This is not a rant - alternative keyboards

This is not a rant - I am more than happy to wait for Waytools to release when they’re happy. Of course I would be happy to purchase a substandard one at current TREG testing standard in addition to my pre-ordered one but ultimately I respect their view. As I can’t get my hands on one I was wondering what people reckon is the best currently available for purchase portable keyboard out there. I have a folding one but was wondering if there was a better one and figured this audience would have to be the best place to look/ask.
Seasonal best wishes to all.

2 Likes

I have a folding keyboard that was recommended a long time ago in this Forum as a kind of a joke (the joker got into TREG thanks to his wit in writing I think). Mine is this one: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01EHSLFAY/ref=pe_385721_37986871_TE_item

A bit of a pain because B is in the wrong side for me in touch typing, and in Colemak, O is a very small key. But, mathematically it is infinitely better than a TextBlade, because I have it here (goodness=quality/hours of use) and the TextBlade, not.

Does not have jumps, but pairs very quickly at least. Battery lasts a lot

1 Like

I’ve ordered a Planck light https://www.massdrop.com/buy/50156

1 Like

Looks nice but it’s not Bluetooth. I know the OP did not ask for only Bluetooth portable keyboards, but for me, it would not work with my iPhone.

I have and love the iLepo 365 Flyshark2 keyboard which is smaller than my cellphone.
It is the smallest qwerty folding bluetooth keyboard with near full size keys I have been able to find. It easily fits my pockets and works quite well for text. Not as well for coding given the lack of the number/symbol row, but I suppose you could get used to the fn-mapped numbers and symbols. I just don’t do much coding on my phone. I’d love one a bit taller with the numeric row added though, as it would still fit most pockets.

Of course, if you don’t like the standard mapping, you would have to re-map on the host side, as with most keyboards. I have a rooted android device and am an emacs user, and I remap a couple of keys on the android side. I think the special function keys were designed for the iphone, but many work on android as well.

Overall, I highly recommend it for portable use. It’s not as easy to find now as when I first bought it, but I see it is available here:

http://a.co/hpEq9P1
image
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ilepo360-keyboard/flysharkto-redefine-the-wireless-keyboard

I have this one: http://a.co/1xPu7zM.

It is not really that portable, but it is full size keyboard no compromises. Pairs reliably. Long lasting battery, ok quality. They also have a smaller version.

I am sure the TB beats it hands down in portability / usability / features, but until I get my hands on one this is a usable alternative.

Has anybody here tried the highly acclaimed White Fox wired keyboard ?
I think I fell in love with it…

Is there a bluetooth mechanical keyboard comparable to something like this?

And the making of:
https://matt3o.com/whitefox-the-making-of/#more-46

The White Fox keyboard seems to be revered in the mechanical keyboard community. I would buy one immediately if it had backlit keys and, preferably, a function key row.

The Text Blade may change me, but right now what I want is the Apple keyboard (or something close) layout in a wired backlit version. I am typing this on a wired Apple compact keyboard on a Linux workstation. I have a row of LEDs above my keyboard tray due to the lack of backlighting. Note that Apple has not made this keyboard for many years, luckily I found two “new old stock” units before they were gone.

Currently I prefer separate cursor keys, but I did use the original Happy hacking Keyboard Pro that required chording for the cursor keys on a Sun workstation for many years. So, it will be interesting to see how I feel about the Text Blade once it arrives.

In any case, considering the hundreds of keyboard layouts that exist, it is difficult for me to understand why someone does not make a quality (I think that I do have a flimsy cheap version) wired mechanical version of the Apple compact / laptop keyboard layout with backlighting. I am hoping that WASD/Code will make one (I have a “tenkeyless” Code but it is too wide to be comfortable and fit on my keyboard tray with a mouse). However, maybe I will become a Text Blade only guy and live with some LED lighting for night work.

With a TB, you may not feel as much of a need for backlighting, though that will depend on various personal preferences. If you are strictly hunt & peck, it might matter more. But if you touch type (and I think the advantages of the TB will encourage many to learn if necessary), you simply aren’t reaching for things like number and many symbols - those are the ones I had to actually look for even though I could touch type the letters and most common punctuation. But I don’t anymore because the TB eliminates the stretch.

Even if the TB didn’t have many other advantages, this basic design concept would be enough to make me prefer it.

There are still some symbols I’d have to look for, but only ones I almost never use. So I guess I could benefit from backlighting, but it isn’t a big deal for me. I could deliberately practice symbols more if necessary.

Hi, I think the White Fox has backlighting. At least as an option:

https://matt3o.com/whitefox-faq/

It does have me interested. Nobody knows of a quality bluetooth mechanical keyboard ?

Thanks for that White Fox backlighting info, I may have seen that and forgot, but it would only work the way I want with “shine-through” keys and they are not an option with the kits or the fully assembled White Fox offerings that I have seen (on Massdrop). I might decide to build one from a pile of parts, including shine-through keycaps from another source. Before doing all that soldering I had better try a Text Blade to see if it is my future single keyboard!

@meekj, good point. I would also rather try a TB. If only we could get added into TREG…

1 Like

I guess it’s GR or nothing

1 Like

Thanks everyone - appreciate the replies.
I ended up going with a generic folding one, lighter than a previous one but still awkward enough to keep me longing for the TB.
Happy New Year to all

I just got delivered this. Not portable (well, technically could but it’s decently heavy), but very hipster-y. Cherry browns. Still longing for a TextBlade so I can fix servers and code just with what I have in my pockets (phone + HDMI dongle + TB)

3 Likes

Ohh!! I love it!

Personally I’m still thrilled with my home-made ergonomic keyboards, which I use both at work and at home.

1 Like

A tini bit unrelated but have you guys seen this ?

I loved my Psion 5…

1 Like

I’ve been spending quite a bit of time thinking about whether I should buy the gemini or if I should buy one of these instead:


https://www.indiegogo.com/products/gpd-pocket

In the end, I decided to save the money and just wait for the Textblade.

Devices like that could be really cool with a built in TB style keyboard.