I have this old Quest keyboard:

Keyboard Image with plug

Back of the keyboard

And I was wondering whether IBM did allow rebranding of their keyboard technology. Physically it seems similar-looking to IBM Model M. Is that a typical el-cheapo keyboard that looks like Model M or does it replicate the unique mechanism as well?

  • 1
    If you have ever used a real Model M or similar keyboard with buckling springs, the difference from other keyboards is obvious.
    – Brian H
    Commented Jun 21, 2021 at 18:14
  • No, I have not used any IBM model M. Commented Jun 21, 2021 at 18:15
  • All the 1980s-vintage Model Ms I've met had double keycaps — the ones you press are clipped on top of the real key caps. So you can very lightly pull them off, no tools required and it doesn't expose the mechanism. Here's a quick picture I found where somebody has lifted off the keypad's '4' and '5' top caps: i.ytimg.com/vi/Iku7lX80PiI/maxresdefault.jpg . But the bigger clue should probably be the noise. How noisy is the keyboard?
    – Tommy
    Commented Jun 21, 2021 at 19:30
  • 1
    @Tommy I believe the jargon for that that they keycaps and key stems were separate parts. (I have a Unicomp keyboard like that, but I don't know if there's a specific item of jargon for the state of them being separable.)
    – ssokolow
    Commented Jun 22, 2021 at 2:40
  • Weight would be another clue. If you can't beat somebody to death with a single blow of it, it's not a model M ;) (Don't try this at home, kids)
    – tofro
    Commented Jun 30, 2021 at 16:17

1 Answer 1


The bottom of a Model M looks completely different and the top is not a 100% match either: a Model M has a notch in front of the bottom row of keys and either a square or circular depression at the top left, for the IBM logo.

This is just somebody trying to copy the look of a Model M keyboard. Not that uncommon, Commodore used similar keyboards for some of their PC models (example).

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