About a week ago, I had an accident that involved coffee and my Microsoft NaturalВ ErgonomicВ Keyboard 4000. Lets just say, the keyboard didnt survive. I decided to try something different. This was my second Natural Ergonomic keyboard in 3 years. The first one died from beer. Pretty much the same story. Ive learned my lesson. Dont get your keyboards wet. After this keyboard died, I was on the web and YouTube looking for some keyboard reviews. I found a niche of keyboards that easily sell for over $100. At first, I thought that was crazy. Who pays that much money for a regular keyboard? They keyboards dont really do anything special. They dont have tons of feature. Why should I pay that much money for a keyboard that does less? Before I dismissed the claims, I was curious to see why these mechanical keyboards were so popular. People seem to swear by them. After doing some research, IВ pulled the trigger and purchaseed my first mechanical switch keyboard. The Leopold TenkeylessВ FC200RT/AB. AKA, the Leopold Tenkeyless Browns.
During my research, I learned a few thing about keyboards. Apparently all the cool kids rate keyboards by their switches. By cool kids I mean geeks. Basically, there are many types of mechanical switches. The de-facto standard when it comes to mechanical keyboards are Cherry MX switches. These switches come in different colors. Blue, brown, clear, and red. Each color switch have their own unique characteristics. For example, Blues are the clicky switches which have very good tactile feedback. Blacks, however, are not clicky nor do they have good feedback. These areВ good for gaming. Brown switches are considered a goodВ middle-ground. They are not clicky but they do have good tactile feedback. I was struggle between this Leopold and the TypeMatrix keyboard but in the end, myВ curiosityВ of the mechanical feel won my money. I purchased mine for $109 before shipping and handling at Elite Keyboards.
The packaging was pretty bare. It was a box in another box. This was fine. There was no sign of damage and it came in one piece. The box was simple and clean. It came with the keyboard, a USB to mini-USB plug, and a USB to PS/2В adapter. When I plugged it the keyboard, it didnt work. The scroll lock and caps lock LEDs would turn on briefly but then nothing. At first, I thought this was a Linux problem. Searching the web didnt give me any answers. This keyboard is fairly new. I tried it on my girlfriends Windows machine but the same thing happened. I tried every USB port I had but no luck. I thought I might have purchased a dud but then I decided to try it on the PS3. It worked! It worked perfectly on the PlayStation 3 but not my computer. I thought my computers USB ports werentВ deliveringВ enough power. It turns out, the mighty PS3 fixed this problem. Now it works fine on my laptop.
The typing experience was a bit strange at first. I think I may have gotten too used to the split keyboard design. I tried toВ acclimateВ myself with the traditional style by using my laptop keys as much as I could but its only been a few days. I wasnt too confident typing with these at first but I В took a typing test and beat my Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard record. I quickly got used to it and it feels great. If I press the keys slowly, I can feel when the letters input. They keyboard is also heavier than I expected. It has a high-quality feel to it. The letters are laser etched with white paint filled in. Most keyboards have a cheaper sticker placed on the keys. This is a much nicer keyboard overall. First impressions are good so far. Stay tuned for a full review.