Anyone use any of the above kbs and mice? These are quite cheap and while not mechanical keyboards they are surely better than the wired kbs my son and I used now. I would love to hear any personal experiences of people using what I linked above. Thnx
Cooler Master is probably the best of quality listed here.
I'd recommend saving up cash to spend on maybe a QuickFire for you and your son, and then whatever mouse.
Ok I saw the prices of these QuickFire keyboards by CoolerMaster and well no way I could ever spend that kind of money on a keyboard. Thanks for the recommendation though.
Yeah, I totally understand. It's whatever, but like I said, Cooler Master is probably the best ones you listed, either one will work well.
I've never owned a Cooler Master, so maybe they really are a cut above other membrane keyboards, but the one fancy membrane board I ever used was truly awful. It was a Corsair, model K30 I think. The ghosting/rollover was weirdly terrible (problems with the shift key, BIOS would often come out BIoS) for about $30 of my blood, sweat and tears. On the other hand, I pull out my cheapo no-name usb board from China once in a while for troubleshooting, and while it doesn't feel as nice as my mech, it has zero problems. I got a used PS/2 Dell board for free a few months ago; the fact that you can hold F12, not mash it, makes it just barely the best membrane board I've ever used.
Backlighting is nice for reading the keys in the dark, but it can also get distracting, especially in the dark (ironic, isn't it?). It's especially a problem when watching movies. Also, the keycaps used on backlit boards are usually a single piece of transparent plastic dipped in a black plastic coat, with the shape of the key letter covered. I'm sure there are different dips, but my Cooler Master mech had a slightly gross feel to it, especially when your fingers get the keys a little sweaty (that skip-and-stick quality). Personally, I'm much happier with blank white PBT keycaps and the light off.
I used to really go out for the programmable keys (I owned a RAT mouse), but I never really used them. Having the extra keys go unused won't degrade the board's performance, but it always made me feel a little bad looking at them (not to mention that you pay a premium for them). It is a surprising amount of work to think of, implement, and remember to use six or so macros. You're also at the mercy of the drivers, so if they're flaky you just have to deal with it.
Mice are a little different. The most important things are how it fits your hand and the sensor (also maybe programmable buttons, see above). Fit is hard to judge over the internet, some stores might let you try them out but I've never had the luxury. There's a lot of snake oil surrounding mice, and there's a good guide on Logical Increments, but here's short version. DPI is the speed of the cursor on the screen, above 1600 is basically unusable (I use 800). You can turn it down with the drivers usually, but "7000 DPI" or whatever is just marketing wank. You don't want to use your OS' speed settings since that means skipping pixels, 1 count should correspond to 1 pixel. Accuracy is what matters; better accuracy means less jitter/noise and no acceleration (cursor moves the same distance if you move the mouse the same distance, no matter how fast or slow you moved the mouse). Post-processing, like angle snapping, should also be avoided. But nobody advertises these things, so you need to do your own research to find mice with perfect sensors.
Anyway. Since you're on a budget, if I was you, I would get the cheapest mouse-keyboard bundle I could find. You could buy from a brand name, but you need to spend significantly more to get a good mouse (~$50) or a good board (~$100). The bundles above might perform slightly better than a no-name, but it's hardly guaranteed, and the price hike isn't nearly worth it imo.
Take this for example. For only $10, you're off to the races. The membranes on the board are the same as any "gaming" board, and the mouse is probably crap, but every mouse ever made is crap except for the 20 or so that have perfect sensors (OG WMO (lol), G400s, Zowie, etc.). Slap on some LED strips and write "GAMING" on it with a paint pen, and you'll add $40 to the equipment's value without improving it. Media keys are worth a few bucks, and I'd recommend getting a full-size board (discrete function keys, arrow key block, numpad)—it's a lifesaver when things break and you need those weird keys.
In other words, if it's not a mechanical or a G400s then it's cheaply made and not great for gaming (even for general use). It's better to save your money and avoid dressed-up hardware that might work worse than the baseline. Also keep in mind that a normal mechanical keyboard will outlive any membrane several times over. It's still cheaper to buy membranes repeatedly (as long as you don't buy "gaming" membranes ), but it's so worth it to go mech.
Frankly I did examine those keyboards and my first thought was:
I understand being a member of the PC Ghetto Race.
It's not because I'm cheap, it's 'cause I'm poor. What always happens to me is I cheap out, immediately regret it, cheap out again when it breaks and then I finally aim for the lowest possible price on entry level good stuff.
I am happy now but I wish I never wasted so much time and money putting up with crappy gear. Your keyboard and mouse are your primary ergonomic interface that you and your son will be touching everyday. Until it fails or you get so mad you crack one of those cheap keyboards in half.
I owned a Logitech, a Microsoft 3000, and a Steelseries Apex recently. If you add all of that up I could have bought 2 Gigabyte K85 mechanical keyboards (cheapest decent one) that I am using now. I'm not saying go all in, but go for a little quality and reliability. That is probably going to cost you more than $30 for the keyboard alone, then you have to pick a good mouse.
Mice are hard to pick because you really should "try them on for size" in a store. It's so hard to pick the right mouse online. I used a R.A.T.3 mouse for years (because it looked cool). I liked it, but it was lightweight and forced a claw grip. Then I saw the Cougar 550M (that looked even cooler). I lucked out and it is a bigger, heavier, higher quality mouse that fits my hand better. Just make sure any mouse you choose has 5 buttons. Three isn't enough and more than 5 is only for people that really need it (= almost nobody).
Good luck, Happy shopping and...
Think of a nice keyboard and mouse as an investment in preventative health care against carpal tunnel syndrome.
For the record guys I have in the past had a nice keyboard I wish I never got rid of. I had that ergonomic MS keyboard. I think I got it for $59 or so. It was the best keyboard I ever had. I recently picked up a wireless Logitech K360 which rates well but I am not going to use that at my desktop area. In showing you what I was looking at I just thought for the price finally getting my son a keyboard that lights up would be cool and getting it on the cheap even better. Also the prices after rebate are quite good. In regards to the mice that come with these I definitely wouldn't be buying them for the mice but hell even when I supposedly have bought decently rated mice before I have had them fail in less than a year. I had the Razer Lachesis and the Logitech G300 and the latter was definitely rated well and it ended up dying at about a year's worth of use and the symbol for Logitech wore off on the front. Brand isn't everything all the time and with companies looking to cheap out these days well yeah I am open to looking at other brands less known for making certain things. Oh and last but not least yes I do try mice I buy out in stores. I never buy a mouse without doing that. However in this case with these purchases the mouse really wasn't the key thing I wanted here.
Thanks for the in depth responses guys.
I usually follow your line of thought for gear. I treat my gear like others treat their vintage vehicles, I treat them good and keep them long.
However, the last keyboard I bought was a Ducky Shine 3, with green Cherry MX switches. Supposedly the best you can get.
3 years later, I'm currently looking at over 6 dead LEDs under the key-caps, which suddenly started dying right after the guarantee.
I paid 250$ for that keyboard, shipping and customs included.
Can't say I'm particularly happy with my investment.
To be clear my line of thought for gear can be summed up in one word. Efficiency.
As a former engineer I live by getting the job done well, for the lowest possible cost.
Anyone can throw money at a problem and end up hunting flies with heat seeking missiles.
I find it fun to get more done with less.
I've had my share of cheap and gaming keyboards over the past few years while looking for the perfect one. IMO nothing (including Cherry) even comes close to Logitech's PerfectStroke keys when it comes to typing.
The only issue I have with my current K740 is that it's wired and I prefer wireless. But that's a minor issue really.
I know I am that guy but seriously go to a big box. Play with the displays, find the keyboard you like and get a mechanical.
You literally put you hands on these things every time you do anything on a PC. Nice peripherals can make something shitty feel nice.
Or even find the switch you like from the displays and then get a cheap board with those switches. There are lots of mechanicals that are as cheap or cheaper than "nice" membranes.