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Mechanical keyboard round 3

Some notes about PC keyboard layout

Once you notice how many keyboards get this wrong, you start getting very picky real quick.

Mechanical keyboards are mostly labeled as "gamer keyboards", but as to why they're called that is interesting.

Gamers figured out that the absolute best gaming keyboard on the planet is the old school IBM Model M. Clicky, loud, and basically indestructible. IBM really knew what they were doing when they made these things.

Part of the Model M spec is the key layout. Arrow keys are always inverted T. Ins/Home/PageUp cluster is always two horizontal rows of 3 keys. Backspace is always wide. Backslash is always under that and about half the length. Enter is always under that and also wide. This is a layout you get used to because it really works well.

Modern mechanical keyboards follow the Model M spec, with two other keys added, Win and Fn for additional functionality.

Where modern rubber dome PC keyboards are concerned, you have to look really close at the keyboard layout before buying one, else you get something where the layout is just annoying to use.

The Logitech K120 does have a proper layout. The HP Business Slim has a mostly proper layout because of an Fn key on the wrong side (bottom left, should be bottom right). Thrift store Dell PC keyboards from Goodwill will almost always have the correct layout. Some Microsoft keyboards like the 600 have a proper layout.

Then you look at the Logitech K740. Looks nice, and I'm sure it performs well, but the layout is totally wrong. Where? The cluster just to the right of the backspace key. DEL was made tall and huge, INSERT was moved up to a small stubby key, dedicated Scroll Lock key outright removed and replaced with what looks like an Fn+PauseBreak combo. it's just a mess...

...but then you see the Logitech K800, and now you get the proper layout. Every key is the proper size and exactly where they're supposed to be.

Again, you really have to look close at a layout before buying a keyboard.

Is it worth it to be picky with a PC keyboard?

Yes, absolutely. Whether you buy cheap or buy expensive, the layout, feel and appearance all must be correct. This is especially true if you spend a lot of time in front of the computer.

For the mechanical keyboard I'm using now, it took 3 tries to get the right one. This was not a waste of time because now I have a keyboard I actually enjoy using, which is the whole point.

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