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I'm trying to improve my working environment and I'm still searching for that perfect keyboard that practically types bug-free code all by itself. At the moment I'm using a Logitech Wave for my Windows need and an Apple Wireless Keyboard (the one without a numeric keypad) when doing OS X stuff. I'm quite happy with the Logitech Wave but I would prefer one without all the extra multimedia buttons.

What I like most about the Apple Wireless Keyboard is that it is very similar to the Macbook's keyboard which for me makes it easier to write code when on my Macbook.

What kind of keyboard would you recommend for going all out writing code until your fingers bleed?

I have remapped the Caps Lock key to Ctrl which after a while feels really good, until I have to sit at another computer or when someone at work is going to show me something on my computer. Are there other little keyboard tricks that you use to get a little bit more productive? I have looked into switching to Dvorak but I have decided it's not for me.

321

I started using Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 at work 1 year ago. At first week it was a bit weird, especially with "Integrated Palm Rest" (4). But then I have got used to it so much and I bought one for my PC at home.

alt text

295

This should be the only keyboard a programmer should need. Okay, I'm probably going to get a lot of down votes for trying to be humorous. but I think it's pretty cool.

alt text

218

I use and love the IBM Model M keyboards, the older you can find the better. The buckling spring keys are so tactile and responsive. This keyboard is possibly the loudest keyboard in existence, but it is incredibly well built and will last forever. The one I currently use is from 1984 and it looks and feels brand new.

149

For windows:

enter image description here

139

alt text

I really like the new Mac keyboard. In the past I've used the one true keyboard, Logitech G15, Microsoft Natural keyboard and many others.

I also started to like the mighty mouse, so you should probably not listen to me - after switching to Mac I probably went soft in the head a little bit.

131

Das Keyboard, of course!

106

My favorite keyboard is the Kinesis Contoured:

which was revamped into the Advantage:

and Advantage Pro:

I love the way the keys are stacked vertically instead of at an angle, and the way both thumbs are fully utilized.

The price tag is a bit scary, but it's well worth $300. (I'd recommend getting the black case, though. It's really easy to tell when the white case is getting dirty.)

100

There's nothing "ergonomic" about most of the keyboards on offer (usually called ergonomic this or that, or have and ergonomics declaration on the pack).

My big beef - the numeric keypad placement. It's the appendix of the PC architecture, but if you really need one, it's in the worst spot (Desktop Keyboards Stuck in Design Limbo).

I see some interesting keyboards in the answers posted that don't have a numeric keypad - but unfortunately availability is a real issue.

alt text

Postscript: since discovered but yet to try the "Evoluent Mouse-Friendly Keyboard". It looks very sleek and perfectly designed to address this issue:

alt text

97

I really like the standard issue Microsoft Comfort Curve keyboard... its 20 bucks ... alt text

*Update just found this for $12 at Office Depot :) Even better deal

69

The Happy Hacking keyboard:

67

I used to go through keyboards like nobodies business. A few years ago I got myself the Logitech G15 and haven't looked back. It's sturdy, reliable and the macro keys are great for automating development processes. The illuminated keys are also great for those late night coding sessions. I should have been on commision though because I have converted loads of people in our company to them.

alt text

53

I couldn't live without my DataHand. I actually have two, shown sitting on the floor in this photo:

It takes time to learn to type on a DataHand, but for me it's been well worth it. The $995 sticker price may be a bit of a shock. But even if you only make $25 an hour, it pays for itself after one week if your body can't handle typing on a regular keyboard any more.

Here's a more polished picture from datahand.com of a DataHand sitting on the provided LapLander (which allows you to put the DataHand on your lap instead of your desk):

DataHand with LapLander

P.S.: The DataHand is for people who want to code all day, without ending up with "bleeding fingers" or RSI in the evening.

48

I am actually quite the fan of the very simplistic, plain, jane keyboard. When I first got on with my new tower I looked at it and laughed but I find it to be a joy to type on, everything is where it belongs and its not this large chunk of plastic.

Dell USB Keyboard

47

I prefer a "IBM" ThinkPad keyboard, which have that little red stick in the middle, as well as a TouchPad. Because so, I don't have to reach out for the mouse now and then. The keyboard also feels good and the layout is ok (although the Fn-key should be banned to hell asap). The keyboard is also a USB-hub.

Shot of a Lenovo ThinkPad keybord

46

I'm surprised nobody else has mentioned it, but get an American layout keyboard.

This is because the functional character set of almost all programming languages were designed when using a US keyboard. Important keys like:

" ; ' { }

are on the home row or close to it. Having to stretch for shift-number combinations hampers productivity.

It may seem like an annoyance if you're used to a Swedish keyboard or whatever, but trust me, it's worth the (surprisingly) minimal time investment.

Of course if you're American, which is likely, this is less useful to you. Me, I'm a Brit and have been programming with US layout for 15 years or so now.

45

Real programmers use one of these:

Symbolics "space cadet keyboard"

Seven modifier keys: Shift, Ctrl, Meta, Super, Hyper, Top and Greek. Parenthesis can be typed without shifting. What's not to like?

;-)

37

You gotta try my Logitech Wave

either corded or cordless. It's really great.

26

The #1 most important feature of a keyboard is ergonomics.

My favorite keyboard is the Microsoft Natural Keyboard Elite.

A number of years ago, I was starting to experience some severe wrist pains: sometimes while typing, or even in my off hours when my hands were resting. I started investigating split keyboards, and decided to try this one based on good reccomendations. Within a week my wrists felt 100x better, and over time the pain went away completely. Now my wrists only hurt after I spend too much time typing on my laptop keyboard.

From an ergonomic perspective, I will use these keyboards whenever possible.

Microsoft Natural Keyboard Elite

24

I generally hate non traditional keyboards, the ones that have a boatload of additional buttons; mostly because they need drivers, and because i don't need the extra stuff taking up my precious space. I don't like wireless ones either.

Searching for a decent keyboard took some time, but i think i found something:

alt text

They keys are wonderful, and it's out of Al.

Review: http://www.trustedreviews.com/peripherals/review/2006/08/18/Enermax-Aurora-Keyboard/p1

24

Others have mentioned the kinesis advantage keyboards - I've given them a try and they are indeed very nice.

However, I instead opted for the cheaper kinesis freestyle:

Kinesis FreeStyle VIP

It's a very high quality keyboard, with a pretty standard layout, except for the obvious difference that it's split into two units.

With regular flat keyboards, I'd tend to have to bend my wrists quite a bit, causing a flare up of pre/early carpal-tunnel symptoms and pain. Standard ergo keyboards like the MS 4000 help, but they don't quite have enough separation. The physical split of the freestyle lets me position the boards for most comfort - with neither of my wrists very bent.

24

I really like the typematrix keyboard. The buttons in a grid instead of offset which makes it easier to type. They also have one that has all blank keys. The blank one takes a little getting used to but once you know it, programming is much faster. For those of you into the Dvorak keys, there is a button to switch to it.

Oh, it's small too.

alt text

21

alt text

21

I know everyone loves the dasKeyboard, and the IBM, so I looked all around and found a USB Keyboard made with buckle-spring tech, with actual letters on the keys. I have one of these babies and I love it. Noise and All.

http://pckeyboards.stores.yahoo.net/customizer.html

I love the throw. It's heavy and has a lovely place for your pencils.

19

alt text

I've been using my Logitech UltraX Flat for over 4 years now and it's great. No key weardown, great tactile response.

I got the UltraX Media variant at previous job and key response was much worse.

Wouldn't hurt to have a standalone Thinkpad keyboard though. Those in T61s are incredible!

16

What You may really want is this: alt text alt text alt text alt text

This keyboard, named Optimus Tactus, is still in concept, design by Artemy Lebedev, russian designer.
http://www.artlebedev.com/everything/optimus-tactus/

Be aware, this thing will be really expensive. But:
- it does not have physical keys, which means there are no restrictions on their shape and size.
- any part of the keyboard surface can be programmed to perform any function or to display any images.

14

I have used the Microsoft Natural keyboard for years (once I got tendonitis in my right arm and started losing strength in it) ... but I never use the NUM pad and so a coworker and I decided to try out the Key Ovation Goldtouch keyboard.

Key Ovation Goldtouch Keyboard

This keyboard is the best keyboard I have ever used. The feel of how the keys press is silky smooth.

Also: not having a NUM pad. Big improvement! The closer you can bring your mouse arm into your body, the better!

11

Robert Höglund writes:

I'm trying to improve my working environment

Then the #1 thing that you should be concerned about is ergonomics, not the fastest or least error prone keyboard that will also accomodate finger bleeding sessions! RSI is serious business.

The Good Keyboard

11

I've been using the Logitech MX5000 for a couple of years now, and I love it.

I love the little LCD screen that displays emails as they come in, and saves me the trouble of switching to Outlook for unimportant emails. It also displays the time and date, and has a little built-in calculator. These things may seem small and trivial, but they all add up and save time.

Plus, it is very customizable. You can personalize a lot of the keys to do pretty much anything from launching apps to opening web pages, folders or files.

MX5000

10

I have used a Natural Ergo 4000, but the rubber dome keyswitches changed their "feel" in time, so I looked for keyboards with mechanical keyswitches: at work I use a Cherry G80-11900:

G80-11900

And at home a Cherry G80-3000:

G80-3000

They both use the same gold crosspoint contacts found in Das Keyboard or Kinesis keyboards. The G80-3000 is available with click (G80-3000LSC), soft click (G80-3000LQC) or normal linear (G80-3000LPC) switches.

8

I recently acquired a Das Keyboard Professional (not the one with blank keys) and I love the way the keys throw as I type. It is hard to explain but it just feels better when you type. I definitely think it has made me more productive.

alt text

8

Rufo Sanchez wrote:

Personally, I have a huge soft spot for buckling-spring keyboards like the original IBM Model M

I love the old IBM Model M keyboard. It's a classic. I've bought never-been-used 15-year-old Model M keyboards before.

A caveat: vintage IBM ps/2 keyboards aparently pull more current compared to modern keyboards and the vast majority of commonly available ps2 to USB adapters do not work with them. To get an old PS/2 one to work on new USB-only motherboards, you'll need a USB converter.

8

You know you want the Optimus Keyboard! If you can afford it, it looks amazing.

http://www.artlebedev.com/everything/optimus/

Optimus Maximus Keyboard

7

I like the Microsoft Natural keyboards too -- splitting the keyboard down the middle may seem awkward at first, but once you get used to it, it just feels more... "natural".

But if your goal is to "type bug-free code all by itself" then your IDE may have a much bigger impact on productivity. Choose an IDE that has excellent code completion and refactoring tools. If you're already locked into an IDE, then learn more of its features so you can squeeze more "juice" of it.

After all, why do the heavy lifting yourself when you have an IDE power tool? You shouldn't have to write any more template methods or manually code refactoring tasks that can be determined programmatically.

(Personally, I'm using IntelliJ IDEA right now. I really like its slick code completion and powerful refactoring capabilities.)

7

The "classic" Microsoft Natural Keyboard, not one of those annoying versions with redesigned layout of the Cursor and Home/Del/... keys and/or the blue function buttons at the very top. No, for me this is the ONLY version of the Natural Keyboard that deserves to be remembered as a great keyboard. I even stocked up a few via ebay once the old version was replaced with the ugly new ones because there wasn't anything remotely comparable available or in sight.

This one here is the US version, which i found less preferable than the European version because the RETURN key is as small as the right SHIFT key and easy to confuse while typing. In the european (german at least) version the RETURN key is bigger (L-shaped because it merged with the key above RETURN).

Classic Microsoft Natural Keyboard

Version with german layout:

German version

7

I used the Cherry G83 for many years, until 2 years ago I switched to the Cherry G230 (Evolution Stream) with it's flat notebook-like design, because I often have to switch between my notebook and my desktop pc. having two similar keyboard makes live easier.

Evolution Stream (G230)

http://www.noisy-tec.de/shop/images/cherry_stream.jpg

Cherry G83

http://www.mb-tech.at/images/Cherry_G83schwarz.jpg

6

I got one of Apple's the new aluminum keyboards with my iMac and found it so easy to type code with I bought 2 more: One for work and one for my gaming computer. The only downside is that Windows kind of screws up some of the keys (eg, I can't get 'insert' to work at all, but who uses that?)... It's totally worth it, though.

In short, stick with what you have.

6

I think the Apple A1048 (wired and Bluetooth variants) is the best keyboard they've made in a long time. I also settled (finally) on a Logitech G15 for my home machine when I was able to score one from Amazon for < $40. That was a steal. :)

Apple A1048

6

I've always been a sucker for those beautiful Logitech Dinovo keyboards.

Dinovo Media Desktop Laser

I've used both the first generation and the second generation (with the MX1000 laser mouse). I liked the low-profile buttons and the mobile numpad although the numbad really drains battery when used with the Logitech-drivers (which provides email notifications, current song, etc).

When my office Dinovo broke I figured that perhaps it was time to try something new (the fact that the Dinovo relatively pricy didn't help). I looked at the Dinovo Edge but I didn't like it. I finally settled on the Microsoft Wireless Desktop 7000 and I think I'm hooked. Great looker (it's wireless so no ugly cables on my desk) and the keys are tactile. I've always like ergonomic keyboards and while this isn't "hardcore ergonomic" it's comfortable and I really like the wrist support.

Microsoft Wireless Desktop 7000

6

I've been using an IBM model M15 for years now, and bought a second one on eBay last year. They're not cheap, but have made a huge difference to my ability to get work done. The halves are fully separable as you can see, so I can keep my shoulders relaxed (I have a shoulder injury that makes this difficult if my hands are too close together).

Model M15

If I can't use a M15 (or the typing noise irritates others around me), I like the SGI/Dell AT101 keyboard and Apple Extended Keyboard (for the latter you'll need an ADB-USB adapter such as the Griffin iMate).

6

Currently using and love the IBM Trackpoint Keyboard. My hands never leave the Keyboard.

alt text

6

Jeff Atwood's blog inspired me to respond to this thread after his post on keyboards.

Personally, I like laptop style keyboards. I've always loved the look and feel (some more than others, of course). Logitech diNovo Edge was an excellent addition, however the lack of a number pad was annoying. I currently use the Logitech Illuminated Keyboard: alt text

It feels great, although a little bit more 'clicky' than I'm used to. It's super thin, but still has a similar layout to old keyboards.

So there are my 2 cents.

6

5

I've got the old Das Keyboard with blank keys - it takes a bit of getting used but after a while you just don't look at the keyboard any more. The only time it causes a problem is if, say, you have to try typing in a password with one hand while holding a phone in the other.

The clicking keys feel nice but are quite noisy - they might annoy your colleagues. The keyboard itself is quite big and seems like it should last a long time.

5

I use a Fingerworks LP which is by far the best keyboard for doing shortcuts....think of it as two giant iPhones on a slanted stand with half the keys on each side. Fingerworks website

alt text

5

alt text

DHARMA POINT Technical Keyboard. Incorrectly advertised as a real force keyboard tweaked for gaming it's a great keyboard for programming. The keys are light and big.

I'm using it everyday at work, and since I bought it my hands doesn't ache anymore.

5

I'm currently rocking an older Dell "model M" like this one at home:

alt text

But I'll be replacing it and the membrane keyboard at work with IBM Model Ms in the near future. Though, I must admit, I'm considering the Unicomp Customizer 104/105s as well. Anyone have an experience with the Unicomp releases?

alt text

5

I vote for the Dvorax TypeMatrix Keyboard!

Not only it is small, reducing the gesture to reach the mouse, when necessary, but it's design is also made to reduce finger's movement while typing. Aligning keys vertically is really a simple but brilliant idea, it ease reaching upper keys comparing to other keyboards.

And of course, the Dvorak layout is also a great improvment comparing to the old timer qwerty (or any other "designed for typewriter layout").

5

I've got a Dell SK-8135, which is essentially the same keyboard as mentioned here on CodingHorror, but with the addition of some media control buttons (stop, track skip, play/pause, etc).

The media controls are a must-have if you listen to music while coding and you don't want to have to lift your hand to the mouse to find Windows Media Player.

I've never been one for ergonomic keyboards. I find -- as long as my desk's the right height, and there's plenty of space in front of the keyboard to rest my arms -- that I don't get carpal.

5

I've always wanted the MS Wireless Entertainment Desktop 8000: MS WED 8000

  • Cordless
  • Rechargable
  • Trick magnets "suck" the keyboard in to the dock
  • Bluetooth, but works out of the box
  • USB hub in the dock
  • Mouse recharges in the dock, too
  • Backlit
  • Proximity sensor turns it on when your hands approach
  • Touchpad built in to keyboard
  • Good mouse and key feel

Function keys are non-moving capacitance or whatever, so they may be annoying if you use them a lot.

5

Symbolics new style keyboard

I'm using a Symbolics keyboard with my Mac. Very heavy. Larger keys on the outside. Programmer-oriented keys (complete, suspend, resume, abort, network, refresh, mode lock, ...), tons of modifiers (shift, control, meta, super, hyper, symbol), RUBOUT on the left (very convenient), unshifted parentheses, unlimited key rollover, REPEAT key (for the hardcore user), very solid construction.

More here: Using the Symbolics Keyboard on the Mac

4

A caveat: vintage IBM ps/2 keyboards aparently pull more current compared to modern keyboards and the vast majority of commonly available ps2 to USB adapters do not work with them. To get an old PS/2 one to work on new USB-only motherboards, you'll need a USB converter.

I actually didn't have any problems with a cheap $10 adapter I picked up at Staples - I think it was a Belkin. (It did get a little funky on occasion when I switched my KVM switch, but it always came back if I unplugged/replugged the cable.

Regardless, the Model Ms are great - the only reason I moved up to the Unicomp was because a Mac keyboard without Command keys is akin to cutting off your thumbs. :-)

4

I use the Kensington "Slim Type Keyboard PC". It has low action keys exactly like most laptops have. Costs about $30 USD.

Kensington Slim Type PC

4

No one is going to vote for this... but I sometimes I miss my Apple II+ keyboard, because it had a repeat key.

4

Well, this has got to be the best keyboard for haxx0rs:

CORSAIR: Ergonomic Keyboard For Pirates

3

I've been using MS Natural keyboards for ages: Impressive.

The feel is very natural (no pun intented) to me and I've adopted it everywhere I worked (Usually by bringing my own keyboard instead of the Dell Generic Keyboard). There are some other keyboard that are equally interesting, but once you've found what you like most, why bother to change?

My advice is to get to your nearest computer store and try everything they have on display and choose one. Or you can believe me right away and order a MS Natural lol...

PS: I have no affiliation with Microsoft... Just happen to like that particular keyboard.

3

At work I use a Goldtouch split keyboard, purchased with my own funds:

I used this keyboard as an intern and really loved it. I bought a brand new one, but the action sucked (the keys would never snap back and would trigger multiple times for single key presses) and they redesigned it by moving keys directly to the right of the backspace key (ouch). I sent it back and bought a used one on eBay. YMMV.

At home I use and love my MacBook Pro's laptop keyboard. I would probably get a wireless aluminum Mac keyboard for any Mac/desktop situation. On a related note, I think the thumb-positioned Mac shortcut modifier key (command or "apple" key on the Mac) is much better ergonomically for common ZXCV commands than using Ctrl with the pinky on Windows/Linux. What do others think?

BTW I have an old (working) Model M exactly like DanV's above, from back in the day. Would I be remiss if I did not sell it on eBay to put it back into circulation? (instead of e-wasting it?) I used to love it but it is pretty loud and it wasn't the best for my wrists...

3

I like the Adesso Tru-Form keyboard.

I don't care for the extra multimedia keys, but this keyboard had the least amount of extra keys out of the available/affordable ergonomic keyboards. New Egg product page

3

I use an Avant Stellar from Creative Vision Technologies. It has the individual spring action on each key, which is a big plus. I was getting severe pain in my finger bones after a few hours of coding with a normal membrane-type keyboard. Also, the keyboard is fully programmable, and comes with extra keycaps. (I keep mine in a "Unix" layout with the control key on the home row.) Finally, the keyboard is weighted with a solid metal bottom, which helps keep it in one place on a desk.

The only downside with this keyboard is the amount of noise it generates, especially when touch typing. You might as well be using a typewriter. The keyboard is also larger than normal which can be an issue in tight quarters or when using with a keyboard drawer.

3

obviously laser keyboard

alt text

3

I have a keyboard spray-painted in blue matte finish with clear coating on top, car paint to be exact. No keys visible anywhere.

It doesn't guarantee bug-free code, but it does let me have my computer 100% to myself, which is a big bonus :)

As a side-feature it can be used to impress new visitors to our offices.

Now, as for writing bug-free code, oy od jstfrt yjsm upi yjoml- _=


Edit: Ok, upon request I'm posting two photos of the keyboard :) Note that these are iPhone photos so not the best quality.

Image 1
Image 2

Larger versions here and here.

Also note that this keyboard is somewhat a test version, I'm planning on getting my friend that did this to use a better keyboard soon, possibly one of the bigger Microsoft keyboards.

3

Kinesis Ergononme Keyboard, Freestyle solo USB --> [see PDF Brochure]

Available for purchase @ CyberGuys.com for $99.95

Kinesis Ergonomic Keyboard, Freestyle solo USB, Black by DS International Kinesis Ergonomic Keyboard, Freestyle solo USB, Black by DS International

3

A keyboard I saw many years ago at Comdex I think had the potential to be very good but they didn't do it right. The keyboard was built into a chair, one half on the left arm and one half on the right arm. It would be virtually impossible to use if you weren't a touch typist but it only took me a few seconds to get the weird setup out of my mind and simply type--touch typing reflexes work perfectly despite having the pieces widely separated. Your arm rested on the chair arm and it held your hand at the right position to type.

Unfortunately the fools took this good idea and ruined it with a terrible keyboard. I never saw anything of them after that.

3

You'll be amazed by how superior is in fact the spanish layout when it comes to terms of coding, of course it has some useless keys for anglosaxon languages but advantages makes up for it. Take a look.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keyboard_layout#Spanish_.28Latin_America.29

Just take a look at the brackets dynamic, instead of having ; and : on the same key you get { and with shift [.

You get , and ; sharing the same key as . and : do. It suffices that you are fast enough with the shift key and you'll be coding faster than in your american layout performance.

Trust me

3

A TrulyErgonomic seems to be viable alternative to Kinesis Advantage, Maltron or TypeMatrix keyboards.

It has a split, V-aligned and waved (look at your hand in a relaxed position) layout. The main feature is that keys are stacked vertically one above the other.

The delivery date is estimated to be March 2011.

TrulyErgonomic with palm rests

And without detachable palm rest.

TrulyErgonomic without palm rests

Blank keyboards without any letters or marks on the keys, like dasKeyboard, are also promised.

3

@Duncun:

I couldn't agree more. I love my MS4000!

A while ago my wrists started hurting really bad, and I finally narrowed it down to the asinine way normal keyboards tilt towards you. The MS4000 tilts away from you so that your arm forms a straight line all the way to your first knuckle preventing the top of your wrists from being strained...

2

I have never loved a keyboard like I have loved my diNovo. I promptly discarded the bundled mouse, but the keyboard is nearly perfect.

I haven't tried the newer diNovo Edge yet, but it looks even better (and avoids wasting money on the clunky wireless mouse).

2

I've used the Microsoft Natural-series keyboards, and those are quite good if you're big on the ergonomics. Duncan has a link to the current 4000 model.

Personally, I have a huge soft spot for buckling-spring keyboards like the original IBM Model M or (if you have an Apple background) the Apple Extended Keyboard I/II; there's a tremendous amount of tactile feel you miss out on with newer keyboards, and personally, I feel it really helps with my typing.

If you like those, you'll love the Unicomp Customizer series - I prefer the 104 since I work on a Mac and I need the Windows keys to act as Command keys, but they also have a 101-style if you prefer your keyboards without the new-style Microsoft keys.

It might take some experimentation, but it's well worth it if you can get a keyboard that you can type on for hours without feeling any fatigue.

2

I've been through approximately 15 keyboards in the last 6 years, at home, at university and at work.

So far, my favourites have been some properly old school keyboards that we had lying around at uni, which were made by a company called "Ergotronics", I believe (they were pretty much unbranded). These keyboards were quite heavily sloped toward you (I tend to use a high wrist rest, so my hand is pretty much flat), and the keys were very "clacky", giving great quality tactile feedback. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find these keyboards (or anything like them) for sale anywhere since I killed my last one.

I'm now onto a Dell SK-8115 (as featured on Coding Horror here). So far, this keyboard has been with me a year, and is only really starting to show signs of wear now. It's got a great minimal footprint, having about a 2mm border outside the keys, and I love the oversized space bar. The only mod I made to it was to remove the caps lock -- the few times I need to write in all caps, I can cope with holding shift.

Personally, my ideal would be something along the lines of the Happy Hacker keyboards mentioned above, since I found (through much experimentation) that the major cause of RSI-related issues for me was having to reach an extra 4 inches across a numpad and cursor key group. To get around this (and to give my right wrist a break), I switched to mousing "goofy" a while back.

2

If you don't want a keyboard that is completely split (I found it hard to go back and forth between split and normal keyboards) I would recommend the Microsoft Comfort Curve 2000. It has a slightly more ergonomic layout without completely separating the keys. My favorite part about this keyboard is that the keys are halfway between the height/travel of a laptop keyboard and a traditional computer keyboard making typing require less effort. It is also a lot cheaper than the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic keyboard.

2

If you like natural keyboards then the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 4000 is definitely the way to go. I've got one at home and at work. The only thing I dislike about the keyboard is the lack of next/previous track buttons. Thank you Winamp global keys.

2

I got the Razer Turantula for Christmas and have been very happy with it. It has a good selection of media buttons and 10 customizable buttons that can be programmed however you like. The keys feel very smooth as well, so I think it's a good keyboard all around.

2

I'm going to agree with Bill. I love my Kinesis Advantage Pro USB keyboard. While a bit pricey, it's helped my wrists and forearms, which were really getting bad. I'm also pretty rough on keyboards (like "Hulk Smash!" rough), and it's held up quite nice.

A caveat: It took me a few days of constant use to get comfortable with the contoured design and the foot pedal. Those first few days were less productive.

2

I use the Logitech Office Comfort Keyboard at the moment. I really like it. It has the ergonomic split as some of the above keyboards have.

Keyboard

2

I just got a Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 at work. I really like it. It took a while to get used to the ergonomic design. I especially like the short cut buttons (calculator!!!).

2

Definitely the IBM Model M. I'm currently using one from 1989. I've not done any typing tests comparing keyboards, but it seems that I type more accurately and faster using the Model M. Plus, it is just cool hearing the keys click!

2

Has anyone tried the Virtual Keyboard? I'm curious as to how well it works, as well as to how it influences productivity...although curious onlookers might bother you as you use it. :)

2

www.safetype.com

alt text

2

I like the bog standard Dell USB Keyboard, the reduced sides fit my hands perfectly

2

Very old question, but people should really consider the Keytronic keyboards. In particular I love the Classic-U. It's USB and comes in beige or black. The backslash is in a different location that you might be used to.

But the keyboard feels great, and it's also only about $35.

2

My favorite is the Microsoft Comfort Curve keyboard.

Microsoft Comfort Curve keyboard

It's cheap, it has a standard key layout, and the curve is perfect for comfort.

I use a Natural Keyboard Elite at work, but I prefer the Comfort Curve because it doesn't have an integrated wrist rest. I prefer using a separate Imak wrist rest because they're much better than hard plastic.

2

A lot of people get attached to particular keyboards, but once you've tried something different you realise that almost all the keyboards on the market are the same, and there's a few far superior but more expensive keyboards which actually change your typing experience.

Those I know of with a significant difference to the typing experience are:

These are all significantly more expensive than normal keyboards, and are normally aimed at people who suffer from RSI. Make no mistake though, they reduce this suffering by improving postural problems and by reducing finger movement. The latter will help your typing speed.

Of these, I have only tried the Kinesis contoured keyboards, of which I now own two. They take a week or two to get used to, and then you find that:

  • You can type more accurately because the keys are arranged in vertical lines instead of in diagonals
  • Typing is more comfortable because your palms are supported
  • You type faster, because your fingers don't travel as far (keys arranged in a well around your fingers)
  • All the important modifier keys are on your thumbs, which are fast and strong. No more stretching awkwardly to do some command.

If you're serious about what's the best keyboard, I'm sure it will be one of the three keyboard types mentioned. They seem to be the only significant re-imaginings of what typing could be like. I highly recommend the Kinesis contoured ones. Hopefully someone will post reviews of the others.

2

Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000

and '6' is not on the wrong side of the keyboard ;-P

2

Nothing fancy, but I really enjoy BTC 8190, the Cut + Copy + Paste keys and Scroll Pad are REALLY useful, if you put your fingers over the space bar you can access all these keys using only your thumb.

BTC 8190

2

I got a Logitech Illuminated Keyboard not too long ago, and I'm very happy with it: http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/keyboards/keyboard/devices/4740&cl=us,en

First of all, it types very quietly -- which is important to me. Second, it's illuminated which I like to facilitate typing when the room is dark.

Finally, it's minimalistic and stylish.

I'm very happy with it.

1

It's nothing special, but I love my Logitech G15.

It has

  • LED lights under every key
  • programmable LCD display
  • 18 programmable macro keys

Your language/IDE of choice is probably a bigger factor in easily writing code than your keyboard. You should be spending more time thinking than typing.

1

I haven't found the best keyboard but I'm throwing a 'down vote' at the Logitech 'diNovo' bluetooth keyboard and media-pad.

The keyboard (not media pad) feels really nice with laptop-ish keys but the media-pad is a joke. If unused for approx 15 minutes it disconnects itself (I'm assuming to save batteries) but does not give any indication of it's 'disconnected' status so when you go to type some numbers with it there is a lag of a few seconds before they show up onscreen while it re-connects. As a result, the numbers will appear halfway through the next word you are typing. Very disconcerting to say the least.

Hope this save someone from 'number lag hell'. Cheers, David H Aust

1

The best keyboard is the one you are most used to. Learn to touch type and practice at that will help productivity. Dvorak is supposed to be good for speed, but there is a learning curve to that.

Learning the ins and outs of your editor will bring you most productivity. A guru in VI will out code a muppet in Visual Studio.

1

If you like the feel of typing on a laptop keyboard, I found a great external keyboard that has that awesome "scissor-key" feel. I can't recommend it highly enough. About $33 with shipping from NewEgg:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823110007

1

The MS Natural Ergonomic 4000 has been the best keyboard I've used, hands down (pun somewhat intended). Logitech makes keyboards with similar layouts, but the NEK4k is unique in that it doesn't feel crowded, and all the keys are easy to type with.

1

I think I might like to try the Das Keyboard.

John Downey wrote:

I recently acquired a Das Keyboard ... and I love the way the keys throw as I type.

Does the Das Keyboard really feel and sound like a model M?

Das Keyboard specifications:

Das Keyboard compares to the legendary IBM model M. Its best-in-class mechanical gold-plated key switches provide a tactile and audio click that makes typing pure joy.

1

@Vincent Robert (answer)

It seemed like my typing wasn't as fast as my thinking. It should of course be ...(the one without a numeric keypad)... Post updated, thanks.

1

If you like natural keyboards, Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 is definitely the way to go. I've got one at home and at work. The one thing i dislike about the keyboard is the lack of next/previous track. I workaround by by global keys in (winamp).

1

I'm using a Sun Type 6 Keyboard in the Unix layout. My previous favorite was the Apple Extended Keyboard II. Apple also made the Apple Adjustable Keyboard that came in three pieces (left, right, and number/function key)--the left/right pieces were detached and could be placed at any angle or distance (though the included ADB cable was very short--but longer ones could be used). I won't use a split keyboard until I find an adjustable one.

sun type 6 keyboard in Unix layout with mouse

1

I've always gone for ergo keyboards. The microsoft natural 4000 seems best bang for the buck with a few nice built in keys (Calculator is oddly wonderful).

1

I bought one of the Logitech Newtouch keyboards not so long ago and so far I'm pretty happy with it. It's a nice no nonsense keyboard with no extra multimedia keys which keeps it nice and compact.

One thing to be aware of is the orientation of the Home/Insert/Delete/Page up/Down bar of keys. It's 2x3 not 3x2 so if you're not used to that it can take some getting used to

1

Another vote for DAS Keyboard. Although it makes typing passwords quite difficult and I forget where numerical operators on the num pad are at times. The 'throw' of the keystrokes really is the best part. Also, it's great to watch other people sit down at my computer and have no idea what to do with a blanked out keyboard. Unfortunately, the DAS Keyboard has doubled in price since when I originally purchased mine.

1

I find the biggest impact is when I have the same keyboard available at home and at work. There are few things that are as frustrating as having to re-train your brain and fingers from one environment to the next because you keep missing the Shift key...

I am currently using the Logitech Wave keyboard at both locations. I was using the Microsoft Comfort Curve 2000, but I kept having problems with the bottom rows of keys always breaking after a month or so of solid programming.

1

I also have the Kinesis Countoured Advantage. I've only had it for 3 days though, so my reactions could be premature.

My number one complaint for programming is the placement of the [{]} keys. They are really far down from your pinkie and ring finger, a little to far for my taste.

The biggest pro (other than amazing ergonomics) is the on board memory. I use dvorak with a couple customizations. In linux with other keyboards I have to set my X keyboard, use xmodmap for the customizations, and then set up extra keyboards to rotate between in case a co-worker or someone else needs to type on my computer. With the kinesis, it switches itself to dvorak, and my special customizations are all programmed into the keyboard itself. This makes it easier to reboot into windows and have all my customizations, etc.

1

I use the Microsoft Wireless Natural multimedia keyboard and Wireless intellimouse 2.0... been using for well over 3 years -- typing is generally bug free.. mouse is acceptably accurate and responsive. I simply cannot ever see using a standard non-ergonomic keyboard for work --

On tactile feedback - i agree the old clicky IBM keyboards were the most enjoyable to use - but i find I have found the softer, but still clickly action on the MS keyboard very comforatable.

1

I just bought a dasKeyboard (unfortunately with printed keys, oh well), and I love it.

I liked the IBM Model M keyboards, but hands down my favorite keyboard of all time was the one that shipped with NeXTStations.

The dasKeyboard actually reminds me more of the NeXTstation keyboard than the Model M. It's very nice to type on, and is heavy enough to stay in one spot on the desk when furiously typing.

1

When I read here I think it looks more that people that buy some expensive keyboard takes the effort to learn It thoroughly.

Why not learn a common keyboard thoroughly and then be efficient no matter where one has to use a keyboard, than being very non-efficient away from the "golden keyboard".

Link 1

Link 2

1

I especially like Keyboards that behave like Laptop keyboards in that they're silent and the keys offer only the slightest bit of resistance and go down only a few millimeters. I also found that for me, it's very important that the individual keys feel very "sharp" and responsive when they are pressed.

If you're like me, you'll probably like one of these keyboards:

  • the BenQ X-Touch series of keyboards, which are quite cheap, and still awesome to type on.
  • Some Logitech keyboards have these keys as well, but you'll have to look for yourself which ones.
  • The Apple Aluminum Keyboard. On a Mac, it's perfect. On a Windows or Linux PC however, you might find it annoying that the "Alt" and "Windows"-keys are swapped. If you can live with that, it's awesome.

So these are my suggestions. If you want to try this kind of keyboard without spending too much money, consider getting an X-Touch.

bye Winsmith

1

I like the Cherry eVolution.!The haptic is very good (like a Notebook keyboard). I don't know if this is available in the US.

Cherry eVolution

1

nothing special?? The g15 is amazing or at least to me it is.

I got it when i graduated high school mainly for gaming but then when I got to college and started programming late at night for class/homework the LED keys helped immensely since I don't have perfect typing skills (I always place my hands in the wrong spot and end up a key to far right or left).

The LCD display is very helpful to and a fun thing to mess around with when you have nothing else to do. Although I still haven't found time to play around with writing any plug-ins for it.

1

Another vote for the Apple Aluminum Keyboard. It's quiet and good-looking and I like that kind of keys (moving with very little resistance and just some millimeters). However, it's not everybody's taste - two people in our company ditched them, one for an Apple Wireless w/ numpad (the older model, looks like this), the other for a Logitech Cordless Mac desktop.

I used a Logitech Wave before, which was quite nice in the beginning, but after just 9 months some keys are moving like they are half stuck (arrows were the worst).

In regard to layouts, if you have ever had to code with some non-US layout (like german, swedish, or in my case, estonian, where you have to press alt/option for []{} ) you will find that the US layout is actually quite nice. ;)

1

I also use the Microsoft Ergonomic 4000, I used to get bad Carpel Tunnel Syndrome in my right hand, and this has almost disappeared since starting to use a split MS keyboard back when the original Natural keyboard came out.

The 4000 is a big improvement over the first natural keyboard, I love the soft wrist pads, and the extra function buttons at the top come in handy too.

1

I also like the new apple keyboard and really is a space saver on my tiny desk at work. It also has two usb connectors, so the tiny cord on the mighty mouse connects nicely. I also liked the previous version of the mac keyboard but the keys on the new one are much softer when typing. Its only $49 (was $59 i believe) from apple, http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB110LL/A

But the new keyboard comes with any new mac :)

1

The new mac keyboard is really good, and this is coming from some one who originally thought that it would be horrible.

1

@ Maudite:

I'm a little sceptical about custom keyboards. If I get too accustomed to a keyboard with a different layout, I'll have trouble coding properly with a normal keyboard. All that muscle memory learnt is going to cause me to hit the wrong key, probably slowing things down.

I'll probably not go for a custom layout keyboard because of this reason. Unless of course, I take the custom keyboard with me wherever I go. Now that'll burnish my nerd image!

1

I guess I'm the anti-ergonomic guy, but I've tried and TRIED to use those "natural" keyboards. I have mild CTS, and these 'boards actually make it MUCH worse.

1

I love my IBM Model M, but my fellow cubefarm coworkers couldn't stand it because it was so loud.

1

Until recently I use a flat logitech keyboard. Now I use the new Apple wifi keyboard. It is just so small and I never ever use the numeric pad since I quit doing ascii chars in my ms-dos programs.

The Apple wifi keyboard is just so small and light and feels nice to the touch. Somehow I am really liking this keyboard

1

Here's another vote for the Model M. Got two off eBay...they both have "Property of Ford Motor Company" stickers on them!

1

I have recently started using the Logitech Comfort Desktop, it is by far the most comfotable keyboard that I have used.

Ergonomic curve contour shaping and nice keys, it does have a few media keys but they are minimal and accompanied by 4 preset keys which can be assigned as you find appropriate.

Dave

1

I like the feel/travel of 2 KBs: Matias' $35-$50 keyboards best (haven't tried $150 tactile pro)

http://matias.ca/products/index.php

and the new mac (aluminum) wired keyboard.

Here's a long analysis of keyboard design:
http://amarsagoo.blogspot.com/2008/05/science-of-keyboard-design.html

RSI: here's a little set of 3 wrist curl/extension exercises i wrote up
http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=199553

1

I am very happy with my Deck Legend

http://www.deckkeyboards.com/

1

I have tried more than 10 different keyboards. But if I were to give the best, it would be to Dinovo Edge. The only bad thing about it is the crappy Logitech Setpoint software

Dinovo Edge

1

My current favorite is the Kinesis Maxim keyboard. The things that make the difference for me:

  • Tilt angle and spread of keys is adjustable
  • No numeric keypad to reduce travel between home row and mouse
  • Quickly adjusts to a 'standard' keyboard for pairing with people who do not like split keyboards

1

I've liked the Logitech diNovo keyboards since I got my first. I find its much easier to type on them with the flatter keys. I've also come to like the small size of the eeePc keyboards. My hands are small enough that they fit quite well on them and I find them easier to type on then regular keyboards now.

1

Obligatory:

"Keyboard, how quaint!" -- Scotty

1

TouchStream Stealth from Fingerworks are the best keyboards ever made.

The keyboard doubles as a trackpad/mouse, so you don't have the strain of reaching for a mouse, and you can use gestures for tab/right click etc. See the flash tutorials at:

http://www.fingerworks.com/userguides.html

Sadly, they went out of business a few years back; their multitouch technology was bought by a company called pear or kumquat or something, who wanted to incorporate it into a phone they were making. Wonder what happened to that project ? :)

I bought one of these keyboards 5 years ago after a bad attack of RSI threatened to end my career.. Offers to buy it are usually met with sentences involving the phrase 'cold dead hands'.

1

I have a Filco Majestouch with brown cherry switches (and another at work with alps style clickety-clacky switches). I can't decide which one I like better.

majestouch keyboard

They're both satisfyingly heavy and great to type on. I only wish the right control key wasn't so far away, and the return key was a little bigger. The feet have no rubber on them, so I attached some dishwashing glove fingertips to them with elastic bands.

1

I'd suggest one with Mechanical Keys. It's fun to have a clicking sound and enjoy the feeling that you really are a programmer. But, sometimes when someone in the room is asleep, it is annoying.

The keys do not become hard quickly and do not give strain to your fingers

I've the TVS Gold Keyboard. It's what I've seen. It'd be very nice of you if you could find me another Mechanical keyboard.

1

If you have or are in danger of developing repetitive strain injury, you need a keyboard that doesn't demand mechanical force to press the keys. Aside from the laser keyboards other answers have mentioned (which I haven't tried), I know of exactly one such available for sale anywhere in the world today:

http://www.specialneedscomputers.ca/index.php?l=product_detail&p=127

Been using it since last year, highly recommended. If you're reluctant to buy from a company with "special needs" in its name -- so was I, until I realized I just had to think of it as a rationality test!

1

How about an AlphaGrip

AlphaGrip

1

For my development machine at work, I prefer a very basic Logitech keyboard. Such as this Logitech 350 Internet Keyboard:

I was choosing a keyboard just now (to replace a clunky standard Fujitsu Siemens one) and test-drived this against Logitech's UltraX flat model, which admittedly looks way more elegant, but whose feel when typing was slightly "wrong" somehow, for me.

What I like about this basic Logitech keyboard:

  • The feel is a good compromise - pressing the keys requires neither too much pressure nor too little.
  • Function keys and the "Insert/Delete/Home/End" block are laid out "normally" (and not, for example, so that the latter are grouped together with Prt Scr / Scroll Lock). To me this makes a surprisingly big difference in how natural it feels to use the keyboard.

Cost of the Logitech 350 is a whopping ?10 where I live. =)

1

I like laptop type keyboards. They can easy to handle and they are very effective once you get used to it.

1

you wrote that dvorak is not your choice? have you considered using neo-layout? it's not only optimized for german (mainly) and english language, but also maps the capslock key to a modifier to access all characters important for programming.

very nice is also level 4 which features numpad and a navigation block integrated into the ?letters?-area of your keyboard. i can?t imagine coding without.

definitely worth a try!

1

I love the SUN Keyboards, you doesn't need to press Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V and that stuff, just press Copy, Paste... Sweet.

Another vote for Model M, I've enjoyed typing one of these for years and all the key labels still look like brand new

Keyboard Helpers

1

The best keyboard I've used till now is my Dell Studio XPS 13's keyboard. It just feels right and it's backlit. I've been looking around for a similar keyboard, and even the expensive ones lack something compared to it. Probably the one that comes close is the Logitech DiNuvo.

alt text

1

The keyboard of Truly Ergonomic is currently under market research...

It could be my next buy ...

1

Cherry Strait alt text

1

I prefer an Apple Keyboard. It is nice , slim and very easy to use. And it doesn't make as much noise as other keyboards do when you type on it.

1

I use a standard DELL keyboard: DELL keyboard

I love it for the clear and simple layout, especially the way the Insert/Delete/... keys are arranged. Even though it is cheap, the typing response is clear and suits me well.

Additionally it has a small footprint on my desk which is advantageous. I extra bought a second one to have one at home too.

1

use the wireless mac keyboard on your pc as well. try colemak, unlike dvorak, its not a scam, unlike qwerty, its not made up out of thin air. also imb m (or other m) are nice, but dont trust that das keyboard, they are very cheaply made. the end

1

I use the Logitech S510 keyboard. I love typing on it. It's low profile and the keys are somewhere between a normal keyboard and a laptop keyboard as far as depth. I have a newer keyboard, but recently fixed this one and no am back to using it!

Although now that I see I can buy a ThinkPad keyboard this thing may get replaced! I love the keyboard on my ThinkPad and if the desktop version of the board is anywhere as nice as the one on my laptop, I'm sold.

1

I like Apple's Revolutionary Approach ;)

Revolutionary!

0

I've got a DAS Keyboard and an old IBM (not the really old M, slightly newer but still very tactile) The DAS is much louder than the IBM and the keys aren't quite as heavy on the DAS. That being said, I much prefer typing on DAS, it seems to me that I can get going faster than I can actually type on the DAS, so I guess I need to increase my skill.

That being said I use a crappy Gateway keyboard at work and it treats me ok. One of these days I'll get around to replacing it, but for the time being it gets the job done with out putting me in pain. I steering away from the DAS because it's so noisy I think it might offend my co-workers.

I did have an MX5000 but I found the keys too mushy and every once in a while it would lag behind what I was typing by almost a full second. I think it had something to do with the Bluetooth stack but still, unacceptable.

0

Although I am far more picky about my mouse than my keyboard, I use either my IBM model M or my slightly newer AT clicky keyboard from my 386 (branding say "LASER"). Although its not the tank the IBM is, I think I prefer the tactile feedback on the generic. At home I usually use my Saitek Eclipse II, mainly for its looks, but it feels pretty nice too.

0

This is slightly OT, but have you considered replacing your mouse? I've got an MS Ergonomic 4000 keyboard, and that helped to reduce my wrist pain, but it only fully left once I started using a Logitech Trackman.

0

I'm with Girai -- I'm a huge fan of my Enermax Aurora, it's by far the best keyboard I've ever owned. It doesn't come with whizzbang features and an excessive amount of extra multimedia buttons, it's a great keyboard for development. I have talked about it a little bit on my blog (sorry for the shameless plug). Features include:

  • Brushed aluminium keyboard -- quality build.
  • Quiet keys - doesn't keep the family awake while I'm hacking away during the night.
  • Standard layout (underestimated feature imho :)).
  • Built-in USB 2.0 hub and sound ports for headset.
  • Very nice feel, keys are very comforable.
  • Tactile response.
  • Corded -- wireless keyboards are pointless for dev (imho).

If I was to have one gripe it'd be with the size of the delete key. It feels a little small at first, but you do get used to it. It's a seriously nice keyboard, I'd recommend it to anyone.

Cheers!

0

I had an old IBM M keyboard which had a wonderful action and it was a sad day when it died. My current keyboard is an 82 key Deck. Nice action, really solidly built and glows blue - what more could you want?

http://www.deckkeyboards.com/catalog/product_deck_ice.php?cPath=0_21&products_id=30

0

My vote is for the MS Natural Keyboard 4000. If you spend a large part of your day typing and you want to avoid the repetitive stress injuries that go with it an ergonomic keyboard is a must.

My one complaint on this keyboard is the placement of the function lock key where one would usually reach for F12. As part of my job I still do some RPG and other work on the AS/400(iSeries) and when you log in via the 5250 emulator the function keys are a critical part of getting around. I often find myself wondering why nothing works only to notice that I must have hit the function lock.

Other than that I have no real gripes. In fact I have one at home as well.

0

I tried the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 for a few weeks with the bracket that tilts the keyboard away from you. The keyboard angle seemed quite good but I didn't like the "ergonomic" split design. I'm a heavy keyboard user and I use hot keys when ever possible, in fact I even use them when it is not possible by implementing them in AutoHotKey, and I found the split keyboard made some shortcuts nearly impossible to type.

So I stick with the Dell Enhanced USB Multimedia keyboard as pictured in &nbsp's answer, though I never use the "media" buttons.

0

I use the Logitech G15 and absolutely LOVE it. But I'd have to say that the important thing is not so much which keyboard but picking one and sticking with it everywhere. There is a certain amount of mental overhead when the keys on one PC are different from another PC.

I am a huge fan of the older style Ins Home PgUp / Del End PgDn horizontal setup than the newer vertical layout with the double-tall delete key. Switching between the two has disastrous effects on my productivity.

The worst situation would be having two different keyboards, one with the double-wide Enter key and the other with the obtuse elbow Enter key which occupies the same real-estate as the / key on double-wide version.

The G15 has two different versions. There is the older model with 18 "G" keys and a newer one with just 6. Personally, it doesn't matter. I don't even use them. But they are there if you want to hotkey macros and such.

0

I have been using the Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 for ~2 years and using Microsoft natural keyboards for as long as they have been around. IMO they are the best overall keyboard I have ever used. I can type for hours on it without feeling discomfort and that's what really matters isn't it?

The only downside of this keyboard is the mechanics of the keys. It is not bad by any stretch of the imagination, just it could be better. Closer to higher end keyboards such as the DAS or diNovo Edge

0

I have to agree with the MS Natural Ergonomic 4000. I was looking to replace my only MS Natural about the same time as Jeff put up his post about it, I tried it at home and about a week later I bought one for work. Best keyboard ever!!!

0

I use the Microsoft Comfort Curve 2000, which is a great keyboard for that price (20$).

0

At work we use the Focus Electronic 12 key programmable keyboard with a built in calculator. That's actually really handy sometimes. But seriously, what is a the computer for if you've got a calculator on your keyboard?

After reading some blog post, I realized how awesome my IBM Model M must have been so I dug it out of my parent's attic and have been using it ever since.

The one really good thing about the Clickiness is that everyone knows you're working, technically making it the more useful in the long run than any programmable soft-touch Logitech whoozit.


If you haven't raided your high-school dumpster or college swapshop then http://www.clickykeyboards.com/ is for you.

0

Just about any keyboard will work for me as long as the Arrow keys and Insert/Delete, Home/End, PageUp/PageDown arrangement is like @Paul's screen shot. I can't stand the large delete key on some of the newer keyboards.

0

As someone who prefers a minimalistic, simple keyboard I find it interesting that the Microsoft Natural has been voted so high here. I prefer the Dell model ??vin posted. I have the USB version at work and the wireless bluetooth version at home. Both are excellent for programming and extensive writing.

0

Dell clicky.

Wish they still made 'em.

0

Where did you get that ? I didn't even know that it existed.

Apple Wireless Keyboard with Numeric Keypads existed in their previous incarnations. The new "flat" Apple Keyboards are available in two flavors:

1) Full Keyboard with num keyboard + 2 usb2.0 ports (one on each side).

2) Bluetooth Keyboards: No Numeric Keypad, no extra USB ports. The layout is like the MacBooks. (You have to use a FN key to use Fx functions under OS X, else you get some OSX fancy things, like Expose, Dashboard, etc).

I have a BT Apple Key (white) and I don't like the feel. I threw it after I started playing with the new flat ones. Not the best keyboard, but definitely better than the old model.

The problem with the Apple Keyboard (white versions) is that some keyboards block, and since it is transparent, dirt can be easily seen and it is sometimes impossible to remove.

0

I've got a lovely old PS2 Honeywell - lovely long keytravel, not too noisy.

In need of a new USB keyboard, I tried the Matias Tactile Pro 2; whilst the key action is fantastic (and delightfully clunky and loud), it suffers from certain key chords dropping subsequent keys. So I settled on a Saitek Eclipse II - a lot shorter travel, a lot quieter, but it glows ;)

0

An unfortunate thing about these keyboards pictured here is that none of them has a "proper" big "L" enter key. Some of them have the big enter keys but they are upside down and make the square bracket keys be on two lines rather than next to each other.

The big L enter key is a necessity, as it's a nice big target that you can easily hit. As I've got a more "standard" keyboard at work and many times I hit both the enter key and the slash/bar key at the same time.

I wish they made more of those big L enter keyboards again.

0

My three favorites:

  • ORIGINAL Microsoft Natural Keyboard
  • MacBook Pro Keyboard
  • Das Keyboard

I'm most efficient with the Natural Keyboard. However, I had to use my ThinkPad's keyboard for the first time in a few months and I'm really surprised how much faster I am on the MacBook's keyboard now. I think once you get used to the chording motions with Fn, you can move real fast with it. Also, I love the backlit keys - gorgeous. Das Keyboard for the cool factor - but it's very noisy.

0

I love my MS Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000. The only problem is it doesn't fit in the keyboard drawer at my dorm with the base on it.

0

I also like the logitech G15. This is for several reasons:

1) it's a wired keyboard. Wireless keyboards can drop keypresses if your CPU gets heavily loaded (like during a big compile).

2) The built-in macro system is great- it's keyboard based instead of software based, so it pretty much works everywhere (i have one for the windows box and one for the linux box)

3) The key action is pretty good. It isn't an old-school clickety clack, but it has pretty good travel and feels crisp, not mushy.

Generally, I've found that gaming keyboards are a pretty good way to go in terms of coding keyboards- very functional and usually quite customizable. The same goes with mice- I find that gaming mice with their fifty different buttons is a great way to go for me.

0

After trying many different keyboards, I've ended up with two of the MS 4000 Keyboard,but needed to add to the answer to present it's wireless cousin that's my current choice. I like the lack of wires, however there are no clear indicator LED's on the keyboard for caps, function lock.

Be sure to give the mouse a try as well.

Microsoft Egronmoic Desktop 7000

alt text

0

Another vote for the Logitech G15 from me. Add in the MX Revolution mouse and you have pretty much the ultimate combination.

0

second @mike's comfort curve keyboard. I use them both at work and at home.

  • low-profile
  • good typing responsiveness feels very natural and unobtrusive
  • curve design to lessen RSI

It's the fastest and the least-RSI keyboard I would type with. The low-profile is a big factor, don't underestimate low-profile keyboards and they did an awesome job with the spring underneath them, positioning your hand and body right, you could type uber-fast on it. plus it has a curvy anti-RSI style design too.

The wireless version of the MS Desktop 3000 's keyboard seems to be better than the wired version though, from my experience using both.

But I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a good keyboard without any doubt!

I love it!

0

I use an Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 too, It's magic for my arms! :)

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Using the wireless Apple keyboard here as well and i like it a lot. Mostly because of it's small footprint which allows me to point my shoulders inwards instead of outwards, creating a better ergonomy. I tried out a typematrix keyboard a while back. I did love the feel and footprint, but the change in key positioning made me all confused. At the time i didn't have time to spend learning a new keyboard layout, so i put on to the side, and i still haven't gone back to it.

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I love the Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 6000 v2. It has has a reverse slope. Therefor your wrist isn't having to bend up to type. Typing on it feels more like typing on a laptop. Quite and soft. Only problem is they don't show it on their site anymore.

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I have some problems in my right elbow and wrist, from playing too many nights of Diablo 2. It can be quite irritating and I'd advise anybody not to take the matter lightly, and take precautions while you still can.

I tried the alphagrip (http://www.alphagrips.com/) but it hasn't convinced me yet. I experimented with voice recognition with mixed results. The next thing I want to try is maybe use movement recognition with a webcam for frequent gestures. I think the most important thing is:

  1. Variety - I learned to use the mouse with my left hand. I have one on each side of my desk. Also have a trackball.
  2. Take frequent breaks - stretch your limbs, flex your fingers, relax your eyes, take 5 mins every hour. It's not just good for your fingers. An excersize reminder helps, here's a free one for google desktop: http://desktop.google.com/plugins/i/rsireminder.html?hl=en

An interesting read on RSI with some links: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2006/04/avoiding-rsi.html

Oh and right now, I 'm using a Microsoft Ergonomic, and it definetly does help. After 5-10 minutes on a regular or laptop keyboard, I feel the strain already, while with my Ergonomic I'm quite fine.

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Microsoft Natural Elite. Has the size of normal keyboard (not as wide as Microsoft Natural or Microsoft Ergonomic) so my mouse can sit close to keyboard -- minimises hand movement!

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The Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 is my current keyboard at home and I really do enjoy it. I had a Logitech diNovo for about a year before the mouse died and couldn't be recharged so I got a new system where this one has so far been pretty good. I like being able to move the keyboard around without worrying about a cable at home which is nice. At work I have a Dell keyboard and mouse which seems to be typical at the moment. Where I used to work they had a lot of Kensington keyboards that worked pretty good. I do prefer a Microsoft Natural keyboard if I can get one.

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Using Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 on my Mac, works great! If you use a Mac, don't forget to install and configure the driver for this keyboard. In the past I used Mac's slim keyboard, the MS one is better.

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I use a midweight keyboard from Gateway (got a few old ones from work) - model SK-9921. It's simple and tactile, but not as heavy or clicky as the IBM model M. The shape and weight please me :)

alt text

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I like the aluminum Apple keyboard on my linux box, using Awesome as a window manager and some remapped command keys I almost never need to touch the mouse.

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Logitech Cordless Comfort Duo (the mouse was rubbish)

There's an new model out (only in America so far) that is exactly the same keyboard but with a laser mouse.

Top of Logitech Keyboard

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One of the most significant changes you can make is to flip over to the Dvorak layout:

alt text

It takes some getting used to, but it is faster and puts much less stress on your hands because the common letters are on the home row. For programmers, some of the "odd" keys get used more than if you are just typing ordinary prose and you lose some of the advantages there. It might be worth trying one of the programmer optimized layouts for that.

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The Logitech Wave is the best keyboard I've ever used. I don't use Apple's keyboards anymore as they are usually made with tidy girls in mind and don't tolerate much coffee and cigarette ash. 3 months in my room will render any Apple keyboard or mouse unusable. If you install the Logitech control center on a mac the Wave will work as good as any keyboard made for a mac in terms of compatibility.

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I use a standard cherry USB keyboard without inscription (like 'Das Keyboard' but only costs 29? not 100+?). You can drop a mail to cherry and they will produce one for you...

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Currently, I use a Microsoft Natural 4000 at work. Beyond all the typical reasons to use this keyboard -- ergonomics, key layout, etc -- I've found that it has an added benefit: So few people use curved and split keyboards that no one wants to touch my computer while I'm away from it. Since I have a cubicle, sometimes it's hard to keep people from touching my computer when I'm away. At times, my computer has been reset because I left it locked. This is one way that I can protect against that without annoying the system administrator.

That Avant Stellar looks like my favorite keyboard ever: the Northgate Omnikey 102. That thing had a great layout. It was rock solid. The keys had just the right amount of resistance. You could easily remap it, in fact the keys were easy enough to take off an put back on that thorough cleaning was easy.

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Wireless 3000 for me; feels good, nice and quite. I hear the 4000 is pretty sweet though...

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i'm really happy with the IOGEAR GKM541RA. not only does it have a sleek design and long range wireless, but it's soft on the fingers with an almost notebook like feel.

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I like the new Mac keyboard. One thing in particular is that the keys go flat with the board, making it easy to keep clean without all the crud that gets in between the keys on conventional keyboards.

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I recommend the Avant Stellar: Programmable 116-key design with dual programmable function keys across the top and along the left-hand side.

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I use DataHand, at home and at work.

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i too use a microsoft ergonomic 4000. it meets all my requests: 1. ergonomic layout 2. all the keys are in the right places (no stupid placement of the ins/del/pgup/etc or arrows) 3. it has a usb connector

EXCEPT - it is not backlit. can anyone point me to a backlit, ergonomic keyboard with a standard key layout. i can't operate with the arrow keys or pgup/etc keys in any position than the original placement. tia.

-don

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Just buy a normal OEM keyboard. Compaq and HP make good and robust keyboards, without unnecessary bling. They are not mechanical like Model M, but they are quiet and provide good enough tactile feedback. They are also cheap. like 15$ or so.

I have a model DT528A form HP.

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I like the Typematrix Dvorak

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DVORAK keyboards are definitely the way to go. I can type 97 WPM opposed to the normal QWERTY keyboard at 81 WPM.

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benq x 800

very springy and comfy

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I would like to second the customizer from http://pckeyboards.stores.yahoo.net/customizer.html Its 4 and a half pounds, of key clicking, nuclear brain damaging power. The one I got serveral years ago has a coiled chord and is made in the USA. And when you die, they can buy you with it. Brian

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Goldtouch Adjustable Keyboard is an excellent choice.
http://www.goldtouch.com/p-64-goldtouch-adjustable-keyboard-black.aspx

Those regular keyboards end up causing so much pain to millions of people over a long time, I am surprised they aren't banned. Free market isn't always good for people. This is one of those exceptions. 90% of the people realized the harm they have done when it is almost too late.

Having an ergonomic keyboard, mouse, keyboard tray and a good work chair is more important than 401(k).

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Since I touch type, I find that the most important feature for me is that all of my keyboards are the same. I normally program on 5 different computers (not necessarily on the same network) and I find that I have the most problems when the keyboards don't match. Key positioning is critical.
To help with this, I use synergy which allows me to use my desktop keyboard on my notebook.

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The new Acer Fine-Tip Keyboards:

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How about Majestouch Tenkeyless Non-Click(Cherry MX switch) model?

It has not useless numpad and compact. Cherry keyboard uses too large frame. So I like Majestouch series. :-)

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surprised no body mentioned the asymmetry in the standard keyboards. the homerow and the bottom row are offeset horizontally by about half key size. so they are symmetrical for left and right hands. but the home row and toprow are offset horizontally by about a quarter key size. so they become asymmetrical for the left and right hand positons when fingers extend to the top row.

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The Logitech MK700 moves into the line of the MX5000 and MX3200. I'm not sure if it's an upgrade, it has fewer media buttons, a standard home key block, and boasts 3 year battery life. Gone is the MX3200 annoying optical, power munching slider on the left side (could be triggered with paper against the keyboard). I fostered gentle hatred for the dedicated sleep button situated right where your hand brushes the keyboard as you're reaching for your mouse. Not even a "click-clack" warning and the screen is fading away! Serious users have little regard for unexpected shutdown/sleep episodes. The MK700 types pretty well if one is pushing straight down on the keys. Off-angle key press force causes irregular pressure requirement, and more stress. I'm comparing it with my DiNovo (flat blue) that has literally worn out (flat membrane, modernized home block). I just ordered a Daskeyboard S Ultimate, then I realized that the same thing was available from less expensive sources. Clickity clack, my keys are all black! When I grow up, I want a Topre Realforce 103. I run Windows 7 Bootcamped on a MACBOOK Pro.

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professional keyboard

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I thought programming required a software solution, not a hardware one :)