Last summer, I purchased a new computer, right away I had to swap the new keyboard that came with it (HP Pavilion) with my previous worn down IBM keyboard. Well in October, the keyboard wasn’t working so well so I hunted through the house till I found a keyboard I could live with. Oddly, it’s a HP corporate keyboard from about 10 years ago. It works ok, I am typing on it as we speak, but a couple keys aren’t as reliable as they should be. So last week I went to Microcenter and purchased a $30 Microsoft Keyboard. It was the cheapest keyboard that had a normal keyboard layout with the 2 key wide backspace key. It also had the normal 6 keys between the mail keys and the numeric pad. Many keyboards are starting to re-engineer the 6 keys (insert, home, page up, delete, end and page down) in non standard ways. If you’re a programmer like me, that completely sucks. Some of the keyboards have a 2 key sized delete key and have removed the insert button completely. I don’t know what keyboard designers are thinking lately!
I used to always buy IBM brand keyboards but since they left the desktop/laptop computer market, they no longer sell keyboards. Oh how does that suck! In my opinion, IBM made the best keyboards.
So I’ve been trying out a Microsoft keyboard out for about 5 days and quickly came to hate it. I finally disconnected it and plan on returning it. It did have softer key action, which was keeping my wrists from getting tired. Now I am using this old HP keyboard, my wrists feel like someone stuffed rocks in them.
So the last keyboard I used that I really liked was the Dell Multimedia Keyboard pictured. This and its non multimedia variant were pretty well designed keyboards, the keys were where they should be and the space in front of the keyboard allowed you to add your own wrist pad.
There’s a few other little things about this keyboard I like. First, the mute button is on the right hand side. The Microsoft keyboard had the mute button on the left, which doesn’t help me at all. The volume control is an actual dial on the Dell, which doesn’t matter for me because I usually use the windows controls for that anyway. It makes a nice holder for my wedding ring when I feel the need to take the ring off while working.
So today, I ordered a new Dell USB Multimedia Keyboard. With shipping it was about $33.
What kind of keyboard are you using? Are you as picky as me as far as key placement?
I’m using Chicony produced around 2000, but it works perfectly, though it’s loud as hell. But I think it’s time for a new one so right now I’m searching for some hints on which keybord is good nowadays. Thinking of Logitech, some silent stuff.
I’ve been using the Logitech LX710 Laser for the past few months. It’s a wireless setup with a laser mouse. It has some of the modifications that you complained about but I got used to them pretty quickly. It comes with an RF dongle along with an USB extender that puts the dongle right up on the desktop. I like it!
Unicomp make the best keyboards. Buckling spring technology just like the IBM PS/2 keyboards (unicomp actually made them). ~$70 but by far the best keyboards for typing.
I just herd of UniComp last week on NPR. I’m waiting for a SpaceSaver model with the Enhanced Quiet Touch in black to be available then I’ll be order one.
I use a UniComp Customizer 104 and love it! By the time I got it here to me in Canada it was almost $140 but it was worth every last cent. It seems that even since this article was written the keyboards are getting even cheaper and crappier. Long live buckling spring keyboards!