As far as keyboards go, the HP Washable is nothing groundbreaking in terms of appearance. If you have your office set up with a slim screen monitor and futuristic track ball, you may find that this product does not fit in so well. What it lacks in style however, it makes up for in other ways.
At 44.9 cm x 16.8 cm x 3.5 cm this keyboard will not consume your desk with its bulk. I chose this model partly because I prefer non-white keyboards. I have a tendency to make a mess around my computer, whether that is through eating, drinking, or being too over zealous with a pen. All of these things tend to show up on a white keyboard more, and crumbs between keys are also more unsightly.
As well as the keyboard the package comes with an external USB cable and an external keyboard adaptor. The quality of the cables, and the keyboard itself, was more than sufficient, and they are durable enough not to be effected by a little clumsiness.
This HP model has a fairly standard set up, and is equipped with QWERTY configuration. The white text is sharp and fairly bold, so is easy to read against the black background. I did not find the keys overly sensitive, but some, particularly those on the right side (number keys, arrows, PgUp/Dn, etc) to be a little stiff when I attempted to depress them. With frequent use this stiffness diminished slightly, although not entirely. This model is compatible with Microsoft Windows XP Professional, and Microsoft Windows Vista, and as a user of the former I have always found its performance to be very efficient.
The keyboard may be particularly useful for those living with children or teenagers, as it is built to sustain invasion by liquids and foodstuffs. It will withstand a lot of cleaning, and you can use soap, non-abrasive cleaners and washing up liquid on it without affecting its performance. Oddly, the instruction manual states that 'the keyboard is protected against the ingress of dust, and... high pressure water jets from any direction will not have any harmful effects.' I cannot personally vouch for the latter, but I can assure you from my experience that it is indeed a hardwearing product, and I have noticed no ill effects from it being subjected to cleaning paraphernalia such as polish.
At just under £30 this may be a slightly expensive model for the price, but if you are looking for a dependable and durable keyboard that will last, you may consider this model as a viable option.
A couple of months ago I needed a new keyboard as my previous one was getting really tatty looking. It was still working fine but because I sometimes used to eat and drink over my computer (a bad habit which I've now stopped doing) I often spilled things onto the keyboard. I gave it a bit of a clean and tidied it up so it was looking OK again, but then one night I came in and found that my cat had, for some reason, scratched at the wire and had been pulling at it so it was very faulty. Thankfully my computer was off at the mains so my cat wasn't hurt, but the same can't be said for the keyboard. It was in a right state. It's nothing to do with the keyboard itself, I might add, its definitely through faults of my own, but at this point I really needed to get a new keyboard.
Hewlett Packard, or hp as its more commonly referred to, is a brand that I would really trust for things like this. I suppose the main reason for my trust is because my computer is from this brand, and that has lasted me a good few years now and has turned out to be extremely durable. Also hp seems like a really popular brand to me because I instantly recognise the logo whenever or wherever I see it, and I seem to have seen it in a lot of different places.
So when choosing a keyboard hp seemed like the obvious choice.
I had a look on amazon and eBay to see if I could find any good deals but I couldn't seem to find any keyboards that seemed suitable. And besides I had decided that I wanted to see the keyboard for real before I bought it, and not online, so that I could tell if it would suit my hands (I know this sounds a bit obsessive but I've noticed that some keyboards are smaller than others and are harder to type quickly on).
So off I went into my local electricals store where they sold me this washable keyboard for £30, which I thought was expensive at first but I have to say the sales people in there can be very persuasive!
I blabbered on about my problems about the keyboard looking dirty and was recommended this washable keyboard, which the man said was very easy to clean because you can just wipe it and it can be cleaned with soaps, washing up liquids etc. It did sound perfect for me so I paid for it and went home, plugged it into my computer and away to go.
I find the keyboard extremely easy to type on because it is very similar to my old keyboard so I am used to the shape. The buttons are pushed in easily and never get stuck or anything. I don't think I would pay the £30 for this again because most normal people would be able to survive with a non washable keyboard, and you can find cheaper keyboards than this in lots of places. It is my own stupid fault for making a mess of my old one for eating over it - that makes me sound like a fat slob but to be honest I'm not, well I would say that wouldn't I! Anyway I would recommend this if you think you might end up spilling things on your keyboard, for example if its a family computer and you have kids, but if you don't think you will spill anything on it then I don't think you should bother paying more for this and I would advise getting a cheaper one because apart from being washable it isn't anything special.
As for how it looks I leave you to judge for yourself, it is shown in the picture above. Personally I rather like the appearance.