W A R N I N G !

W A R N I N G !

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Quick user review: Microsoft Wired Keyboard 600

Got this for $15.90 from Popular, before Popular Member Discount.

It's pretty good for that price.

It is supposedly quiet touch keys. Yup I find them pretty quiet. But more importantly due to this quietness (or for this quietness, please correct my English) the buttons are very soft and I feel little resistance when typing. (At this price range) Except, unfortunately, for the right shift - it is hard to press if you press it at the extreme left, which I always do when typing.

(I know there are some people who like hard-to-type keyboards, and those that you need to press all the way until you hear a click sound. I'm not in favor of developing tendinitis.)

The Caps Lock is very user friendly. Hate it how you always accidentally hit the Caps Lock when typing A and/or Shift? Some keyboards have a gap between Caps Lock and A, and many still don't, but this keyboard takes a step further by having a gap between Shift and Caps Lock too.

One great part about this keyboard - the calculator button above Num Lock. I frequently use the calculator. But then I think I'd rather use the mouse since my hand is on the mouse most of the time, rather than on that specific button.

Volume control and Play/Pause buttons, which works as they should. Pretty normal. But that's one of the reasons I got this keyboard - I needed it.
Could be a little less stiff for something that's to be pressed repeatedly though.
Though I didn't know that the Play/Pause button works even when the program is in the background. Well, that's useful, since I often have music playing in the background.

Looks are pretty okay if not better than average at this price range - at least it is rounded and smooth.

Now the big problem -

The Escape, F1 to F12, and PrtScn etc keys are not the normal keys like on normal keyboards. Nor are they the shorter keys on compact/notebook keyboards. Instead, it's those kind of small and soft buttons you find for less intensive stuff (well, less often pressed than a keyboard).

Why this is a big problem - the Escape key is one of the most important keys on a keyboard. As important as the Enter it also often gets its own color, and is situated in a special upper left corner, and separated from everyone else. It is used all the time to exit programs and cancel functions.

Now it is a soft, low-profile button that is hard to press.

Same for the function keys - F4, F2, F5, F1 and F10 are often used, so are F8 and F12. In fact, the point of the function keys is to be quickly accessible when you want it, hence the gaps between them to make them easily identifiable and pressable (e.g. F5 = left-most in middle row). PrtScn and Pause too - when messages fly by fast and you want to pause it, you want to be able to hit the Pause key.

Now all these keys are hard to find, hard to press, and their durability is suspect.

If not for this problem, I would have recommended this keyboard.

With this problem, well... I'm not sure if I can live with it. Then again, I am living with tinnitus and a bad knee. So I can take some amount of suffering.

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