Keyboard Design

Is there such a thing as an ideal keyboard?

Some like the clacky old school IBM M Series, the low profile ones like the brushed aluminium Apples, the high gloss touch capacitive sleek diNovo, the feel of ThinkPad notebook keyboards or cheapos because you don’t have to worry about spilling stuff on them because they’re soo cheap. On the other end of the spectrum is the uber cool but waay priced Optimus Maximus!

I’ll start: I’m liking subtlety clanky keyboard because I can annoy the hell out of my department when in the typing zone (just kidding) but a lot can be said on that tactile and audio feedback… And I also like the responsiveness of the the ThinkPad keyboard.


Because I use a WACOM Cintiq tablet monitor, I needed a small, wireless keyboard. I chose the Logitech “DiNovo Cordless Desktop” and it works really well.

I have not yet found a good keyboard for my Home Media Center setup. I want something wireless with a big range, tiny and with a track-pad… No such luck.

does the conversation even go beyond that? (if you don’t know that is the new Apple keyboard, back away from your dell and bang head against desk.)

If so: Keyboards are like watches. They all do pretty much the same thing the same way, but it comes down to personal preference.

I’ve been using Microsoft Natural keyboards almost exclusively for probably close to 12 years?

As someone who sits in front of a computer 13 hours a day, and as someone who has very large hands I could never go back to a normal keyboard. I can deal with it on my laptop (which I rarey use) but it comes at an impact of typing speed.

Plus from the design/human factors standpoint, I’m pretty sure we’ve already proved that extended use on a standard keyboard puts unneccessary strain on your wrists. I guess if you only use the keyboard for occasional typing and hotkeys it doesn’t matter though.

I use a Cintiq as well and I just slide my keyboard underneath/off to the side so that the main part of the KB is still within reach and the number pad is tucked away under the screen.

Not entirely ugly, but not sexy either. Comfortable though!

Yeah - thats the same keyboard I have at work. At home I have their older wireless natural keyboard. Slightly different shape and keys but I prefer it a bit more.

The squishy palm rests on the new one are very comfortable though.

One of the sample keyboards we’re testing out is the DiNovo and I agree that it works well, feels solid, and the really nice design details such as the aluminum wrist rest, soft touch sides and touch-capacitive media control. I think they could’ve chosen a different font or scaled it down. The travel and feedback for the scissor-type keys are adequate. Overall I think the DiNovo is pretty sleek and functionally sound.

Did you find a problem with the high-gloss surface and fingerprints? And how usable did you find the touch pad for your desktop setup?

I use the older one:

You’re talking about the new “Edge” version:

Yeah, but is it nice to use? It looks cold and stiff, with nothing to aid in finger orientation.

PS: Here’s the IR-wireless keyboard that came with my 1984 IBM PCjr.
Notice the chicklet keys and overlay template. They quickly replaced it with a version with more conventional keys amid usability complaints.

will the mac keyboard work on a pc through USB?

No h8trs, please!

Yeah, though you don’t get a print screen key and I don’t think any of the shortcut keys work.

wanted the Logitech Edge for a minute to go with my MX revolution mouse,
but just picked up the new apple keyboard (yo posted) this weekend. So far so good, I hadn’t realized the no print screen, but surely I can figure a way around that, or program a button that doesn’t work for the intended mac function (right?)

Not sure about ideal but was curious as to when someone will put a “.com” button on a keyboard. Similar to the ipod touch/iphone. I wonder if you could hotkey something like that?

That mac keyboard sure is sexy. Are the keys back lit? That’s one feauture that I wish my keyboard had. Probably have to buy a new one for that.

I use the print screen quite often. Wonder why they dropped it or didn’t include it?

Even better would be to elminate the need to type “.com” Internet Explorer is kinda half-assed about it. Type “core77” in the address bar, and they’ll automatically add the “http://” in front of it, but they don’t go the extra step and add the “.com”

As long as we’re talking about what keys are necessary, does anyone actually use the function keys? I haven’t touched those things since the days of WordPerfect.

To my knowledge Macs have never had a print screen button. The Mac has their own arbitrary screen dump short cut.

But if you’re like me and used to doing screen caps mulitple times a day, then you value the Print Screen button. Was the one thing I couldn’t deal with on my Macbook Pro when I was in Windows.

You can do this by typing core77

An extra button, but still better than typing the www. and the .com

Good grief…all the time. Ai, 3D Studio, several other programs.

Even better would be to elminate the need to type “.com” Internet Explorer is kinda half-assed about it. Type “core77” in the address bar, and they’ll automatically add the “http://” in front of it, but they don’t go the extra step and add the “.com”

If you type “core77” into the address bar, for example, and then hit ctrl+enter, you will automatically add the http://www. and .com to the word you typed.

shoot, ip beat me to it. anyway,

I believe there are variations that let you get .org and .net too.

With macs you have to do the command-shift-3 or 4 for the print screen and window select screen print.

That is what you get for using explorer. Use Safari and all your trouble will go away.