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According to the Mechanical Keyboard Guide on overclock.net, there are three and a half types of keyboards:

 1. Rubber Dome
    1.5. Membrane Scissor Switch
 2. Foam Element Switch
 3. Mechanical Switch

Is there any way, short of just calling the manufacturer or just taking the keys off, of determining what type a given keyboard is?

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@studiohack: You didn't edit any of the tags... –  Hello71 Feb 23 '11 at 2:51
    
it has been so long, I'm not sure what was going on...Sorry! –  studiohack Feb 23 '11 at 7:02
    
Have you tried googling? –  Chad Sep 13 '11 at 19:28
    
@Velika: Yes. "Logitech {model name} keyboard type" doesn't turn up anything remotely useful. –  Hello71 Sep 13 '11 at 20:18
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1 Answer

By identifying what model/make it is and seeking it's description online, specially if it's mechanical switch and you seek what Cherry MX color it wears.

For example, Razer BlackWidow series, have Cherry MX blue microswitches.

There is a very nice list here about mechanical keyboards.

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Jeff Atwood just wrote a really good blog post on his personal blog about keyboards, mechanical keyboards in general...hit the jump to see more: codinghorror.com/blog/2010/10/the-keyboard-cult.html –  studiohack Oct 24 '10 at 2:12
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@studiohack: I think that blog contains a subset of info contained in the above overclock.net's guide. –  Saxtus Oct 24 '10 at 2:42
    
There are three types of Cherry MX contacts. Blue (tactile) Brown (clicky) and Black (linear). I might have got couple of those the wrong way around. Best keyboards: IBM Model M reproductions Laptop: ThinkPads (not Edge series or X100e). Worst: Mac keyboards! –  paradroid Oct 24 '10 at 6:07
    
@jason404: Umm there are also: Cherry MX Clear (tactile, non clicky) and Cherry MX Red (non tactile, non clicky). Also Blues are clicky too and finally you say that Browns are clicky, but they aren't. Source is again the above overclock.net's guide. –  Saxtus Oct 24 '10 at 11:47
    
I see. Well, the red and clear ones must be new, as they weren't around when I looking into all this around six years ago, when I got in touch with Cherry, in Germany. They only had three different types of action on their 80-* keyboards. Getting black full sized Cherry MX keyboards with USB interfaces was impossible then. –  paradroid Oct 24 '10 at 12:31
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