The mother of all mechanical keyboards is of course the IBM Model M. The only problem is that if you own one you almost always have to use an adapter to mate it to a USB port. It’s either that or you purposely seek out one with a PS/2 connector to direct-connect to the PS/2 keyboard port on your motherboard (assuming it even has one).
Are mechanical keyboards available that are native USB? Yes.
Are they expensive? Yes.
Are they worth it? I’d have to say yes, because it takes a significant amount of effort to construct a mechanical keyboard.
You will on average spend at least 60 bucks for a new USB mechanical keyboard. And before you say “Whoa! Too expensive!”, brand new unused original IBM Model M’s sell for well over $100. Hardcore computer geeks are willing to pay big money for the real thing, so when you take that into consideration, $60 for a new mechanical USB keyboard is a fair price.
There are only 2 mechanical keyboards I recommend at the time I write this (other than IBM Model M). Both are expensive at around $100 each.
Mechanical, USB and backlit? Yes, yes and yes. Add some extra cool factor in the respect it looks like something straight out of TRON. The M could never claim that.
The RK-9000 from Rosewill is all-business and carries a much more traditional keyboard look and appearance – but it’s not cheap and is roughly the same price as the RAZER mentioned above. However it is the closest thing to an M without being an M.
Of the two I’d recommend the Rosewill first, because the only thing that will wear out on it is the lettering on the keys over time. Other than that, it can literally last 10 years assuming it’s taken care of properly and no food or drink is accidentally spilled into it.
Mechanical keyboards are not ergonomically friendly whatsoever, but, when you want an industrial quality back-to-basics keyboard with lightning fast action that rivals the best short-profile keyboard, mechanical is what you go with. It’s not “pretty” or “cool” or any of that nonsense. It’s the standard. Mechanical is a true geek’s PC keyboard. Anything less just will not do.
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