The 10 Best Computer Keyboards
10. Kinesis Advantage2
9. Nixeus Moda Pro
8. Mistel Barocco
7. Microsoft All-in-One
6. Logitech K780
5. Unicomp Ultra Classic
4. Logitech G413
3. Azio Retro Classic
2. Corsair K95 Platinum
1. Das 4
What Does The Future Hold For Keyboards?
Did you know there are ten different types of keyboards currently being manufactured, and experimented upon in laboratories around the globe?
Despite musicians, gamers, and YouTube-commentators knowing all too well what qualifies as a "keyboard" nowadays, engineers have a surprisingly broader understanding of the term.
That number pad on your microwave? That's a keyboard.
That long-lost TV remote, tucked snugly twixt Aunt Margaret's flabby folds, witnessing first-hand a unique case of necrotizing fasciitis (your search engine is not your friend)? A keyboard.
Your ex's array of proverbial buttons, so easily pressed with the right words, or the right lack of sincerity? Not a keyboard.
Did you also know that most laptop keyboards consist of dozens of miniature toilet plungers called dome switches? Trust me, you don't want to test them all out for yourself. I tried it once on a friend's laptop and he ended up with a butt-load of malware.
What's cool, though, is that keyboards like this one from Alfonso Cuarón's, Children of Men are really not all that far-fetched.
In fact, what we currently call hands-free computing may eventually take Cuarón's vision a few steps further.
Understanding Cherry's Legacy, Not The Fruit Kind
Founded in 1953, Cherry Corporation invented what we still call MX switches in 1984.
Cherry MX switches are the crux of mechanical keyboards. There are four major types: black, brown, blue, and red.
The oldest of the bunch, the blacks, are the stiffest. Boasting the strongest springs, these switches rebound faster than any other switches making it easier to double-tap the keys, if you have any strength left to do so.
The browns, introduced in 1994, were designed to make much less noise than the blacks and thus became a much more popular option for people in offices and other public settings.
Invented a mere year apart from one another in 2007 and 2008, the blues and the reds were designed to replace both the black and the brown switches, respectively. The blue being a click-clacking equivalent of the black switch, demanding far less effort on the typist's part, and the red being a lighter-weight version of the brown switch, allowing for much more rapid actuation.
As a result, we tend to see the reds most frequently in mechanical keyboards designed specifically for gaming (remember that first video about the three types of keyboards?) while the blues tend to find more love among typists.
Unfortunately, keyboards are not quesadillas. Unless you have a ton of cash at your disposal to demand a custom keyboard, you don't have much of a choice. You either accept whichever switch the manufacturer personally prefers for specific designs, or you don't. They honestly don't seem to care all that much.
What The QWERTY Are You Talking About?
Inspired by the Situationist Insurrection of May, 1968, during which student protesters lifted cobblestones from the streets of Paris to reveal the beach hidden below, Michel Foucault, a well-known French philosopher, historian, and social critic, delivered the following words: "We are subjected to the production of truth through power and we cannot exercise power except through the production of truth."
Imagine, now, a world where QWERTY constitutes six cobblestones situated comfortably in the middle of a street. Beneath that street, a beach. The beach itself, a sea of shifting sands incapable of supporting weight the moment you begin to question, why for why and what for what.
We know the diagonal offset was due to technological limitations in 1878, back when the first QWERTY typewriter was patented and manufactured to mass appeal.
And we know that diagonal offset has since been questioned to great effect, as we can plainly see by the #1 keyboard by Kinesis, at the top of this page.
What we don't know, if we sift around a bit too much, is why the center row--currently containing only one vowel, A, thereby forcing us to move our fingers all over the place--has never been challenged by a viable alternative.
One might be inclined to say we're used to it, but what about our monitors, our motherboards, our processors, our RAM?
Keep in mind, QWERTY is not an octave on a keyboard. It has no music theory to back it up. Just a bit of trial and error by one guy who died over a century ago and was heavily influenced by the technological limitations of the 19th Century.