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Requirements

In mid december 2021 I was on the look out for a replacement keyboard for my aging Logitech K830. The new one should come with a couple of beloved features like:

As this was my second K830 which had the same issues as the first one, the new keyboard should be a mechanical keyboard with hotswappable switches to be able to fix it myself easily.

All these requirements should be easy to fulfill I thought, but I was far from it.

Awareness

Mechanical keyboards with integrated touchpad don’t seem to exist. Keyboards with keycaps, which according to my definition are nice to look at, backlit and come in the ISO DE layout are rare.

So I said goodbye to the idea of finding a keyboard with integrated touchpad and bought a Keychron K8 (TKL layout). I quickly realized that TKL was not a layout for me and since the topic of pretty keycaps and backlighting could only be realized with cutbacks, I crossed this off my wish list.

My next purchase was a Keychron K6 in ANSI US layout without backlighting to see how I would cope with this. In short a 65% keyboard was my layout. I got used to ANSI US including US keyboard settings surprisingly fast and even without backlight I managed very well. My typing speed is not (yet) on the same level as when I was using ISO DE, but I’m improving all the time.

Breaking new ground

The way to a dream keyboard was paved and now only the following requirements remained:

What I had to learn in the following was that with these requirements everything was possible but not necessarily immediately. Not? No!

Many products were only available via group buy (GB) and if you missed this, the products were with a little luck only available via aftermarket which made the purchase price rise again. Also group buy products brought a certain waiting period (a few weeks up to a year and more.) with itself.

Trapped in the rabbit hole

Initially I wanted to replace the aging K830 with a new one (singular!) but meanwhile I bought seven keyboards. Most of them aren’t ready to use, or still not hit my door so far. I’m waiting for group buy products, mostly key caps.

What about the pointer device as there is no integrated touchpad

This I solved with a Logitech MX Ergo trackball. The first couple days had been a little confusing but meanwhile I feel comfortable using this kind of input device. Non the less the keyboard is used most of the time as I’m a terminal guy ;-)

Conclusion

The field of mechanical keyboards is a wonderful hobby. There is something meditative about assembling the keyboard, including all the preparatory work. The time until the assembly can begin teaches one patience and perseverance, but the end result is absolutely worth it!

The community is, like the topic of mechanical keyboards, very comprehensive and I am happy about the pleasant exchange with it.

Moral of the tale

Never be so bold as to call it your end game, because after end game is before end game!


Tags: ANSI, ISO, keycaps, mechanical keyboards

This page was last updated on: 6. July 2022