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Tag Archives: keyboard

Presenting The FAILboard

Fast Finger Keyboard

By Chris Scott Barr

With the rise of instant messengers, we saw a rise in the use of acronyms. I remember the old days of chatting on ICQ and learning simple ones like ‘lol’ and ‘afk’. These days I still use a few when chatting or texting, but not nearly as much as the current school-age generation. Not only does half of a conversation consist of acronyms, but now they don’t even have to bother typing all of those out. Now there’s a keyboard that will spew out 3 or 4 meaningful characters (in caps no less!) with the push of a single button. I give you proof that the current generation is doomed: the Fast Finger Keyboard.

If you thought that 12 function keys that are dedicated to acronyms was bad, you’re in for a real treat. The standard QWERTY layout has been tossed in the back seat so that children don’t get confused. Instead, all of the letters are lined up alphabetically. They’ve even added in a “www” key (because apprently no one told them that you don’t need to type that on every address) and a second “@” over on the tilde key. If only they’d thought to toss in dedicated question mark and exclamation point keys, your child would never have to mess with the pesky shift key again!

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New Logitech MK710 Combo Features A 3-Year Battery Life


By Chris Scott Barr

If you’ll recall, last August Logitech released a wireless keyboard/mouse combo that promised incredible battery life. Specifically, you could go three years on your keyboard and one year with your mouse before needing to change the batteries. (Logitech is good to their word, five months in and my keyboard still reads as full, and my mouse isn’t even down to half a charge.) Well the company has decided that it can do a bit better and thus has announced the new Wireless Desktop MK710.

Largely, the two devices are pretty well the same as their predecessors. The mouse seems to have gotten a small design change, but otherwise you’ll find the same features in both. This includes the Incurve keys, hyper-fast scrolling, and the tiny Unifying receiver. The main difference here is that you’ll get three years of battery life out of both devices. That’s right, they’ve somehow tripled the battery life on the mouse. Look for the combo starting in April for the same $99 price.

[ Logitech ]

Lenovo Releases Keyboard/Mouse Combo For Living Room Use


By Chris Scott Barr

Having an HTPC can be a useful thing, what with all of the greatness of a computer hooked up to your big-ass TV. The biggest issue with using them is, well, using them. Sure, if you’re using something simple like Windows Media Center then a remote should do the trick. If you’re trying to do anything that requires typing or mousing, then you’ve got to have the necessary tools. Traditional keyboards and mice are large and clunky, things that should not be found in your living room. That’s why companies like Lenovo are creating hybrid devices that provide similar functionality while still looking like something you’d want sitting on your coffee table.

The latest offering from Lenovo is this Multimedia Remote with Keyboard. Meant to be held like a traditional remote, it offers a trackball at the bottom for your mousing needs. When it comes time for typing, you’ll use the keyboard just as you would with most QWERTY phones. A tiny USB dongle is all that’s require to connect it to your computer. At $60, this should be a welcome accessory to any living room with an HTPC.

[ Lenovo ] VIA [ Dvice ]

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 ]