I’ve been using the same keyboard for almost four years by this point, so it’s become sort of like a comfortable pair of old shoes. I got my Logitech G19 back in the summer of 2012, and it was pretty much the first component I acquired of the gaming rig I have now. It’s been good to me, but like all good things do, it was reaching its end. The keys were spongey and getting spongier, strokes were unresponsive and sometimes failing to be registered, and the built-in LCD computer screen, while a fun novelty, has had basically no support by any games, and any of the games in which it’d actually be useful (such as Starcraft 2) don’t allow for its support. So, the time had come to get a new keyboard. I did a bit of research and decided on the WASD mechanical keyboard, mostly because it’s the one used by PC Gamer’s Large Pixel Collider. And it’s just as good as I had hoped it would be.
I haven’t used a mechanical keyboard in a long, long time, and I forgot just how much I loved them. For the uninitiated, the difference between a mechanical keyboard and the kind you’d most likely normally find on a desk is that, rather than having the key attached to a rubber mat to activate an electrical circuit that tells the computer which key was pressed, a mechanical keyboard is comprised of actual, physical switches beneath each key. The difference is actually pretty remarkable: better accuracy, faster speed, more tactile response, and — definitely my favorite perk — a whole lot of satisfying clickety-clacking when typing.
As someone who does a whole lot of writing for school and for fun, as well as spending a lot of time on my computer otherwise, I decided the added longevity of a mechanical keyboard would best suit my needs. My G19 still works for the most part, and that thing lasted me four years, so I needed another one that would also get me that far, which mechanical keyboards are also notorious for.
The reason I went with WASD over any other brand of mechanical keyboard (because there are quite a lot) was because of just how cool the customization options are. I was amazed to see how much of the keyboard you can customize — the typeface on the keys, the positions of the lettering, the coloring of each individual key, the type of switch used, the layout (QWERTY, Dvorak, and others), etc. — all of this customization might seem overwhelming, but it’s actually just a hell of a lot of fun.
Being the nostalgic prick that I am, I opted to make mine reminiscent of the classic IBM Model M keyboard, with a dark grey color on the function keys and space bar, a lighter gray on the alphanumerics, and navy blue on the WASD keys, because gaming. Also, I made Ctrl, Alt, and Del bright white, because I could.
Just because I went with a particularly monochromatic design doesn’t mean that you don’t have a whole wealth of colors to choose from, because you do. WASD’s Twitter and Instagram accounts are full of really neat and colorful designs, and some of them look downright awesome.
As far as the functionality goes, the keyboard itself is incredibly simple. A big plus for me is that it doesn’t require a separate power cable like my cumbersome G19 did, but I do find myself missing the extra USB ports and the volume slider. Nothing a few peripherals I’ve already got won’t fix, though.
I’ve been using it for a few solid hours and I’ve already noticed a difference. My WPM went up from 97 to 108 (not a huge difference, but I was already a fairly fast typist), and it’s altogether just a more satisfying experience. Because it clicks a whole lot, and that’s fun. It’s got a really good weight to it, which means it’s only going to slide around my desk if I want it to.
The WASD customizable mechanical keyboard is a little bit of an “exercise in self-indulgence”, as seems to be my motto for this blog, but it’s no less an excellent keyboard that’s beautiful in its simplicity. You can order extra parts for it if you so choose to really get into the benefits of the customization, but even without that, for the price it’s one of the best. It ran me a good 50 dollars cheaper than my G19 did, and I can already tell it’s going to far outlive it.
One thing I would recommend is that you get the wrist guard, because the keyboard is just high enough off my desk that my hands start to cramp up after a few minutes of writing. Besides that, I really have no complaints about this keyboard. It’s simple and to the point, and excels at everything it says it is. One of my better purchases, if I do say so myself.