Friday, November 09, 2007

Aesthetically yours

Describing ergonomic keyboard choices ...

"The 'in' thing in today's keyboard design happens to be its ergonomics. Here are the choices.

People tend to be less finicky about keyboards. However, they do expect the keyboard layout to be simple; besides, the keys to be smooth and respond well to the strokes.

Keyboards like the Microsoft Entertainment Desktop 7000 is aimed at users of home theatres or Media Centre PCs. These wireless keyboards cram a lot of extra functionality, such as specialised media playback control keys and built-in pointing devices.

They often make trade-offs for that functionality. The compact size and extra control keys mean that one has to do away with the numeric keypad. Microsoft bundles the new keyboard with a Bluetooth mouse, and sells the package at around Rs 8,600.

The function keys, Esc key, and several other keys can take a little time getting used to. Also, the Windows key is now a blue Vista logo (at the bottom of the keyboard) and seems to be more accessible.

This way, the user does not end up pressing that key while hunting for the Ctrl or Alt keys. While there is no battery status indicator on the keyboard, there is one on the mouse that flashes when the power is low. It glows while charging and a charge pad is included too.

... Microsoft has rolled out the Natural Ergonomic Desktop 7000, which combines the company’s best selling wired keyboard, the Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000, with its latest ergonomic mouse, the Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000.

Both devices of the Natural Ergonomic Desktop borrow heavily from their standalone predecessors, sporting little or no difference at all, though the keyboard does come wireless in this latest version.

There is a split typing area and wavy design is what Microsoft calls a “gull wing” layout. The centre of the typing area is its highest peak, with a zoom button at the centre, just above the telephone-shaped Spacebar.

The keys slope down on both sides from the centre and level out around the Enter key on the right, and Caps Lock on the left. The keyboard’s split design and sloped typing area promises to keep wrists straight without any sort of side bend like on a normal keyboard."    (Continued via Business Standard)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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