Fancy Keyboard Links
Ben Brooks’ review of the ALT keyboard, and links to features on custom keyboard builder Tae Ha Kim.
You can pretty much chart my anxiety by my number of open tabs with keyboards or headphones on them, so here’s two keyboard-related links from the last couple of days:
Ben Brooks has a short review of the Drop.com ALT keyboard, which I’ve considered getting in the past. He writes:
It is, I think, probably the smartest/safest/easiest purchase you can get in the convoluted world of mechanical keyboards.
If I had one of the newer iPad Pro models with USB-C I’d probably grab the ALT, just for the ease of connectivity. I ended up getting a Topre Realforce for office use last year, but to be honest I’m still not sure if I like the feel of the keys as compared to my old Filco with Cherry MX Brown switches. Sometimes it feels too much like a run-of-the-mill rubber-dome model, but some days I’ll type something long-form and it just feels right. The Topre is definitely quieter, though, so I think it’ll remain my primary keyboard there.
Next: The Verge has a feature on Tae Ha Kim, who builds custom mechanical keyboards — including the $3,500 one from the breathless headline. (Kim is also featured in a recent Uses This interview.)
Kim has some thoughts about the appeal of these custom rigs, especially in the online streamer community:
“If you’re a streamer or someone working in the video content creation space, nobody sees what car you drive or what house you live in, but you are showing off the tech you use most of the time. So it makes sense when you think about it. These high profile streamers, gamers, and content creators want to have high-end gear they show off while they’re streaming and doing their jobs.”
I don’t know that I’ll ever end up building my own custom rig (a more likely path is something like the ALT which has hot-swappable switches). I view these custom boards the same way I do custom cars/motorcycles out on the street — I admire how much hard work goes into building and tweaking them so they’re just so.