I have been looking for a long lasting and durable replacement for my 7 year old Cherry KB-0556 black membrane keyboard for a while, as I had been wanting to upgrade to a full mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX black key switches and replaceable keycaps, that also works well with a PS2 connection with full N-Key rollover for both gaming and general use.
In the Filco Majestouch 2, I found a simple and straight forward, also good looking, 105 key UK ISO keyboard with superb build quality and a generally very solid feel, just like that of the home computer keyboards of the 1980s, such as those of the BBC Micro Model B or the M0110A for the original Apple Macintoshes.
The red LEDs that comes with a Filco Majestouch 2 with Cherry MX blacks (and reds) for the lock lights is also a very nice, somewhat retro, touch for me. Also, between the sturdy rubber coated feet beneath the keyboard and it's substantial weight, it feels positively rooted to the surface of my wooden desk.
The stock cylindrical keycaps however, while being surprisingly solid feeling and of good quality, despite them being thin ABS ones, I didn't get on with so well. With my rather large fingers frequently catching on the edges of adjacent keys, which when combined with the halfway actuation point and N-Key rollover of the keyboard, resulted in frequent typos for me. I had also measured the spacing between the keycaps and found it to be somewhat narrower than that which I was used to when compared with previous keyboards, which also explains in part why I had more trouble when working with my top down hammering style of typing.
Still, after replacing the original printed keycaps, with Filco's own spherical double shot keycap set, with narrower and more rounded keycaps, resulting in wider spacing between them, the typing experience did improve for me, with a significantly improved key feel and sound, along with correspondingly greater typing accuracy.
There is a slight low metallic ring to the sound of the keyboard when typing, which may be irritating for some, but for me adds to the depth of the overall sound when typing on this keyboard, which incidentally also makes it sound like the more substantially built keyboards of the 1980s from my childhood.
I had waited until now to post my review as there was an initial adjustment period from the stiffer, more cushioned experience I had with my previous membrane keyboards.
When I first tried the Cherry MX blacks, contrary to other people's impressions of such key switches being too stiff, I found them to be significantly lighter than that of my old membrane keyboard, so much so that I had to pull off the escape keycap just to confirm that I had not somehow been given a keyboard with Cherry MX reds by mistake!
Since then, as my typing style continued to adjust to the new key feel, I found them to be just a tiny bit on the stiff side after all. This was until I had changed the keycaps to Filco's taller and heavier double shots, at which point the stiffness became just right for me. I also find them to be just stiff enough to comfortably rest my keys on the keycaps without actuating them, unlike some of the experiences of those who went with lighter key switches, such as Cherry MX reds.
Some reviewers also say that Cherry linear key switches are somewhat scratchy and grainy rather than smooth like lubed ones or those of alternative manufacturers key switches. For me, however, it's more of a smooth sandiness that actually enhances the tactility of the key switches rather than takes away from them.
Finally, having been used to bottoming out the keys of a membrane keyboard to get them to actuate, I initially found the non cushioned hard bottoming of the keyboard to be rather hard wearing on my fingers, resulting in me lightening my touch somewhat over time to compensate. I had even initially considered getting a full set of long lasting EPDM rubber o-rings to bring back a more cushioned feel to the keyboard, but in the end I ended up preferring the louder, more solid sound and feel of the keyboard after all.
So, in conclusion, I am now in possession of a very high quality keyboard that for me is a terrific typing experience all round, that's also well worth the price in the short term, while perhaps even saving me money over the long term where it should easily outlast an otherwise long string of inferior quick wearing membrane keyboards!