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What you need to know about keyboards before you buy...
If you're like most of us, you probably haven't paid much attention to your keyboard other than to know that it functions or that one was included with your system. But your keyboard is one of the most used parts of your system. It can make your life easier as well as promote good computing health by its ergonomic design.
Microsoft pioneered the first keyboard based on the typewriter key layout. Microsoft's Windows 104-key and 107-key Enhanced keyboards are the industry standard. But, you can find as many variations of keyboards as there are manufacturers. Keyboards produced by other manufacturers offer different layouts and additional specialty keys. Some are set-up for multimedia with function keys you can program to access the Internet, send emails and play music with one stroke. Some keyboards even have a key to control the volume of your speakers.
Besides a selection of specialty keys, you're now offered the choice of a wired or wireless keyboard. The wireless keyboard allows you to work where ever you want as long as you're within the range of the receiver. Wireless keyboards come in RF (radio frequency), IR (infrared) and Bluetooth. "Wireless" also reduces that tangle of cables that seem to get hung up or is never quite long enough.
You have all kinds of options with ergonomic keyboards, too. Sloped and split keypad design, built-in wrist rests to help put your hands in the proper position. Some of the fancier models are adjustable. You can move the "split" sections close together or farther apart and even adjust the degree of tilt of the keyboard. A new variation of ergonomic design uses an "A" shaped key design. The keyboard is straight but the design of the keys provide the same alignment for your hands and wrists as the split designs.
Today you even have the option of Microban Anti-Microbial keyboards and washable keyboards. Microban protection fights the growth of damaging microbes that can cause product deterioration.
All-in-all, the much overlooked keyboard has been developing right along with the rest of the hardware in the technology market. Consider what you can gain by checking out your options. Could you cut down on keystrokes by programming function keys for certain repetitious tasks? Do you need the coaxing of an ergonomic design to maintain the proper position for your hands and wrists? Just look around, there are many great keyboard options available!
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