When comparing CODE Keyboard vs Model M, the Slant community recommends CODE Keyboard for most people. In the question“What are the best keyboards for programming?” CODE Keyboard is ranked 1st while Model M is ranked 10th. The most important reason people chose CODE Keyboard is:
The CODE keyboard uses Cherry MX mechanical key switches, regarded as top-quality switches. They have impressive levels of durability and consistently pass, with high marks, all the performance tests they are subjected to. There are 4 kinds to choose from: Blue, Brown, Green or Clear. The MX Blues are the most common kind. They are responsive, but soft, and quite noisy. The MX Browns feel similar to the Blues, but slightly less noisy. The MX Greens are often described as heavy Blue switches. They still make the click sound and offer tactile feedback, however the activation force is 80g (for the Blue switches, it's 50g). The MX Clear switches have medium stiffness and a tactile response but are non-clicky (similar to Brown switches but heavier and with a greater tactile feedback). It's characteristics make it fantastic for general typing in office environments.
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Pro Available with 4 different kinds of Cherry MX switches
The CODE keyboard uses Cherry MX mechanical key switches, regarded as top-quality switches. They have impressive levels of durability and consistently pass, with high marks, all the performance tests they are subjected to.
There are 4 kinds to choose from: Blue, Brown, Green or Clear. The MX Blues are the most common kind. They are responsive, but soft, and quite noisy. The MX Browns feel similar to the Blues, but slightly less noisy. The MX Greens are often described as heavy Blue switches. They still make the click sound and offer tactile feedback, however the activation force is 80g (for the Blue switches, it's 50g). The MX Clear switches have medium stiffness and a tactile response but are non-clicky (similar to Brown switches but heavier and with a greater tactile feedback). It's characteristics make it fantastic for general typing in office environments.
Pro Full white backlighting
The CODE keyboard comes with backlighting that feels similar to the one found on Apple products. You can pick from seven brightness levels and the onboard memory saves your lighting preferences. They also have gone to a lot of trouble getting the backlighting even by painting the backplate white and positioning the key symbols just right.
Pro Solid construction
This keyboard is built solidly, using sturdy parts made of robust materials. It's mounted on a solid steel backplate, weighs over 2 pounds and has a dual layer PCB board. In this aspect, it’s comparable to other keyboards renowned for their build quality, such as those from the Ducky series.
Pro Minimalistic design
The CODE keyboard has a textured finish that resists fingerprints and scratches. It has no stickers or logos and the back-lighting is very clean and elegant.
Pro Removable/replaceable USB cable
Many keyboards come with a permanently attached cable, meaning that if it gets damaged, you need to get it fixed or replace the whole board. CODE keyboards come with removable cables, which means they're easy to replace if broken. This also has the added benefit of allowing for more customization options: braided cables, different coloured cables, or longer/shorter cables for different setups without having excess cables hanging around.
Pro Available with or without a numeric keypad
Users can choose between versions that have and don't have a numeric keypad.
Pro Highly configurable
DIP-switches on the back of the keyboard can be used to disable the Windows key, switch Caps Lock with Ctrl, swap Alt with Command (if you're on macOS), and change to QWERTY, Dvorak, or Colemak layouts.
Pro Saves time with complex key combos
Key combos can be configured, supporting combinations of up to six keys. However, Ctrl, Alt and Shift don't count to this total. As a result, using these keys actually increases the combo key limit to nine.
Pro Consistent design
FN labels are on the front of the keycaps (i.e. media labels). This improves the user experience.
A consistent design is an outstanding aspect in this keyboard.
Pro Media control
Even though there aren't any dedicated media keys, the navigation cluster has secondary media control functions. To access these functions, the keys should be pressed in combination with the Fn key.
Pro Very portable
This keyboard’s detachable cable, dimensions, and weight make it extremely easy to carry around.
Pro Tactile and "clicky" buckling-spring key switches
Buckling-spring switches are hardly used anymore, but they give some of the best tactile response when activated.
Pro Very sturdy
Although heavier than a modern keyboard, this keyboard is built like a tank. There is no flex, and the components were built to last.
Pro Solid construction
Quality construction, good materials.
Pro Removable / replaceable keycaps.
With a hook beneath the caps that you have to get to, you can detach those keycaps and replace them with others.
Pro Clear separation of key groups
Clearly signals that I'm serious about what I do and how I do it.
Compared to alternatives which offer RGB lighting, USB passthrough or other features, this keyboard is pretty expensive.
Con Lacks numpad
This is a tenkeyless keyboard which means that it doesn't have the numpad.
Con Too small for some, particularly those with big hands
This keyboard's small size may prove difficult for some people to get accustomed to.
Con Sculpted keys make switching to Dvorak difficult
Dvorak is a keyboard layout that's an alternative to the commonly used QWERTY layout. While QWERTY was designed in the early days of typing, Dvorak is a more comfortable, modern layout which is technically superior. It is designed to have more flow than QWERTY, where the left hand does most of the work. Here, keys are strategically placed to spread the typing out more evenly. This creates better flow (left hand types a letter, then the right hand, then back to left and so on). In this keyboad, the keycaps are sculpted for the QWERTY layout, which means that, when you switch the keys around, each of the keys is at a slightly different angle than the one next to it.
Con Spare parts and keycap sets can only be obtained from third parties
The manufacturer doesn’t sell spare parts or keycap sets, so if users want to change the layout, they have to get these components from a third party.
Con It's hard to source the MX Clear version
The version of the CODE keyboard that comes with the MX Clear switches is constantly out of stock.
Con No wireless connection
CODE keyboards connect via USB. No Bluetooth or any other form of wireless connection is available.
Con Very hard to acquire
Out of stock for decades.
Con Noisy to type on
Floss mod is available for the Type M to make the keyboard a little more quiet. However, since it's still a mechanical keyboard, it will be noisy. This keyboard will not be appreciated in the office.
Con Some driver issues with USB-only computers
Using a PS/2 to USB adapter can kill rollover.
Con Very large
Measuring nearly 20'' x 8.5'' x 2" ( 50 x 21.5 x 5 cm), this is a very big keyboard. It will be hard to fit into a minimalistic styled desk setup, and might even be too big for some smaller desks.
Con Lacks some modifier keys
The Model M lacks both of the meta/super/cmd/Windows (depending on the OS in question) keys and a menu key.