While all of us at Kotaku are big fans of typing, a handful of us have started taking our love of keyboards to the next level. There’s nothing like a good mechanical keyboard, especially when you take extra steps to make it your very own. I’ll show you what I’m typing on if you show me yours.
I’ve been covering keyboards for Kotaku for years now, but it’s only recently that I’ve been introduced to the wonderful world of customization. I blame Chris Person, who was parading a sexy set of pastel keycaps around the office when I was visiting our New York headquarters earlier this year. Between that, with Gita Jackson’s recent acquisition of a lovely pink Filco keyboard (which is perpetually out of stock) and a visit to Reddit’s Mechanical Keyboard community, I was hooked.
Acting on a suggestion from some folks on the Reddit board, I pulled the trigger on a Unicomp Ultra Classic, the spiritual successor to IBM’s famed Model M keyboard.
Like the original Model M, the Ultra Classic utilizes a unique buckling spring key switch. Basically there are springs under each of the keys attached to an activation hammer. When a key is pressed, the spring buckles, activating the hammer and registering a keystroke. They have a very unique feel and sound.
The drawback to going old-school for my first serious mechanical keyboard is that the unique key switches are not compatible with most custom key caps, most of which are aimed at the more popular Cherry MX switches and their various clones/offshoots. Thankfully the folks at Unicomp offer a selection of printed and non-printed color caps at their website. I ordered mine on Saturday, and they had them to me by Wednesday.
I originally planned on replacing all of the grey keys with blank whites, but once I got this far I really started digging the contrast. I might order a set of grey blanks instead, now that I’m certain I can type on a keyboard without lettering (this article was my trial by fire). (Editor’s note: >.>)
Note that I did not plan the colors to coincide with the Autobot Hot Rod. He just happened to be on my desk when I started taking pictures, just sitting around waiting for an Optimus Prime to get killed.
Now it’s your turn! Mechanical or membrane, out of the box or heavily modified, I want to see what you’re typing on. I probably won’t steal any of your ideas.