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When I started my new job at the beginning of last year, I was given a laptop with which to do the majority of my work. Whilst a laptop is handy for being easy to transport, it is also not always the easiest thing to work on day after day as I find that I lean in to the screen as I work and thus get an achy back by the end of the day. As a result, a week into my job I requested a monitor and separate keypad to make my work more comfortable and the keyboard I received was this HP USB 2004.
Computer equipment is never the most exciting thing to look at in my opinion but this keyboard is quite modern looking with its black and silver colour way and fits well into the overall finish of my laptop and monitor combined. The top section of this keyboard is a matt silver in colour and this ensures that the black square keys stand out against the paler backdrop. The remaining two thirds of board are black and this has a matt finish with the key references being illustrated in a white font. This keyboard is standard in size, although being much bigger than the keypad on my laptop I do find it a joy to use, with the dimensions being as follows: 45cm long x 16cm wide by 4.5cm high when the legs are extended.
In terms of the layout of this keyboard I would guess that it is pretty standard although as I don't have anything to compare it to I really couldn't say for definite. To the right of my board is a rectangular block of 17 keys which contains the numerical keys for this board including the num lock and '+' and '-' buttons. The numbers are laid out in the same format as those on a calculator which makes my job that little bit easier and ensures that I can virtually touch type figures when I am completing a spreadsheet. The left hand side of the board is allocated to the font keys together with the other functions such as 'caps lock' and 'ctrl' every button is clearly marked with white text that stands out from the black keys and this ensures that the buttons are easy to locate and use. The remaining keys are given to the general command functions such as 'insert' and 'delete' and the 'F1,F2... etc' controls. Overall this is a very well designed key pad in my opinion which is nicely laid out in a format that is easy to use and allocates enough space to completing my work with ease meaning that after a years use I am now very close to being able to touch type.
To make this keyboard a little more usable, it does also have two retractable black feet on the underside of the board which enable it to be propped up during use. This is great for my wrists as it ensures that they type at a slight angle and are therefore less susceptible to any aches and pains. There are also three orange lights to the right of the keyboard which light up when the num lock, caps lock and scroll lock buttons are pressed. The overall matt finish of the board is great, particularly in my office which is south facing and gets a lot of sun as it ensures that I do not get glare from the keys as I type.
In terms of set up and use this keyboard really couldn't be easier to use in my opinion. The keypad is charged via a USB port which can be plugged into the side of your machine for instant connection. This USB cable is rather long in length and this ensures that when I have a desk full of it equipment the cord can be carefully looped behind the back of the monitor and plugged in. When I do take the opportunity to work from home I find that the cable wraps neatly around the body of my keyboard and makes the whole caboodle easy to carry and transport.
This keyboard inevitably gets dirty, particularly as I normally eat my lunch at my desk and therefore to clean it I have two options. To remove traces of crumbs and dirt between the keys I generally favour a cleaner designed specifically for this job which omits a burst of air between the keys thus dislodging the crumbs trapped inside. I have a bit of a phobia of computer keys as I can only imagine how much bacteria they house and therefore weekly I wipe the surface of the keyboard with an antibacterial wipe. I find that this not only leaves it looking cleaner but also makes the keys less sticky and ensures that my keyboard still looks as new today as it did when I received it last year.
Although I didn't purchase my keyboard directly I believe that it can currently be bought from such online retailers as Amazon for £18.58. Although this might seem a bit pricey for just a keypad it really is a piece of equipment that I use daily and so is well worth the money in my opinion.
I really enjoy using this keyboard and find that its good layout and comfortable size make my work that much easier and quicker. As a result I would recommend this product and, as I cannot fault it, it scores an excellent five stars from me.
I hope this review has been of some help and thanks for reading! x
A couple of years ago, all of the computers in our office at work were replaced. The members of staff who sat next to windows had been complaining about glare on the monitors and keyboards and our Facilities department decided to replace them in line with new health and safety measures which they had started to take seriously after staff were forced to watch a DVD on office ergonomics. As one of the first people due a new keyboard, I was sent a list which I could choose from but was happy to go along with their recommendation of the HP standard USB keyboard.
So, to look at it's much like any other keyboard, although the black colour with the silver strip across the top does make it look very smart. It weighs less than a kilogram making it easy to move although not as lightweight as some newer models! The dimensions are comparable with most other computer keyboards at 45.8 cm x 16.3 cm x 2.5 cm. It is a wired keyboard which plugs into the main computer by USB. It was no hassle to set up when I first started using it, I just plugged it in and away I went! A lot of keyboards are now wireless but for business purposes there is no need for this as it's very rare you would be typing anywhere but at your desk! Plus there is a huge possibility that keyboards would get misplaced or muddled up.
The keyboard is set up like most others so I won't patronise anyone by describing the layout in detail, although just to confirm it is a regular QWERTY set up with a number pad in the bottom right and with sections of the keyboard nicely spread out to keep the letters, numbers, F keys etc separate. The keys are responsive to pressure when I type, none of the keys stick and they have a nice matte finish so that there is no glare from lights or the windows, unlike my old one which was shiny and distracting. The keys are nice and quiet to type on which is important in an office environment and good for me as I have a tendency to smash the keys at the end of a sentence! It is comfortable to use even though it does not have a cushioned part to use as a hand rest. Underneath the keyboard on both sides towards the rear are little stands which can be flicked down to make it stand up at an angle. In fact there are two different stands so that the keyboard can either lie flat, at a tiny angle or more upright, which is my preference for when I'm typing.
Hewlett Packard are one of the most well known computer companies around and I assume from the name that the product would be of a good quality and reliable. It has not caused me any issues during the whole time I've had it and I use it every day for around 7 hours! If there is a problem, the product has a one year warranty whether bought personally or in bulk for a business. The keyboard is easy to clean as food can not get below the keys. If crumbs do get between the gaps you can just turn it over and give it a shame and everything will come out. The cleaners always give it a wipe but even after a couple of years it still looks brand new. The keyboard can be purchased from a number of online computer and electronics stores for around the £15.00 mark.
Overall, I've been very impressed with the keyboard and would have no reservations in recommending it to others. It is great value for £15 and imagine it will continue to serve me well for at least another few years. It may not be particularly flash but it does everything that I need it to and for that reason I would rate the keyboard 4 stars.