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What keyboard is the best for a translator ?
Thread poster: Lian Pang

Lian Pang  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:36
Member (2018)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Nov 14, 2018

Hello guys !

I hope you are all doing well .

I have been hunting for new peripherals for a while now, and being a translator who has prolonged typing session just about everyday, a comfortable keyboard is very important. For me, I spend a lot of time gaming too ( not heavily competitive though) .

There are tons of different keyboards out there. Mechanical, membrane, mecha-membrane, tenkeyless, split keyboard like kenesis gaming edge... So I was wondering
... See more
Hello guys !

I hope you are all doing well .

I have been hunting for new peripherals for a while now, and being a translator who has prolonged typing session just about everyday, a comfortable keyboard is very important. For me, I spend a lot of time gaming too ( not heavily competitive though) .

There are tons of different keyboards out there. Mechanical, membrane, mecha-membrane, tenkeyless, split keyboard like kenesis gaming edge... So I was wondering, what keyboard is everyone using , and what's your recommendation (for maximum comfort and productivity)?

I currently have a razer ornata chroma mech-membrane keyboard, the wrist rest is awesome. It's ok to type on. But I still haven't found that comfort sweet spot. my wrists still hurt sometimes.

[Edited at 2018-11-14 15:32 GMT]
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Daniel Frisano
Czech Republic
Local time: 15:36
Member (2008)
English to Italian
+ ...
Apple MB110 Nov 14, 2018

This is what I use:

https://store.apple4less.com/MB110T-B-Apple-USB-Wired-Keyboard-p/mb110t-b-b.htm

I have used it for years and still can't find anything better, with its laptop-like soft touch and wide keys. It is also the only Apple product that has given me a truly satisfying outcome.

[Edited at 2018-11-14 16:04 GMT]


Tom in London
 

Shouguang Cao
China
Local time: 21:36
English to Chinese
+ ...
Cherry Nov 14, 2018

I use a Cherry mechanical keyboard, which is good. However I found the best way to avoid RSI (repetitive strain injury) is to switch between several keyboards of different feels frequently.

 

Nayoon Lee  Identity Verified
South Korea
Local time: 22:36
Member
English to Korean
Realforce 87U (tenkeyless) Nov 14, 2018

This is my favorite keyboard:

https://www.amazon.com/Realforce-87U-Tenkeyless-55g-Black-x/dp/B00MV84Y2Y

I've used many keyboards in my life. After I met this one, I could settle. If you want to get a mechanical keyboard, this one could be your answer.


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
silent ergonomic anti-RSI Nov 14, 2018

While mechanical wired devices serve for years, for long typing--some three-five hours--I prefer anti-RSI (pyramid-type) keyboards or speech recognition (when possible) for even longer texting. However, I used to type a lot at ThinkPads, and occasionally (habitually?) I still can use it for some four hours non-stop and without issues. Also I find that back-lighting may get rather irritating after awhile in the dark room, let alone now I prefer light keys with dark letters, because black keys wit... See more
While mechanical wired devices serve for years, for long typing--some three-five hours--I prefer anti-RSI (pyramid-type) keyboards or speech recognition (when possible) for even longer texting. However, I used to type a lot at ThinkPads, and occasionally (habitually?) I still can use it for some four hours non-stop and without issues. Also I find that back-lighting may get rather irritating after awhile in the dark room, let alone now I prefer light keys with dark letters, because black keys with white letters tend to "glow" soon

[Edited at 2018-11-14 21:13 GMT]
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Jan Truper  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:36
English to German
+ ...
split keyboard Nov 15, 2018

Split and angled keyboard, microphone for dictation software, peripheral devices with many extra buttons

20181115_085339

[Edited at 2018-11-15 07:57 GMT]

[Edited at 2018-11-15 07:58 GMT]


Wolfgang Schoene
 

Egmont Schröder  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:36
Member (2013)
Chinese to German
+ ...
Ergodox EZ Nov 15, 2018

I bought an Ergodox EZ one year ago, I am not able to work without it anymore.

https://ergodox-ez.com/

Strains in wrists an shoulder disappeared, and I increased my productivity because I programmed complicated shortcuts to one key combination.

The downside is that it took a long time to get used to it, and that I am not able to type on a conventional keyboard anymore.
... See more
I bought an Ergodox EZ one year ago, I am not able to work without it anymore.

https://ergodox-ez.com/

Strains in wrists an shoulder disappeared, and I increased my productivity because I programmed complicated shortcuts to one key combination.

The downside is that it took a long time to get used to it, and that I am not able to type on a conventional keyboard anymore.

There are other keyboards on the market with a similar design, but I think the idea of letting the thumb do the most work during writing makes very much sense.
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Dan Lucas
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:36
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Me too Nov 15, 2018

Daniel Frisano wrote:

This is what I use:

https://store.apple4less.com/MB110T-B-Apple-USB-Wired-Keyboard-p/mb110t-b-b.htm

I have used it for years and still can't find anything better, with its laptop-like soft touch and wide keys. It is also the only Apple product that has given me a truly satisfying outcome.

[Edited at 2018-11-14 16:04 GMT]


This is my everyday keyboard, which I use every day. It's the same as Daniel's (and is also Italian). I protect it and keep it clean with one of these washable covers:

s-l1600

However I generally type as little as possible. When translating I prefer to use the Dictation software that comes with the MacOS. In the past I found that typing too much, for too long, led to RSI (repetitive strain injury) - severe pain that went all the way up my arm and into my shoulder.

Because it's wired, this keyboard also has the added advantage of being a USB hub with 2 ports (one at each end, at the back), which are very handy. I dislike wireless peripherals because the batteries make them very heavy and of course the batteries run out, and even if you use rechargeables they still have to be recharged and eventually discarded (which apart from being a PITA is also not good for the planet).

Apple doesn't make it any more but you can still find it from other sellers. In my opinion, like many things Apple makes (hardware and software), their keyboards achieved peak performance about 5 years ago and have been getting worse ever since....



[Edited at 2018-11-15 09:02 GMT]


Jorge Payan
 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 16:36
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Logitech cordless Nov 15, 2018

I found my keyboard at a multi-purpose store. I use it together with a RollerMouse Pro 3. I would like a keyboard with backlighted keys, but haven't found one yet. What you prefer depends on you, silent or clicking, soft or resisting. I believe nowadays the market for keyboards is shrinking. Perhaps we should buy good keyboards and horde them for a time coming when everybody will be typing on the screen and keyboards are to be found only on flee-markets.

Vladimir Filipenko
Elif Baykara Narbay
 

Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 15:36
Member (2005)
English to German
Whatever suits you, in duplicate and triplicate Nov 15, 2018

What suits my paws best is the old (first) Microsoft Natural Keyboard Elite, the one that's still off-white, with the key arrows in a real cross layout, and a PS/2 connector. But everybody's hands have their own individual shape, strengths and weaknesses, so I suggest trying out a lot of keyboards before you settle on one.

And when you have caught the one that suits you best - buy more than one. Buy a whole stack of them. Nothing is worse than spilling a little coffee on your keyboa
... See more
What suits my paws best is the old (first) Microsoft Natural Keyboard Elite, the one that's still off-white, with the key arrows in a real cross layout, and a PS/2 connector. But everybody's hands have their own individual shape, strengths and weaknesses, so I suggest trying out a lot of keyboards before you settle on one.

And when you have caught the one that suits you best - buy more than one. Buy a whole stack of them. Nothing is worse than spilling a little coffee on your keyboard, disconnecting it at once so as not to ruin it(!!) and then being stuck with your partner's/neighbour's/great-cousin's keyboard, which might be just as good but not the same make and model.

Muscles have a memory too, and you can save a lot of time and frustration by settling on one keyboard model and then sticking with it for life.

(Yes, I'm the person who is snapping up the vintage Elites on German ebay, in case you were wondering )
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Jo Macdonald  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
Try spending less time on the computer Nov 15, 2018

Working and playing a LOT of games?
You really want some wonder keyboard you can comfortably use for longer to spend even more time working/playing with a computer?
You can spend a lot of productive time on a computer but should really take breaks, walk around, look into the distance, do something physical. If most of your day/life is spent on a computer you could change that if you want to, use the computer just for work, stop playing games on it, and go out and do something more in
... See more
Working and playing a LOT of games?
You really want some wonder keyboard you can comfortably use for longer to spend even more time working/playing with a computer?
You can spend a lot of productive time on a computer but should really take breaks, walk around, look into the distance, do something physical. If most of your day/life is spent on a computer you could change that if you want to, use the computer just for work, stop playing games on it, and go out and do something more interesting instead.
Our eyes aren't designed to stare at pixels close up for hours on end, our hands are designed to make and use tools rather than bang keys repetitively.
The keyboard you have is probably fine but methinks you're using it too much and your body is telling you so.
The human body uses pain also to limit what is bad for it. If your body is already sending you warning messages, instead of looking for a way to repetitively hurt it for even longer/more, you could listen to what it's telling you and do something more healthy with it. Or you could get an interface grafted into your skull to spend even more time jacked in without being limited by the mechanics of your hands. A keyboard is so medieval.
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Tom in London
Matthias Eng
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:36
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Well said Jo Nov 15, 2018

Turn off your computer, go out for a walk. Listen to the birds singing. Look at the world around you.

 

Lian Pang  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:36
Member (2018)
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the advices Nov 15, 2018

I agree, getting out more is better for me.

However that's not my point. if a keyboard , like ornata chroma that I have now, makes my fingers tired and wrists hurt after about an hour or an hour and half of typing/gaming, and it's really hard to press, I don't really think getting out in the world and smelling the flowers really makes up for that.

Besides I mainly localize games, and I love games, so I play a lot of games. Then again, i really do appreciate you remin
... See more
I agree, getting out more is better for me.

However that's not my point. if a keyboard , like ornata chroma that I have now, makes my fingers tired and wrists hurt after about an hour or an hour and half of typing/gaming, and it's really hard to press, I don't really think getting out in the world and smelling the flowers really makes up for that.

Besides I mainly localize games, and I love games, so I play a lot of games. Then again, i really do appreciate you reminding me that i should go out and stay away from the screen more, Jo and Tom . ^^

Back to the hardware, I think this https://ergodox-ez.com/ suggested by Egmont looks really cool and comfy. Maybe split Mech keyboard is the way to go.

I heard Cherry mx blue/brown switches is good for typing. What you think ?
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Emma Page
MADLEN SOLOMON
 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:36
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Split, with possibility of tenting/tilting Nov 15, 2018

Lian Pang wrote:
Back to the hardware, I think this https://ergodox-ez.com/ suggested by Egmont looks really cool and comfy. Maybe split Mech keyboard is the way to go.

Split and tilted/tented is the way to go, so I think the EZ would be an excellent choice.

If you work alone, Cherry Blue are fine, but if you have to consider other people, they can be pretty noisy. I use Browns.

Dan


Lian Pang
 

Egmont Schröder  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:36
Member (2013)
Chinese to German
+ ...
Here is another keyboard Nov 15, 2018

https://shop.keyboard.io/

It started like the Ergodox EZ as a kickstarter project and is made of wood.
I actually wanted to buy the keyboardio first, but they had troubles with the production so I decided to buy the Ergodox EZ instead.
I did not regret it.

I heard Cherry mx blue/brown switches is good for typing. What you think ?


I think that mechanical keys really give a better "feeling", however I don't think that there is such a big difference between the switches.

I use "Kailh Silver", it is nice, but I never had the opportunity to compare it to other switches.


Lian Pang
 
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