Tuesday, August 21, 2007

[Apple Harware] The NEW Keyboard

As some of you know, I had an expressed interest in going down to the local Apple store and trying out the new Apple keyboard that premiered with the brand new iMacs. However, real life intruded (as it always does), and by Monday of this week, I hadn’t made it down to the local store. Monday started and I was going through my standard routine here at the offices, when our owner, Hideki, came in and handed me one of the new keyboards! While it wasn’t mine to have, I was allowed to use it for a day to see what I thought about it.

The new Apple keyboard that was first shown with the brand new iMacs is, in all honesty, a thing of beauty. Thin and light, it felt like no other keyboard I had used. Excited to try it out, I flung my standard keyboard off to the side, and quickly set it up.

The Pros:

Quiet: Talk about quiet! It made the office a very creepy environment (my coworker I share my office with uses a laptop, so it’s quiet) without any typing sounds. I can see the benefit of this in an office environment…but other than that, it was just interesting.

Ease of Typing: I found that typing was not as difficult as I thought it might be. In fact, using my pinky to type became dramatically easier! Stretching it and reaching a key usually requires a bit of effort…not with this keyboard!

Construction: Very lightweight and seemingly durable, the keyboard did hold up to my “meathooks” and the banging on the keyboard I normally do throughout the day.

Feel: I was worried that the keyboard would feel like rubber keys. Nice to know I was wrong, and that it felt solid and supportive of my fingers, without being too stiff or too rubbery.

The Cons:

Pain: My wrists and forearms ached after using it for several hours of work. The angle did not feel right while typing, and I was reminded of my former bouts with carpal tunnel.

Feel: The overall feel of the keyboard seemed a bit off. It was like typing on a laptop, and that confused my poor brain, which knew I didn’t use a laptop when at the office. It made it hard to get used to…but that could be overlooked.

Typing errors: I’m a good typist, and my error count is usually pretty low. However, I was on a bad roll when I started to use this new keyboard. Because the keys were easy to press, my meathook fingers kept slamming into multiple keys. I felt like fat Homer Simpson trying to dial the phone…I needed a dialing wand.

Overall, it’s a great keyboard, and I’m sure that if I continued to use it, I could get used to the minor issues I was having with it.

-Mike Leader

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