Best keyboard and monitor?

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Sun Jun 10, 2007 5:35 pm Post

Michel Beer wrote:The Mighty Mouse is great. I couldn't live without it anymore...


The only problem with the MM is that the trackball will need periodic cleaning, which is somewhat of a pain.

It might be a good time to get a 23" Cinema Display -- the prices have dropped a lot -- but then again, I'll bet that Apple will be releasing a new line soon.

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antony
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Sun Jun 10, 2007 5:54 pm Post

I'm one of those insane types that actually went and bought an old mechanical switch Apple Extended Keyboard off eBay, and the ADB-USB converter to use it. This was mainly because of the difficulties (and cost) in obtaining a Matias...

However, my second choice would be a MacAlly, whether the IceKey or not, simply because in my experience they're very reliable. I used MacAlly keyboards almost exclusively for nigh on ten years - never had a problem with them, and if you can't get mechanical switches they're the next best thing.
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AmberV
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Sun Jun 10, 2007 7:03 pm Post

I have a Dell Ultrasharp 24", and it honestly is a beautiful monitor. It has the identical display component that Apple uses in their 23" monitor. The only difference is the casing and the input options, which are far greater on the Dell. Card readers, multiple inputs, USB 2.0 hub, et cetera.

While not quite as nice, the Gateway widescreen of similar size also uses this same LCD component that Dell and Apple use. So if you really hate the idea of having a Dell that much, there is that. There is also a piece of black electrical tape over the Dell logo! I cannot make a recommendation on them though. I've only had one Gateway monitor and it came free with a computer years ago. It still works, that old monitor, so I suppose that is a good sign.

My mouse is the new Logitech cordless one with the fancy scroll wheel. I love it. :) If you flick the wheel fast enough, it rises off of the "click-click" mechanism and becomes a high-speed fly wheel. You can chew through mammoth documents in seconds. With Steermouse, you can access all 15 of its buttons, or whatever it has. Some number that would make Steve Jobs wake up in a cold sweat, but I like a bunch of buttons.

I don't have a good keyboard recommendation. That is something I'm still searching for, myself. Unlike many Mac users, it seems, I've never been impressed with MacAlly. Their keyboards (the ones I've come across anyway) look like gigantic Legos or something. Big, blocky, child-proof looking things. And I've always been fond of mice that can do more than right click and scroll. That IceKey certainly does look the exception, though. And the type of keyboard the original Titanium laptops had were probably one of my favourite feels ever. If it is anything like that, I might have to rescind my stance on their equipment. :)
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antony
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Sun Jun 10, 2007 7:12 pm Post

AmberV wrote:Their keyboards (the ones I've come across anyway) look like gigantic Legos or something. Big, blocky, child-proof looking things.


The way I type, this is not a bad thing ;) Keyboards are about the only area where the normal 'ooh, shiny' aspect of my Mac fandom holds no sway. I want/need something that can stand up to being hammered for five hours every day without falling apart.
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lenf
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Sun Jun 10, 2007 7:16 pm Post

Ya, another positive for the Dell 24" Ultrasharp. I've been using mine for almost two years, still perfect.

Mighty Mouse, I've not found a better mouse. I've used MS, Logitech, etc. and I just find the MM a much nicer approach. That said: 1) A box of those little alcohol pads in the desk drawer. Once a week or so, just rub one quickly over the roller ball for 15 seconds or so. Keeps the whole thing clean and happy. (I keep a second MM in the drawer, fully cleaned, but only have to swap every 10 months or so...). 2) I couldn't quite handle the wireless version... too much lag in response, not as precise. But then I do a fair amount of graphic work, and want really fast mouse time.

Keyboard: There's a note on the Matias Pro thread about the Avant Prime, and here's a link to the lowendmac.com article...

http://lowendmac.com/thomas/06/1213.html

I used the original Pro for over a year, I've not touched one of the new versions. To my hands, the difference in quality and touch between the original Tactile Pro and the Avant Prime is much like a Ford coupe and a Mercedes. The Avant is very solid, a bit noisy, but a great keyboard.

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Sun Jun 10, 2007 7:20 pm Post

Yeah, I should have been more specific. Beyond the My First Constructor Set appearance, I really didn't think the feel of it was anything special; at least of the old one I tried. It was mushier than the Apple White. Though, at the time it was better than Apple keyboards, because back then Apple was insulting its users with those minuscule black keyboards and mice that looked like an unbaked hot bun.

My keyboard of choice is actually this bizarre touch pad device that combines the functions of a mouse and keyboard together with a multi-finger gesture recognition system. It requires no pressure at all to type; you can just kind of float your fingers over the thing. It uses the same recognition technology that the iPhone will have. Unfortunately it is only physically possible to type around 70wpm on it, and effectively without any tactile feedback, it is hard to get that fast anyway. I did get pretty good at it though.
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Sun Jun 10, 2007 7:26 pm Post

I use an Apple Wireless Keyboard and love it. But it's probably much to quiet for you. I also use the Mighty Mouse, corded version, and it works just fine for me! The external display I use is nice, but you are contemplating much better ones.
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Sean Coffee
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Sun Jun 10, 2007 8:25 pm Post

Keith:

Currently writing this on the Tactile Pro 2 (I pre-ordered) and I love it. It has a couple of small issues: the startup key on the board kind of sticks a little -- I think that has something to do with the casing being slightly off. Also, Matias makes a big deal about the special option key thing, but the way it's implemented seems... gimmicky and worthless? That's probably harsh. But it's gimmicky and worthless. Also, the vaunted USB 2.0 dock is better described as a USB 2.0 port. Because there's just one.

Annoyed as I am with Matias... let's say gilding the lilly in their advertising, the keys themselves are an absolute joy to type on, especially if you have your own room in which to click away. And I'm not kidding. I'm saying CLICK. And CLACK. And, occasionally, SPRANG.

That said, you can't get one anywhere right now. Seriously. I have a couple friends who have spent way too much time trying. Matias either way underestimated, or is having serious manufacturing issues.

So I can only suggest that you watch the Matias site, pre-order when you can, and bide your time with my previous favorite keyboard, the oft-mentioned iceKey. It's not as mushy as it looks, and the response is genuinely satisfying.

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KB
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Sun Jun 10, 2007 9:18 pm Post

Thanks again for all of your replies.

Monitor
The Dell Ultrasharp 24", at £695.60 (nearly $1400 for US folk) is actually more expensive than the Apple 23" widescreen display, at £599 (nearly $1200) - or £479 if I decide to use my 20% discount. So I'm not really sure what the advantage of buying a Dell would be...

Keyboard
I'm rethinking this a little. I looked at some reviews of the MacAlly IceKey and I'm now veering towards it. The first picture I looked at made it seem as though the keyboard was like that of the MacBook, but from what I read it is actually based on those of the iBook and PowerBook and will therefore be more like my MacBook Pro, and other pictures I have looked at seem to confirm this. Although I initially wanted the clickety-clack (and probably still will if the Matias Tactile Pro ever comes into stock...), I do like the idea of having a full-size keyboard that feels like the laptop keyboards I am used to typing on (and which I like).

I looked at the thingy Prime, but it just looks too old-school for me. Beige. Brr.

Mouse
Seems that there is a mixture of opinion on the Mighty Mouse. Hmm.

AmberV - which Logitech one do you mean? There is an abundance of them. Looking at their website, they all look a little too black and shiny for me...

Thanks again!
Best,
Keith

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Sun Jun 10, 2007 9:37 pm Post

KB wrote:Seems that there is a mixture of opinion on the Mighty Mouse. Hmm.



From the posts above, it seems the trackball MM is the version that gets the forum vote.

H

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KB
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Sun Jun 10, 2007 10:13 pm Post

Hmm... MacUser give the IceKey a very bad review:

http://macuser.pcpro.co.uk/macuser/labs ... rchString=

The Gateway 24" monitor looks good. I love the idea of being able to rotate the screen and have it in "portrait" mode. Now that feature I want. It makes so much more sense for writing text in some situations... It's cheaper than Dell or Apple, too.

Best,
Keith

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Sun Jun 10, 2007 11:03 pm Post

Hmm... MacUser give the IceKey a very bad review:


Uh, if the link you posted is the review. It's not a very enlightening review. I note, however, that it costs double what it does here in the States.

Dave

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AmberV
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Sun Jun 10, 2007 11:03 pm Post

The Dell rotates, too. It is something I quite like when writing. Lots and lots of extra words on the screen! If the Gateway does this too, then it seems like a good option. My father went the Gateway because he couldn't find an Ultrasharp retail. So far he's been happy with it. I don't know how the Gateway is designed, but one problem with the Dell is that rotating the screen can be a little touchy if you have a lot plugged into it.

Image

The mouse I have is the MX Revolution. It is pretty black and shiny, but it has everything I want from a mouse. It has just the right amount of weight. I don't ultra-light mice like the MM. I also never found much use for the MM's side buttons, which seem to trigger no matter how I hold it. And as spiffy as the roller-ball is, it seems vaguely... I don't know, odd on a laser/optical mouse? Like trading one problem for another.

It looks like the IceKey is rather expensive over there! They charge the same number over here, except in dollars! I've been looking for one that I can actually go in and try typing on. I really like the way those laptops feel. A full sized keyboard with the same action would be really swank. I wonder how sturdy it is though; being so thin. I often put my keyboard on a pillow and sit back to type. Something like that beastly Prime would be better for that. Looking at that keyboard makes me automatically reach for the 5 1/4" floppy driver disk though! Wow. I bet its a dream to type on though.
Last edited by AmberV on Sun Jun 10, 2007 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sun Jun 10, 2007 11:12 pm Post

There's a positive ATPM review of the IceKey here:

http://www.atpm.com/11.06/icekey.shtml

I'm definitely leaning towards it.

Regarding price - yeah, that drives me crazy. I have absolutely no idea how Dell have the gall to charge more in pounds than they do in dollars for the UltraSharp 24" - that is way over twice the price that Brits have to pay! That alone puts me off. Swivelly action = good, though...

I'll take another look at the Logitech site.

Best,
Keith

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Sun Jun 10, 2007 11:54 pm Post

I had the Apple wireless keyboard (well, I still have it, just don't use it) but I bought and am now using the Macally icekey. It makes some noise, but not what the wireless one was making. The quieter the better, imo. I also prefer the touch of the Icekey.

Also had/have the wireless MM. I went back to my old Macally trackball.

My monitor is small for this group :lol: - only a 19" LCD - but I have it on a wall mount monitor arm and highly recommend that! I love being able to position the monitor whereever I want or push it up out of the way, leaving a clear desk. (Ok, a monitorless desk... it hasn't been clear clear in years. :oops: )

The monitor itself is a relative cheapie: a Samsung SyncMaster. To my surprise, it works very well - colors are bright and vivid and accurate - and covers all the ground I need and no more.