A translator’s conversion to a mechanical keyboard

FilcoSince the Typing Tips for Translators webinar last February, several people have asked me which keyboard I use. The answer is a Filco Majestouch-2. But actually, I’ve only been using this mechanical keyboard for about six months. Before that, I belonged to the vast majority (97%) of translators who use a membrane keyboard.

Why did I switch keyboards? Why did I choose a mechanical keyboard? Was it a good choice?

Find out the answers in a guest post I’ve just written for The Keyboard Company, where I bought my Filco Majestouch. When you’ve read the post, please join in the conversation over there to share which keyboard you use and why.


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8 Responses to A translator’s conversion to a mechanical keyboard

  1. Hi Emma,
    What about chiclet keyboards? What do you think/what’s your take on them?

    • Flat, square, low-profile chiclet keys are membrane keyboards under the hood. They usually have scissor switches under each keycap, which give them a crispy but quiet sound and better stability than classic membrane systems. Most laptop keyboards have chiclet keys (my Lenovo ThinkPad S440 does) and so do Apple wireless external keyboards.
      I prefer the clear “mapping” reference you get from sculpted rather than flat keys, and the tactile feel of mechanical keys. Finger travel is similar: on chiclet keys it’s 2 mm or less, which is the same as mechanical keys because you don’t have to bottom them out for the key to register.
      I guess it’s a question of personal preference at the end of the day.
      Do you use a chiclet keyboard, Cath? Is that why you’re asking?

      • Yes I work on an iMac and touch-type with an external Apple keyboard. We have an old computer elsewhere in the house with a mechanical keyboard that I occasionally use, but I prefer the feel of the chiclet.

        • Ah, then you didn’t need all the details about chiclet keyboards 😉 Sorry!
          For people who need to switch between an external and laptop keyboard, using similar layouts and mechanisms definitely makes sense. I know I’m slower on my laptop keyboard because it’s so different from my external one.
          An external chiclet keyboard is a good solution in that case, especially as you prefer the feel of that mechanism.

  2. EP says:

    Nerdy QWERTY joke: She squirmed excitedly as he leaned over and whispered softly in her ear, “Asdfg..hjkl…uiop.” She loved it when talked Qwerty to her.

  3. I am toying with the idea of buying Logitech G910. What do you think?

    • I don’t know this keyboard, but I’ve just looked at its specs and read a few reviews. The 9 programmable keys would be very useful and the Romer-G switches are apparently similar to Cherry MX browns (which I like). Not sure I like the WASD keys ‘jumping out’ because of the lighting (although this can be customised) and their physical design. I’d also be wary of the sharply scalloped keycaps, which are designed for gamers, not typists.
      Let us know what you decide to buy in the end!

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