View Full Version : Considering getting a new keyboard.

24-09-2012, 10:10 PM
Up to this point I've played games on keyboards that've come with computers I've bought but the decent one I had broke recently and I've been using a shitty cheapo one without a wrist wrest. My wrists are beginning to hurt so I think it is time to get a new keyboard. Given I've managed fine with basic keyboards in the past I'm not looking for anything fancy and I can't really see the need for a mechanical one.

Having done a bit of research the Microsoft Sidewinder X4 (http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/en-us/p/sidewinder-x4-keyboard) looks very appealing and the reviews seem good although I am a bit concerned about the quality of the fixed wrist wrest. Has anyone that has used one had any complaints or problems with the keyboard?

Are there better options for around the same price? Am I being foolish not going for something more expensive? Are mechanical keyboards really as special as some people make out?

25-09-2012, 10:46 AM
Cant really tell you about the Sidewinder. But if you dont want to buy a mechanical keyboard I would suggest buying a cheap Cherry keyboard. Currently I am using a Nopoo Choc Mini with red switches and I am very happy with it. Perfect gaming keyboard in my opinion and not so expensive. If you really want to spent a lot of money get a Filco Majestouch 2 ;)

25-09-2012, 10:52 AM
A keyboard is a keyboard is a keyboard. You could spend massive amounts for one because it has neon lights, anti-ghosting for up to 80 keypresses at once, tactile feedback and a built in screen to display in game info, but how much of it is actually useful?

Find one that's comfortable and use that. I use a Merc Stealth 2. It's good because it's got a gamepad built in at an angle I find really comfortable and it was on sale.

25-09-2012, 11:04 AM
mechanical keyboards: Loud. Typewriter clacking loud.
Just a heads up.

25-09-2012, 12:02 PM
I got the Sidewinder and it's pretty cool. The light on the keys is not too bright, even at the max setting, which I like, and it's very convenient. The wrist rest is totally useless though, so if that's what you're looking for don't buy it. Otherwise, pretty good keyboard.

25-09-2012, 12:14 PM
If you're getting RSI you might want to look at adjusting your seat height more than anything else, it's a lot to do with arm angle.

25-09-2012, 12:16 PM
I've found keyboards with wrist rests to be more annoying than anything else. Perhaps as mentioned you should look at readjusting your position and posture before buying a new keyboard.

25-09-2012, 01:12 PM
I've been using the X4 for a while and can't complain. Solid keyboard, hardly use the makros though.

25-09-2012, 04:22 PM
If your issue is wrist pain, check posture. Keybaords are unlikely the issue.

Arms should be horizontal to the ground at the same height as the desk. A chair with arm rests can help a lot.

Sit upright or even at an angle greater than 90 (as long as the small of the back is against the back of the chair), not slouched forward.

Wrist pain is often a result of arms too high or too low with respect to the keyboard / desk.

25-09-2012, 04:49 PM
Here's the single most critical thing about RSI's: if it hurts, don't keep doing it! Especially for games, no injury is worth it. Take a break, and later try something different.

Any keyboard is generally ok so long as your wrists are naturally straight while using it. I recently went from a Kinesis Maxim (adjustable split, ergonomic angles, wrist rest, etc) that I flat wore out over 14 years, back to an old IBM model M (mechanical, design from 1984, build like a tank). Both are fine for typing and gaming comfort. The M would clearly be better for self defense. A friend of mine loves his Logitech g15 gaming keyboard with all the bells and whistles. Use what you like.

25-09-2012, 05:09 PM
I also use an X4, and so far my only complaint would be about the closeness of the keys. There's not much space between them making miss types a regular occurance and the caps lock key has no dip between the "A" key, also making it too easy to accidentally put caps lock on, and I have reasonably slender fingers. The reason I got one was because the space on my keyboard shelf under my desk wouldn't take a larger keyboard. So if you have fat fingers and desk space isn't a problem, then I'd seriously go for something a bit bigger.

Apart from that, it's a nice keyboard, very responsive and nicely illuminated; I haven't bothered using the macro keys, so can't comment on those. The hand rest is built in by the way; so no way to get rid of it. Some thing which annoyed me as I don't really use them or prefer to use a seperate gel rest.

25-09-2012, 07:19 PM
As I said earlier look at posture and arm height. As far as keyboards go I'd also say consider something like the logitech illuminated: -


I've been using one for a couple of years now and no complaints. It's spacious, quiet, the backlight is adjustable and it doesn't scream gamer (unlike some keyboards I could mention) also the shallow nature of the keys means you can keep your hands resting on your desk on the whole and you don't really have to claw up your hands to type as with a clack clack type keyboard.

25-09-2012, 09:42 PM
I have accumulated over the years:
a Logitech Media Keyboard
the old white Apple bluetooth keyboard
the new Apple bluetooth keyboard
a Logitech G19 keyboard
a Logitech MX3200 wireless keyboard + mouse combo
a Logitech EX 110 wireless keyboard + mouse combo

The Logitech MX3200 is by far the worst keyboard I've ever used: horrible wireless connectivity, ridiculous "ergonomic" shape that doesn't work well on a desk or in the living room and terrible batter life. Any similiar model is probably just as bad, even if wireless connectivity is improved...

I got the new Apple bluetooth keyboard to use on my home theater setup, but it didn't really fit. It's small and light, which interestingly are not good qualities in the living room - a high propensity to topple over, and the chicklet keys are not comfortable to type on when you're relaxing on the sofa. Add to that the lack of a keypad and it's pretty much useless.
That's why I got the older white version. It's incredibly stable, it's weight and size means that it can be balanced practically anywhere, and the big chunky keys are easy to bang on while gaming, leaning back or when the keyboard is on a low surface. The additional volume and disc eject keys are convenient too once you install the drivers from the Bootcamp DVD.

The Logitech EX 110 is a good keyboard with great wireless connectivity, but feels a bit cheap. I keep it as a spare because I know I'll break it with extended use. Ditto for the Logitech Media Keyboard, it eventually broke after 2 years. The programmable media keys are a nice touch though. I got so used to them I stopped clicking on shortcuts for my most used apps and folders.

For the desk, the Logitech G19 is by far the best keyboard I've used. Really high quality build, backlit keys that can be adjusted right down to intensity and colour for individual keys, two usb ports with power (can charge mobile devices) if the included power adapter is hooked up, 12 macro buttons and a full colour LCD screen. I really like macros, so having 12 extra buttons just for custom commands (these buttons are additional, not the function keys), and 3 profile buttons that allow you to switch out sets on the fly, is a huge plus. It also has a gigantic wrist rest - but I hate those things so never attached it.
The fact that nullDC, the Dreamcast emulator, uses the keyboard's display as a VMU (you know, that small screen attachment that fits on the Dreamcast controller?) is an added bonus!

If you don't care whether a keyboard is mechanical or not, the new Logitech G510 looks like a good choice - all the functionality of the G19 keyboard minus the extravagant full colour LCD display, making it very affordable.

In the end, I'm sure all this info is useless to you. Keyboards are a highly subjective and personal choice, the best thing you can do is go out and try some keyboards till you find the one that fits your needs.

26-09-2012, 01:55 PM
Thankyou everyone for your responses and for the advice about RSI. I've adjusted my seat and unthinkingly had been using the computer less because of wrists hurting a bit but it is a very good point I should make a conscious effort to give my wrists a rest.

I'm going to give the recommended keyboards and other advice a more thorough look through now. Thanks again.