Saturday, October 23, 2004

Which Keyboard?

Last weekend, I spilled a little bit of coffee in my keyboard. Hey, accidents happen. I had a Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro. It is a keyboard where the left and right side were split and a bit raised. I loved this keyboard. The feel was more "natural" than a flat keyboard, and I never had wrist fatigue. The keypresses felt perfect. Post coffee, the keyboard began to spit out more characters than asked to. After drying it out, tearing it apart, and putting it back together, I realized how sensitive these things are to manual reassembly. I also realized how much "flat" keyboards suck in comparison by how my wrist is feeling.

Today, I bought a Microsoft "Wireless Optical Desktop Comfort Edition." at Costco. The price was right at $60. I still like the feel of the keys, but this curved thing is making me crazy. I have never hit "backspace" as much as I have in the last two posts. Plus, after typing a bit, my wrist still feels strange, like using a flat keyboard. The "comfort edition" is curved, but not split or raised in the center. This may be the problem. Also, the function keys are shared shortcut keys. I won't get used to that.

Additionally, this duo has a nice "pleather" wrist-rest that I like. The mouse is plain plastic. I'd think they would both be pleather. I was wrong. The scroll wheel moves easily, but almost too easily. I don't get the feedback I am used to. Perhaps I will get used to it. The mouse "feels" right.

I think I am going to return this one and go with the "Wireless Optical Desktop Pro," which is most similar to what I used to have. Best Buy wanted $100 for it. I can get it cheaper online. I really don't care about wireless for the keyboard, but for the mouse it is useful.

Does anyone have other suggestions? I considered Logitech's similar offering, but I just don't know. Microsoft's hardware has always been top-notch.

1 comment:

Steven Bone said...

Just to update, I did return the "Comfort Edition" and got the "Wireless Optical Desktop Pro". This one comes with the Wireless Intellimouse Explorer Pro, so the mouse is a bit better (two more buttons, slightly different design). I don't like the scroll wheel - the first edition of this same mouse had a better one. I guess I like the easy to scroll with a bit of click-feedback better.

The function keys are the same as the comfort edition, but I am getting used to them. There is no "pleather" on the keyboard and mouse, but this would be a nice add-on for the next version (if Microsoft is listening).

I wasn't able to find a Logitech to test out, but overall, I am extremely happy with this purchase decision. The hardaware is top-notch.