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November 19, 2006 12:16 PM   Subscribe

What are the 'springiest' keyboards?

I'm not a mac person but I fell in love with my friends old G3 Wallstreet laptop because the keyboard was so soft and springy that writing was almost effortless. I do a lot of writing but I've never used a PC keyboard with this same feel. Does anyone have any recommendations? Is an old mac really the best?
posted by petsounds to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Let the IBM Model M links begin!
posted by furtive at 12:28 PM on November 19, 2006

Oh, the Model M is as springy as a keyboard can get, but I wouldn't call it soft by any means.
posted by furtive at 12:30 PM on November 19, 2006

Best answer: The Wallstreet keyboard (like most laptop keyboards) uses what's known as a 'scissor-switch' mechanism [2]. These aren't very popular for desktop use (most people prefer 'buckling-spring' mechanisms as found in the IBM Model M, and most computers are shipped with crappy membrane keyboards.) However, you can buy (pricey) desktop versions.
posted by jeb at 12:34 PM on November 19, 2006

To me soft and springy are pretty much opposites! Can you explain in more detail?
posted by grouse at 12:34 PM on November 19, 2006

A number of people prefer the older scissor-style keyboards that jeb references. So now some manufacturers are using that as a selling point, e.g. this icy baby by Macally.
posted by rob511 at 12:47 PM on November 19, 2006

To me soft and springy are pretty much opposites! Can you explain in more detail?
Think in terms of smooth and fluid (soft) and satisfying, positive resistance and rebound (springy). As opposed to stiff and clicky.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:49 PM on November 19, 2006

Wouldn't use the term "springy," but the Kensington Comfort Type USB/PS2 Keyboard sports keys that are extremely soft and easy to depress, yet not spongy. The keys are angled at a slight diagonal for ergonomic benefits, too.

Some of 'em need to be replugged into the usb port on macs after rebooting, but Kensington gladly replaces defective units (and may have resolved this bug by now).

I love this keyboard.
posted by Gordion Knott at 1:14 PM on November 19, 2006

BenQ makes the scissor switch style as well.
posted by squeak at 2:01 PM on November 19, 2006

The typing action you’re talking about takes me back to the ancient Apple Adjustable Keyboard, on which the action of typing was fun bordering on gleeful. The keys simply bounded back from the touch. There were enough deficits to that keyboard to keep me from using it full-time, which broke my heart, essentially.
posted by joeclark at 9:49 PM on November 19, 2006

I've personally discovered that the Logitech DiNovo feels uncannily like the big brother of a very comfortable notebook keyboard.

I've been using one since early September, and I haven't encountered any significant problems with it. Although a good number of Logitech wireless products are notorious for their very substantial problems, the DiNovo doesn't really seem to be one of them.

In other words, maybe you would enjoy using one, too!
posted by scoria at 2:25 AM on November 20, 2006

I have a microsoft ergonomic job (this one). It's very soft. not quite as good as the old powerbook keyboards, but still, smoother and "mushier" than the clickety-clack keyboards from IBM. $40. And the ergonomics are very nice -- it's tipped downward (toward the monitor) which is much more natural/comfortable.

It's actually a bit too mushy for me. But hey, I guess I'm goldilocks.
posted by zpousman at 7:51 AM on November 20, 2006

I've got one of these
at home and one at work; the keys are almost as good as the IBM AT keyboard, which I still bring out on days when I need the CTRL key left of the A key (where God intended it to be when he created WordStar).
posted by hank at 10:50 AM on November 21, 2006

I've got the Microsoft Comfort Curve 2000 v.1, and it feels very "soft" to me, like the keyboard I used to have on my laptop. Extremely comfortable to work with, and very quiet.
posted by PandemicSoul at 12:03 PM on November 23, 2006

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