Best Keyboard to Type On?

On Lifehacker, they’ve posted a list of what they and their readers feel are the best keyboards they’ve ever typed on. Top of the list?

That’s right baby, the IBM Model M clickety-clack keyboard. As an owner of three of these babies myself (one for work, one for home, and a backup, of course), I can also testify that these are the best keyboards in the history of everything ever. :)

Agree? Disagree? Don’t give a crap? Know of a better keyboard (or so you say)? I wanna know! ;)

I never liked the Model M keyboards even back in the day when they were contemporary.

My favorite keyboard is the Enermax Aurora.

I like the buckling-spring keyboards too, and have the Customizer 101 at home. But I don’t dare get one for the office or my coworkers will murder me with it (it also makes a very good weapon).

To each their own, but that Aurora looks pretty nice. :)

It does. Blood also washes off it quite easily. ;)

IIRC a company named Unicomp still makes the old model M buckling spring design keyboards, but with USB interfaces.


When I was a heavy PC guy, I loved the Saitek gaming keyboards. I still have a few that I bust out for PC stuff and I have one at work now. Very solid and cool looking to boot.

This one specifically:

Remove the stupid wrist rest thing and you’ve got an awesome keyboard.

I have what I guess would be termed an “older” Microsoft Internet Keyboard Pro. I love the springiness of the buttons, the little media center buttons up top, the layout of the Insert/Home section, and it’s got 2 USB ports (although they’re 1.1 and becoming less useful by the day). I’ve yet to find another keyboard in 8 years that I’ve liked as much – and I’ve tried at least 20. It’s like a perfect keyboard to me.

I did recently find one that I’m liking a bit, tho. Visiontek, of all people, has a new keyboard with a central port that can be used as an iPod dock or a swappable media card reader (included). I just wish it had some USB ports on it.

Is that the IBM keyboard with the removable keycaps? That was an extra bit of entertainment…

  • Alan

Yes, they have two sets of keys. The outer key which has the print on it, and a key beneath it that clicks down into the keyboard circuitry itself. Both are removable.

Like this (sorry, pic was way too big):

I have to have an ergonomic keyboard after years of ruining my hands on regular types so I use the Microsoft 4000. I realize that’s not as sexy as using a 20+ year old keyboard, but my hands have to come first :)

IBM all the way. I have spares in case mine breaks.

…Which I’m sure it never does because these things last FOREVAR…

I’ve been using the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 (like Lorini above) and hate using anything else now (although I still do at work or, well, anywhere else it seems). It’s simply the most comfortable keyboard I’ve ever used and will stick with it (or one of similar style) until keyboards are no more. Everything in the history of computing pales in comparison.

The three best keyboards I’ve ever used were:

  • Heath H-19/Zenith Z-19 24x80 terminal with integrated keyboard. Just the right amount of springiness. Circa 1981. Superior to the contemporaneous DEC VT-whatever keyboards that were also good, but not as good.

  • Sun-3 keyboards. Back in the late 80s. Key size and placement was great, no imbecilic caps lock at all, huge control key great for emacs use. When they came out with the sparc-based Sun-4, they also came out with inferior keyboards.

  • Some cheapo IBM keyboard in the early 90s. Standard dumb PC key placement, but wonderful positive click response to keystrokes. A bit on the loud side, but great tactile feedback. Sadly, no recent IBM keyboard I’ve tried has even come close to this $25 item.

I have found no value in weird ergonomic keyboards, whether the wavy Microsoft one or the separated double bank approach.

A colleague at Turbine managed to blow out both wrists due to a combination of insane typing speed (100+ wpm easy) and obsessive Soul Calibur play, so he bought a weird capacitance keyboard that didn’t require him to even touch anything to type, he just sort of twiddled his fingers in the air above the keyboard. It looked very weird, but seemed to work well for him after he got past the learning curve. No clue as to the make or model, though.

I never understand people who like those high-effort keyboards. I love laptops because of the low-travel light-effort scissor switch keyboards.

I asked a similar question a couple of years ago in this thread. Since then, a lot of new contenders in the “old-school”/mechanical switches category have appeared. However, I’m still using the same M13 keyboard pictured at the bottom of that thread’s first page, and I’m still extremely happy whenever I type anything on it. Unfortunately I’m at work right now, tapping away at a squishy, latter-day “IBM”, so I’m not happy at all.

Holy crap, that’s my keyboard! ‘cept mine is an old HP. Actually, I just retired the ol’ fella and replaced with a G15…mostly for the backlit keys.

I’ve never loved a keyboard as much as I did the Northgate OmniKey. Built like a tank, wonderfully tactile keys, just generally awesome.

I hear that the Avant keyboards are made from the same designs, but I’ve never used one.

Alas, these days my wrists are in dire shape. I’ve used Kinesis contoured keyboards for the past ten years or so, and attribute my continued ability to type to them.