As a developer, I have gone through many keyboards. There are many different kinds of keyboard technologies, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Among the longest surviving types of keyboards is the mechanical keyboard.
These keyboards are used almost religiously by those who recognize their advantages. Gamers, for instance, prefer mechanical keyboards for a few reasons: they are more robust and can withstand more abuse, they are generally heavier and don’t move a lot on the table, and they offer a more tactile feedback when a key is depressed.
However, mechanical keyboards usually are obnoxiously loud. If you work in an environment where you have co-workers within whisper range, a loud, obnoxious keyboard might incite a full on cubicle war. For that reason, most office workers choose not to use mechanical keyboards when they can avoid it, and it’s usually not an issue as most corporate computers ship with $10 membrane-based keyboards. So, where does one go if they want the advantages of a mechanical keyboard without bearing the risk of a Nerf dart to the head?
I give you the Matias Quiet Pro.
Here’s what I liked about it
The Matias Quiet Pro was my answer to the best of both worlds. It has all the benefits of a full-blown mechanical keyboard, but without the loud clickety-clack that most expect to hear from such. The weight is nice, as I don’t have the keyboard drifting around the table a lot. The resistance of the keys allows me to type more accurately and with greater speeds than before; my average typing speed increased from 75 WPM to 95 WPM within a week (to make sure this wasn’t a fluke, I plugged in my old Dell keyboard and still got an average around 75 WPM, and with even less accuracy than before). The Quiet Pro also includes a few extra features which further sets it apart from competitors.
There are 3 more USB ports on the keyboard chassis, only one of which I have used for my wireless mouse dongle. I will occasionally use a second USB port if I need to plug-in a USB Drive. There are also included media control keys: The volume control keys are directly above the number pad with an included Mute key, and the play/resume and seek keys are available with the use of a function key. Another feature that I wish I had back in my Excel days, was the inclusion of a Tab key on the number pad which should speed up those long and tedious data entry tasks.
What didn’t I like about it
Honestly, there’s not much to dislike about the Quiet Pro, so I have to get a bit more creative and nit-picky. The Quiet Pro is a corded keyboard, and while it is a very sturdy and long cable, I would prefer to have a wireless version, even if I risk losing the other USB ports. Using the play/pause and seek buttons can get a bit tedious since I have to use the fn key to activate then, I would prefer to have them as their own keys and in the same general place as the volume keys. Finally, after typing so long on membrane-based keyboards, there was a small time where getting used to the extra resistance of the keys was a bit of a deterrent. Once you get used to that though, you’ll never want to go back.
The Matias Quiet Pro retails for $149.95, which puts into a class of hardware that many people are not expecting. When compared to a normal keyboard that is given away for free with new computers, that is A LOT of money. However, when taken for what this actually is (and that it may be the last keyboard you ever need to buy) it is actually quite affordable. Still, the Quiet Pro is not for everyone.
If, however, you are on the computer most of your waking hours and if you place importance on the quality of your typing experience, than the Quiet Pro has my recommendation.