Kensington Pro Fit
Kensington really set the bar for inexpensive keyboards that function well. The Kensington Pro Fit is a full keyboard with a spongy feel, and as a result is ultra-quiet to type on. The shape of the keys don't really do it for me, but I'm not complaining too much at this price, and while the glossy media controls are all a bit tacky – as are the larger-sized volume controls on the left – it's very useful that they're dedicated to these functions.
The dongle is memory-key size, but isn't a problem and there's a battery indicator too. For the low price of £25, it comes with a pretty good mouse as well. So if you're looking for a cheap keyboard and don't fancy the throw-away option that PC World has on offer, spend an extra tenner and get something of this level. Admittedly, its by no means brilliant, when compared to what else is on offer, the Kensington Pro Fit is excellent value for money.
Reg Rating 90%
More info Kensington
A brushed metallic finish coupled with black chiclet keys gives KeySonic's dwarf-sized device quite an executive look. It's roughly the same dimensions as the keyboard on a 10in netbook and I was reasonably content with how it felt to use. "X-Type membrane technology" apparently makes typing quieter, although I disagree, as there's a somewhat annoying spring-like sound I could hear when I hit the keys.
A rather novel idea is the built-in trackball at the top right corner clever and with the two mouse buttons over to the left. It takes a bit of getting used to though, and wouldn't be ideal for left-handed folk. I've seen a fair few of on-line comments with regard to range issues, but I had no such problems myself. KeySonic claim a 10m reach - my testing was usually within half of that and it worked fine. How much distance do you need?
There's also an on/off switch and underneath the battery flap is a great place to store the dongle - a nice touch I might add. Very cute.
Reg Rating 75%
More info MaxPoint
Next page: Logik LWMKBM10
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.