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Ultra Classic IBM style keyboard, Beige USB


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The 'Ultra Classic' buckling spring keyboard, with the same mechanism, feel and layout as the original IBM model M keyboard, but with a smaller foot print.
With the much loved buckling spring key design and fully swappable keycaps, these keyboards have been prized by computer enthusiasts and heavy typists because of the tactile and auditory feedback resulting from a keystroke.

£129.00 (£107.50 ex VAT) 

Ultra Classic IBM style keyboard, Beige USB - UNI3PHA

The 'Ultra Classic' buckling spring keyboard, with the same mechanism, feel and layout as the original IBM model M keyboard, but with a smaller foot print.
With the much loved buckling spring key design and fully swappable keycaps, these keyboards have been prized by computer enthusiasts and heavy typists because of the tactile and auditory feedback resulting from a keystroke.

Ultra Classic IBM style keyboard, Beige USB - UNI3PHA

Part Number
Cable length
2 Metre
Language Layout
United Kingdom
Number of keys/buttons
455 mm
180 mm
50 mm
1.6 kg
Gross Weight
2 kg

Ultra Classic IBM style keyboard, Beige USB - UNI3PHA

  Alex Z  25/03/2021
A beautiful quality, solid keyboard. My Dell AT101 was showing its age and I didn't feel like fixing ALPS black switches myself, and I decided I really wanted an IBM Model F or M, but it also had to have windows keys (I really missed those, my Dell didn't have them). I found out Unicomp still make them. I'd wanted a full size one in beige but none were in stock and it was just too expensive to buy one with a UK layout direct from Unicomp. So I settled on this Unicomp Ultra Classic. I'd read that the Unicomp Ultra Classic had poor quality casing which creaked, that there were deformities in the plastic from poor moulding, that the keys were often faulty, so I was very hesitant about buying this.

Well, mine arrived and I couldn't be happier. It does NOT creak, all the keys work beautifully, and it is so satisfying to type with. It's heavy, stable, and a joy to type with. The only moulding issues are with the bottom of the sides of the keys where sometimes there's some excess plastic but you can't see that unless you're looking for it. It feels solid, very well made, the keycaps are two-piece which I know some people prefer. The tops of the keys are textured, the sides are nice and smooth. The one weird design choice was using blue LEDs but I guess why not? Green was traditional but I don't think green looked nicer per-se. The LEDs are very bright though.

The modern Windows and menu keys do look a bit out-of-place so I replaced them with the Windows 95 style ones also available here.
  Mike Litoris  25/06/2020
I've just received this keyboard today and have only used it for about two hours and so far so good! I'm in love with this keyboard as its such a nice typing experience. Compared to the MX blue switches of my previous keyboard the buckling springs feel much more tactile and bottom out a lot sooner. The keys feel pretty heavy to actuate compared to MX blues which is either a good or bad thing depending on personal preference. Be warned this keyboard is LOUD it's probably the loudest keyboard I've ever come across. The quality of the keyboard is excellent the lettering on the keycaps is sharp with no smudging and the case is perfect with no blemishes. The keyboard also weighs quite a bit so could be used for home defense if an intruder were to enter your property. Overall a great buy and it does exactly what it says on the tin with no frills and doesn't light up like a Christmas tree like most mechanical keyboards available today.
  Charles Norton  08/06/2020
Excellent service. Well packed and delivered early. An excellent keyboard, of course too. And at a price that's better than you'll find on places like Amazon. I'd certainly recommend ordering directly from here, rather than Amazon.
  Glyn  14/11/2019
I can only echo what others have said, this keyboard is the real deal. And by real I mean the absolutely classic, crazily loud, satisfyingly tactile deal from the 80's 90's that I have such strong memories of using. Yes, the finish could be a little better here and there, but it's seriously no worse than many keyboards I've used in recent years, if a little more 'plasticky' in places.

Adam mentioned in his 2016 review that it felt like he was being forced to put a bit more effort into typing with this keyboard, by fully pressing and lifting off each key, and I said almost exactly the same thing to one of my co-workers. Having to press fairly hard and having the key activate so low down means that you have to actually work at typing - not unnaturally so, but enough to correct many errors. There's very little ambiguity with the Unicomp, and that's no bad thing.

On the subject of my co-workers, the Unicomp has divided opinion, with some loving it for its retro look and typing feel and some some hating it for the noise the keys make and the fact that it looks like a throwback from an era of computing that some might say is best forgotten. For me, the look is part of the fun; yes, I could have got it in much more suitable black, but then it wouldn't be the same keyboard I know and love.

My one real criticims is that one of the keys has a tendency to stick, which is a bit of a nuisance. I haven't yet had the opportunity to investigate, but I'm hoping it's easily rectifiable.
  Chris  15/02/2018
I'll pretty much echo others' views here: if what you need from a keyboard are a USB hub, media ports, backlighting or contemporary styling, then this isn't what you're looking for. Nor if you want to type in silence!

If what you need from a keyboard is the best possible mechanism for accurate, reliable and satisfying typing, a design that hasn't been bettered in decades of development and manufacture of membrane and mechanical keyboards, then look no further.

Yes, there are some rough edges, and the Alt Gr and right Windows key (UK layout) are for some reason transposed (no biggie), but this hands-down beats the Cherry Blue-based keyboard that it replaces on my desktop in every way that matters to somebody who spends many hours every day working on it.

Unicomp, the company that makes this keyboard, is based in Lexington, Kentucky, which was an IBM town back in the day, and I understand that they use the equipment bequeathed by Big Blue when they (later as Lexmark) quit the PC market. When the original IBM PC strode large over the world, it was technically bettered in many ways by its rivals, but the quality of its keyboard, and of other IBM keyboards right up until the late 90s, was unbeatable. This IS that keyboard.
  GG  03/01/2021
This is my second Unicomp IBM Model M clone keyboard and the quality is just as good as my first one. The first one is still going strong after 8 years and this one is 18 months old and still working beautifully. This one is the slightly more compact version (first one was the full size version) and this one has the Windows keys. Quality is excellent and my typing is much better on this PC now than with the cheap and nasty keyboard originally supplied with the computer. These keyboards are a pleasure to use as the buckling spring mechanism gives great feedback so I can type a lot faster and more accurately. The only minor issue was that a couple of keys did have a slightly spongy feel to them at first, but with use they are more or less like all the others. Unicomp could do with tweaking their quality control a little bit but otherwise all good!
  Phil  15/09/2020
I'm a professional programmer, but not a touch typist. I love my new keyboard, can't fault it. Reminds me of my first PC keyboard from back in the 80's.

Probably not suitable for a busy office as it is quite loud. It is a joy to type om, especialy for my old hands. I think this is due to the coushoning effect of the springs, there is no harsh impact you get from laptop style keyboards thta have little travel.

I would happily recomend this for anyone who wants a good quality keyboard that is a joy to use. Probably not suitable for travelers as it is heavy and very large. Also probably not suitable for gamers because of the long stroke.
  Software Engineer  13/06/2020
Prompt service and excellent packaging.
I've been working from home, writing code, for nearly 17 years and using Dell keyboards in that time (usually the black ones they used to supply with their servers). They are not too bad, but have a finite life (I'm on my third), so instead of making a (long) trip to the office and looking for another one to borrow, I thought instead that I'd treat myself to one of these. Using it, I'm immediately transported back in time to when I used a similarly-built unit attached to an IBM 3192-G terminal last century.
Instant nostalgia. This one should see me through to retirement and beyond.
  Mike Donovan  04/05/2020
Great service, got the keyboard in 3 days after ordering. I love it, I already have a keyboard with mx switches, i always wanted a buckling springs based keyboard. So far I am delighted. It's great to type on.
  Mircea  02/05/2019
Good keyboard, satisfied overall.

I previously put off purchasing one because of the price. I chose this buckling spring one because I've tried some Brown Cherry ones and they felt scratchy to me.

I understand that the tactile experience is highly subjective. It is what I expected: a keyboard with a feeling similar to the IBM ones that I used long time ago.
The size is more compact than the Classic one. Like the Classic model it is also has a curved profile.

The top and the keys have the traditional beige colour, which I like. The bottom and USB cable are black, which I don't mind. Unlike the current picture which has a Unicomp logo, my keboard has a plain sticker over the three LEDs on the top right corner; I prefer it as I received it (with a plain sticker).

Delivery was fast (I guess this was part of the price tag).

Compared with the cheap rubber dome keyboard it replaces: this buckling spring one is not faster, it just feels better to me. It is also a bit noisier, but not much noisier; this is also subjective and depends on your environment (mine is not a very silent environment anyway).

The keyboard is relatively heavy. The build is quality is generally good and sturdy.

The only downside is that the lower edge (closer to me) has a bit of movement when pushed, about 1mm or so.
  mattcode  06/03/2018
Excellent keyboard, well worth the money.

Has some minor build quality issues but is still leaps and bounds of almost every other keyboard on the market.
  Stephen  15/05/2017
After a week of using this I agree with Adam's review re: fit and finish, there are a few rough edges (literally) but this is an absolute dream to type on and my accuracy has definitely improved. Very satisfying tactile feedback and I love the sound.
I received a newer (and frankly, more attractive) model than the one pictured, sans the Unicomp logo and with a modern Windows logo on the super key.


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