Jan 052016
 

CODE KeyboardAs I type this, the sweet, sweet clicky sound of my new CODE Keyboard fills the air and my fingers, typing speed, and general demeanor couldn’t be happier. I have been debating purchasing a mechanical keyboard for a while now and decided to treat myself to a nice keyboard for Christmas.

 

My prior keyboard was a Logitech KB350, which is a wireless, rubber-dome keyboard. I used it for at least five years and it served me well. However, I had been hearing all of the hype about mechanical keyboards for quite some time. A couple friends had gotten them for gaming, but swore by them for general typing for coding as well. After some research, I discovered that rubber-dome keyboards require the key to travel the full distance to the PCB (printed circuit board) to make contact with the circuit on the board. Supposedly, this causes more fatigue and causes more typing errors due to the longer key travel.

Logitech KB350 and CODE Keyboard

Logitech KB350 and CODE Keyboard

I have been using this keyboard for a day, so I can’t speak to it’s magical powers of productivity increases, but I can say that it is very solidly built. Here are my first impressions:

  1. WASD Keyboard takes pride in their devices.  You need to go check out WASD Keyboards.  They make custom mechanical keyboards that are solid.  This keyboard is heavy.  The possibilities of the keyboards that they can make are endless.  You can go off-script and make any custom mechanical keyboard you want, with different key colors for every key if you want.  You can even have them print images across your keys.  Further, you can specify which MX switch key color that you want on your keyboard.
  2. Cherry MX mechanical keys are cool.  The most important customization that you can make with a mechanical keyboard is the type of switch that is used for each key.  After a lot of consideration, I went with the Cherry MX blue keys.  I thought that I would like the travel and satisfying click of the keys and so far my assumption was correct.  Some folks like the harder-to-push green, or the no-click browns.  To me, these blues are perfect, but you can choose from blue, green, brown, or clear to suit your particular typing style.
  3. I really like the LED backlighting.  You can choose between 6 different levels of brightness.  It’s just a cool, clean look that is nice in a dark office.  You should know that (at the time of typing this) WASD doesn’t have a backlighting option for their other keyboards (other than the CODE).  So if you want, you can print your cat’s picture across your keys.  You just can’t have the keys backlit.
  4. The CODE Keyboard is a collaboration between WASD Keyboards and Jeff Attwood of the popular Coding Horror blog.  This keyboard looks and feels like a clean, professional keyboard. There aren’t any crazy colors to distract.  Just a solid keyboard to get code done.
  5. The multimedia controls on the keys are understated, but very convenient.  On my old KB350, the multimedia controls are on top of the keyboard.  They stand out very prominently and add about 2 inches to the top of the keyboard.  On the CODE, the multimedia controls are in the Home cluster as function keys.  You can control them with one hand very easily.  The nice thing about having the keys as function keys is that you don’t have a lot of other clutter making the keyboard larger.  This isn’t a big deal to me, but I nice the nice, sleek form factor of the CODE.
  6. CODE is configurable for a Windows or Mac and you can tweak the function of the Caps Lock and OS keys via the dip switch on the back.

Back of CODE Keyboard

Will the CODE Keyboard make my C# code more efficient?  Will it make my Azure Powershell scripts more readable?  Will it make my writing more interesting?  Probably not.  However, in the journey from my head to the screen, my fingers and ears will experience a miniscule bit of tactile and audible happiness, which, when multiplied by each click will make me happier, so I think the CODE was a good purchase.