First mechanical keyboard, need advice

So I've been eyeing this particular product for a while:

I've been thinking of getting the tenkeyless version with Brown switches.

I've never used a mechanical keyboard before and I'm used to the keys of a MacBook. The reason I'm making this post is to get advice on pretty much everything about mechanical keyboards:

Is this a good product?
Should I go for brown or blue or red etc.?
What are the pros/cons of a TKL model vs a standard one?

Thanks in advance

Personally i am not a fan of the thermaltake keyboards they feel kinda cheap, as far as blue vs red vs brown i really tend to like brown as they are sort of the best of both in one. But depending on your usage just pick the ones you like more.

Blue= typing alottt
red= gaming 24/7 no typing ;p
brown= both n awesomely at that;p

For the TKL benefits vs standards cant really tell cause I've always used a tkl form factor and i love it except for the old school ibm keyboards which are perfect but not a gaming keyboard;p

i would really recommend you just save up and buy either the rapid i coolermaster which i own and its amazing for tkl or go with corsair k90 and up or ducky shine, wasd .

This site should help you a lot.

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The advantage of TKL over full size is more room on your desk. The disadvantage is you lose the numpad it you use that for anything.

Red Switches are linear, there is no tactile feedback as you press them this makes then good for fast double tapping in games and such, but some dislike them for typing as they give no feedback as to when the key actuates only when you bottom out. So for typists who like to type light and fast they can miss letters as the actuation point is halfway down the key press.
Red switches are also very light at 45g actuation force, I have reds are they are too light for me, but you mileage may vary. There is a harder linear switch the Black switch at 60g actuation force, I actually quite like these but could go heavier again with the likes of the much rarer Dark Grey (linear) switch at 80g.

Blue switches are split in half on the inside so when the key actuates the bottom half drops and hits the bottom of the inside of the switch giving great feed back both tactile and audibly, you feel when the switch actuates and here it. This is great for most typists but can be an issue at home f you game or type at night as the noise is loud enough to annoy some people even in other rooms.
Blues are also a little light at 50g actuation force but have the resistance of the halfway step in them so it does not feel so light. There is also a heavier version, the Green Switch at 80g (not to be confused with Razer greens) There are also the much rarer White switches at ~55g (it varies a little) which are quieter but still clicky.

Brown switches are the middle ground where the key has a step half way down so you can feel when it actuates but it will not makes a click like the blues. This is kind of the all round and a solid choice but it is all down to how you like the feel of the switches.
Browns are also quite light at 45g actuation force like the Reds, but agian the bump adds a little but of extra resistance to the press but not much. There is a heavier version with a larger bump, the Clear switch which has an actuation force of 55-65g. Theer is also the rarer Light Grey (tactile) switch which is heavier again at ~80g actuation force.

That more or less overs the switches, any question ask.

They keyboard you are looking at uses Khail switches as opposed to Cherry, but they are almost the same as the cherry patents ran out and now many companies make Cherry MX clones, this is just one is them and most of the colours match up to the cherry switches so the above information is still mostly valid, they just don't currently do many of that rarer or heavier switches as the lighter ones in general are more common across all companies.
Overall it it a fine board, with alternatives in the CMStorm Quickfire line and similar boards in the same class.

Hope this helps a but and if you have any questions ask away.


My advice would be to take everyone's input with a grain of salt because you won't really know if you like the product until you've used it. I let the internet/friends sell me the idea of a Corsair K70 and I don't really like it but I'm stuck with it because it was an expensive purchase. I tried a das once and that's really what I wish I would've got instead. A cheap model m wouldn't be a bad place to start, its not GAMING FAD AWESOME but it would kind of let you know how a mechanical is going to be to own. I'm just throwing out ideas from my experience though, bottom line should be find what YOU think you'd like.

If you head over to WASD Keyboards, they have a "trial" strip of 6 switch types. Press 'em a bunch of times and pick whatever feels best. I think it's like $6 or something, but it's worth it because you'll either love or absolutely hate whatever switch you happen to get.

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It depends what you want. first Figure out the switch type. Get some switch testers and fiddle with them or if possible go to a store with them.(best buy for me)

Next would be form factor full, tenkeyless, 60% or other special types.

Also is what do you want the keyboard to look like. There are colored keycaps and different backlights. THis is personal taste.

There are also other features like media keys, usb hubs, and headphone jacks.

For me i have many keyboards. I have a 60% kbparadise with green switches and blue/green backlights, a k95 rgb with reds, a unicomps buckling spring, and several others i like them all.

i have a blue, and i really really enjoy it. i got a K70 Red at first, but that was indeed abysmal at typing. one cool thing about WADS was the fact that i had initially ordered a custom keycapped one with Greens, but upon trial found them MUCH to stiff for me. i emailed the support department and was told that i could strip the keycaps off, and send the barebones keyboard back in, purchase a barebones for $60 less, and just shove the keycaps back on.

WASD are thicker than DAS K, and they don't have the fancy media controls unless you flip a dipswitch on the underside. on the upside, the dipswitches allow you to set things like Scroll Lock to lock Windows key activation.

Edit: i feel i should state the obvious and confirm that Mechanical keyboards aren't really meant to be super super special and do things others can't, they're just really really rugged and optimised for particular uses.

+1 for @Phrogas. See what you like via one of those key type testers or just head into a store and feel what is best for you. & if possible try a topre.
imho, if you dont have the best typing accuracy then you'll hate reds, blue are nice once o-ring dampeners are installed, browns are a good mix.
I'm not a fan of thermaltake gear, usually cheap and nasty stuff.
Depending on where you are I'd have a hunt around for an old model M, cant beat em.

Okay cool thanks for all the help guys.

I'm still planning on trying out a few models and switches at a store when I get the chance, but right now I'm thinking I'm gonna go with the CM Storm Quickfire. I just don't have the money to get one of the higher end models like you guys suggested, and I think for my gaming and light school work this is the one for me.

I have a cm storm stealth with greens and i love it. Excellent build quality. Also check

The higher-end keyboards can be a bit of an investment. As long as you know what you like when you do decide to buy a nicer one, you'll be set for years.

Make sure you look at the keyboard as a well rounded tool. The switches are only one aspect. If you want something all around make sure it has feed back and is not linear and stay away from the typing side unless you make very deliberate and large keystrokes.

An example. I have Cherry MX Blues and they type great but their release point is higher than the actuation point. I HAVE to release the key all the way to press it again. They are also stupid loud even when you don't bottom out the keycap. I used a set of Cherry MX Browns which had a mild detent and they were a much better all around key. I like the spring force of the Blue but the feel of the Brown. I think the Black keys were a harder Brown? It was mentioned in the thread to try out some switches if you can. It might cost you a bit but you will at least feel better knowing what you want.

Very good idea as theory isn't much practice :)
I thought I wanted a specific mx-switch, but turned out I couldn't stand them and wanted an other version. So do some practical testing, you know pretty soon what you like.

An yes, many mech keyboards are stupidly overpriced. No keyboard is worth 100+ bucks IMHO.

I find it super useful having the numeric keys. Maybe it's just me, but for the small amount of extra space, I say opt for full-size, but it's totally a matter of preference in the end.

I know exactly what you mean, that's why I'm going to get the CM Storm Quickfire TK.

It integrates the arrow keys into the numpad, along with Pg Up/Down, Home, Delete, Insert, etc.

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