Welcome to my 5-minute review of the best mechanical keyboard for typing – the one I use every day.
Maybe you’re a writer/blogger like me, or you’ve got a bunch of essays to write for School, College or University.
Regardless, there’s a suitable product out there, and it doesn’t have to break the bank.
I’ve used a tonne of different mechanical keyboards under $50. And I’ve found this one does the trick for me, as well as being one of the cheapest available.
I’d certainly say all the below is worth reading, as I’m a writer too.
But, if you’ve got work to do, I’ll get straight to it and say I use the Microsoft 600 wired keyboard.
You can jump straight to my honest review of the Microsoft 600.
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What I Use My Keyboard For
First, I’ll explain what I use my keyboard for. That’s going to give you a better context of whether the cheap mechanical keyboard I use for typing, is suitable for you too.
I’m a blogger and writer.
I write for clients and usually when I’m done, I’ll write something for one of my websites (like this one).
I’ve been doing this for around 10 years (with a brief 2-year gap of employment) and work has been at home, as well as on the road when I’ve been travelling.
So, when I say I write 4,000 words a day, every day – I’m really not joking.
If you write 4,000 (or less) words per day – this keyboard is perfect.
If you’re planning to write more than this regularly, kudos, but I honestly don’t envy you.
Feel free to drop a comment below and let me know how you manage to keep motivated!
Why I Use A Mechanical Keyboard, Not A Monoblock
If you’re just starting University or even turning your hand to blogging, you’ve probably seen a tonne of Monoblock keyboards that look pretty-slick.
But, looking good, doesn’t mean a product is “functionally” good.
Here’s why I use a mechanical keyboard, and the main difference when compared with a Monoblock.
Monoblock keyboards work in a similar way to a touch screen cell phone.
There’s a single switch under all the keys and it relies more on sensitivity than a mechanical keyboard would.
- It’s incredibly easy to mistype words
- Once one key wears out, the keyboard is dead
Mechanical keyboards don’t use a single switch.
You probably did the same thing as me at school and took a few keys off, and swapped them around (or not), just for fun.
If you did, you’ll have noticed under each key there’s an individual switch.
These individual switches offer:
- Less chance of mistyping words – the only way you do that is if you physically hit the wrong key – even if you touch the edge of a key you don’t intend to, you won’t type that letter
- Once one key wears out, you should be able to get by for a day or more until a new keyboard arrives, as all the other keys will still be working
- The individual key switches give a much more “solid” feel, making touch-typing a breeze
Wired Or Wireless Keyboards For Typing?
If you’re serious about using your keyboard for typing, I’d 100% recommend going for a wired keyboard.
I used a wireless keyboard at one stage, as they were a little more compact and easier to pack up when I was travelling.
That was until it started intermittently connecting to my laptop.
If you’re like me, the smallest of distractions can ruin your writing flow for 30 minutes or more.
So, a quick distraction (i.e. “Your keyboard is no longer connected”) a few times a day, is enough to drive you mad.
You’ll also get a similar message if you run out of batteries.
For me it’s simple…
Use a wired keyboard for writing work.
The Best Cheap Mechanical Keyboard For Typing & Writing
So, that’s all the boring stuff out of the way.
Here’s the mechanical keyboard I use for writing 4,000 words (and sometimes more) per day.
I’ve always bought keyboards for under $50. I’ve tested out some that are more expensive, and not really been that impressed.
If you’ve got a budget of under $50, you’re going to have plenty of change to spare after buying the Microsoft 600.
Spill (Tea) Resistant
I’m from the UK, we drink tea – and lots of it.
Microsoft state the that the 600 is spill-resistant.
What does that mean?
Well, I’m going to assume it’s their way of saying:
“We’ve ran tests and if you spill some tea on the 600, it should be fine.
But, if it breaks, we won’t be replacing it under warranty”
Fair enough I guess. And I’ve spilt plenty of tea on my Microsoft 600. It didn’t break.
But, there’s a point where there’s more tea in your keyboard than in your cup – that’s about the right time to replace it.
So, it’s got quiet-touch keys. But, how quiet?
Personally, I wouldn’t exactly be bragging about this as a feature. They’re not loud, but they’re certainly not silent, and I’ve had other keyboards that produced a little less noise.
I don’t mind, as I like to feel and hear each key I’m typing, as it helps to minimize typos.
I’m not sure how good a comparison this is going to be, but it’s not as quiet as my Lenovo laptop keyboard.
However, it’s worth noting I just don’t find it possible to use my laptop keyboard for writing.
The keyboard is too small, the keys are too low profile – so I mistype every other word – it’s just annoying!
You’ll get a few hot keys that are incorporated into the top of the keyboard (above F4-F9).
These are useful if you like to work on the move (coffee shops, traveling, on the train etc), as they’ll give you the ability to play, pause, increase/decrease volume and mute.
And, that’s much better than messing about in sound settings.
However, when I’m setup for writing work at home I tend to just use the buttons on my Sonos speaker.
Oh, there’s also a calculator hot key just above the Num Lock button too – that can come in-handy.
USB Plug & Play Type
I got my new Microsoft 600 delivered today, and I completely forgot how easy it is to setup.
Mainly because there is zero setting up involved.
Literally plug it into the USB port, your computer/laptop will recognise it within a couple of seconds, and you’re good to go.
Now I know what you’re thinking – surely that’s what all Bluetooth and USB devices do in the 21st century?
I’ve got an Anker Bluetooth speaker (I use the Anker outdoors, the Sonos indoors), and that took over 5 minutes to pair with my laptop!
When I originally purchased the Microsoft 600 mechanical keyboard, I checked out some online reviews (which is what I do with all products I buy).
Do the same – you’ll see a tonne of positive feedback from writers like me saying it’s:
- Easy to type
- Reduces typos compared with a Monoblock equivalent
- And so on…!
Now this isn’t for everyone, but I use my Microsoft 600 with my home writing setup, but also for when:
- I’m not at home, but using someone else’s computer for writing (I like to use the same keyboard wherever I am)
- With my laptop (me and laptop keyboards have a bad history)
So, sometimes I have to transport my keyboard around.
It fits into a smallish backpack (my Helly Hansen 25L for instance) and weighs just 898g, so you’ll hardly notice it’s there.
As I ordered my first Microsoft 600 online, I had no way to test it out in terms of ergonomics, or test it against others.
So, I didn’t see the point in spending $50 or more on an ergonomic keyboard – as to be honest – a couple I’ve had have caused me RSI.
I’ve mentioned I use this for around 4,000 words of writing per day, and that’s usually 5 days per week – for quite a few years now.
I don’t find it uncomfortable, or struggle with cramp/RSI in my hands any more.
So, until I can take my 600 into a store and test back-to-back with an ergonomic keyboard (to guarantee it’s better), I’ll be sticking with this.
Would I Buy The Microsoft 600 Wired Keyboard Again?
Well, I already have. And, not because it broke – I just spilt a lot of tea on it.
It’s a good all-round cheap mechanical keyboard for writing.
Better still, it’s easy to setup, has plenty of hot keys, is reasonably quiet and has good ergonomics.
It’s lightweight and compact enough that you can chuck it in a small rucksack if you move around with your work, but big enough that there are no issues with mistyping, and it certainly feels solid.
I was happy with my last one, and that’s why I’ve just got myself another…
Thanks for reading my 5-minute review of the best mechanical keyboard for writers, bloggers and students.
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