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The Tactile Pro

My Tactile Pro keyboard arrived today. It’s a Mac USB keyboard and I’m running Linux, but I’m happy to say that it worked without a hitch.

Interestingly under Windows, the Apple key works as the Windows key and the volume and mute keys just work.

There weren’t any problems under Linux or working with my bios or Grub.

The Tactile Pro is exactly what I was hoping for, I’m not dissapointed at all save for a few nit-picky things. The keys are loud and feel great.

Definitely not a deal-breaker, but the little plastic feet that prop the keyboard up are cheap and don’t look like they could take much pressure before breaking, also there are a handful of imperfections in the plastic where the individual parts of the keyboard fit together. Lastly the spacebar is a little spongey, although the other keys feel fine. This is kind of dissapointing since the Tactile Pro was a recreation of the heavy, mechanical keyboards of old, but other than the weight (it’s about 4 lbs.!) it just doesn’t feel as durable.

All together it makes this feel like the cheapest $80 keyboard I’ve ever purchased? But typing on the Tactile Pro feels great and if I could do it over, I’d buy it again.

Update: One of the flimsy feet that prop the keyboard up broke today. Matias has a five-year warranty for this keyboard and even suggests you’ll be unlikely to need it as this keyboard should last at least twice that long. Maybe the waranty doesn’t apply to the feet?

Update 2005–05–19: Seven months later and the casing has snapped so the transparent ‘faceplate’ lifts up off the keys. This has to be the cheapest $100 keyboard in existance. I’m very divided about the Tactile Pro. My hate for having spent so much money on something so cheap is matched only by my love for using it for typing.

Update 2006–08–08: Here’s another USB mechanical-switch keyboard, the EnduraPro. Although I prefer the Mac keyboard layout (with the alt key and the Windows/Mac key switched), this one has a built-in eraser-head mouse. This will be the next keyboard I buy since my Tactile Pro is falling to pieces. I’ll update this page when I do.