DATE: Tue 11 May 2021 By: HexDSL@Posteo.net
As many of you will be aware (from you recent YouTube video on the topic) I picked up a Unicomp Endurapro keyboard. I have had it for a few days now and wanted to share my assessment. As well as some tweaks I have at boot.
The deck creaking and flexing that I mentioned in the video is literally only a “thing” if you pick it up or artificially encourage it in general use it’s solid and feels great. I did have to add my own sturdy rubber grips to the bottom because it slid around way more than I liked.
The keys all work and feel consistent. I have no issues with the operation at all. It’s quite common for buckling sprints to require readjusting when they are new but this one has required no messing about at all.
I spoke about the finishing on the keys in my video too. While it’s true that one or two of the keys have rougher edging (underside) than I would like, this has not affected operations the keyboard.
The legend is sharp and constantly dark however one key (Super_L) has a slightly off level printing. This one of the keys I ordered a replacement “Tux” cap for so it’s not something I care about personally.
A few reviews of this keyboard from a few years ago talk about it having layered caps (a printed cap that goes over a smooth blank cap) this is not the case with my board and I assume was a change made a while go since its only the earliest reviews that talk about this.
I am happy with the build. If I compare this to any other keyboard I currently own it’s pretty good. If I compare it to any actual model M I have ever used it falls short. But most things do.
Buckling springs are in my opinion the BEST typing experience you can get. And its is a Buckling spring. So yeah… lush. Lot’s of travel. More travel than a human needs. I feel like I need to start the car every time I press a key because I’m going a long way. Its just, well, wonderful.
The key sound is a little hollower than a model M because of cheaper plastics and lack of that tank steel base plate. Its loud and satisfying. Superb acoustics over all.
Also going from a split keyboard to this, it feels vast. My hands seem to be all over the place and escape is REALLY far away. But that’s not specific to this board more to full sized boards in general.
Remember all that travel? Well, it’s less than ideal for gaming I guess, you seem to take longer to respond to movement because of the miles you have to go to bottom out the key but once I was accustomed to it I have no had issues.
If you have had a quick look at the specifications for this keyboard you will notice that its got 2 key rollover not the highly promoted N-key-rollover that so called “gaming” boards go on about. Now I literally cannot be bothered to explain this in any depth because its dry, technical and a post in of its self but I say this…
There is a good chance that your understanding of key rollover was provided to you via marketing companies who want to sell you “gaming” keyboards. 2 key rollover is fine and most the boards claiming NKRO are lying to you (the spec for USB keyboard’s is only 6KRO.) All that said, if it ever does bite me, I’ll “fess up” I promise.
One of the major selling points about this specific model us the built in track point. Now no-one needs to have a keyboard with a built in pointing device. It’s a little extra that you may like. I like it. For those that don’t know a track point is a little keyboard “nipple” that was quite common on late 90s laptops, while you still see them occasionally they are way more rare now. Most people hated them. I liked them.
It only has two buttons and is less like a laptop TrackPoint and more like a joystick. A subtle difference but one I can’t help but notice. The two button thing was an instant problem for me but I sorted that out with some xinput meddling (see bottom of post)
The pointer takes some serious getting used to and while I’m not there yet; I have found myself using it a lot for small tasks like if I’m in vim and I need to check a website I’ll just use a combination of window manager keys and TrackPoint without really thinking about it.
So with a combination of xcape, xinput and web searching I have a script called “unicomp” that I call at boot up. It does some pretty minor tweaks and im still ironing out the kinks but at the moment it changes behaviour like this…
Left and right shift send “(” and “)” if taped but send normal shift if held. (seems like a no brainer to me)
Caps lock is Super (windows key) when held but Escape if tapped (for vim-ing)
Track point acceleration is more controlled (but still a work in progress) and right button is a “scroll button” when held down. So I can hold it and move the stick up and down to scroll.
Both button together emulate middle click.
These minor tweaks have made the keyboard way nicer to use and im sure ill change more as time goes by.
The script (on my git)
I hope this was of interest.