Dump your grimy office keyboard for a new wireless model
IF YOU'RE a nine-to-five office worker with a PC, your creaky Windows XP system is not your only problem. The chances are that you're in possession of a cheap, shabby keyboard.
It needn't be so. There are plenty of sleek, modern wireless keyboards out there. Not only do these accessories speed up typing, they can also alleviate some health concerns around muscular strain.
Here are four keyboards worth considering.
Logitech TK820 €130
For those who have become used to laptop touchpads, this is an excellent choice.
The TK820 comes with a large, built-in touchpad on the right hand side of the keyboard. If you want, this can replace your mouse. At the very least, it allows you to zip through documents and web pages with 13 recognised (Windows 8) gestures.
The rest of the keyboard is equally impressive, with ergonomic keys that are sleek and responsive. Four AA batteries give around six months' usage.
This is a really nice half-way house between a keyboard and touchscreen PC experience.
Microsoft Wedge keyboard €60
Can't bear the thought of sharing someone else's smudgy, gunky keyboard?
For hypochondriacs and OCD sufferers everywhere, Microsoft's Wedge keyboard might be your answer. The sleek, portable keyboard – which works with PCs and tablets – is designed to be transported around from machine to machine. That means no-one else's germs get anywhere near your clean, plague-free pinkies.
Having said that, this is quite a basic keyboard, functionally: if you want extended shortcuts or number pads, you'd best look elsewhere.
Apple wireless keyboard €70
If you have an iMac or Mac Pro, this is the keyboard that will probably have come with it.
Apple's standard wireless keyboard is sleek and easy to use – with two caveats. First, for those who may need extra keyboard functions (such as a side keypad), this isn't a practical solution: you're better off going for Apple's wired USB keyboard (€50).
Second, the depth of the flat keys is minimal. While I like this, those used to a 'clickier' experience might find it takes some getting used to. With regular use, the battery-operated, Bluetooth keyboard lasts three to four months on two AA batteries.
Advent K312 €25
While €100 on a new keyboard might be worth considering for your own PC, it starts to sound very expensive if you need 20 of them for your office PC fleet.
Advent's K312 model is a reasonable wireless keyboard at an affordable price. Using a 2.4Ghz nano-receiver (that plugs into your PC), it feels OK and is quite responsive. It also has a few pre-programmed shortcut buttons, for those who like such things.
My only design quibble is that it resembles a 1984 ZX Spectrum.
Sunday Indo Business