Question Cheap mechanical keyboard...

May 11, 2021
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Ok, I want to buy a new keyboard and my budget is really tight, but I want to try a mechanical keyboard for the first time... I have an option to buy one which is around 30$ in my country, it's Chinese one with domestic branding.

My question is, does the cheapest mechanical keyboard means it's garbage or it just cheap because it is not as good as more expensive ones. This one look nice, it has outemu blue switches.

I can show you the picture of it from the retailer

 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Cheap is likely both.

Design, materials, assembly - all matter and any one or all can make any given product generally unsuitable for long term use.

And even "good"/"expensive" products have a designed in EOL (End of Life). They are built to fail after, for example, some x number of keystrokes.

Remember that there are many counterfeit products being pushed into the market. Especially for known brand names with good reputations. May appear to be a bargain but actually not. May be impossible to return and/or get a refund from the seller.

If at all possible go "hands on" with the keyboard to literally test it and see how responsive, quiet, smooth, and configurable the keyboard may be. What appear to be lit keys may just be colored lettering and colored plastic....


Try to find the User's Guide, look for product reviews by unbiased sources, check product Forums (if any) for FAQs. Read what others are posting about the product (in your case - the keyboard). Look for what is said as well as not said.
 
May 11, 2021
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I currently have a Redragon membrane keyboard, which is 3.5 years old, it was cheap, it was in use 24/7 and it is still going strong expect the background lighting is weaker, and I just want a refreshment.

So, I could buy a new membrane Redragon one, which seems a sure choice now, but I would like a try something with a better feel. I've seen Redragon Kumara with outemu blue switches, I really liked it expect it is out of the price range, and this one seems to be its alternative, I just don't want reliability problems with it...
 
I picked up a Redragon K556, with Outemu brown switches, on sale recently. I love it! I tried blue switches before that but they were just too noisy for my liking.
Bear in mind that mechanical keyboards are lounder than their membrane counterparts, even if you get the linear/silent switches. The added sound comes from the key hitting the bottom of it's travel and then popping back up to the top.
 
May 11, 2021
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Redragon K552 is about $30 as well, of course that depends on pricing where you are in, in US on Amazon it's just over 30.
Sadly, here is 60$ and Amazon is not an option.

I've tried Kumara in store and I've liked the feel of it, but are the outemu blue really that loud in silent places, like home? I've read it's really loud and annoying to other people in the house and I wouldn't like that...
 

DSzymborski

Polypheme
Moderator
Blue switches, since they're usually clones to Cherry MX Blue, will tend to be loud because they're clicky switches. If you have other people to annoy, you're better off going with tactile or linear rather than clicky.

I like clicky switches, but because of that issue, I only use clicky switches (Kailh Box Jade) on my number pad. While nobody can hear me from my office, I do a lot of radio, and if I use a keyboard to find something while on the air, the mic will pick up the clicking.
 
May 11, 2021
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Sadly, only cheap options here come with outemu blue switches, that's a shame. I don't know if they are the cheapest switches or what but it would be nice to have the same cheap choice with reds or browns.
 
Blue switches, since they're usually clones to Cherry MX Blue, will tend to be loud because they're clicky switches. If you have other people to annoy, you're better off going with tactile or linear rather than clicky.

I like clicky switches, but because of that issue, I only use clicky switches (Kailh Box Jade) on my number pad. While nobody can hear me from my office, I do a lot of radio, and if I use a keyboard to find something while on the air, the mic will pick up the clicking.
Agreed. The 'tactile' bump of the browns feels great without adding any extra click sounds.
 
Sadly, only cheap options here come with outemu blue switches, that's a shame. I don't know if they are the cheapest switches or what but it would be nice to have the same cheap choice with reds or browns.
There's nothing wrong with blue switches, per se. Just be aware that they will be clicky. If it's a difference of $20, I would still go for the brown over blue. Especially since many switches are designed for tens of millions of actuations. As long as you treat it well, and don't have any defects, you could easily be using the same keyboard 10 years from now.

Just make sure there's a good return policy, regardless of what you get. Mechanical keyboards have a completely different feel than membrane keyboards. It will require a bit of getting used to if you've only used membrane in the past.
 
And if you press them more softly is the sound quieter?
The click of the blue switches themselves will be the same regardless of how softly you press the keys.
If you are able to actuate the keys without bottoming out every time then yes, it will be quieter, but this is practically impossible for any normal typing speed. Don't count on being able to do this.
 
May 11, 2021
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So it seems the blue switches are the best for the people who like typewriter experience and sound and they live alone. 😁
 
May 11, 2021
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Yeah, I know that sound... I have Redragon K509 witch is advertised as membrane keyboard with mechanical feel, and it is pretty good try at imitating one. It resembles the red switches since it lacks any kind of feedback because it can't provide it.

The brown would be the best for me because you can't fake a tactile feedback with a membrane one.

But like I've said, blues are pretty cool for imitating full on typewriter.
 
May 11, 2021
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Like I've said the tactile bump is the thing I want, and that I can get with blues or the browns, and since there is not cheap brown keyboard around I would have to go for a blue one.
 
May 11, 2021
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So I bought the keyboard from the original post at the end. 😁

And I am so far happy with it, it's my first mechanical keyboard ever, yeah. the cheapest one available, but still, whole new feel for me.

And it's not SO loud as I was afraid it would be. Yes, it's a pretty clicky one, but it's not like loud af, as I've read the blue ones are.
 

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