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Tag Archives: keyboard

Kinesis Tries To Reinvent The Keyboard


By Chris Scott Barr

Improving keyboard design seems to be about as challenging as building a better mousetrap. Sure, we see new keyboards all the time with tiny changes here and there, but always they have the same overall look and feel. Every now and then a new strange one will make its way onto the market, only to be forgotten a few short months later. The only one that’s really stuck around in any manner is the split-keys “ergonomic” style. Well the Kinesis Advantage keyboard takes that design to a new level.

I can’t really say too many bad things about a keyboard I’ve never used, but I do have some concerns. The biggest glaring one is that the rows of keys are situated directly above one another, rather than being slightly offset. I suppose that one might get used to it after a bit, but it seems like it would be counter-productive. I won’t pretend to know the science behind these things, but if that were the better option, wouldn’t all keyboards have their rows line up? Another big problem is the price, which is $300. There’s no advanced technology hidden inside of these things. It’s the same as any other keyboard on the market, only with the keys situated differently. Slap a small premium on it to recoup the money you spent researching and designing the thing. $280 is not a reasonable markup for essentially a redesigned $20 keyboard.

[ Kinesis ] VIA [ Technabob ]

Vioguard Introduces Self-Disinfecting Keybaord


By Chris Scott Barr

How often would you say you clean your keyboard? I know that it’s a rare thing to do for me, and probably not something most people do on a very regular basis. Sure, we’ve seen keyboards that can be put in a dishwasher, but what about a keyboard that actually cleans itself? Well now there is one of those.

The Vioguard UVKB50 doesn’t clean itself, so much as it disinfects. Whenever you are finished typing, the keyboard retracts into an enclosure and is blasted with a 50W UV light. This will supposedly kill 99.99% of viruses and bacteria. Mysophobes will no doubt rejoice at the introduction of this keyboard next month. However, they may actually fear the $899 price tag more than the germs on their keyboard.

[ Vioguard ] VIA [ SlipperyBrick ]

Logitech Notebook Kit MK605


By Chris Scott Barr

My computer setup is rather complicated, as I have a pair of monitors hooked to my desktop PC, plus I use my MacBook with another monitor attached to it. I’ve been using one of Logitech’s Alto laptop stands, which certainly helps things out. It not only gives me a nice stand that keeps the notebook’s screen at the same height as my monitor, but it also has a wireless keyboard that goes with it. Well today Logitech announced the successor to this, the Notebook Kit MK605.

The MK605 Kit comes with a much more simplistic riser than the Alto. No electronic components are integrated into it, but it does have three different angles at which it can hold your laptop. You’ll also find a fairly basic wireless keyboard and mouse set (K340 and M505 respectively) that work with the Unifying technology we’ve seen lately. You’ll just need one tiny receiver for both peripherals. Batteries won’t be too much of an issue, as the keyboard will last 3 years and the mouse 15 months between sets. If you use your laptop for long periods on your desk, this $99 set will be well worth the money.

[ Logitech ]

OhGizmo! Review – Logitech Wireless Desktop MK700


By Chris Scott Barr

Last month we told you about a new keyboard and mouse set from Logitech called the MK700. At first glance it seemed like any other wireless combo, but under the surface there were a few things to note. Namely the new “Incurve keys” and an amazing battery life. Well I’ve spent a couple of weeks with this pair of peripherals, and today I’ll share my thoughts.


The second-most notable feature are the new Incurve keys, which are concave keys with rounded edges. These are supposed to be more comfortable than your average keyboard. The battery life is definitely the number one feature, as the mouse can go a year and the keyboard a full three years before either needs a new set of AA’s. An LCD dashboard tells you the status of things like your battery, Caps Lock and Num Lock. Hyper-fast scrolling and a 2.4GHz wireless transmitter round out the main features of this duo.

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iTwinge Gives Your iPhone A Real Keyboard At The Expense Of Your Screen


By Chris Scott Barr

One of the biggest features of the iPhone is also its biggest issue (to some people). I’m talking of course about the touchscreen. The screen is beautiful, and it gives you the ability to do so many things that just aren’t possible on your average non-touchscreen phone. Of course when it comes to typing, there is absolutely no form of tactile feedback, making things a little more difficult, even impossible if you’re not staring directly at it. So what’s the solution? A crack-pot accessory that gives you real buttons on your iPhone!

I’m really not sure what to think about this iTwinge. Mostly I can’t figure out if it’s stupid or just plain retarded. The accessory makes you sacrifice almost half of your screen to get a keyboard. Yeah, you might type a little faster, but whenever you want to use your phone for any other function, you’re going to have to remove the iTwinge and put it somewhere. Seriously, if you’re that concerned about tactile feedback, just go get a Blackberry or something. This hunk of junk will set you back $30, plus your dignity.

[ MobileMeChattronics ]VIA [ CoolestGadgets ]

Asus Eee Keyboard Confirmed For October Launch

By Chris Scott Barr

Remember that spiffy Eee Keyboard that Asus announced back at CES? Well we’ve finally gotten a confirmation on a release. It seems that it will be shipping next month, for between $400-$500. In case you’ve forgotten, you’ll get an Atom-powered computer packed inside a keyboard with a 5-inch touchscreen and wireless HDMI. How awesome is that going to be?

VIA [ PCWorld ]

Logitech Announces MK700 Keyboard And Mouse With Incredible Battery Life


By Chris Scott Barr

If you spend most of your workday at a computer like I do, then you’ll want to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible. A comfortable chair, a nice big monitor to look at and a good keyboard/mouse set are probably the most important. Today, Logitech announced their new Wireless Desktop MK700 keyboard and mouse, which are aimed at being both comfortable and convenient to use.

The new MK700 keyboard features a new type of key that they’re calling “Incurve keys.” These concave keys are supposed to keep your fingers in the right place and have softly curved edges to be more comfortable when moving from key to key. Other features like a cushioned palm rest and longer key travel should make things more comfortable in general.

So what makes this set so “convenient” you say? Well you’ve got things like an LCD dashboard that lets you know things like the status of Caps Lock, Num Lock and your battery life. They’re also using 2.4GHz wireless technology to ensure a strong connection (up to 30 feet away), because no one likes pressing a key and having nothing happen. The real kicker is the battery life. You can expect the batteries in your mouse to last for up to a year, while the keyboard can go up to 3 years without needing changed. Oh, and that’s on 2 AA batteries each. I hate changing out batteries, and measuring the time between changing them in years instead of months should be enough of a selling point for some people. Look for the MK700 bundle later this month for around $100.

[ Logitech ]

How Would YOU Use This? Microsoft Developing Pressure Keyboard With 256 Levels Of Sensitivity (Oh, And Win Stuff)

microsoftpressurekeyboardBy David Ponce

Lots of interesting stuff at SIGGRAPH this year. In this case, there’s a contest sponsored by ACM SIGCHI and ACM SIGGRAPH centered around a keyboard Microsoft Hardware is developing where each key is capable of detecting pressure in 8-bit resolution. In other words, in 256 levels of sensitivity. Current suggested uses for this are to selectively capitalize letters based on how hard a key is pressed, or deleting an entire word as opposed to a single letter, again, based on pressure.

Of course, these are early ideas and the whole point of the contest is to actually find out what to do with something like this. There are three categories: most useful, best implementation, most creative. Each one carries a “$2000 prize, bragging rights, and special consideration for a spot at SIGGRAPH 2010’s Emerging Technology (E-Tech) demos.”

So, you can head over to the site (check links at the bottom of article). Or if you’re too lazy to bother entering, why not give us your ideas right here in the comments… so we can steal them.

[ Contest Page ] VIA [ Electronista ]

Matias Optimizer Keyboard Probably Won’t Improve Your Editing Skills


By Chris Scott Barr

I don’t work with a lot of spreadsheets or anything, so I can’t vouch for how much time is wasted by moving your hands all over the keyboard to get to the arrow keys. However, for those of you that spend most of your workday doing just this, you might be interested in the Matias Optimizer Keyboard, which claims to increase spreadsheet navigation by 22%, among other things.

The keyboard supposedly achieves this with the use of an “Optimize” button where the Caps Lock usually is. It turns things like your Number Lock key into a Tab button, and others into Page Up, Page Down, etc. As I said, none of this is a big deal to me. That’s why they’ve also targeted writers with some other interesting keys. Hold down that same Optimize button and you get 5 dedicated Cut, Copy and Paste keys. Honestly, that sounds a bit silly. If you’re a writer, you damn well better know where your X, C, and V keys are.

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