The first thing you notice about the IBM Model M keyboard, when
you finally get your hands on it, is its size. After years of
tapping chiclet keys and glass screens on two- and three-pound
devices, hefting five pounds of plastic and metal (including a
thick steel plate) is slightly intimidating. The second thing is
the sound – the solid click that’s turned a standard-issue
beige peripheral into one of the computer world’s most prized
and useful antiques.
Next year, the Model M turns 30. But to many people, it’s still
the only keyboard worth using. It was recently spotted on the desk
of Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson, attached to a gaming
PC whose graphic cards alone cost thousands of dollars. “The Model
M is basically the best keyboard ever made,” he told PC Gamer.
YouTube has dozens of Model M typing demos, unboxing videos, and
sound comparisons between it and other mechanical keyboards. Since
its introduction, the Model M has been the standard to meet for
Buckling spring keyboards have never quite felt right for me, but I can certainly see the appeal — and without question they are distinctive. Every few years I get the itch to try a new mechanical keyboard, but I still haven’t found anything I prefer to the Apple Extended Keyboard II.