Input Devices Guide
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A Backlit Ducky
The IBM Model M and the Apple Extender Keyboard II are widely accepted to be the best keyboards ever made for the PC and Mac respectively. Introduced in the mid 1980s, many of them are still working perfectly today. Top-notch construction aside, other factors these mechanical keyboards have going for them are the tactile feel, and the unmistakable (to some, downright irritating) 'clicky' sound. Both are results of the use of mechanical key switches. In layman’s parlance, each key has its own independent mechanism to detect when a key is pressed.
Unfortunately, to reduce costs, most keyboards sold these days use rubber domes under their keys. So prevalent are these mushy keyboards that most people have never even heard of mechanical keyboards, much less experience them. Thankfully, the mechanical keyboard hasn’t gone the way of the dodo; there’s still a strong following, and of late, a resurgence among typists and gamers alike.
There are quite a number of mechanical keyboard brands in the market today; you might have heard of Ducky, Flico, Matias, SteelSeries and Topre. What we’ve here is the Ducky DK-9008 Shine that's fitted with the 50 million keystrokes-rated (that's per key, mind you) Cherry MX Black key-switches. For the uninitiated, there are several switch implementations out there, and the Cherry MX is just one (albeit a popular one) of them. And within the Cherry MX series, there exist different ‘colors’, with each having its own characteristics. The Cherry MX Black (60cN actuation force, 4mm full travel) key-switches' non-tactile (there’s no bump-like feedback when you press a key) and relatively higher actuation force characteristics (this helps to minimize accidental presses) make them the preferred switch type for many gamers.
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