*Model*: IBM Model M13
*Cost*: $20 (surplus sale)
*Key Mechanism*: Buckling Spring
*Other Features*: PS2, old 101-key layout (no GUI/Windows keys), integrated Trackpoint pointing device
This is probably one of the newest buckling spring-based models that was made under the IBM brand. It includes a trackpoint nub in the middle to use as a mouse, with two small buttons at the bottom. This is probably one of the first older style keyboards that I bought. I found it on the cheap at a surplus sale. It’s PS/2 only (for the mouse portion as well).
Buckling springs have a very crisp feel, and very audible crunch when a key goes down. As for my personal tastes, I would say that the sound is a little too high-pitched, and the keys are a bit too stiff. I tried to use this keyboard at work for about week, but gave up because after each day, my hands would just simply feel tired. Maybe some people have stronger hands, but I felt like I was spending too much effort just to get the keys down.
The famous buckling-spring actuator.
Several other annoyances when using this keyboard: there are no windows keys (aka GUI keys), which rules out ever using it on a Mac. Also, the keyboard requires lots of power, enough to make my el-cheapo PS/2 to USB adapter not work at all. Apparently people go through many different adapters to find one that works. It seems like the “high power Y-mouse”:http://www.ymouse.com/ymouse/whymsp.php is a pretty good bet, though don’t take my word for it.
People who like buckling springs will feel right at home with this keyboard. I feel like buckling springs were built for people with big thick fingers. Mine are skinny and somewhat weak, so I need something that I don’t need to battle with. If you can get over the stiffness, the crisp feel of the buckling spring is hard to beat. Just don’t try to use it on a mac.