend anywhere over $70, get a mechanical. Just avoid "gamer" keyboards.

jjdebenedictis
02-18-2013, 08:46 AM
What type of keyboard do you use? The one bolted onto my laptop screen. :D

L.C. Blackwell
02-18-2013, 10:20 AM
Blackwell! Ah... you might want to get rid of that wristwrest. Most problems with the wrist is caused by stress on and within it. There has been many studies that have proved wristwrests to cause more pain because you're applying pressure on the carpal tunnel.



:roll: Ahem.... Not laughing at you, Will. Swears. I'll share the joke.

Remember I mentioned a liking for dinosaur keyboards? Now, about the rest of my typing equipment. Sometimes my wrist has gotten sore in the past from being unsupported while using the mouse. When that happens, I--um--use a stuffed dog toy, soft and cylindrical, about two inches thick, for a prop. It really does work wonderfully. And, so far as I know, has never pressured my carpal tunnel.

So yeah. Big money invested here. :D

*not even admitting what she uses for a foot-rest*

But appreciates the kind tip. :)

DancingMaenid
02-18-2013, 10:30 AM
When my old desktop keyboard starting giving me problems, I decided to get a wireless Microsoft keyboard to replace it. It's not too fancy, but one of the deciding factors for me is that the keys are well-defined and stick up a bit, which I find helps me hit the right keys. I find that some more modern keyboards, where the keys sit very low, can be a little trickier for me. However, I think this is largely due to what I grew up with and am used to.

That said, I can and do write on my tablet, even though the on-screen keyboard isn't ideal for me.

Buffysquirrel
02-18-2013, 04:36 PM
*looks down*

It's black.

onesecondglance
02-18-2013, 05:00 PM
I'm not fond of those spongy wrist rest thingies. I find they make me more uncomfortable! I adjust my chair instead to make sure I'm typing at a comfortable angle.

EMaree
02-18-2013, 05:52 PM
We had a big ol' discussion about this on the Tech Forum (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=263214)recently.

Rhoda Nightingale
02-18-2013, 06:48 PM
I'm not fond of those spongy wrist rest thingies. I find they make me more uncomfortable! I adjust my chair instead to make sure I'm typing at a comfortable angle.

I don't mind those things in terms of comfort, but they are rather distracting. *poke* *poke* "Hee, it squishes!" *poke* *poke* It's...better for everyone if I just don't have them around me.

My lappy is a Lenovo, and I bought it based partially on the keyboard. The keys are slightly curved in the middle, which makes it softer to type on.

Myrealana
02-18-2013, 07:43 PM
I'm comfortable with the one attached to my Dell laptop. I use a wireless mouse with the option on the laptop that automatically turns the touchpad off when the mouse is connected. That solves the only problem I have with using a laptop - which is that stray taps on the touchpad would make my pointer jump to a new place on the page and screw everything up. (I often type while staring into space composing what I'm going to put on the page. I'll go 200-300 words without even looking at the screen, so I don't notice if my cursor goes wandering.)

AngelWriter42
02-18-2013, 09:48 PM
Thank you all for the feedback. It's quite helpful!

AngelWriter42
02-18-2013, 09:49 PM
We had a big ol' discussion about this on the Tech Forum (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=263214)recently.

thank you, now I know there is a Tech Forum!

Jersey Chick
02-18-2013, 10:04 PM
I'm using the beat-up keyboard on my HP laptop. I've worn the letters off the A, S, D, E, T, N keys. The O, H, M keys (say it with me, "ooohhhhmmmm....") are partially worn away. Oh, and the backspace key broke off two years ago, so that's just a nubbin. The space bar, enter, and shift keys also have divots from where I strike them. I did buy a replacement keyboard at the time I broke the backspace key, but I haven't been able to remove the old keyboard, so there you have it. I'm so used to the backspace nubbin now that I don't know if I can use a regular backspace key or not. :D

Jamesaritchie
02-18-2013, 10:04 PM
An HP standard. I just don't care about what kind of keyboard I use. As someone once said, "As long as you punch the keys in the right order, you'll make make millions of dollars."

He didn't say they have to be punched on a particular keyboard.

victoriastrauss
02-18-2013, 10:48 PM
I have bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome, and I found that both the ergonomic keyboard and the spongy wrist thing made the problem worse. I just use a regular keyboard.

I have the same problem as others with the letters wearing off, but since I touch type, and no one else uses my computers, it's not a problem.

- Victoria

Orianna2000
02-19-2013, 01:18 AM
Oh, wow! I'm not alone! Almost all of the alphabet keys on my laptop have worn away. There's only four or five left, and they're all letters I don't use very often, like Q and Z. The space bar and enter key have depressions worn away from where I strike them. Also, the fingernails on my pinkie and ring finger actually grow skewed at an angle, because of the pressure placed on them from constantly typing. Took me awhile to figure that one out, but one day I noticed that the angle of the nails matched the angle of my fingers resting against the keyboard.

Anyway, I just use the keyboard that came with my laptop. I tried several out before choosing this one. Some spaced the keys differently, so I had trouble typing. Some were very loud. I picked the one that seemed to work best for me. I've tried ergonomic keyboards, but I can't seem to get used to the curve and angle they have.

flapperphilosopher
02-19-2013, 01:42 AM
I've been using the keyboards on small laptops for so long I can't stand anything else-- they're so big and/or loud!! I have little hands so it works well. I also use my laptop mostly on my lap so I have no wrist support at all, so I'm no good there!

Also if we're sharing worn-off keys, my H and N are going after less than a year, though I have no idea why those particular ones.

scribofelidae
02-19-2013, 02:08 AM
I love the keyboard on the MacBooks I've had. I don't know why, but I find them strangely comforting.

I have a wireless Apple keyboard for my Mac and it's okay. I'd prefer something more lap friendly when I have to rearrange my writing space because a cat has found my desk and maybe one with more tactile UMPH. But, meh, does the job.

I've never been able to get used to one of those split, ergonomic keyboards but as a fast hunt-and-peck typist that constantly needs to re-check the keyboard I'm using, there may be reasons for that. :)

sunandshadow
02-19-2013, 03:08 AM
I personally like a small-footprint keyboard, since I don't have a lot of desk space to waste. I also like easy-clean keyboards, since I often eat at the the computer.

dangerousbill
02-19-2013, 03:33 AM
Hello everyone, I am a very new newbie here. Hopefully this is a good place to ask this question? What type of keyboard do you use? I'm going to be buying a new one and wondering which ones are best for writers. I am considering an ergonomic keyboard. Any reviews of keyboards you are very happy with would be fantastic. thanks!

Keyboards are a very individual thing, and one of the most important variables in making a computer comfortable to use. Your best bet is to go to a computer store and test different keyboard types. I like keys that react with a positive snap, and don't mush out at the bottom of a stroke.

Wireless keyboards are nice because you can lean back with it in your lap, or even stand up. Changing positions from time to time while working will do more for your health than 'ergonomic' anything.

benbradley
02-19-2013, 04:48 AM
The main issue I've had with keyboards is I tend to wear off the letters on the keys. I've obliterated three so far, to the point nobody else could type on them (well, unless the person was a touch typist which I really am not either but I kind of have learned my way around......) Two Macs and one Dell, that was....

So I always think, gee, I really need an industrial strength keyboard, but I have to use what I have as I am not able to upgrade my equipment.

But boy do I have dreams. :D
I have never worn off key letters, because I type on a Model M and the key markings are injection molded in as part of the key:

...
If you have the money and you slave away at your keyboard for almost 4 hours a day, invest in a mechanical keyboard.
- IBM Model M run about $50-60 on ebay. They use a PS2 plug, so you might need to get a PS2 to USB adapter. But, they last a lifetime.
^ THIS.

I personally like a small-footprint keyboard, since I don't have a lot of desk space to waste.
That's why I got a Model M Space Saver to use with my netbook, and I'm so glad I got it when it was below three digits (now my keyboard is worth more than my netbook). I'm barely tolerated at crowded NaNoWriMo write-ins, where my setup takes as much space as the peeps with the 16-inch-screen laptops. If I used a regular Model M with the numeric pad, I wouldn't have anywhere to put my coffee.

I also like easy-clean keyboards, since I often eat at the the computer.
When the bread crumbs get so thick the keys stick together, I put the keyboard on the "to be cleaned" pile and pull out a brand new (looking) Model M. My many excursions to thrift stores have paid off.

AngelWriter42
02-19-2013, 06:03 PM
I personally like a small-footprint keyboard, since I don't have a lot of desk space to waste. I also like easy-clean keyboards, since I often eat at the the computer.


I am a pretty messy keyboard eater. This could be a good route for me.

Mr. Breadcrumb
02-19-2013, 09:03 PM
I switched over to a clicky Das Keyboard with mechanical switches a few months ago. I wouldn't overstate it, since I've used plenty of keyboards that are perfectly fine to type on, but I find the physical and audible feedback very pleasant. Definitely nice and worth the extra cost for me given how much time I spend typing on it. It took a little getting used to, though, and they tend to be a sort of love it or hate it thing.

EMaree
02-20-2013, 01:52 PM
I keep being tempted by the mechanical keyboard fans here, but it's tricky to find a good budget (under 50) mechanical keyboard with a UK layout. IBM Model Ms all seem to be US layout. Anyone got recommendations?

Becky Black
02-20-2013, 03:27 PM
I've been doing most of my writing on a laptop or netbook for about six years now and I prefer it. I just like the smaller keyboard - and a bit less racket! My new netbook has those modern style very flat buttons, which is kind of interesting getting used to. But I'm getting there.

I may be replacing my main laptop at home this year and I'm sort of contemplating going back to a desktop, since they take up less desk space than they used to when I had one before flat panel screens were the thing. My physiotherapist recommends a desktop style keyboard rather than a laptop one. But I've never had any issues with RSI so far. Still considering.

Kerosene
02-20-2013, 03:40 PM
I keep being tempted by the mechanical keyboard fans here, but it's tricky to find a good budget (under 50) mechanical keyboard with a UK layout. IBM Model Ms all seem to be US layout. Anyone got recommendations?

Here. (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cherry-Quality-Action-Keyboard-G80-3000LSCGB-2/dp/B0041KJKAG/ref=pd_sim_sbs_ce_1) That's the cheapest you'll find.

That's a Cherry branded keyboard. The same makers of the Cherry brand switches. Me, in the US, need to import a US version from europe if I want them.

The one I picked has MX Cherry Blues, the loudest and clickiest. My favorites. Its not the best keyboard, but cheap. Not the best built, but very good regardless.

EMaree
02-20-2013, 04:44 PM
Thanks, Will! Oooh, next payday is going to be fun. :D