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 Post subject: I seek an end to my keyboard hunt.
PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 6:35 am 
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(GOOD NEWS: If you like, you can skip the following wall of text, down to the last line.)

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I am 24 years old, and about to sound like a grumpy old man.

I've been playing with computers since age 7 and, at about age 11, owned one of my very own -- by age 14, the keyboard crapped out on me and I dug through dad's parts room to get a new one. It was one of those old, old IBM boards. You old school typists will know them -- ten pound monstrosities, fully capable of axing most modern keyboards in half, one after the other. That was the most solid keyboard I have ever owned, and it still functions gorgeously, but when I upgraded all my PC stuff early this year, I simply had to get something that matched aesthetically -- the old creamy-kind-of-sort-of-an-off-white-maybe-a-bit-of-a-taupe color hurts when it's sitting right next to a shiny black monitor, so my hunt began. Got a Razer Barracuda. Nice board, but I wanted real backlighting, and the thing double-keyed on me more times than I can count. Now I'm typing on a 2nd gen Log. G15 and, while it feels... 'nice,' it's still an inferior typing device, versus my old IBM war hammer. The key margins are just a hint narrower than I like, and god, the keys are, like almost every keyboard I've used in the past 10 years (except my own, obviously), so very, very mushy. After a search through he forums for 'IBM,' I've seen a little bit of mention, and that gives me hope...
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... which leads me to the following question: as a lover of the old IBM warboards, will I be likely to fall in immediate and unconditional love with a Deck Legend?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 12:44 pm 
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I am probably a bit partial considering I work for Deck so I will let the rest of the community answer your question, however I can say that if you don't we do have a 30-day money back guarantee so you don't have to worry about being stuck with it if you don't fall in love.

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http://www.deckkeyboards.com - The best backlit keyboards on Earth
http://www.tg3electronics.com - Parent company of Deck, leaders in custom industrial keyboards


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:12 pm 
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You just might. I just got my Deck Legend and I did.

I've used an IBM Model M a long time ago, and I assume that's the board you're referring to, since it's the one most people use for comparison. The difference between the Deck and a Model M in terms of feel is that the Deck is not a buckling spring switch, it's a linear switch. In other words, the Deck keyboard gives no feel or sound of when the keystroke is registered.

This isn't a bad thing perse, it's just different. It also means the Deck is much quieter. In fact, once you get the feel of tactile typing without bottoming out each key, it's totally silent. The quality of both the Deck and the Model M being mechanical keyboards is there. It's still got the clicky response of a mechanical keyboard, it just doesn't have the press/depress CLACKITY CLACK sound as well, which for me is a great thing. A Deck keyboard is infinitely better feeling than any membrane keyboard, that's for sure, even for the people who have never used an old 1980s beige monstrosity.

And yes, I was in the same boat as you. It's really distracting having one of those beige beasts sitting beneath all your sleek looking stuff. Deck is the only manufacturer of backlit gaming mechanical keyboards that I know of. Any other keyboard that looks nice is going to be a crappy membrane one. So with Deck, you get a keyboard that actually performs its primary function (TYPING) beautifully, PLUS it matches modern parts. Would you honestly want to trade the main purpose of your keyboard's functionality for a bulky screen at the top that tells you crap like how much your cpu is being used?

Thank you Deck, for not making retarded crap. Oh, and these LEDs are amazing! It's funny, I used to use a Saitek Eclipse II, and it actually had a wheel on it that let you control how bright your LEDs were. Anything other than max was barely visible though lol. In fact, the lowest brightness level on the Deck is equal to the max of that Saitek's haha.

I was also someone who was worried about how the Decks would feel, and I was pleasantly surprised. So yeah I'd say go for it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:31 am 
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Khielster – I may be able to relate to your personal experience as I actively use a G-15, an IBM Model M (I have several ****** back to 1986 and my secondary system has a ’91 model) and I now have the legend fire which I use at work; overall have about a dozen systems so I have a vested interest in good keyboards.

The Model M is an amazing device - it’s clear that these were build by people who actually use them back in the days when people who built a product were doing it not just to flog it but because they wanted to use it themselves. I actually slightly preferred the original IBM PC XT keyboard’s action as it was ever so slightly lighter, it reminded me of the first golfball typewriter I used which had roughly the same key action.

The G-15 is light and ok for burst typing (small e-mail messages, etc.) but I’d be reticent to use it for office use day in a day out – it’s a good balance for what Logitech have tried to do with it but it’s not a particularly responsive or outstanding keyboard, it’s a good feel for the type of thing it was designed to do (key surface wearing issues aside). I’ve used both revisions of the G15 (the LCD flip screen and the revision 2 with the orange screen) and I believe the revision 2 is slightly tighter but not by that much.

The Legend – it’s a totally totally different fare to the others. The use of the Cherry MX switches is more akin to the original Macintosh keyboards from the 80’s – they were *really* nice and one of the things I actually liked most about the Mac, it had a quality feel to it as a result of this key feel, something that most manufacturers have neglected in the past decade or more. The feel was simple and uncluttered, not as complicated a response as the Model M but auditory and physical feedback was there in spades - the Deck seems to have these aspects too.

Mine is very new and I’m still getting used to it but like the Model M it rewards heavy handed keystrokes more than lighter ones but you can still get away with light keystrokes due to the fact that it registers the key stroke before it hits the bottom of the shaft – hitting the bottom of the shaft is a hard-material-to-hard-material affair, no foam or sponge or rubber to dull the action. There’s a springy resistance going down beyond what I’d normally expect, especially on the outer extremities keys and the space bar – but this keyboard I have has only had 3 days of use so it’s not really a fair test yet.

It’s not a Model M – it’s not as heavy and the key downstroke is more springy than clickly (I’m not talking sound here, I’m talking about the downward stroke) but hitting the home position is very rewarding both in key feel and sound; it’s actually a very reassuring sound and I’d argue that it’s not really that much louder than some of the Dell membrane keyboards as while it has the “click” (more of a hard thud really) when the key hits home it doesn’t have the other sounds of the key caps wobbling on the shaft as they return home pushed up by those membrane keyboards.


The overall build quality is simple, sold and very to the point – I honestly bought this thing for feel and didn’t really need the lighting but the way they’ve done it is good enough to comfortably say that it’s NOT a gimmick and it’s not been treated as such – the font on the keys is a bit… odd… but I’d argue that it’s actually a bit of a welcome change from the norm and looks much more civilised than the photos do it justice.

It’s clear that a lot of thought and pride has gone into it and it’s focused on doing what it was meant to do – hence the lack of volume dials, browser buttons and USB ports. NONE of which it needs – if you want to go fast you can buy a WRX and pimp it up or you can go out and get yourself a Porsche GT2 and do a proper job of it; the deck is more the Porsche in this respect.

I’m personally hoping that the key action smooths out and lightens up a little (the space bar in particular) – overall though the aspects of the key physical feedback and auditory response you received form the IBM are also here, not quite the same way (not inferior, just a little different) and this is going to give you much of what you want I feel.

When I started using it I made more mistakes as I got used to it (and the backspace doesn’t hit home as well as I’d like, not the same feel but again the springs are new in this) but if it does lighten up I’d say this is as close to a perfect typing device anyone is making in the modern era; and given that I have literally a cupboard of keyboards at home this is saying something.


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 Post subject: Re: I seek an end to my keyboard hunt.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:24 am 
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Well, I caved; I ordered mine two days ago, and, since I live in Michigan and it shipped from WI, I was lucky to have it arrive today, just two days later. I got the ToXiC (hence my text color), seeing as black/red made me feel gothy, and red/blue made me feel cliche; the lights, though, while GORGEOUS, are not the main focus of my post.

This thing feels wonderful. I'm still a little clumsy on it, as I've only had it for a bit now, and the tactile feel is still alien to me, since I weened myself off of my IBM board over the last several months. That said, nobody was lying to me when they said that it was a satisfying response. The keys land like little hammers, and it really does feel like an honest to god typing device. The font is a nifty thing, too, equal parts renaissance, space-age, and graffiti. It has the perfect look of a gaming board, and the perfect feel of an input device. Even now, as I type, and become more used to the keys, I can feel a newfound comfort with my life as a typist.

Quite satisfied over here. Thank you, Deck, for restoring my hope in input developers.

Think I'mma go regedit this Windows key into oblivion, though. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: I seek an end to my keyboard hunt.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 1:52 pm 
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Glad to hear your Deck has lived up to your expectations, enjoy! :D

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Deck Guy Adam
http://www.deckkeyboards.com - The best backlit keyboards on Earth
http://www.tg3electronics.com - Parent company of Deck, leaders in custom industrial keyboards


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