The title says it all. I'm looking to buy a new keyboard but I can't decide. There's a sale on Newegg for the K60 for $80 but there's mixed reviews about it. I don't really mind that the F keys and that group of keys above the arrow keys aren't mechanical, but it's the fact that sometimes the keys act as if they're being held down. I don't want a software problem on an $80 product. I heard very good things about the Sidewinder, some people even say that it feels like a mechanical. I guess that's a plus since it's $30 cheaper than the K60. The macro buttons are also just another extra feature to me. The main thing I'm looking for in both of these keyboards is the feel. I've used a Das mechanical keyboard before and it felt great. I used it for gaming as well and at first it felt a little weird always bottoming out the keys, but I believe that the K60 doesn't have that first click b/c of the Cherry MX Red switches so it'll probably just feel like a normal keyboard? Anyway, let me hear your voices people of Tom's Hardware!
I used to own the K90 and a friend of mine currently has the sidewinder.
Just to make sure you have all the features straight, the K60 is not backlit, has no programmable macro "G" keys, includes a left-sided only wrist wrest for WASD play, and has included optional textured rubber keycaps for numbers 1-6 and WASD. I believe the spacebar also has a textured finish. The heavy aluminum mounting keeps the board from sliding around on the surface and looks great. Finally, as you mentioned the F keys as well as the Insert/Delete/Pg Up etc block and Esc. Esc and Del are honestly the only ones I'm bothered by - just because it feels different (nevermind better or worse) and you use them a lot.
I just exchanged my K90 for a K60 because the individual LEDs started burning out within weeks and I wasn't even using any of the G keys, which are not mechanical. I love the feel of the mechanical board but I have nothing against dome keys. Depending on the keyboard, domes can give a very tactile feedback, and similarly mechanical keyboards can even feel a bit loose or too sensitive at times. The Cherry MX Reds of the corsair boards are very smooth but still produce an audible click, though far less than the typewriter effect of the Blues (like the Razor Black Widow, e.g.) If anything when I first got the board I felt that at first I made many more mistakes, but now that I am used to it I am able to type considerably faster than I ever have before.
The sidewinder on the other hand is backlit, has programmable macro buttons, and the finish on the keys I think feels a bit better, similar to any plastic keys; the corsair boards have a matte coating which sometimes feels a bit like chalkboard when fingernails snag it though it probably provides a better grip for your fingertips.
Despite being a fan of my corsair, I think the sidewinder is a well-constructed board, but ultimately "almost feels mechanical" is a far cry from the feel of mechanical keys, and that's where those price tags come from.
I have the Sidewinder and its not bad. The layout is slightly different from my previous keyboard, so it took a little getting used to. That being said I like the backlight, the macros are nice to have if you use those (I haven't tried it yet though).
As for the feel, it feels a little bit mushy to me, but it not bad at all. I didn't want to spend a whole ton, so its a good buy I think. Have no experience with the Corsair.
The G keys are just another fancy feature that I don't really need and I will probably never use it. In fact, the only reason I looked into it was b/c I had heard that feels similar to a mechanical for the price of a standard rubber dome keyboard. The back lights I don't really care for. I know the keyboard layout well enough and they invented the back space key for a reason. I think I might go with the K60. It's currently on sale on Newegg so I might just snag one for it's $80 price tag. I have yet to see a cheaper, brand name keyboard. I don't consider Rosewill of high quality so I'm just staying away from their $60 one. Thanks for the help guys.