Adapting to a Mechanical Keyboard

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ethereal
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:12 pm
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

Adapting to a Mechanical Keyboard

Post by ethereal » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:00 pm

I was wondering if upgrading from a laptop keyboard to a mechanical keyboard would be worth it (Preferably from people who have also made the switch and had to adapt).

I've been using laptops - and ONLY laptops (Excluding a few instances in grade school computer lab, which became obsolete with the introduction of personal laptops) for around a decade. I'm able to average around 100-110wpm, and that's using six fingers - index for the character keys, pinkies for shifts, and thumbs for space. Using this method has forced me to develop fluidity, dexterity, and accuracy with my index fingers (Jumping across-the-keyboard in a fraction of a second and making accurate keypresses consistently). This brings me to the main concern with switching to a mechanical keyboard; the raised keycaps, which seems like it would inhibit my ability to move across the keyboard as swiftly as I would with near-flat keys. Also, with flat keyboards, I tend to not press down when I type, but rather to push and drag across the key as I type to decrease a drop in momentum, thus increasing speed. The resistance brought upon by the taller keycaps and ergonomically-shaped keys which seem to be most effective when pressed directly vertical, which contradicts my typing style.. is concerning. I've heard the inputs are much swifter and more accurate than a laptop could ever provide, let alone a $200 Chromebook, and I've heard all the hype brought upon by Cherry MX switches (The keyboard I'm considering has brown ones), but I don't know if I could get past my old style of typing without it taking several years (Which, if that be the case, I'd rather just abandon the investment altogether and practice typing on laptop keyboards as I always have). Any suggestions?

TL;DR: I've typed solely on laptops for nearly a decade and average around 110, but my typing style is more efficient with the flatter keys that a laptop keyboard provides and I don't know if it'd be worth it to invest in a mechanical keyboard solely for the more accurate inputs.
10FF Username - MM♓
https://10fastfingers.com/user/1040498/

Average WPM
English April 2017 - 109wpm (Best 125)
English August 2017 - 119wpm (Best 130)

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Blootz
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:24 pm

Re: Adapting to a Mechanical Keyboard

Post by Blootz » Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:44 pm

Mechanical keyboards are definitely the way to go for increasing your typing speed in the grand scheme of things. My transition was a little different. I went from a laptop keyboard, to a regular logitech membrane keyboard, then to a razer blackwidow ultimate 2013 (cherry MX blue). There was definitely a decent increase in my typing speed, going from around 100 with the laptop, to 110(ish) with the logitech to around 115 with the mechanical keyboard. Now I use a steelseries 6Gv2 with cherry MX black switches, which is a heavier to press, linear key switch. I rarely get under 125 WPM now (though it did take me a while to get used to the heavier switch over the lighter, tactile blue ones).

Like always, new things take time to adapt to. Whether it take you a week, a month, or six months (that's an exaggeration I doubt it'll take anymore than 2 months, but never know, everyone is different), it will, in the end, increase your speed. I think brown switches is a smart move.
In regards to your typing style on your laptop keyboard, the higher keycaps will I guess 'force' you to change your style. I personally went from the 6 finger style on my macbook to a strange 8 finger style on my steelseries 6Gv2 I developed from just regular typing.

TL;DR: It is a wise investment if you are keen on increasing your typing speed in the long run. At first there will be a slight decrease in your speed as you adapt, but it won't take you anywhere near as long as you may think if you use it regularly. From there you will see an increase.

jace888
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun May 07, 2017 11:10 am

Re: Adapting to a Mechanical Keyboard

Post by jace888 » Sun May 07, 2017 11:18 am

It depends what you're used to - I grew up learning to type on a variety of keyboards but I had a Cirque Wave at home (similar to the Microsoft Natural Keyboard of the 90's) with a split design. But then I started working/uni in 2006 and my firm gave me a Thinkpad T43 which is where I did the bulk of my uni notes AND actual work (documenting stuff) on making me very familiar with the keyboard. Since then I'm still with same employer and have moved on to T61, T420, X230, X1 Carbon, T430 and now Yoga 260 and I think I can blitz scores using the Lenovo keyboard.

That being said, for my non work machine, I own a Surface Pro 4 (and now a normal Alienware laptop), but about a year ago I bought a mechanical keyboard. The Logitech G710+ with Cherry MX Blue (for some reason Logitech advertises the G710 as blue, and G710+ as browns, but beats me - I bought the box from a licensed distributor and it says G710+ on it and the keyboard, and they're definitely blues). They're noisy, and clicky, but my WPM speed went from circa 130-140WPM up to about 150-160WPM (and occasionally higher than this if I'm lucky). Maybe it's the 'noise' which gets you in the groove to type but I do feel faster and more liberated when using the keyboard than a laptop.

That being said last I tried on both SP4 and my Thinkpads, I was up at the 138-140WPM mark. I do feel my accuracy is a bit more varied now though.

liza123
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2019 10:19 am

Re: Adapting to a Mechanical Keyboard

Post by liza123 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:30 pm

Mechanical keyboards are the best one. Typing with a mechanical keyboard is very quiet and doesn't take much effort. The keys themselves are close together, but they are concaved, a feature that makes for really easy typing. I have searched and compared lots of keyboards but nothing found on the web when it comes to keyboard comparison. After that luckily, I found a site keyboardbattle which have the best analysis for choosing the best keyboard depends on various keyboard specifications.

GTPetergew
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:35 am

Adapting to a Mechanical Keyboard

Post by GTPetergew » Sat May 04, 2019 3:06 pm

In Windows I can quickly change between different keyboard layouts. For example between English, German, and Thai. How is this possible in Debian?

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