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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Choosing the Right Keyboard

A keyboard is not all that important, is it? If you spend hours a day typing it can be a big factor in how comfortable your day is.

One of the first things to look at is the shape of the keyboard. There are basically two main choices: the straight keyboard and the ergonomic keyboard. Below are two examples of ergonomic keyboards.

Some people find these types are keyboards more comfortable for typing because it allows a more natural wrist/hand position.

A straight keyboard is what commonly comes with most computers and is probably the most popular. The choice between the two designs is really a matter of personal choice. Basically it has to be comfortable to you. Below are two examples of straight keyboards.

Do you plan on gaming? There are a number of keyboards specifically designed for gaming. The addition of programmable keys and "skins" to identify keys for movement and special actions can make the game more enjoyable. There are even keyboards designed for specific types of games. This may be a factor if you spend a lot of time playing one game. Below are several keyboards specifically designed for gaming.


A built in wrist rest can make long term use of a keyboard more comfortable. The gamer's keyboards above all have wrist rests. A wrist rest can reduce the stress on your wrists.

Do you like to use your computer in a dimly lit area? Consider a keyboard that is backlit. Since the keys are lit it makes it very easy to see the keys even in a completely dark room. Some even come with a choice of colors for the backlighting. Below is an example of a back lit keyboard from Logitech.
Shortcut buttons may make using the computer more efficient. The ability to open your mail, web browser, change tracks and adjust speaker volume, or having programmable keys to open specific programs may be something that is appealing to you. There are a number of keyboards that have these features.

The weight of the keyboard may be something you want to consider. A light keyboard is often easier to more around while using it. A keyboard that has a bit more weight to it may stay in place better.

Spill resistant keyboards can be quite useful. A liquid spill into a keyboard generally means that keyboard is going to stop functioning correctly very quickly. This is far less likely to happen with a spill resistant keyboard. If younger children use the computer, or someone keeps beverages around the keyboard, this can be a very important feature for you. Below is an example of a spill resistant keyboard from Kensington.

Both wired and wireless keyboards are available. If you are trying to reduce the clutter of numerous wires on your desk a wireless keyboard may be a better choice for you. Just be aware that they do require batteries and will cease functioning once the charge on the batteries becomes too low.

Any recent computer will generally have a number of USB ports available on them. Some do have PS2 as well. Many keyboards come with USB to PS2 adapters. If you have and wish to use a PS2 port, the keyboard goes into the purple connection. With USB ports it does not matter which port your keyboard is connected to.

PS2 keyboard port USB ports

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