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  • MobiusPizza - Monday, March 20, 2017 - link

    Currently, the only advantage over mechanical contacts apart from shorter travel. What they should aim for is programmable characteristics such as what travel distance activates the switch, as the sensor is capable of measuring the analogue movement. Reply
  • WorldWithoutMadness - Monday, March 20, 2017 - link

    This one won't chatter like the traditional one. Reply
  • Kutark - Thursday, April 06, 2017 - link

    So is it significantly quieter than a mechanical? I have a friend who continues to buy these horrifically bad Chiclet type keyboards because they have a very low actuation distance and are relatively quiet. He bitches constantly about how loud my keyboard is, so I can't even get him to try one out because of that.

    This sounds like it might be a good alternative option?
    Reply
  • Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer - Monday, March 20, 2017 - link

    The advantage is that you don't need to wait for the switches to settle before decoding a keystroke, which in theory should lower latency. I dunno if that will really benefit anyone but competitive Korean StarCraft players, but that's the point of them.

    I use a Code Green primarily for my personal computing, where as long as I don't get strokes registering twice I'm happy and don't care about the slightly longer latency. But I'd definitely be interested in a red-equivalent optical switch for gaming (I have a Gateron Brown board for this but haven't had a lot of time to play lately).

    Personally, I don't know why anyone markets blue switches to gamers, but obviously people are buying them. I find the mechanics of MX Greens to be an impediment for twitchy play, myself.
    Reply
  • KAlmquist - Monday, March 20, 2017 - link

    Why is it necessary to “wait for the switches to settle before decoding a keystroke?” When a mechanical switch closes, the contacts can bounce, causing the switch to open and close several times. So, the first time a switch closes, the keyboard reports the closing of the switch as a keystroke. The keyboard logic then has to identify the subsequent openings and closings as caused by contact bounce, which it does based on time. So the debouncing logic in the keyboard shouldn't introduce latency unless you manage to type quickly enough to confuse the debouncing logic. In particular, if you press a key and then release it really fast, the switch open caused by releasing the key could be confused with a contact bounce, causing the keyboard circuitry to delay reporting the key release until a timeout causes it to realize that it's not observing a contact bounce after all. But that's a delay in reporting a key release, not a key press, and I doubt that it happens in practice. Reply
  • sor - Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - link

    A required delay in a key release is also a delay in the next key press. Probably not really any issue in practice, however, unless you like to type the same character at a rate of 100/second or more. Reply
  • sor - Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - link

    For both keyboards it's required that the key travel backward 2mm to register a release, that's probably the limiting factor and introduces more than enough time to register debounce. Reply
  • SodaAnt - Monday, March 20, 2017 - link

    How is the PWM on the RGB LEDs? I've seen a few keyboards where you get the rainbow effect if you move your vision on the keyboard too quickly, and the colors all end up splitting because the refresh rate is so low. Reply
  • pjcamp - Monday, March 20, 2017 - link

    "The concept of making it plug & play, allowing the user to program lighting modes and macros without relying on software, is interesting..."

    I need to correct your typo here. It is not an interesting feature, it is REQUIRED in order to fully function with operating systems other than Windows. The folks down at Anandtech should recognize the existence of people who use Linux and Macs. When I bought my last keyboard, I spent a long time pouring over technical docs specifically to find one that was independent of Windows.
    Reply
  • twtech - Monday, March 20, 2017 - link

    And yet still, there is no MS Natural type split keyboard equivalent with mechanical keys. Considering the MS Natural shape & style remains the keyboard style of choice for many programmers and others that type all day, it seems like this should have been an obvious market to target.

    There are a few ergonomic mechanical keyboards, but most of them have nonstandard key layouts. There's the Matias Ergo Pro, which has a mostly-standard layout - and is what I'm using now - but it has some quirks with stuck keys, etc., comes in two separate halves connected by a wire, and is very thick (when tented it sits up over 2" off the desk in the center).

    With all these generic mechanical keyboards coming out that are mostly all the same, you'd think someone would want to capitalize on the not-so-niche market of people who type all day and are willing to shell out the $150+ that many of these mechanical keyboards cost, but who also must have a split-style keyboard.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, March 20, 2017 - link

    I suspect part of it is that any ergo layout beyond the most basic (just a split in the center and bending the top inward) will require non-standard key caps. The reason why everyone and his dog is selling a basic mechanical keyboard is that essentially all of the hardware is off the shelf. All you need to do is to write an LED/macro programming app if you want to move into the mid/high tier of the market; at the low end not even that.

    And even for the most basic design I suspect the thinking goes something like: "1% of users buy mechanical keyboards. 1% buy ergo keyboards. That means the market for an ergo mechanical layout is probably closer to 0.01% of the total keyboard market than 1%, we probably can't sell enough to recoup our investment if we do this."
    Reply
  • twtech - Monday, March 20, 2017 - link

    I understand that line of thinking, and obviously as neither of us are actually in the business of manufacturing keyboards we can only speculate beyond a certain point.

    However my counterpoint to that argument would be that most of the people who use split keyboards are people who are at their desks typing for many hours of the day, are often more affluent, and obviously care about the ergonomics of their input devices enough to not be using the stock $2 keyboard that came with the machine - and mechanical keys are also an ergonomic upgrade for frequent typists.

    So in my view, it's probably not a simple 1% of 1% type calculation. A programmer who makes 6+ figures and already has to spend $40-100+ for a non-mechanical ergo keyboard seems much more likely to be willing to pay $150-250 for a mechanical model than the average person who uses their computer 1-2 hours a day for gaming only and could buy a better graphics card with that money instead.

    Further, when you consider the number of mechanical keyboards already on the market as you mentioned - what percentage of that market share can the average manufacturer hope to capture? Does that even end up being much more than 1% of 1% anyway?
    Reply
  • Mickatroid - Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - link

    A lot of assumptions there twtech, not a lot of evidence. Sure, if people prefer split keyboards there are good reasons to make one for them though. FWIW I have never seen the point of a 'natural' keyboard and I spend huge amounts of time typing. I have always thought they were for people who were either injured or who had learned the poor technique of holding their fingers up off the keys rather than letting their hands float over the keyboard and pressing down to type (at which point the relationship between the alignment of keys and the arms stops mattering). It is possibly true that people who are into keyboard ergonomics are past the need for a natural keyboard. Reply
  • twtech - Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - link

    It's about the positioning of your wrists. A natural/split keyboard allows your wrists to remain straight while typing, which is not otherwise possible (at least unless you have a very narrow chest/waist).

    Even if you don't have an RSI injury yet - why not reduce stress on your joints and the likelihood that it will become a problem in the future?

    Obviously I'm making some assumptions here - and adding in some anecdotal evidence as well based on personal experience - but then, you're not going to be able to do much better in regard to the potential sales of a product that doesn't exist unless you've completed a survey to judge interest.

    We do know that Microsoft has been making variants of their natural keyboard design since 1994, and that at launch in 2005 for example the Natural Keyboard 4000 cost $65, which is about $80 in today's money. A mechanical variant would cost more than that obviously, but it does illustrate that natural keyboard users are willing to pay an above-average price for their input device.
    Reply
  • mr_tawan - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 - link

    https://ergodox-ez.com/ does this one count ? Reply
  • twtech - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 - link

    Still different than the MS natural obviously, but still interesting. Thanks for the link.

    I wonder how easy or difficult it is to get used to non-staggered keys. Some of the symbols, etc., are also in non-standard locations - eg. quotation marks below the Z key.

    Still, I'll keep that one in consideration if I end up needing to replace one of my Matias Ergo Pros - I have one that I use at home, and one at work. I already had to replace one of them once because of a coffee accident.
    Reply
  • ddriver - Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - link

    As usual, the obligatory FUGLY font some idiot somewhere decided has a "gamer" ring to it.

    And there follows the obligatory "bbbut... it makes it readable". To which I can only say this - if you need to look at what key captions say, you are a looong way from gamer, or even an adequate PC user for that matter.
    Reply
  • Zim - Thursday, March 23, 2017 - link

    I've got a fever and the only prescription is more keyboard reviews. Reply
  • MamiyaOtaru - Friday, March 24, 2017 - link

    been waiting for this. Wonder why they regressed from millions of colors to 8 when going to the IR switches Reply

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