Ten... wireless keyboards
Finger clicking good
Product Round-up I feel sorry for keyboards. Despite tapping away constantly at one, I can't say I give mine any regard. Fairly rapidly, so it seems, they get covered in reminders of our lifestyle excesses and tacky habits. And when our computers are to blame for something, its usually the keyboard that soaks up the frustration.
Well, I'm going give them my attention for a change. Here's a collection of ten keyboards to consider when the inevitable coffee splurt happens over yours should you linger on these hallowed pages long enough.
Apple Wireless Keyboard
Say what you will about Apple products, but the company certainly makes a formidable keyboard. The Bluetooth connectivity is a welcome bonus for starters and the aluminium body gives Apple's wireless keyboard a sense of durability. Its chiclet style presents an executive feel and typing is reasonably quiet. Nothing feels cheap or tacky and OS X function keys double up as F keys, rather than the other way round - which seems more logical, on a Mac at least.
As with most Apple products, it's on the expensive side of things, but not too much of a price to pay for the quality, especially when compared to some of the other models in this round-up. Two AA batteries fit nicely in the shallow rake of the body, which gives the keyboard its angle, and there's a slick power button on the opposite side to where they slot in. The Apple Keyboard really is the king of the chiclet and for me, nothing compares. Oh and before you start up about the absent forward delete button, function-backspace does it. Not ideal, but still there if you need it.
Reg Rating 95%
More info Apple
Cherry eVolution Marlin Smart
German company Cherry claims "perfection down to the smallest detail". I disagree when it comes to its eVolution Marlin Smart, which was fugly to say the least. There are ten dedicated hotkeys, four above the number pad and a further six below the regular keys. These six volume/play controls are some of the most unappealing buttons I've ever seen and feel completely out of place.
The keys are flat and very basic, which is a plus point, however, the "ultra silent" claim appearing on the box are wide of the mark. Typing is far from quiet and made more noise than I'd have expected given this selling point. What's more, you can't type without the keyboard legs down, because it doesn't sit flat at all. It does come with a wireless mouse, but the price is shockingly high for what you get and should have at least included a battery indicator for that money. The eVolution Marlin Smart has security protection, but there's no mention what type it is or how it functions which isn't exactly reassuring.
Reg Rating 55%
More info Cherry
Next page: Fujitsu LX900
The louder a keyboard is the better... it's not a good keyboard unless your colleagues are forced to wear ear muffs!
A buyers guide to keyboards
Give a tick for each category. Most ticks == best keyboard
1) Can it be used as an offensive weapon.
A good keyboard should be solid enough that you can grasp it two handed (right thumb on ctrl, left thumb on escape), and smash an intruder around the face with it. It should still be fully usable afterwards.
A good keyboard should be able to go straight in the dishwasher. An excellent keyboard can go in the washer.
When you press a key, there should be adequate travel (there should be enough space between keys, keys should not be small or hard to access) and action (the key should depress noticeably, and should reinforce that the key has been pressed with some sort of click)
4) Abuse (see #1)
A keyboard is your primary interface with a computer. Sometimes you need to show the computer who is boss, and should be able to abuse it by thumping the keyboard.
5) Durability (see #2)
Sometimes, you just don't have time to fix every little thing, so when the reports server has died, your keyboard shouldn't let you down, just because you've poured your latte/coke inside it.
tl;dr? Buy a Model M
you *like* spongy keys? eww! (bet you had a spectrum when you were a kid)
At that point I realised how useful the rest of the reviews were going to be to me, given i'm also happily clattering away right now on a unicomp keyboard. Yea verily the spring doth buckle!
(Having said which, I also like and frequently use the current apple chicklet keyboards; somehow they make it work even for a buckling-spring enthusiast, when most others of that ilk are godawful. Must be that positive non-spongy feel they have.)
but any keyboard without a numpad cannot get 95%. It's a major issues for anyone that deals with numbers.
Is this 2003 again?
I remember when wireless keyboards came out and all us techy types went out and bought them.
Then three weeks later when the batteries ran out during an important moment they then all went in the bin.
I always felt they were a bit of a fad.