I've fallen into the world of mechanical keyboards and I'll never climb out
Some people change keyboards all the time. Not me.
As you might imagine, I type a lot. How much do I type, exactly? I'm not really sure but I do know that it's enough to wear the legends off a keyboard more quickly than I should and that my MacBook Pro has a white hole where the "S" used to be. I type so much that switching keyboard isn't something I do easily or, indeed, without thought. I need to be able to type quickly and relatively accurately — although not too accurately because, as Rene Ritchie once semi-famously said, "typos generate engagement." But I changed keyboard a few days ago, and I think it's going to bankrupt me.
I've fallen into the world of mechanical keyboards and I don't ever want to climb back out again.
Mechanical keyboards aren't new, of course. They've been around forever. But they're back with a vengeance in recent years and the world of the custom mechanical keyboard is a vast and varied one. YouTubers cover keyboards, PCBs, the plates the keys sit on, and so much more. People stream themselves building keyboards on Twitch. It's something I'd scoffed at in the past. But here I am, following half a dozen of them and trawling Reddit for custom keycaps. I'm hooked. And it's awesome.
Until recently, I was very much an Apple Magic Keyboard kind of guy. It's still one of the best keyboards for a Mac that you'll find just about anywhere. Unless you're getting into mechanical keyboards because, basically, it isn't one. So it's dead to me and sat in a drawer.
Now? Now I use a Keychron K6 — aluminum, ISO UK, hot-swappable with Gateron yellow switches for those wondering. I've already swapped the stock switches out and I have more sets of keycaps on my Amazon wishlist than I have birthdays to receive them as gifts for. I know this is old news to those who have been shouting about mechanical keyboards for years and yes, I know you don't like the clicky clacky sounds they make. But trust me, you haven't heard the right keyboard with the right switches. It's a whole new ball game — I might get into that in another post if anyone reads this one. Also, I might end up buying a Keychron K1. I can't help myself.
So why am I writing about keyboards, anyway? I'm not sure, other than the fact that I'm excited about them and they make me feel like I used to when I was a kid and computers were new. It's easy to become bored and cynical in this game and it's rare to feel like I do right now — like there's a whole world out there waiting to be explored and learned afresh.
It's exciting. And after the 18 months we've all had, I'll take it! Even if it's going to mean selling a kidney. Maybe two.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.