Keyboard is Coming!

UPDATE Sunday 3/22: DHL called to let me know they will be delivering tomorrow! Those planes move overseas pretty fast, woohoo!

UPDATE Monday 3/23: DHL’s tracking website shows that the keyboard arrived locally at their distribution center, but hasn’t shown Out for Delivery yet, and the tracking site says delivery by end of day Tuesday (tomorrow). So, maybe they’ll make it to me to today, but it looks like I may have to wait until tomorrow despite their phone call’s robo-statement.

I finally picked one. A mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX switches. You’d think it would be easy given my last post, where I said I wanted the Filco Convertible 2, and that’s the one I ordered, so that part was decided, if not originally easy. But the switches! So hard to decide between the Cherry MX Blue and Cherry MX Brown switches!

A coworker has a Das keyboard with Blues that I tried for a few minutes. I like it, but my concern with Blues is that I actually like the clicking sound enough that I think I would slow down typing in order to hear the rhythm of the clicking at a more pleasant pace, plus they would be less pleasant for family (wife) and coworkers to listen to in certain circumstances (not all the time, but they would tend to be a bit louder).

So my first thought was Browns, then I wavered back to Blues, and after trying the Das Blues, I’m back to Browns. I also purchased a Max Keyboard Sampler Kit to see if I could tell which I liked best (it has Red, Black, Blue and Brown sample switches). It also has O-rings that shorten the travel and dampen the sound a bit, which at first I figured would be good on the Blues but it turns out I think I like on the Browns. It also turns out that it’s really hard to tell from a set of four keys how switches will be on a full-sized keyboard! Another coworker has a keyboard with Browns at home, but I haven’t been able to coordinate having him bring it in so I can test it.

But I made a decision and I’m getting the Filco Convertible 2 with Cherry MX Browns (aka Tactile Action) and a pack of Blue O-rings in case I want them! The Browns should be a bit quieter and I think that trumps the clicks of Blues in more situations than I’d prefer Blues. My Microsoft Natural Keyboard 4000, while not mechanical, has a deeper “thunk” sound vs. a click and I’m relatively happy with it’s sound. The O-rings I got are the blue ones that are a bit thicker than others; if I don’t like them and want another size I’ll buy more from Amazon or something. Literally the only place the keyboard was in stock was in the Keyboard Company store, located in the UK. But wait, it wasn’t in stock! They actually were expecting stock yesterday (Friday, March 20th) and have been for about a month, but nowhere else even knew when they might get stock (only two sites listed the model at all, and I called one to confirm they didn’t have any idea when stock would arrive).

So I downloaded the XE Currency Converter app on my phone and checked the US Dollars to British Pounds Sterling exchange rate for a couple of weeks and when it went down a bit earlier this week and then just barely went up (Monday I believe) I placed the order for the keyboard and O-rings (Keyboard Company charges at purchase, not shipping, for back orders–best for my currency timing attempt!). With the credit card’s currency fees of $2.10 on top of the $210.44, the cost was $212.54 USD based on my credit card charges. Considering that includes shipping and the O-rings on the only mechanical keyboard that has both USB and Bluetooth, it’s not actually that much higher than the many USB-only keyboards in the $150 to $200 range, and since I’m going to be using it with my Surface Pro 3 (because the keyboard is all I hate, even though I’m using it now!) which is portable and only has one USB port, the Bluetooth portion is going to make me happy even though I’ll probably keep a USB cord ready to plug in on my desk attached to the Surface Pro 3 dock. The price also seems reasonable since I’ll use it in portable and wired modes, versus purchasing a separate keyboard for mobile Bluetooth use and a nicer mechanical for desk only.

The fact that it switches to up to 4 Bluetooth devices (selectable–the only other mechanical Bluetooth keyboard I even considered didn’t have USB and automatically chose which device to connect to based on order of pairing; stupid when I’m using a laptop and phone at the same time!) is probably not something I’ll use every day, but having a keyboard capable of typing on my phone in a pinch is going to rock! Yes, the fact that the keyboard is 2.65 lbs and my Surface Pro 3 is 2.41 lbs (WITH its keyboard! It’s 1.76 lbs without) is kind of…weird, shall we say? “I love carrying my lightweight tablet/laptop so much that I also carry a keyboard almost twice its weight along with it!” Whatever, I’m going to enjoy typing on the darn thing and it’ll probably go with me mainly anywhere I plan to work for a half-day or more at my computer. I doubt I’ll tote it on-site to every customer, though I might for a week or two so people can get their jokes about the keyboard weight out of the way :-) I do wish a bit that the Convertible 2 was available in a tenkeyless format, and maybe it will be at some point, but I actually do enjoy having the number keypad available at times, and even if it lost that, I would want the Home/End/Del/PgUp/PgDown keys in their usual places as I use all of them (well, the first three at least) quite heavily by muscle memory, so it would need those. Only some tenkeyless keyboards still have those keys in the “right” place, so there’s no guarantee that a tenkeyless version would appeal to me. So, the smaller size would be nice but it’s not going to save that much weight, and the full-size version will probably make me happier most of the time.

So, since I’m typing this on my Surface Pro 3 keyboard and I’d like to stop that now, I will quit here. Keyboard Company lists the keyboard as in stock now, though I haven’t gotten a shipping notification and their web tracking function doesn’t list my keyboard as shipped yet. I’m sure that will change soon; I’m just happy I don’t have to wait much longer now that they’re in stock!

Oh, I have done a bit of thinking about the new Apple MacBook with the shorter keyboard key travel, since it was just announced. I’m curious to play with one at the Apple store sometime so I can compare it to the Surface Pro 3 keyboard. Obviously it will be rigid and likely better than the Surface version, but I think the short travel is one of the things I don’t like about the Surface keyboard (that, and the ease of mis-typing, whether due to my own fingers or possibly even defective/sticky actuators occasionally), so I’m curious how Apple did with their new offering. Not going to end up with one any time soon, however :-)


11 Responses to “Keyboard is Coming!”

  1. Varmilo VB87M Mechanical Keyboard : David Szpunar Exists Differently on July 12th, 2015 03:30

    […] and it works pretty well there also. Unlike my Filco Majestouch Convertible 2¬†(and here and here), it seems to have a shortcut for the Home button; but sadly, no way on the keyboard to press Send, […]

  2. Filco Convertible 2 Keyboard – yay, it’s here! : David Szpunar Exists Differently on December 23rd, 2018 07:52

    […] I wrote some blog posts about discovering the things that are mechanical keyboards, and about my decision to purchase this specific one, before I wrote the […]

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