Full Circle? Chiclet keyboard? Anyone in the same situation as me?

So I have been in this hobby for more than a year now. I have gotten my hands on some instock keyboards like Freyr TKL, KBD67, Savage 65, Tofu65 and even tried HHKB Topre and FC980C. Also gotten myself into quite a few GBs. Even so, I am trying to “design” my own board on fusion and hoping to prototype it in the near future. So much vested in this hobby! :smiley:

I love this hobby and all these boards but somehow I feel like my productivity drops when I am using these boards because they are so satisfying and sound so nice that I am just want to type more and typing for the sake of typing, which makes me very distracted. :stuck_out_tongue:

So recently, I just tried working on my laptop keyboard…and honestly I think it’s isn’t that bad, and it’s really helping me to focus too with the softer sound and a decently nice tactile typing feel.

This brings me to full circle…I kinda like these kind of chiclet keyboards when they are well built, and I love keyboards in general. haha. So how about you? Have you been in this situation? :smiley:


I too like chiclet keyboards on laptops for occasional use, but can’t stand shitty rubber domes anymore :stuck_out_tongue:

Sit back… be still… don’t give in to your clacky needs…
then when you do need to type enjoy it so much more.

That’s how I do it :smiley:

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yeah it’s quite interesting to switch between boards!

Now, that I use a laptop for work, I’ve gotten used to chiclet keys too. They aren’t that bad. I sometimes even bring out my Apple Aluminium keyboard for my desktop PC lol.

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There are definitely good and bad non-mechanical keyboards! I think there should be an attempt to slightly rebrand the hobby as a “Keyboard Enthusiasts” vs “Mechanical Keyboard Enthusiast”.

Personally a lot of the Lenovos/Thinkpads I used in my youth were quite decent :thinking:
Even Apples pre-butterfly-catastrophe chiclets were decent imo


Yeah, all I really need is a keyboard like the pre T430 models.

Lenovo actually used to manufacture some USB keyboards like that, but not anymore. They command a high premium now.

The thing about the rubber domes on the Thinkpads is that they had a very sturdy base, and often still do. Today, they are integrated into carbon roll-cages and such.

I guess I’d be happy with a well-built rubber dome like that.

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I think chiclets and “mechanical” keyboards can coexist. When I want a snappy, tactile and quiet keyboard, it’s really hard to beat a good set of chiclets in my opinion. I’m personally not a fan of most modern non-clicky tactile switches, and vintage options like SKCM are increasingly becoming less of a viable since even Dell AT101/102s are ever-increasing in price despite supply being fairly plentiful.

As such, when I want quiet, I usually turn to something like this - a Lenovo ThinkPad Compact USB Keyboard with TrackPoint (KU-1255):

It’s snappy, superlight and superslim. I can easily slip this into any sort of bag or case without any issue, which is especially handy for me since before COVID, I used to visit my campus library a lot for a change of scenery whilst working and most definitely didn’t fancy using public PC peripherals. You can get close to slim with modern low-profile switches and keyboards, but respectifully every one I tried wasn’t for me. And of course, there’s no way to cramp a Dell AT102W or an IBM 5140 into my messenger bag… :joy: Plus as a bonus, this Lenovo specifically works for me since I’m used to ThinkPad keyboards and value a TrackPoint.

However, my favourite type of keyboard is one with monstrously clicky switches like buckling springs or BOX Navies, which is where chiclets and other scissor-switch keyboards fall flat. But, I still think there’s a case for a quiet keyboard in my life and thus chiclets like that still have a place. However, since the start of the lockdown, this Lenovo has been knocked to second place after discovering the old IBM Space Saver Model M4-1 buckling sleeves keyboards. Those things are delicious and criminally underrated, in my opinion.


While I do bring a mech to work every day, I sometimes forget or need to use another station - and it is at those times I’m reminded that not all chicklet boards are created equal.

The computer we use to generate plate files has a pretty awful one - cheap end of third party kind of thing. The keys sit very loosely on top of the membrane sheet, and they all rattle around each time a key is pressed. Oh - and it’s super filthy - I’ll snap a picture for the “keyboard horror” thread if I can remember… Since the machine is used for checking the print and binding schedules by a handful of people, that keeb gets lots of traffic. I prefer to use this one with gloves.

A mere three feet away is the computer we use to actually run the plate-making machine - that one has what I think is a Lenovo pack-in chicklet board. Nothing inspiring and it has some weird layout decisions here and there - but it’s an absolute dream to use compared to its neighbor; quiet, free of rattle, and somehow clean - far fewer people use this one.

Another anecdote in this vein; a close friend of mine who does music production and streams digital design sessions and his keebs. I donated a blue clicky board to him after his pack-in died and he loved it - but when he started streaming it was too loud, so I whipped him up a nice silent tactile.

He’s been talking for weeks about getting an Apple Magic Keyboard so he can get the overlay sheet for Logic Studio - but he later changed his mind and decided it would be worth it to just memorize all that stuff and keep using his board full of lubed Gazzew silents.


I use a really bad rubber dome & mouse every day at work so I can come home to a wonderful desk setup with a nice keyboard and trackball mouse. :stuck_out_tongue:

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That’s gotta be some kinda kink. And who am I to kink shame?

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Yeah a distinction would help enthusiast feel more at home to which ever category he/she finds more relatable. :smiley: