Developers September 29, 2020

Mechanical Keyboard for Programming on Mac

Michael Pierce @matchmike1313

Does anybody have recommendations around mechanical keyboards for macs? I have looked some at DasKeyboards, Keychron, and Code (WASD). Looking for something compact for programming use.

  1. 4

    I use an HHKB and honestly it's been amazing - it's small, feels excellent, and I've come to (mostly) really love the layout. I would definitely look into them, if you haven't yet. Unfortunately, unless you know someone that has one or perhaps live in Japan, you can't really try before you buy.

    1. 2

      I checked it out! Seems fantastic. As @cinode said, how is the transition to no arrow keys?

      1. 2

        @matchmike1313 @cinode It's really not too bad, though it helped that I had another keyboard previously where the arrow keys were also hidden behind a function layer. I might give it a week or so for it feel relatively natural.

        That being said, I think if you really heavily use arrow keys, it might not be your thing. e.g. when I'm coding, I'm always using vim bindings, so I don't use arrow keys a lot (outside of normal usage for web browsing, e-mail, etc). If I relied on macOS key bindings for coding, I would perhaps want dedicated arrow keys.

    2. 1

      How'd you get used to having no arrow keys?

  2. 3

    Ive got the 87 key CODE keyboard (actually 3 of them...) with the cherry mx clear switches. I ended up going with the clears since they're a bit quieter (I love my DasKeyboard with the cherry blue switches, but its loud). I ended up adding some dampening rings that makes it feel even better. Compared to the DasKeyboard I think it feels a bit faster to type of (key travel distance at least feels shorter) and the backlit keys are a nice bonus.

  3. 2

    I recently got a Planck EZ Ortholinear keyboard. This is my first mechanical keyboard. It’s a change of layout for me. I kind of like it.

    I’ve created my own layer of keys with some vim and tmux bindings as macros.

    If you go ortholinear, I would probably recommend a Preonic since it has a separate row for number keys - comes very handy.

  4. 1

    I use Keychron model and it's a very comfortable example to work with. mAh is nice so it's last longer in comparison with my gaming razer keyboard without RGB on. Before that, let me tell you that my choice was based on a guide from here , there is a list of keyboards exactly for your need. In that list you will see all pros and cons from the best keyboards that are available this year. I have read their article and everything they wrote is eye-opening information. Check and scroll it while reading and for sure you will find the right model for you as I did.

  5. 1

    I would like to have the "Vinpok Taptek", but it is too expensive for me. I have it on my wish list.

  6. 1

    I have an ergodox, not really compact but I LOVE it!

    (If i would need a compact one i'd go for a Planck)

  7. 1

    I used to use the Kinesis Advantage but recently switched to the Ergodox EZ (I think there's a new one out called the moonlander). I would highly recommend any of those keybaords because if you're sitting at a desk all day you'd want the best posture (hands shoulder-width apart). I prefer the Kinesis's feel but I switched to the Ergodox because I game and I didn't want to use two keyboards. Plus I find the Ergodox's programability a lot better. Let me know if you have any questions, happy to answer!

    • Typed on an Ergodox EZ ;)
  8. 1

    I saw an inexpensive keyboard that you can consider. Ajazz ak33. I like how it can be wired or bluetooth connected. Compact sized as well.

  9. 1

    I was looking for something similar a while back but actually got used to the <ahem> 'magic' Apple keyboard though I had thought I never would!

    I tried using an old Mac mechanical keyboard but found the key travel too high / too much friction and there was also some unknown incompatibility that was crashing vi quite regularly so I ditched it.

  10. 1

    Razer mechanical keyboards with their green switches (v2) are very nice, similar to MX blue switches IMO, but with more lateral stability (less wobble). I think it has a slightly shorter travel distance than switches made by Cherry and a bit more return force - very comfortable and extremely satisfying. Most of the mechanical keyboards support interchangeable keycaps, so you can usually find and purchase Apple/foreign language caps from a 3rd party, depending on your keyboard/switch selection.

  11. 1

    I m software developer and have been using Keychron K1 v2 for almost 1 year - low profile/slim, wireless/wire, native Mac layout, RGB backlight, not as noisy as a typical mechanical keyboard and not so pricy. It has all the features I love but the quality really disappoints me after a few months (as working from home I use it much more often in past few months): 1. a few keys do not response properly now and I have to press a few times; 2. battery doesnot last long (3~5 days). Other people also report exactly the same problems.

    1. 1

      @fastzhong, this is great to know... I saw some of the reviews and it made me skeptical.

  12. 1

    I use the DasKeyboard and it has an excellent feel and makes a very satisfying sound but it's so wide that it's unpleasant to use after a few hours.

    The discomfort could probably be reduced if one knows a lot of keyboard shortcuts to avoid reaching for the mouse all the time.

      1. 1

        I agree with @binh, I have been using a DasKeyboard with brown switches with my Mac for a couple of years and could not be happier.

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