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Tag Archives: Keyboards

Maglev Keys Could Mean Slimmer Keyboards

Screen Shot 2014-06-08 at 6.14.20 PM

When you’re trying to make a product smaller, every little bit you can shave counts. Keyboards on laptops are already pretty thin but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t be thinner. A Taiwanese manufacturer called Darfon is working on keyboard keys that use magnetic levitation rather than mechanical switches, membranes, or springs to keep the keys apart from their base. In this way you can achieve thicknesses that are a fraction smaller than before, while also allowing you to fine tune how much resistance each key gives you. Anyone that spends a lot of time on a keyboard will tell you that this (more than the reduced thickness) could be a massive selling point.

There’s no word on which laptop manufacturers ordered this technology, but word is that we’ll start seeing pop up on the market in the second half of this year. Which, well… is now.

[ C|Net ] VIA [ Engadget ]

Massive Keyboard Developed To Replace Photoshop Shortcuts

shortcutkeyboard

If you spend a lot of time working in Photoshop, you’ve probably become acquainted with a lot of the shortcuts that allow you to access the seemingly endless many functions. Some of these shortcuts are pretty complex, involving up to 4 keys and often requiring both hands. The Shortcut-S keyboard, however, wants to let you keep one hand on the mouse at all times, and to do so, it’s decked itself out with 319 keys, 299 of which are hard coded and 20 customizable. There’s an overlay graphic that’s specific to Photoshop, although the company is talking about making others for other similarly complex programs like Illustrator, Final Cut, Corel Draw, etc. Ctrl-Shift-Atl-G for Gaussian Blur? No sir, just press the Gaussian Blur button and you’re good to go. Plus, imagine how spacey your desk will look with this on it.

It’s an $89 pledge to get your own, though the campaign is currently quite far from being funded.

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[ Project Page ] VIA [ Petapixel ]

Belkin Makes Numerical Keypad To Match Your Mac’s Incomplete Keyboard

mac-numpad-1

Oh sure, maybe you don’t actually have any use for a numerical keypad. But when tax time comes around and you find yourself entering row upon row of numbers in the most inefficient way possible, you notice its absence. The YouType Bluetooth Wireless Keypad from Belkin looks just like Apple’s wireless keyboard, only it’s covered in numerical keys arranged in a way that makes using them somewhat less frustrating. Yeah, it’s annoying to have to pay $60 for the privilege, but if you find yourself cursing Apple’s designers for their omission, yet can’t stomach getting any other keyboard, then we suppose you may as well get the matching keypad.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

With The USB Typewriter, The Obsolete Is New Again

Here’s another oldie, but still good even a couple of years later. We don’t know if this means we’ve been infected with the hipster virus, but we’re sort of digging the above USB Typewriter. Maybe it’s because writing is what we do for a living and old-timey typewriters represent a nostalgic link to writing’s not so distant low-tech past. But we wouldn’t mind typing out these articles from a USB Typewriter, which serves as a fully functional keyboard to your PC, Mac or even tablet but with all the clickety click and carriage return bells from the last century. You can even type with ink on paper, while simultaneously typing on your digital device.

Jack Zelkyn sells these from his Etsy shop and can offer you either a DIY conversion kit for around $80, if you want to use your own typewriter. But if you don’t have one, or can’t be bothered to, you know, do anything yourself, and have the cash to spare, Jack will send you a fully assembled setup starting at $699.

Check out the link at the bottom for more.

[ Product Page ]

Lenovo Multimedia Keyboard with Remote Reviewed. Verdict: Decent Upgrade for the Price

Lenovo recently updated their paddle HTPC keyboard and the changes aren’t subtle. It already had a hit on their hands with the first generation of this very hand-friendly Multimedia Remote Keyboard and trackball. The tiny trackball has been replaced with an optical sensor that first made waves on the Raon Everun a few years back. The very responsive sensor also doubles as left click mouse button for very relaxed use. The nano dongle and the key layout are mostly unchanged. Most of the device has also been upgraded from slippery gloss finish to a more gripping rubber texture, only the keys remain glossy.

Other improvements include automatic backlighting and raised bumps on the keys for tactile navigation. The mouse buttons have been widened for larger hands to operate without adjusting their grip. The nano USB dongle can be stored in the battery compartment for travel which may be the only time you ever open it. The very strong wireless connection boasts a battery sipping 3 months of life. Other similar keyboards suffer from weak signals but the Lenovo Remote shows no sign of losing connection at even extreme ‘same room’ distances. Check out the full review at Everything USB if you are interested in how the remote fared after extended use.

[Full Review @ Everything USB]

Logitech’s Bluetooth Tablet Keyboard Is A Slick Alternative To Apple’s Own

Logitech Tablet Keyboard for iPad (Image courtesy Logitech)
By Andrew Liszewski

Until a few minutes ago I had never considered using something other than Apple’s own sleek, wireless Bluetooth keyboard with my iOS devices. But Logitech’s wireless Tablet Keyboard immediately caught my eye. Its design looks like it borrows a lot from Apple’s keyboard, which certainly isn’t a bad thing. From the bulge at the top which houses its 4xAAA batteries, to its low-profile Chiclet-style keys. It’s even got a set of double-duty media playback/number keys along the top row, and the included carrying case not only protects it when stashed away, but also serves as an adjustable stand for your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.

It’s even just a touch smaller than Apple’s keyboard, except when it comes to price. Logitech is asking $79.99 for theirs, which is $10 more than Apple’s. (There’s also a separate version available for Android 3.0+ tablets, though I can’t seem to discern a difference between the two.)

[ Logitech Tablet Keyboard for iPad ] VIA [ 7Gadgets ]

Cideko Air Keyboard Chatting Is Targeted At Skypers And Those Who Like Awkward Product Names

Cideko Air Keyboard Chatting (Image courtesy CompuExpert)
By Andrew Liszewski

It’s not particularly thin, doesn’t have a full size keyboard, costs $99.99 and has a limited battery life of just 10 hours. But CompuExpert still feels they can sway consumers looking for a wireless keyboard for their living room HTPC with their new Cideko Air Keyboard Chatting. That is as long as said consumer is really into Skype or chatting online. That’s because the newest addition to their wireless keyboard lineup features a built in-microphone and a headphone jack, so you don’t have to shout across the room when talking with others.

It also foregoes a trackpad, or other tactile cursor navigation solution, for 3D motion controls. So you’ll have to wave it around in the air like a Wiimote if you don’t already have a wireless mouse by your side. (FYI, We strongly recommend having a wireless mouse by your side.) Available now from Amazon, Newegg and presumably other retailers who already carry CompuExpert’s products.

[ Cideko Air Keyboard Chatting ]

OhGizmo! Review – Verbatim Wireless Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard

Verbatim Wireless Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard (Image property OhGizmo!)
By Andrew Liszewski

The reason I hear most often from people who don’t have or want a touchscreen based smartphone is that they can’t get used to typing out messages with just an on-screen keyboard. They prefer the tactile feedback of a real keyboard or a thumbpad, which I can understand. On the iPhone, where my typing never really goes longer than the 140 character limit of a tweet, I never have any issues. But on the iPad, which I occasionally use as a laptop replacement for taking notes, the on-screen keyboard can get a little annoying. So much so that I usually always bring along Apple’s own wireless keyboard for long typing sessions, which unfortunately really isn’t designed for traveling.

But the only way you can make a full-sized keyboard travel-friendly is to introduce some sort of folding mechanism, and that’s exactly what Verbatim has done with their new Wireless Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard. It folds in half making it easier to transport, and while it doesn’t necessarily get small enough to carry in your pocket, it’s certainly compact enough to stash away in a bag or briefcase. But does it work as well as the keyboard permanently fused to your laptop or tethered to your PC? Check out our full review after the jump to find out.

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itablet Bluetooth Thumb Keyboard Sports A Rear-Facing Touchpad

itablet Thumb Keyboard (Image courtesy AHX Global)
By Andrew Liszewski

The rise of HTPCs and touchscreen devices lacking a physical keyboard has created a real market for external wireless keyboards. Designed for use with everything from Windows, Android and Apple tablets to tucked away computers connected to a big-screen display to even gaming consoles, the itablet features a compact keyboard layout primarily designed to be used with your two thumbs.

And if the device you happen to be using it with also features a cursor-driven UI, on the back of the itablet you’ll find a rear-facing touchpad. Logistically it would probably take some time for me to get used to using a reverse touchpad, but by placing it on the back the itablet does end up with a smaller overall footprint which makes it smaller to hold and easier to travel with. It’s available now in black or white with US & UK keyboard layouts for ~$132 (£79.99), with other commonly used keyboard layouts becoming available in Q3 of this year.

[ itablet ]