It doesn’t matter whether you are a gamer, a writer, or a casual internet browser – you need a high quality keyboard to perform all your computer-related activities successfully. So with so many available models on the market, how are you supposed to know which keyboard to buy?
Your first consideration should probably be your budget. You might think that a keyboard represents an insignificant expense, but there are some pretty steep models out there, as there are some pretty cheap ones. You are probably aware of the golden middle and it’s a sensible rule to follow for your new keyboard – keyboards that are too expensive are not really worth the money whereas keyboards that are too cheap will stop working far too soon.
The next thing to consider is the functionality of the keyboard, i.e. – is it a basic model or one with all the bells and whistles. Keyboards today come with literally all kinds of buttons. If you don’t spend a lot of time at the computer, a rudimentary model with just the basic keys will probably suffice. If you do, however, spend lots of time at the computer and do a lot of different things, you will need a keyboard with extras. There are keyboards with quick email access buttons, volume control buttons, standby/sleep buttons, video controllers (play/pause, stop, next, previous, etc.), calculator shortcuts, and so on. You can choose one depending on what you do with your computer most often. There is, however, a chance that all these commodities get in your way rather than help you. So if you are used to performing all actions in the conventional way and don’t feel like getting a bulky, button-filled keyboard, go for the basic model.
Another basic difference between the available keyboard models is the key sensitivity, i.e. how much pressure is needed for the key to register an action. This decision, again, should be based strictly on personal preference – some people like to ‘glide’ over the keys, and others prefer the sensation of pushing the buttons harder. Choosing between the two will be extremely important if you are a writer so consider your options carefully. Also keep in mind that the ‘stiffer’ the keys the louder a noise they make, so if you are using your computer while someone is sleeping more often than not, you will want to get a quieter model.
Make sure you check out the keyboard’s connection requirements. All devices switched to USB a few years ago, so if your computer is a newer model you should be fine. If your computer is older, however, you will need a PS/2 keyboard or a USB to PS/2 switch.
Hand Rest :
Some keyboards come with an extra panel attached to the front part. This is supposed to serve as a hand support and it can be very useful for people who use the keyboard a lot. Some, however, find it extremely annoying and unnecessary. The only way to determine whether you need it or not is to ‘test-drive’ the keyboard at the store.
This applies to all the other factors as well – it is extremely important to try the keyboard at the store before you buy it. Note, however that in store prices can often be beaten by online offers, so you may want to check internet prices before you part with your hard earned cash.
Rita Rova writes technology buying guides for discount site, LoveMyVouchers.co.uk, where you can find the latest offers on computer keyboards and other accessories from top UK stores.