I'm considering a new keyboard (TBH, I want a new one after reading the mechanical keyboards article today) and need help finding a Cherry MX Brown board.
I am an engineering student and spend a lot of time at my computer either writing reports or playing games (all types; casual to FPS). I currently use a Cyborg V.5 (Saitek Eclipse I), and find it a bit mushy but still comfortable. From the article and other reviews, it seems like the Cherry MX Blue-based keyboards would be a good choice, but I will definitely have issues with the noise, so I figure the Browns would be the next best choice. However, I can't seem to find any besides the Steelseries mentioned in the review.
Other requirements for the board would be:
Media keys (specifically play/forward/rewind; can be integrated into function keys)
Comfortable (seems like a given, but I would like to know if I should stay away from any)
a few popped up right away. if you look at the shopping tab even more might pop up.
so what turned you on to mechanical keyboards?
if it is the "click" of a key registering on press keep in mind that one model of the silent cherry MX switches doesn't have the same sort of "click feel" that the others do. i'm not sure if its the brown or not though, you might want to look into it.
the clicking noise shouldnt be terribly loud. i use the loudest keyboard available (an old 1980's era ibm model m, buckling spring type keyboard) and although you definitely can hear it clacking away alot of the newer mechanical switches arent quite so loud. up to you though, i just found it not bothersome at all.
if i were buying a keyboard i'd go with a well known brand over a particular switch type (unless it matters that much to you). i've heard a few decent things about DAS keyboard, the new unicomp keyboards (buckling spring, louder ones) are good, and i cant seem to remember but there are 1 or 2 other very well known brands out there. an off brand might work, but its hard to judge quality at times.
It's not so much the click, but rather the feel/travel of the switches. The Cyborg seems a little mushy compared to the cheapo Dell keyboard here at work (government), but the force needed to press a key is about right for me. However, I obviously think my experience could be better, and it sounds like the Browns are a good fit for me and for what I do.
I like the look of the BlackWidow, but I've had some issues with my Razer mice in the past and am a bit cautious of their quality at this point (and would therefore prefer brand name). They also use the Blue switches, which apparently have a reputation for being loud (first thing I ever heard about them).
looks like i was thinking of mx blacks and not mx browns. that link has a ton of information about such keyboards.
razer products are popular enough that i would consider them brand name. however, i know what you mean but i dont think i've ever seen a big brand like logitech, microsoft, etc making a mechanical option (though not saying one never existed). i've had good luck with razer so far but i'm not a fan of that tacky coating they put on the keyboard.
i've never used cherry mx switches myself so i can't judge for myself but supposedly i'm using the loudest type of mechanical switch (as i said before, buckling spring type) which i will admit you can hear from another room but it doesnt bother me, in fact i sort of like the sound. heres a post which supposedly links a few sound files for you to listen to (once you calibrate the sound level like the post says.)
Ok, the Blues aren't as loud as everybody made them out to be, but they are decently loud. They may not be that much louder than my V.5 right now, and will definitely feel much better. I think I may go with the BlackWidow Ultimate, simply because it meets all of the requirement I listed, and should be comfortable from what I hear.