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The best keyboard in the world

posted under category: General on January 29, 2008 at 2:00 am by MrNate

I call myself a real hacker, so naturally I'm at my keyboard a lot. In mid-2007 I passed a budget approval through the family finance committee and began researching keyboards. I have a few important criteria that are all important. I'm not a really picky person, I can jam on a standard dell keyboard and do alright, I can type fine on strange and annoying keyboards just fine, and with practice, on a notebook, but we all know there's getting by, and then there's getting what you really wanted.

This is my list of must-haves for selecting a new keyboard:

Must be a full sized keyboard
Must connect via USB port (for speed and compatibility)
Must not be split for ergonomics
Must not have a malformed control navigation area (home, end, insert, delete, pgup pgdwn)
Must not have a malformed arrow navigation area (I hate you, MS natural keyboard)
Must have a numeric keypad, spaced out from the rest of the keyboard
Must be wired, both because I don't want to fiddle with batteries and for responsiveness
Must have multimedia control buttons, specifically volume control
Must not be a mouse/keyboard combo
Must cost less than $100
No generic brands
Extra gadgets, buttons, sliders and such are a plus

Logitech has exactly one choice that fits my criteria, the $99 G15 Gaming Keyboard. I like games, but I don't know if I'm that hardcore. Programmable keys and the LCD screen are nice.

Microsoft also has exactly one choice that fits my criteria, the $30 Digital Media Pro Keyboard. No screen, but many other strengths, and less than 1/3 the price of the Logitech choice.



NewEgg revealed some other choices from Saitek and Belkin, but both seemed to have compressed layouts and odd designs. Amazon showed basically nothing else.

So of the two choices it looks like I have, I chose the Microsoft Digital Media Pro Keyboard. $70 extra for a keyboard screen doesn't really sound like a great deal for what I do.

I've been using my Digital Media Pro Keyboard now for a few months and have been very happy with it. I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking.

Have you fallen in love with a keyboard? Share your obsession, write a comment.

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On Jan 29, 2008 at 2:00 AM Chris Dawes (chris, who breathes dawes.id.au) said:
Nice, very nice...

Check out this:
http://www.theyellowsubroutine.com/2008/01/optimus-maximus-oled-keyboard.html

On Jan 29, 2008 at 2:00 AM Campbell (www.blog.xsive.co.nz) said:
Gutted, I got the old G-15 and it rocks... and you can programme the macros to do getters and setters and code commenting etc. Its the most comfortable keyboard I have ever used to code with.

Im sure you could find and old G-15 on ebay for heaps cheaper.

C.

On Jan 30, 2008 at 2:00 AM Russ Johnson (http://angry-fly.com) said:
I have been using the new Apple keyboard that came out now for a few months. The little thin aluminum ones. I have the wired full size one and I absolutely love it. Best feeling keys of any keyboard I have ever used. Very short and firm key presses.

On Jan 30, 2008 at 2:00 AM Jim Priest (http://www.thecrumb.com) said:
I'm hooked on the old Microsoft Natural keyboards. Awhile ago I bought 4 of em on Ebay for $15 each. But I'm down to my last two - one at work, one at home.

I don't know what I'm going to do when they break!

I like the G15 - AGES ago - Gateway used to make a programmable keyboard and it rocked being able to assign keys entire scripts to do things. I wonder if the G15 works under Linux.

On Jan 30, 2008 at 2:00 AM Dan Wilson (http://www.nodans.com) said:
I am using a Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard.

I can not use a standard keyboard well at all. I end up with pain and soreness in my forearms and wrists if forced to use on for any length of time.

There are a lot of things right with the MS Natural Ergonomic Keyboard. The one flaw is the 'flock' key. Someone at Microsoft thought it would be a good idea to have a toggle button where the Fx keys can be changed to provide functionality like Undo,Redo,New,Open....

A nice idea, but for people who actually use the F keys, it is just another thing to accidentally turn off.

I just bought a new Lenovo laptop which has the function key where the control key should be. Had I paid attention to the keyboard layout instead of the price, I wouldn't have purchased it. I often press 'function' when I really want to press 'control'. This makes the cursor jump to random places and code vanishes at awkward moments. I can't do much serious coding on that laptop because of that. I doubt that laptop will be useful for much more than web surfing.....



DW



On Feb 11, 2008 at 2:00 AM Matt Williams (http://www.mattjanell.com/blog) said:
Gotta have my old school Gateway Anykey keyboard. Need the duplicate F-keys to left (makes Shift-F-whatever much easier).

Also love the macro programmability and ability to change what a key does (essential since it is pre-windows start key).

http://www.pcguide.com/ref/kb/layout/z_011258prog.jpg

On Feb 25, 2008 at 2:00 AM John Blayter (john at the ever famous blayter.com) said:
I purchased the apple keyboard this weekend based on the recommendation from Russ. I must say that this is by far the smoothest keystroke keyboard that I have ever used. Even after using it for just a couple of days now the keyboard on my Dell laptop just seems clunky.

On Feb 22, 2009 at 2:00 AM Daniel (Sexyonehaha sends love to hotmail.com) said:
I have a Digital Media Keyboard, the first one, and it has all the buttons that the pro version, just they didn't put them on the outside, i have gutted my and put the new buttons in, and it still looks good, =), been using it for 4 year and not planning on changing
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