The 2015 mechanical keyboards nominations round of was hotly contested, but we’ve typed up the top five, and now it’s time to vote.
Corsair K/Strafe Series
I love this keyboard. I don’t ever use the back-lighting though as I actually have it for work. I am on there 10+ hours a day doing code so why not have a pleasurable experience doing it?
It is subtle enough to fit in fine at work (unlike some others on this list) and not nearly as expensive at the Das Keyboards. It uses real MX switches (unlike Razor) and has excellent build quality and sturdy feel to it. Plus there are no drivers for the monocolor version so it doesn’t violate my companies external software policies.
I got the MX Browns as it is for work and the Blues would drive my co-workers crazy. It has been a dream to program on and I recommend it to any software engineer, developer, or coder. - Astropcr
The Corsair K/Strafe Series was our 2015 Gaming Keyboard winner.
Happy Hacking Professional 2 Type “S”
I love the size of the board and the small layout, and these are among the best stock keycaps I’ve ever felt. The sound of the board gives the desired “thock” of a mech without being loud enough to disturb office-mates, and typing on it board is pure joy. I purchased mine about six months ago, and haven’t regretted it once. - andydeltaco
This keyboard is a gift from the mighty God of Input Devices, clackety praises unto him. until you’ve spent time using it, you really just can’t judge how comfortable and efficient you are on it. i think you know, but you don’t. you see all the keys its missing, and you think “oh thats stupid, where are my arrows” or “oh i need this or that” but until you sit with it and spend a couple days on it, you just have no idea. i’ve owned nearly every modern goddamn keyboard thats out there from the Pokers to the Korean customs like the GONs and my beloved KMAC mini. I’ve laid fingers on every kind of MX switch they make, and most of the rest from alps to beamsprings. which is a dorky ass way of saying i’m a nerd for this shit, i’ve done my homework. And yet, despite the DEEP investment i’ve made in this hobby, day after day the board i go back to to get shit done is the HHKB. - eremiticjude
Das Keyboard 4
Das’ lineup now includes clicky and soft versions of ultimate (murdered out) line, clicky and soft versions of its regular line, a clicky and soft versions of its tenkeyless model (hell yes), and a Mac version with clicky and soft variants.
Das Keyboard has been in the mechanical business for a long time—way before the current rise in popularity. For that reason, they’ve had time to refine their keyboards, stick to what works, incorporate new switch types and introduce models that work for more people, and overall just make really sleek looking, highly functional keyboards. There was a lot of love for the Das Keyboard Ultimate in the call for contenders thread, and as someone who’s used it myself, I can understand why. It’s a tank that’s designed for over 50 million keystrokes, packs a 2-port USB hub inside, features full N-key rollover (meaning pressing multiple keys at a time actually registers), and it’s available with your choice of Cherry MX Brown (quieter, softer) or MX Blue (louder, clicky) switches. - Alan Henry for the Lifehacker 2012 Mechanical Keyboard vote, which Das won.
Vortex Poker 3
Vortex Poker 3 w/ MX Browns. Compact size, relatively cheap, available on Amazon. Thing of beauty - Devin
I second this, just got one after using a DAS 4 Professional, Razer Black Widow (stealth and Ultimate), and IBM Model M. The Model M is my favorite but the sound is enough to drive coworkers crazy. - Josh Donner
IBM Model M (and Variants)
Ah, the IBM Model M - it’s the keyboard that started it all, and while it’s technically a buckling spring keyboard and not a mechanical in the way we’ve come to know mechanical keyboards, it’s all the same when you’re talking about keyboards that set themselves apart from the usual. If you have an old Model M in the back of your closet or an old one you’ve modded to use with modern PCs, enjoy it—they’re tanks, and won’t give up on you anytime soon. If you want one for yourself, you can still get them from Unicomp for around $80, depending on the model you choose. They’ll all come with buckling springs beneath each key, and your choice of connector to your computer. They’re even cross-platform, so you can use it with whatever computer you own. - Alan Henry for the Lifehacker 2012 Mechanical Keyboard vote
Honorable mention this week goes to the Razer BlackWidow, our 2015 Gaming Keyboard winner, covered in depth by Kotaku here.