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One of my home PC's keyboard's is a basic Dell USB black keyboard and generally gets quite a bit of use in our household. When I use the laptop I don't have the same problems as with a keyboard on a desk as I often use my laptop on my knee. When at the home PC however, I found that spending long periods of time using the keyboard my wrists became sore and strained due to the position of the keys and the fact I couldn't rest my wrists on a level surface as they often rested against the angular edge of the keyboard. Luckily for me Dell were happy to recommend I look at their Dell Palmrest and at around £14 i gave it a try.
The Palmrest was designed to give a comfortable experience to heavy keyboard users and so I expected it to be useful in supporting my wrist when I type. The Palmrest simply clips onto your Dell keyboard using the two clips at either side of the Palmrest. I find it very easy to attach and detach but generally it stays on the keyboard most of the time. The black finish is in keeping with the Dell keyboard I have so it doesn't look out of place, and I find that it does the job at supporting my wrist very well and offers comfort where before I had the edge of the keyboard to rest on which wasn't very appealing.
I must say that although the Palmrest is effectively a cheap piece of plastic on its own, once attached to a Dell keyboard it is very useful and I will continue to use it for as long as I own a Dell keyboard. Obviously the price may be an issue for some people. You could pay £30 or less for a Dell keyboard, and to then face paying £14 for a plastic attachment may seem eccessive, but I think this kind of product is one of those that you need rather than something you would have to make a decision over. So, I would recommend it to those who use the keyboard a lot, and especially for those that get aching wrists whilst on the keyboard.
I was under the assumption, perhaps naively so, that all computers in offices these days had to be supplied with some sort of wrist support to aid those who have to use computers for most of the day. Apparently not so! Thus since the caseload of computer work appeared at my work station I had been feeling strain all over my hands and related this directly to the typing I was doing which had increased rapidly in recent weeks. I do type rather fast but do not type in the correct manner and do not have relaxed hands at all. A colleague informed me of a few products that had helped her and knowing I couldn't go on with the pain in my hands and aches in my fingers. And thus as the PC's being used were Dell I popped a order in for one of these and at just under a fiver it has worked wonders!
The palm rest clips onto the front of the keyboard of a Dell, or indeed the majority of standard size keyboards, and is designed to take the strain off the wrists and palms when typing by "forcing you" to type correctly. It is made of a firm plastic and clips firmly into the keyboard and feels very sturdy and well made unlike some cheaper alternatives I have tried.
Now at first you may find the product to be very uncomfortable and quite obtrusive to your typing, especially if you do not type in the "correct" manner. I certainly thought it was getting in my way and it did cause some odd pains and first as my hands were not used to typing in that way and had in fact become so accustom to typing wrongly that it took some adjustments. My speed decreased and I almost felt as if chucking it away and giving up.
However, almost without noticing the pain and aches in my hands and fingers vanished. My typing felt more comfortable, I could type at faster speeds and for longer durations without rest and more importantly typing became enjoyable again and not a chore.
There are many products like this out there and they should be standard on keyboards nowadays ad they make it so easy and comfortable.
If you are having issues at work or at home with keyboards causing your wrists, hands or fingers pain then the Palmrest is the way to go.
These keyboard palmrests from Dell have been fitted to virtually all computers at my University. We have been told that they have been fitted to prevent something to do with straining on hands. In my opinion and I know many people agree is that I didn't even think a problem like that was around. I have used a computer for a long time and I can say even though your hands get a bit tired I can say it isn't anything like a pain of such. For me it seemed like a marketing ploy to make money.
I had a look around and I found these palmrests for around £4-£5. I did actually expect these to be more than this so the price isn't to bad considering. Obviously if you experience pain and discomfort then by all means go out and purchase one but for the majority of people you will not need one of these because you won't have a problem.
The palmrest is just a long plastic which is moulded to be comfortable on your palms. I have to say it does feel nice having this on the bottom of your computer however it is not nice enough to go out and actually purchase one because at times it feels a bit annoying.
How to use
This is the thing I think the palmrest really gets questioned as to what it is for. When i type I find that my palms wouldn't actually rest on the keyboard anyway and instead it would be more like my wrist. Even though people do type differently this is not a product which appeals to everyone. If you want a rest then by all means have a rest on it but I don't think anyone needs a rest that much that they purchase one of these for that sole objective.
Overall taking into account what this product is actually supposed to be used for I do not really rate it highly. Maybe this might just be because of the way I type because I have found some people like it and some don't. I can only speak on my personal opinion and that is why it is not something I would ever go out and purchase. If this is something which may interest you then by all means go out and try it but I think it is money wasted because the product really doesn't do anything for me.
I had one of these fitted to the computer keyboard in my office because the Health & Safety people said that we all needed to have one and that it would help to prevent us getting Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). After 20 odd years of using computers and a keyboard in an office environment, my initial thought was that this 'solution' was perhaps looking for a problem that didn't exist. I know people have suffered from RSI through typing, but was it that much of a widespread problem across all users that everyone using a keyboard needed to have this palm rest fitted?
This palm rest is basically a piece of plastic that has been smoothed and nicely shaped to fit to the bottom of your Dell keyboard. It is quite thick and strong and by no means flimsy. Not sure how much it actually costs, but being just a piece of moulded plastic, it can't be that much - however it is made by Dell. It is held in place by a couple of plastic lugs/clips on the palm rest side that fit nicely into your keyboard so that this palm rest and keyboard effectively become one and the surface line of the keyboard runs into the palm rest and then down onto the desk in a smooth line. It is effectively the full length of you keyboard and about 3 inches wide at its' widest point.
To be honest I'm not really sure how it is meant to work. The name suggests that you should rest your palms on it (eg palm rest). Now I'm not a speed typist by any means, but I use a computer every day for work and can type with at least 2 fingers on each hand, sometimes 3 (and occasionally 4 on a really good day with a following wind!!). With my typing style, my palms and wrists don't really come into contact with the palm rest that often. However, speaking to some of our typists and black belt keyboard 'ninjas' in the office, some people found the palm rest useful, others found it a bit of a hindrance, whilst others again (like me) didn't really use it at all. So I suppose it really depends on your typing style as to how useful or not this item may be to you. The only point that did come out from those who did find it useful was that with the hard plastic finish, some did find that you could occasionally get a slight friction burn on your wrist/palm.
But is a useful addition to your computer? Well, in my case the answer is no, but as I said, it appears to be very much down to personal choice.
I brought this as an add on to my Dell Keyboard. It clicks on to the back of your keyboard, with ease, as it click on and off as and when you need it. The problem i found with this is that it's hard plastic, so it's not as comfortable as it should be on my wrists. Usually I would use a flexiable plastic one, which is more kinder to my wrist. If you like your keyboard raised higher than this is perfect, as it provides a base for the bottom of the keyboard.