Looking for a good, cheap keyboard.


J

John Corliss

For several years now, I've been using a Microsoft Multimedia Keyboard
like this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-K49-00001-Multimedia-Keyboard/dp/B00006D2LI

except it's black and white instead of blue and white. Lately, the keys
have been sticking and no amount of cleaning the board (I disassemble it
and throw the top part in a solution of Tide and water) will make the
keys work smoothly again. Besides, I'm sick and tired of having to turn
the thing on (press the "F Lock" button every time I start up the
computer) so that I can simply get normal function out of my function
keys. Another dislike I have always had for the keyboard is that I have
to install and use Microsoft Intellitype in order to be able to
configure the special keys to do the things that I want them to.
Intellitype sucks up a little over 19 mb of my system's pitiful 512 mb
of ram (I'm a low-bucks hippie).

What I'm looking for is a cheap, reliable keyboard which also has
special function keys but doesn't require as much system resource
overhead to configure them.

Can anybody recommend something?

TIA
 
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J

John McGaw

For several years now, I've been using a Microsoft Multimedia Keyboard
like this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-K49-00001-Multimedia-Keyboard/dp/B00006D2LI

except it's black and white instead of blue and white. Lately, the keys
have been sticking and no amount of cleaning the board (I disassemble it
and throw the top part in a solution of Tide and water) will make the
keys work smoothly again. Besides, I'm sick and tired of having to turn
the thing on (press the "F Lock" button every time I start up the
computer) so that I can simply get normal function out of my function
keys. Another dislike I have always had for the keyboard is that I have
to install and use Microsoft Intellitype in order to be able to
configure the special keys to do the things that I want them to.
Intellitype sucks up a little over 19 mb of my system's pitiful 512 mb
of ram (I'm a low-bucks hippie).

What I'm looking for is a cheap, reliable keyboard which also has
special function keys but doesn't require as much system resource
overhead to configure them.

Can anybody recommend something?

TIA

Cheap is relative. Enermax makes an entire line of keyboards and they are
built to last. Using higher-quality switches and a solid machined aluminum
case shows how serious they are. Personally, I use two of their Micro
version because of my space-deprived workstations but one of their big ones
like
http://www.enermaxusa.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=28_48&products_id=138
seems as if it would fit your requirements.
 
J

John Corliss

John said:
Cheap is relative.

You're right. I meant "inexpensive", but even saying that would be kind
of nebulous. I should have said that I'm willing to pay up to about $50
for a new keyboard.
Enermax makes an entire line of keyboards and they
are built to last. Using higher-quality switches and a solid machined
aluminum case shows how serious they are. Personally, I use two of their
Micro version because of my space-deprived workstations but one of their
big ones like
http://www.enermaxusa.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=28_48&products_id=138
seems as if it would fit your requirements.

Thanks. That is a nice looking keyboard. A definite possibility.


Thanks for replying!
 
J

John Corliss

This is exactly the experience I've been having! The latest version of
Intellitype allows you to set the function buttons to their default
settings, but there's a delay when you use them that's more than a
little annoying. The result is that most likely you'll go back to
turning on the F-Lock button.

It almost seems like social engineering on MS's part. I notice that a
lot of keyboard manufacturers have taken to similar 2 column layouts
above the arrow keys instead of the standard three columns of keys that
you used to see more commonly.

Well, that's still a little less than Intellipoint. My biggest problem
right now is that I'm having a hard time typing on this keyboard because
the keys are sticking as I press down on them.

Office Depot has the wired version here:

http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/618375/Logitech-104-Key-Wave-Keyboard/

and it's $50.99.

They also offer the wireless version, but without a mouse and it's
$54.95. Newegg has it for $59.99 plus $8.50 shipping! What's up with
that??? Newegg is supposed to be less expensive than brick and mortar.
Oh well. Guess they're getting too big for their britches.

Yes, it was. And I'm afraid I can't find that deal anymore. 80(>
One expansion on my comments: I DO like the wireless mouse. Not having
to fight the cord is worth more than I had previously thought.

Thanks for replying! I was indeed looking over the Logitech offerings.
I've typed on their keyboards before and they're pretty nice. In
particular, I'm looking at the two Logitechs I mentioned above. You've
pushed me even more in that direction.
 
J

John Corliss

kony said:
Considering the issue of software bloat, you might try the
oldest version, or at least an older version, that works on
your choice of operating system. I would expect more and
more new keyboard drivers to be designed with little concern
for how much memory they use, since memory has become quite
inexpensive, but generally MS does seem one of the worst in
taking liberties to the extent that a system becomes slow...
so you buy another one, which comes with a new windows
licen$e.

Thanks for replying. Yes, I considered going to an earlier version of
Intellipoint, but the latest version has a feature for this keyboard I
would not like to lose, being able to set the function keys to their
default settings. Also, my main problem is that the keys on this old
board are starting to stick when I press down on them, the lettering is
getting worn off of the keys and the palm rest is barely held on anymore.

Time for a new keyboard.

I would never have chosen a Microsoft keyboard in the first place just
out of spite. It's what came with this computer.

It's looking like a Logitech might be what I'm looking for.
 
J

John McGaw

snip...

This is exactly the experience I've been having! The latest version of
Intellitype allows you to set the function buttons to their default
settings, but there's a delay when you use them that's more than a
little annoying. The result is that most likely you'll go back to
turning on the F-Lock button.

It almost seems like social engineering on MS's part. I notice that a
lot of keyboard manufacturers have taken to similar 2 column layouts
above the arrow keys instead of the standard three columns of keys that
you used to see more commonly.


Well, that's still a little less than Intellipoint. My biggest problem
right now is that I'm having a hard time typing on this keyboard because
the keys are sticking as I press down on them.


Office Depot has the wired version here:

http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/618375/Logitech-104-Key-Wave-Keyboard/


and it's $50.99.

They also offer the wireless version, but without a mouse and it's
$54.95. Newegg has it for $59.99 plus $8.50 shipping! What's up with
that??? Newegg is supposed to be less expensive than brick and mortar.
Oh well. Guess they're getting too big for their britches.


Yes, it was. And I'm afraid I can't find that deal anymore. 80(>


Thanks for replying! I was indeed looking over the Logitech offerings.
I've typed on their keyboards before and they're pretty nice. In
particular, I'm looking at the two Logitechs I mentioned above. You've
pushed me even more in that direction.

You can get the Logitech Wave for $26 if you are willing to take a refurb:

http://www.gearxs.com/gearxs/product_info.php?products_id=9897

Or you can get what appears to be a new one at TigerDirect for $30:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicat...OPPINGDF&cm_mmc_o=2mHCjCmtB55bETCjCVqHCjCdwwp

That link probably wrapped very badly but I'm sure you can figure out what
to do with it.
 
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J

John Corliss

John said:
You can get the Logitech Wave for $26 if you are willing to take a refurb:

http://www.gearxs.com/gearxs/product_info.php?products_id=9897

Or you can get what appears to be a new one at TigerDirect for $30:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicat...OPPINGDF&cm_mmc_o=2mHCjCmtB55bETCjCVqHCjCdwwp

That link probably wrapped very badly but I'm sure you can figure out
what to do with it.

Thanks very much for those links. They both allowed me to have a closer
look at the key layout on the Wave. I can see now that it's not what I'm
looking for since there are no configurable special keys.

Back to the drawing board I guess.
 
J

John Corliss

Grinder said:
There are 12 user-configurable function keys on the wave. Tapping Fn+F1,
for instance, defaults to running Microsoft word, but it can be
reconfigured.

Sorry and I know this sounds picky, but I want to be able to press one
button to say, load my default browser or a program I often use.

I can already use Control-Alt- shortcut keystroke combinations. I'm
afraid using a Fn key with one of the 12 function keys would not be much
of an advantage.
 
J

John Corliss

Ken said:
You might want to take a look at the "Zboard" especially if you need to
clean the keys. Since the keyboard layout is replaceable, cleaning is a
snap. (Not that the keyboard is subject to the kind of clogging up that
you described for your current one.) It is described as a "Gamer's
Keyboard", but I use the regular multimedia keyboard key insert.

http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E16823161013
http://www.newegg.com/Product/NewProduct.aspx?Item=N82E16823161013

There are some other keysets for programs like Adobe Photoshop

http://www.acerlaptops.co.za/ke-zkps-zboard-keyset-for-photoshop-p-8486.htm
http://www.amazon.com/Ideazon-IWOUSE1-X2PHS01-Adobe-Photoshop-Keyset/dp/B00008WFIY

The non-game keysets are very rare and practicaly impossible to find.
Except the multimedia one that comes with all of the keyboards.

Thanks for the suggestion, Ken, but after reading the reviews at Newegg
it looks like a lot of people complained that the keyboard started
failing badly after only one month to a year.

At this point, I'm looking primarily at Logitech and Kensington
keyboards. Some of them have their problems too, but overall their
reviews seem to be a little more positive.
 
L

larry moe 'n curly

John said:
What I'm looking for is a cheap, reliable keyboard which also has
special function keys but doesn't require as much system resource
overhead to configure them.

GeekHack.com has the most information about computer keyboards, by
far, including reviews and major modifications (turn original IBM 101-
key Model M into USB).
 
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