I'm in the market for a new keyboard, and I'm *almost* 100% sold on the Deck Legend. However, I still have some questions...
First, time for a fun and indecently lengthy backstory (read if you're interested - I thought this would be quick, but I'm always way more long-winded than I expect to be - my actual questions are at the bottom, so you can skip there if you want, but after typing all of this out, I couldn't bear to outright delete it):
For years, I've used a black Microsoft Internet Keyboard to game/type without incident (using the arrow keys, no less - I'm weird...no esdf or wasd for me!). It doesn't have full n-key rollover, but it's good enough that I've never had problems with it (I'm using it right now, actually).
Recently, I had to get a second computer, meaning I needed a new keyboard. The black MS Internet Keyboard can only be found on ebay now, so I decided to move on and get something else. After doing some research, I learned that recent MS, Logitech, etc. boards have only 2-key rollover throughout much of the board, and that it regularly interferes with gaming. After doing some more reading, I settled on a Belkin Enhanced Keyboard, thinking it would be at least as good as my old Internet Keyboard. Well...I was wrong.
Using the arrow keys to move, right-control to jump, and numpad-0 to crouch, I noticed I could not crouch while walking diagonally in games (I can't remember now if I can jump or not, but it's irrelevant now). This shocked me - while I had done some minor research to avoid this problem, I didn't take it quite as seriously as I should have, since I was under the impression that it was relatively rare, and that *most* keyboards didn't have it. In addition, while I can "live with" most of the keys on the Belkin, the damn backspace key has the mushiest feeling in the world - I have no idea when it's even being pressed without watching the on-screen characters get backspaced over.
In short, I got burned, and I decided a few days ago that I never wanted to buy another iffy keyboard again - it's too much hassle to spend several days waiting for a keyboard to ship only for it to turn out to be a dud. I could get my MS Internet Keyboard again from ebay, but if I decided to change to esdf or wasd someday, I might start having problems with that one as well - there's no guarantee I won't. Therefore, I decided to look for a keyboard with full n-key rollover - and it's only now that I know *just how rare* that is.
I know of only a few boards in the world that are still made today with full n-key rollover:
- Raptor K-1 clearly advertises it, so it definitely has it (but I can't deal with the non-standard layout - I play with my arrow keys currently, after all)
- Kinesis Maxim clearly advertises it, but it has the same layout problem
- I've *heard* the Unicomp keyboards have it, but I have no definite confirmation - and since their antiquated looks bring me back to the beige-box days of yore (like pre-2004 for me
), they're kind of a last resort (though I may like to buy one someday, just to say I did...).
- I also heard about the Happy Hacking Keyboard 2 (non-lite), but it has a non-standard layout and the price is exorbitant (like $250 or something?)
- Then, I heard about the Deck Legend, which also purportedly has n-key rollover. However, I became uncertain once I read the post at http://www.deckkeyboards.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1351&sid=46c2260e3999b88424fafa89ea129584
. Since I know for a fact that most keyboards do *not* have full n-key rollover (even PS/2 ones), I took the confirmation about the Deck Legend with a grain of salt. Combined with the $150 price tag, I thought, "Forget it."
A lot of people have said that the Logitech G15/G11 boards have full n-key rollover, and for a while, I was thinking, "FINALLY! I FOUND IT! It comes with a bunch of other gimmicky bs that I don't need, but I can live with that." After all, it also has a standard layout in the arrow-keys area of the board, and as an additional plus, it comes with a palm rest (which I've grown quite accustomed to). However, as I started doing more research, I realized that these people are mistaken - the G15 does not in fact have full n-key rollover, and people who use the arrow keys (like I do) have reported problems. Apparently, Logitech is still dealing with a scan matrix design, and they gimped the arrow keys to increase rollover in the area of their lame programmable macro g-keys. Oh well...for various reasons (including because I run dual-boot with Linux), I kind of have something against input devices with friggin *driver discs* anyway.
By this point, I became convinced that there was no way I was going to find full n-key rollover in a $50-ish or less keyboard (though I originally wanted to spend less than $20 anyway).
After hours and hours of haggard frustration, several nights of staying up until 5 in the morning googling before having to go to work the next day, and almost sleeping through my alarm at least twice, I grudgingly decided to come back to this site (after all, if I had spent all of that time working instead of agonizing over what keyboard to get, I could've gotten at least two Decks by now with the extra money...). After reading more and more about the Deck Legend, its durability, its longevity, people's satisfaction with the keys, how many keys people can press at once, etc., I started to consider that paying such a high price for a keyboard might not be such a bad thing. After learning about the generous warranty and seeing how the reps here interact with the customers, I decided that regardless of price, you guys have a company that I *want* to support. Besides, the thing is beautiful. In short, I want a Deck Legend, and I want one really, really badly. (And who knows...if I really like it and can stomach the change to esdf, the Deck 82 looks like an appealling second purchase, as well...my "mood swings" between wanting el cheapo and wanting the best of the best are seriously a danger to my wallet!
However, I still have a few questions and uncertainties about the Legend:
1.) In this post, deck guy mentioned that if you have both the up and down arrows pressed simultaneously, the left and right arrows cannot be pressed (due to the matrix layout): http://www.deckkeyboards.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=83
. While this obviously isn't an issue for most games I would play, it does seem to imply that the keyboard doesn't have 100% n-key rollover. Do you know what the deal is here? Is this merely a past issue (like the soon-to-be-fixed issues with the Fire Deck 82?), or is it still occurring? Does this issue apply only to the Deck 82, or to the Legend as well? Most importantly, are there any other "nono" key combinations (whether they're with 2, 3, 4, 5, 50, 100, etc. keys)? Finally, how can a keyboard technically be considered to have full n-key rollover and still have this issue?
2.) In this post, Guttenaffe mentioned that the Legend can be switched back and forth between being a USB and a PS/2 keyboard, and Amy replied with, "Yes, the Legend has both the PS/2 and USB capabilities by switching the connection inside BUT, dont forget, there is a diode change, too. ......" : http://www.deckkeyboards.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=233
Amy seemed to imply that the diode change is something that users should already know about - does the user's manual for the Legend explain exactly how to switch back and forth between USB and PS/2 mode (and if it can be done more than once?)? The reason I ask is this: I'd really like to get the PS/2 version, since both of my computers support PS/2 and I'd like to avoid the USB 6-key limit for as long as possible. However, I'd also like to keep this board for as long as possible, which means it may outlive the PS/2 format. Is it easy to switch the Legend from a PS/2 to a USB interface if need be? Are there any drawbacks to doing it this way, as opposed to buying the USB version outright? If there are drawbacks, then: If I purchased the USB board and used one of the PS/2 converters that works, would the keyboard be limited to 6 simultaneous keys (USB behavior) or unlimited simultaneous keys (PS/2 behavior)? (I guess the answer to that depends on whether the keys are limited on the sending side, receiving side, or somewhere in between...)
3.) What are your feelings about palm rests? I've grown accustomed to them over the past decade, and I guess I'm a little bit nervous to buy a keyboard without one. Obviously I can get a gel pad for just a few bucks, but now I'm wondering why Deck decided to forego one in the first place (especially since most are removable). Since the Legend costs $150, I know that the palm rest wasn't left out just for cost reasons, so...do most people just not like them, or what? Is there an important memo I didn't get? hehe
4.) You'll like this one, because it involves selling two boards instead of one:
In these threads a couple months back, Amy said you guys have decided against manufacturing any more gold boards (of either type, 82-key or Legend). Has this decision been reversed for the 82-key models? If not, how many are left? For my Legend, I'm planning on picking up the red model, but I was considering snagging a gold 82-key as well - I really like the layout of your 82-key boards, since the F-keys are directly above the number keys (without gaps). That may be enough to get me gaming with esdf (more weaponswitch keys to hit without stretching my fingers far to the left or right
). The colors in my room are red and gold, so I'm just so sorely tempted, especially if the gold is on its way out. Anyway, if there's a limited amount and I have a very short time to make a decision, I have to doublecheck: Is the gold being discontinued because of LED availability or popularity problems (etc.), or is there something wrong (and/or unsolvable) with the actual boards? I can't imagine that being the case, but...out of paranoia, I have to ask, given that the red Deck 82's has some issues (that are now being fixed).
Anyway, this post has gone on WAYYYY too long. Way too long. Congratulations for reading through it, and thanks for your time
Hopefully I'll like the answers to my questions and my quest will be over!