Computers

CODE mechanical keyboard aims to push all the right buttons

CODE mechanical keyboard aims ...
The CODE keyboard comes in both an 87 and 104-Key version
The CODE keyboard comes in both an 87 and 104-Key version
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N-Key Rollover is also available with the adapter included
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N-Key Rollover is also available with the adapter included
There's plenty of scope for those time-saving keyboard shortcuts with a 6-Key USB Rollover
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There's plenty of scope for those time-saving keyboard shortcuts with a 6-Key USB Rollover
The CODE keyboard comes in both an 87 and 104-Key version
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The CODE keyboard comes in both an 87 and 104-Key version
The CODE keyboard uses either Cherry MX Clear (pictured) or Cherry MX Green mechanical switches, the latter fitted with sound-softening O-rings
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The CODE keyboard uses either Cherry MX Clear (pictured) or Cherry MX Green mechanical switches, the latter fitted with sound-softening O-rings
The keyboard hosts its media keys on the navigation cluster, meaning Page Up will turn up the volume, for example
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The keyboard hosts its media keys on the navigation cluster, meaning Page Up will turn up the volume, for example
The keyboard features an internal dual layer PCB (Printed Circuit Board)
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The keyboard features an internal dual layer PCB (Printed Circuit Board)
The keys can be configured to different layouts such as QWERTY or Dvorak and different key functions such as Alt (PC) or Command (Mac), via a row of DIP switches on the backside
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The keys can be configured to different layouts such as QWERTY or Dvorak and different key functions such as Alt (PC) or Command (Mac), via a row of DIP switches on the backside
The keyboard connects to your computer via a Micro USB cable (included)
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The keyboard connects to your computer via a Micro USB cable (included)
Supported by a steel backplate, the keyboard features white LED backlighting which can be adjusted to seven different levels of brightness or disabled completely
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Supported by a steel backplate, the keyboard features white LED backlighting which can be adjusted to seven different levels of brightness or disabled completely
Windows, Linux and Mac compatible, the keyboard sports rubber pads and rubber flip out feet on the back to stop it slipping around the desk
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Windows, Linux and Mac compatible, the keyboard sports rubber pads and rubber flip out feet on the back to stop it slipping around the desk
View gallery - 10 images

Despite the advent of touch screens, speech recognition and eye-tracking, the keyboard still reigns supreme as the input device of choice for many of us. Somebody who places a lot of value on this intermediary is programmer and prominent blogger Jeff Atwood who, disillusioned with the range of mechanical keyboards on the market, set to work in producing the CODE Keyboard.

In conceiving and developing the device, Atwood sought the help of a like-minded keyboard enthusiast, Weyman Kwong of WASD Keyboards.

"I told him that the state of keyboards was unacceptable to me as a geek," Atwood writes on his blog. "I proposed a partnership wherein I was willing to work with him to do whatever it takes to produce a truly great mechanical keyboard."

With both 87 and 104-Key versions available, the CODE keyboard uses either Cherry MX Clear or Cherry MX Green mechanical switches, the latter fitted with sound-softening O-rings.

Supported by a steel backplate, the keyboard features white LED backlighting which can be adjusted to seven different levels of brightness or disabled completely, with an onboard memory for storing user preferences.

The keyboard can be configured to different layouts such as QWERTY or Dvorak, and the keys to different functions such as Alt (PC) or Command (Mac), via a row of DIP (Dual In-line Package) switches on the back, with a dual layer PCB (Printed Circuit Board) on the inside.

There's plenty of scope for those time-saving keyboard shortcuts with a 6-Key USB Rollover, which means that up to six keys can be pressed at once (not including Ctrl, Alt, and Shift, bringing the number of keys that can be pressed simultaneously up to nine).

The keyboard hosts its media keys on the navigation cluster, meaning Page Up will turn up the volume, for example. Users are alerted to an active Caps, Num or Scroll lock through 1 mm LED indicator lights, while a wire keycap puller comes included for removing, cleaning and modifying the keys.

The keyboard hosts its media keys on the navigation cluster, meaning Page Up will turn up the volume, for example
The keyboard hosts its media keys on the navigation cluster, meaning Page Up will turn up the volume, for example

Windows, Linux and Mac compatible, the keyboard sports rubber pads and rubber flip out feet on the back to stop it slipping around the desk.

The 87-Key version weighs in at 907 g (2 lb), measures 363 x 142 x 39 mm (14.3 x 5.6 x 1.2 in) and is priced at US$145 (with MX Clear switches) or $165 (with MX Green switches with O-rings).

The 104-Key Code Keyboard weighs 1098 g (2.42 lb) and measures 445 x 142 x 30 mm (17.5 x 5.6 x 1.2 in). With MX Clear switches, it is priced at $150, while the MX Green with O-rings will cost users $170.

Product page: Code Keyboards

View gallery - 10 images
12 comments
ClauS
Someone need to clarify what truly great means. This keyboard uses off the shelf keys with classic ( I mean non ergonomic ) template, and in this age it's configurable by unmarked DIP switches on the back. There is no provision to easily unlock all they key to wash them. Except the fact that you can press 9 keys a time ( still short of the regularly available 10 fingers ) I have some problems figuring out what's the buzz with this keyboard.
Siv
Looking at their website it appears they only do a US layout keyboard, is there any news that they will produce a UK version??
Koolski
$145/$170 Seriously? I'll stick with a $10, git-er-done version or a $35 natural keyboard!
MintHenryJ
Is there a mathematician out there? You can program functions with up to 6 keys pressed simultaneously, I.e. 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6, minus ctrl, alt & del. What is the total number of programmed functions available on the 87 and 104 key versions, respectively?
Stradric
Jeff Atwood probably missed this entry in his search: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FB4BUI6
@MintHenryJ That's a very difficult question. It's not just figuring out all the combinations of keys (n!/(r!(n-r)!), but rather all of the combinations of keys that are pressable by an individual. Someone with smaller hands might have a completely different set of pressable keys as someone with large hands.
moreover
I recently had the displeasure of using a PC keyboard in a library and was shocked at the design. Why? Because for the past 8 years I've been using Apple laptop (and bluetooth) keyboards where the keys are only raised about 2mm. No more issues with hand or wrist pains. The keys are responsive, quiet but not too quiet and my accuracy is high. The CODE keyboard by contrasts looks like a dinosaur from a pre-ergonomic era.
DonGateley
Being rather a dinosaur myself from the pre-pre-ergonomic era it looks absolutely great to me but the price does put me off.
Royce Edwards
This keyboard looks OK, but not absolutely great to me. Going back to a wired keyboard would have to knock my socks off. Like others have stated, the exceptional part of this keyboard is the price, which is exceptionally high. I'll wait until tigerdirect is selling them out on the discount rack and probably still not buy one because it's not wireless.
Stephen N Russell
Must for all PCs & Apple IMacs etc too Nice, Id like one for my next Apple IMac.
Gadgeteer
I do too much typing to go back to a non-ergonomic keyboard on my own desktop machine. It feels a little strange and definitely less comfortable and a little slower whenever I go to work and have to use a regular keyboard that's not split, angled and tilted. I like my Microsoft Natural Pro keyboard so much that I stocked up on some spares at $30 a pop when MS stopped producing them. The only MS product I really like, with snappy but relatively quiet key action that's much better than the dome keyboards. And the first one is still going strong after almost ten years of use.
But aside from the straight layout, an expensive keyboard like this and they don't take any precautions to make it spill resistant? I've never spilled on a keyboard, but many have, so why can't they add a simple plastic shield under the keys to divert liquid and even dust?