Product Review: The Kensington “Keyboard for Life”
Posted Jul 07 2010 6:16pm
A while back I began working for a new client and had the opportunity to try out another ergonomic keyboard, the Kensington “Keyboard for Life.” It’s a slightly revised design of a standard keyboard, plus it’s allegedly spill-proof. I didn’t test the claim by pouring my mocha across the keys, but it sounds like a great feature. Who hasn’t spilled water on the keyboard, and watched in horror as the keys stopped working?
This keyboard, retailing around $14.95, is about equally priced with other standard keyboards. The most notable ergonomic features of the keyboard are its thin profile, easy-press keys, and slightly revised key design compared with standard keyboards.
If you’re looking for an ergo or spill-proof design, it’s always good to check out its design to see if it’s right for you. I found this one a bit confusing to type on at first but warmed up to it–here’s an overview of the changes:
The buttons are slightly tilted back, more closely matching your finger pads when you type. This is very subtle, and not immediately noticeable, but very comfortable.
The back space key is much smaller, which allows more room for the other top-row keys. Since I use back space all the time, I found this change a little annoying.
The insert/navigation keys are brought down toward the arrow keys, which have a standard arrow layout. This makes them easier to use than on most other keyboards, where they are usually out of reach.
The keyboard has a full number pad, like most standard keyboards.
Thin profile with a narrow edge around keyboard for easy reach–no need to reach far beyond the keys for the keypad or mouse.
Extra keys: wake up/sleep/power, print screen/scroll lock, pause.
At the end of the day, I’m not going to replace my current home keyboard with this one, but if I needed a new one to fit in a small keyboard tray, or happened to kill my current model by spilling on it, I might consider buying one of these as a replacement.
Here’s what the manufacturer has to say about the Kensington Keyboard for Life:
Spill-safe keyboard features sealed membrane design and limited lifetime warranty. Slim profile saves space. Sleek design black 104-key keyboard. Limited lifetime warranty and free technical support. Compatible with Windows 7, XP, Vista.
(I’m using XP, and no problems with plug-and-play. Not sure how it works with Mac.)