Sexy, yes, but can they type?
Some alluring alternative keyboard designs are hitting the market nowadays. I put five new models through their paces during a typically crazed week at Blue-Sky Solutions, my graphics firm in Brick, N.J.
(FSB - December 2006 issue) -- MICROSOFT'S WIRELESS LASER DESKTOP 6000 features an ergonomic curved layout, which took some getting used to but did eventually make typing easier. The bundled mouse boasts an addictive InstantViewer function that let me see all the open windows on my desktop at once by clicking the scroll wheel. MSRP: $104.95
LOGITECH'S DINOVO EDGE is an ultraslim, rechargeable wireless keyboard. I liked the handy little circular touchpad that let me scroll, select, and control the cursor. But design is what really sets this unit apart. Laser-cut from a single piece of black Plexiglas and set in a brushed-aluminum frame, it's only 11 millimeters thick. MSRP: $199.99
THE MYKEYO KEYBOARD ORGANIZER is a vanilla wired keyboard with one very convenient feature: It conceals 14 secret compartments in which I stored pens, Post-its, bills, and scissors. And I loved the special spindle for my CDs. MSRP: $24.95
MALTRON'S DUAL-HANDED ERGONOMIC KEYBOARD offers a freaky sculpted design with keys laid out in five distinct blocks. Maltron says it takes three to four weeks to adapt to the layout, which is more time than most entrepreneurs are likely to have at their disposal. While I found it awkward, this wired keyboard might be a good choice for business owners with a history of repetitive-stress injuries. Oh, and deep pockets. MSRP: $600
THE SAITEK ECLIPSE II ILLUMINATED KEYBOARD is a wired unit with illuminated keys. You choose from three colors (my favorite was blue), and control backlighting through a dimmer knob. This baby might suit gamers, but I rarely need to type in the dark. MSRP: $69.95
BOTTOM LINE: Microsoft's useful InstantViewer function and finger-friendly layout sold me on the Wireless Laser Desktop 6000.
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