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11 Jun 2020

Review: Filco Majestouch 2 - Tenkeyless

I recently bought a Diatec "Filco Majestouch 2: Tenkeyless" keyboard in ISO/UK layout from The Keyboard Company who are the European distributor for Diatec keyboards.

The Majestouch is sold as a premium mechanical keyboard for people who type for a living. It uses mechanical Cherry MX switches and has a minimalist design. It can be used for gaming but it does not have illuminated keycaps, fancy macros or extra keys.

The layout is a conventional ISO/UK layout, the ten key less design means there is no numeric keypad, it is otherwise a classic layout. The keycaps are single-shot black plastic, though heavier double shot are available from from the manufacturer or third parties. I replaced the Windows keys with Filco blanks. WASD keys and a small sub-set of additional keycaps are also available. In ANSI layout there are more options, but not in ISO.

The interface is USB, hardwired to the top centre of the case, and comes with a passive USB to PS/2 converter if you require PS/2. The cable is 1.5 metres long. The keyboard is NKRO but this is only available via PS/2, if connecting via a USB interface it is restricted to only 6KRO.

The keyboard is sold in three styles of switches: linear/silent (red), tactile (brown) and clicky (blue). My model has the brown switches which are less noisy than the blue and have a slight tactile bump as you press them so you know when the switch has closed without having to bottom out the key. The linear red are allegedly less noisy than the brown and have no tactile feedback when you press them. They style of switch is very personal, I picked brown as it's a sensible start, I don't want the extra click of the blues.

The keyboard weighs just under 1 kilogramme and has four evenly spaced rubber feet so it doesn't slip around on your desk, it doesn't flex or rattle and feels very solid.

I've used the keyboard for a week now, and find I'm getting used to the feel of it though I'm still making mistakes as I get used to it. Compared to my previous IBM rubber-dome keyboards it doesn't rattle or click with a loud hollow sound, nor does it creak if it's twisted or has pressure applied. It does make a noticeable noise when being used though, it is not silent.

I'm not sure that I've made my mind up on the keyboard yet, it is possible that I would have prefered the Cherry MX red switches, but I don't know... I do like the fact that the keys are precise and don't wiggle and there is gentle feedback as you press them, so you don't have to bottom out the keys to know you've connected.

How many is too many?

How many typefaces or fonts does one person actually need. As I said last year not that many. It's a pity that so many get installed and then clutter up your menus.

I mostly use sans-serif typefaces, at the moment the IBM Plex family is my favourite. I've previously uses Source Sans Pro for several years before that. I used Myriad Pro, which comes with most version of the Adobe Acrobat Reader as well which I rather like. At work there is the usual mix of Arial, Verdana and Calibri that come with Office/Windows but I don't use them at home.

For mono-spaced fonts, I currently use IBM Plex Mono but previously used Source Code Pro. Though I don't use Fira Mono I have used Fira Code for programming as it comes with fancy ligatures for programming which are fun.

I pretty much don't use serif typefaces at all. They just look ugly, but perhaps with a higher resolution screen (when I eventually buy one) they may look okay.

So to answer my own question, very few!

While my home PC looks like "mine", my work work is most dull corporate except my SAP screen where the ABAP developer screen uses Solarized (sic) colour scheme which is most uncommon, even if the type face is dull.