A couple of years ago I decided to seek out a keyboard that did not include a 10 key pad. This desired feature ended up cutting my keyboard options drastically. It is handy to have the 10 key pad, but I wanted the mouse to be closer for ergonomics. I found myself looking at a mechanical keyboard manufactured by Cooler Master 10 key-less with Cherry MX Red switches. It was unlike any other keyboard I had ever tried and I bought it. It took a few weeks to get used to, but I knew it was worth it. For those who are not familiar with Cherry MX switches, they are the individual switches beneath each key that are color coded according to their feel.

Cherry MX Red Switches

Cherry MX Red Switches

Fast forward a year or so and I was in the market again. Not because my Cooler Master keyboard had any problems, but I took it home to use it. I researched more mechanical 10 key-less keyboards and found the Code Keyboard from WADS Keyboards with Cherry MX Clear switches. It is the brain child of Jeff Atwood after seeking a perfect keyboard for programming. I was a little worried about the $150 price tag since I felt I paid as much as I a keyboard could be worth with the Cooler Master at $70. The reviews were mostly 5 star and my employer was willing to provide it to me, so I ordered it.


WASD CODE Keyboard

When I received it and took it out of the box it was the heaviest keyboard I had every felt. One of my managers commented that it felt and looked like an old Russian built machine. I agreed, but I felt that was a good thing. I appreciate well built machines and this is one of them. Most of this weight is from a steel plate that the key switches are mounted to. This makes it also feel very sturdy while typing on, but does add a little more noise than membrane switches found in a typical Microsoft keyboard you will find in most offices. They were not as noisy as the Cherry MX Red switches in the Cooler Master keyboard which is a very loud keyboard. I also liked the different configurations that it offered like being able to disable the caps lock (which I set up immediately).

My first day using the Code Keyboard was good, but not great. I knew from my past experience with the Cooler Master keyboard that it took a while to get fully comfortable with so I gave it time. After 3 weeks of using it full time I can say that I am very happy with my choice. The Cherry MX Clear switches are nice, but felt a little weird at first. They have a tactile bump while being pressed unlike my Cooler Master Cherry MX Red switches. The Cherry MX Clear switches are also a lot less common than most other switches. I know the mechanical keyboards are mostly used in gaming, but they are more and more being adopted in an office setting. They are also being discovered by typists looking for a high quality keyboard that will last.

To wrap it up I would just like to say that mechanical keyboards are worth the extra money if you are someone that is interested in a high quality keyboard that is very accurate. It will also far outlast most other common keyboards.


More info:

Jeff Atwood: http://blog.codinghorror.com/the-code-keyboard

Code Keyboard: https://codekeyboards.com

Cherry MX Switches: http://www.keyboardco.com/blog/index.php/2012/12/an-introduction-to-cherry-mx-mechanical-switches