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why are gaming keypad/boards so underrated?

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#1
Ever since my wolf king:


I have not been able to go back to any "normal" keyboards for gaming. this means any keyboard that is a large rectangle, qwerty dvorak or otherwise.

i had an n52te:

and now i use a logitech g13:


now i love mine, there is simply no question that it is the most comfortable (ergonomic), fast, customizeable and easy to use solution for kb/m gaming. but i would use an n52 or a wolf king before any "normal" keyboard when gaming.

i simply can't understand why people would rather use a full keyboard than one of these? i can see price, and even the fact that they are simply used to a full keyboard - but any technical reason for anyone? and i know they keys aren't the best switches, but i'm really comparing the styles not the hardware.

thanks!
 
J

John Doe

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#2
Those are a hastle IMO. They make in-game typing/chat impossible. If you have to open console to right down a command, you're out of luck again. A full sized keyboard gives superior functionality over those. Not to mention the ones with mechanical switches. They're argueably better than those cheap rubbers. A keyboard doesn't have to be mechanical to be good though, there're solid keyboards with dome switches. Like this notebook keyboard, which makes typing easier due to it's size (travel distance). It has an advantage in games as well. You have control all over the keyboard.

 
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#3
Those are a hastle IMO. They make in-game typing/chat impossible. If you have to open console to right down a command, you're out of luck again. A full sized keyboard gives superior functionality over those. Not to mention the ones with mechanical switches. They're argueably better than those cheap rubbers. A keyboard doesn't have to be mechanical to be good though, there're solid keyboards with dome switches. Like this notebook keyboard, which makes typing easier due to it's size (travel distance). It has an advantage in games as well. You have control all over the keyboard.
how often do you type and chat in single player games? competetive fps? that being said, it's not like you can't have a regular keyboard in front of you to type - you just use the pad to game.

and i recognize the hardware is different. but i'm not talking about that, moreso about the design and layout.
 
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#4
Simplicity is a virtue ... for some!

I have a KB, mouse and joystick as 'human interface devices'. Enough gadgets! These pads inmho just don't are different enough from a KB and have a limited use (gaming).
In the past I've had a Strategic Commander from MS, and although nice etc, I just didn't feel the need to use it after the first week. And the same goes for advanced programming with joysticks: I rather play the games and sims without going thru a week of configuring input devices.

But hey, I am a 4-pump champ.
 
J

John Doe

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#5
how often do you type and chat in single player games? competetive fps? that being said, it's not like you can't have a regular keyboard in front of you to type - you just use the pad to game.

and i recognize the hardware is different. but i'm not talking about that, moreso about the design and layout.
In any way, personally, I like to be able to type and game right away. Those pads are ergonomic, but they're no match for an IBM keyboard.
 
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#6
so it really just seems they have an underwhelming impression. anyone that has used them(for more than 5 minutes) and still prefers old keyboards?
 
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John Doe

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#7
Those old keyboards are really better than even new ones. The clicky-clack switches are top-notch. It's a pleasure to type on those. You can bind on the pad, but you can bind on regular keys too.
 
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#8
I bought one of those round Wolf King's awhile ago (CSS came with!) and I used it for a little bit, but never quite got used to it. This was when I was actually first getting into PC gaming some years back, growing up mostly a Nintendo kid. I was so used to controllers so I was just trying to find something comfortable, as kb+m was still a tough transition for me. I hadn't played with kb+m since I was really young playing Doom and Wolfenstein on DOS.

Anyway, I have to agree with John Doe. Having a regular-sized keyboard feels almost necessary when playing for whatever reason, be it mental or just "feeling" correct. I think my issue with the Wolf King is that the keys are so low-profile that they feel like laptop keys and it's so easy to move your hand around and accidentally hit the wrong key. It doesn't help there's no indicator where your hand/fingers should be. I really don't think I could try using it now, especially since I use a Filco Majestouch with Cherry blue switches.

Oh, of course the ability to chat at a whim is nice, too. ;)
 
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#9
see for me standard keyboards are too big and bulky. there is 3x as much space as necessary when all i need is the first third really.

i looked at the filco - i'm sure quality is top notch with it's hardware and price, but imo it is too standard boxy looking. i need something with more angles and gradients.
 

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#11
Don't forget the Zboard Fang. Which said one fails as it feels spongy and need more keys.

I love the Zboard Fang just got fed up how the keys felt annoyed.

I ideal pad for me would be all the keys from the right side of the keyboard + Fkeys and numbers made in a way that left and right handed people could use.

Those you posted lacks keys at least.
 
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John Doe

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#12
Yeah, I prefer small sized keyboards without numerics. Have been using these backlit notebook keyboards for the past 5+ years. They can be had on the cheap from eBay, and are solid keyboards to type fast. I am addicted to these in my home PC.
 
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#13
It's not that they are underrated for what they are, it's just that most people find it a hassle to have a separate keypad beside the normal keyboard just for gaming.
Personally, I'm satisfied with my IOGear 2.4GHz Keyboard.
 
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#14
Well, I dont need my girl laughing at me.. and a normal keyboard works just fine for.. well.. everything.

Thats like people who go, "OMG I got this uber gaming mouse with 18924791247 DPI".. thats cool bro I just killed you again with my $20 logitech
 
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#15
I wish I had one of those. I feel that my arms are too far apart with a full size keyboard and mouse pad, but the typing in game is a relevant point.
 
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#16
Probably the first game I played that needed tons of keys, outside of maybe TES Arena, was Tribes 2. For that game, a full number pad was a must, as often, you had to change loadouts, and those were keyed to the numpad. For the RPG's that I play most often, even including WoW, Rift, Guild Wars, etc, having multiple keys across the keyboard do so many things, I couldn't even think of trying to do what I want without a full keyboard, or at least 75% of the keys....
 
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#17
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#18

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#19
From a Starcraft 2 nut:

Take a look at the wolfking, the one with the most button:
F1-F12 is there, along with 0-9. Good sign
you need 4keys over 3 rows to remap all of the "activities" you can do: its not there.
You get G button, allowing you to gg out of the game, but no "l" or "h" or "f", so you must always start your game bad mannered because you cannot "glhf" your opponent. Minor issue, but extremely rude especially in tournaments.
Backspace is not there: people using the backspace larva inject technique will cry.

And most importantly, its not mechanical, and will wear out every few months compared to few years for mechanical switches.

I hope I have explained (again for those who didn't see my original post buried somewhere) why no Sc2'er even considered to use these gaming keypads to begin with.

Edit: the alt button is is in a fancy position too, to ping the minimap (alt+g) its going to require a bit of a stretch.
 
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J

John Doe

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#20
And most importantly, its not mechanical, and will wear out every few months compared to few years for mechanical switches.
Not necessarily true. You can expect any keyboard to last for a few years. Cheap keyboards only use a rubber between the key and the button while better ones (Sidewinder X6/Apple slim keyboard) have rubbers on top of a plastic switch to trigger. The mechanism is not the depending factor to make a keyboard good. As long as you feel comfortable (same with mouse), any keyboard can be the best for you. It is a personal choice. However yes, mechanical are likely to last for much longer. And are known to give a better feeling, which again is subjective.
 

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#21
Not necessarily true. You can expect any keyboard to last for a few years. Cheap keyboards only use a rubber between the key and the button while better ones (Sidewinder X6/Apple slim keyboard) have rubbers on top of a plastic switch to trigger. The mechanism is not the depending factor to make a keyboard good. As long as you feel comfortable (same with mouse), any keyboard can be the best for you. It is a personal choice. However yes, mechanical are likely to last for much longer. And are known to give a better feeling, which again is subjective.
No, the progamers spamming their "A" button (especially for terrans) will kill their A button in a matter of months if its not mechanical. They even wear out their mechanical buttons. Merz averages over 500apm (from replays), and if he trains for about 5-6 hours a day (lazy European is lazy, koreans train for about 10 a day), he is going to spam about 100k clicks a day. Rubber dome keyboards last only about 1-10 million keystrokes, meaning that he is going to chew through his keyboard in at most 100 days, or 3 months. Even if you take to account that each individual keys last for 1-10 million keystrokes, you must remember that its 500 "blizzard apm", which corresponds to about 600 real apm, say he hits A 1/10 times (not completely unrealistic, that is probably how often I hit A), its going to last at most about 3-30 months, and that is again not very lasting. Add travelling abuse, raging, and things like that, then suddenly it makes little sense to get a good rubber dome keyboard when you can get a cheap mechanical one for about the same price. The only one which koreans approve of are the Q-Senns, but they are a bit different from your normal rubber dome switches, a bit like mechanical keyboard with rubber switches, and they last longer than your average rubber dome ones, and they are really cheap.

But yes, as you said if you feel comfortable with playing with a rubber dome keyboard, then its best for you.
 

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#22
I've always used a standard keyboard. I've used gaming keyboards at my uncle's place, but I didn't see anything special in it. IMO a keyboard's a keyboard, unless you're someone who presses 90 keys at once or actually uses those special function keys.
 
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John Doe

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#23
I constantly spam my Caps button. I've been doing it for years and it never gave up on me. You can't do it on purpose, it doesn't work that way. The keyboard itself gives up at one time. Either after years (by mechanically), or by bricking itself (electrically). Your calculation is not accurate at all. Even if you spam your keys, they will still last longer than a few months. And if you beat up your keyboard, even a mechanical one would break off so either way, it doesn't make sense. Really, cut off what the Korean's do. You can use whatever you want. It's all up to you. There's no rule. "Pro gamers use this! I need that!" Just no.
 

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#24
I constantly spam my Caps button. I've been doing it for years and it never gave up on me. You can't do it on purpose, it doesn't work that way. The keyboard itself gives up at one time. Either after years (by mechanically), or by bricking itself (electrically). Your calculation is not accurate at all. Even if you spam your keys, they will still last longer than a few months. And if you beat up your keyboard, even a mechanical one would break off so either way, it doesn't make sense. Really, cut off what the Korean's do. You can use whatever you want. It's all up to you. There's no rule. "Pro gamers use this! I need that!" Just no.
Nope, but they spend much more time in front of their keyboard spamming away the keys, they should have a better idea other than professional typists about keyboard durability. No, you don't do it on purpose, but when you see professionals breaking keyboards (in one way or another, usually because certain keys become unresponsive) every so often in competitions (there seem to be one every other major competition), you realise that keyboards do have a finite life too, and as much as possible you want to keep them as lasting as possible. Especially when you fly from Korea to US (Losira and Coca), and only to break your keyboard and had to borrow someone's, or went to Korea for training (Jinro) and then break your favourite keyboard and found out that you cannot get a replacement fast enough. If you want to use a keypad, you have to bring a keypad, then full sized keyboard for normal chat stuff (haven't seen a major tournament supply a keyboard, all of them demand you bring your keyboard, mouse and earphones), and then a spare gaming keypad again just in case your first one broke (since that gaming on a normal keyboard would have been a bit weird for a gamepad user). Doesn't make any sense logistically.

How often do you spam your tab key? I use my A key every time I build a marine, and in an average 15 minute game I would have built at least 300 of them especially against zerg, then there is stutter step micro, splitting, commanding straight up fights, drops, etc, pretty much every single action other than checking production requires me to hit the A button to reissue the attack command.

I never said that progamers use this therefore I have to use this, I just used them as an example, and since that people usually follow what the pros use (regardless whether you like it or not, it happens), it doesn't present much of a case that the gaming keypads are the way forward from an RTS gamer's point of view.
 

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#25
Those are a hastle IMO. They make in-game typing/chat impossible. If you have to open console to right down a command, you're out of luck again. A full sized keyboard gives superior functionality over those. Not to mention the ones with mechanical switches. They're argueably better than those cheap rubbers. A keyboard doesn't have to be mechanical to be good though, there're solid keyboards with dome switches. Like this notebook keyboard, which makes typing easier due to it's size (travel distance). It has an advantage in games as well. You have control all over the keyboard.

http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/8693/23042009547.jpg
That was my first ever keyboard and it was bloody amazing.

oh and as a reply to the OP

I like a full sized keyboard because I don't have to change between the two and I don't really think hardware can improve your skill by much at all.