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I have bought an Internet keyboard and I am pretty excited about it. Perhaps not the most modern one on the market and not cordless either, but to me this little beauty is exciting.
I had a buck standard keyboard with my computer and it was beginning to look a little tired next to my new flat screen so I decided it was time to upgrade. Of course, I could have plumbed for a new keyboard, although I researched on Ebay and found this one at an amazing £5.00 which cannot be sniffed at. Even with the postage this works out less than Microsoft are asking for the keyboard, although their price is pretty good at £15.99
WHEN IT ARRIVED.
The keyboard was nicely packaged in its Microsoft box and had with it a CD rom that makes it work properly, i.e. links the keyboard to your internet browser to enhance your experience. I was quite excited about using this keyboard and plugged it in as per the instructions, and then loaded the CD rom and voila, I was taken through the initial registration and set up with no problems whatsoever.
The product comes with an instruction leaflet that is a little skimp to say the least but being although what I noticed straight away on just looking at the keyboard was the straightforward layout of special feature keys that tempted me to try them, instead of being vaguely aware of their existence. Instructions were as I say limited more to the connection of the keyboard to the system and were not really that essential as installation was simple.
The keyboard also comes with a health warning which was interestingly hidden underneath the keyboard, although your attention is drawn to it by a sticker on the lead which is easy to see. The health warning is really one that applies to any keyboard and not this one in particular about symptoms of discomfort associated with using a computer.
The keyboard is a light grey, has blue grey buttons for internet and special features and a blue grey detachable palm rest. Its a nice shape, and the touch of the keyboard is much nicer than my old one. There are of course the numeric pad features that I am accustomed to and number lock which is normal on the right hand side of the keyboard, but I was rather interested not just in the feature blue keys, but where you have the letters, there are featured keys for working with whilst you work in word, and these were an experiment that proved very fruitful.
OK LETS TRY THE BUTTONS, BLUE ONES FIRST
At the top of the keyboard you have a Back and Forward button. Obvious ones maybe for flipping backwards and forwards whilst browsing the internet. I found these a little cumbersome to start off with but it was my unfamiliarity that caused this rather than the functions themselves. Now, after using the keyboard for a while, I find that these are extremely good and that the Internet Explorer responds really quickly to the touch of the keys. One drawback here is that Microsoft did not think to put a refresh button. When you are working on auctions and need to keep up to the second with the prices that people are bidding, the refresh button is essential and I think that had they thought of this, then I would be more convinced about the Internet features.
The stop key works particularly well when you have pressed return too fast and want it to stop loading. I do this all the time by mistyping a password and then wishing I had not.
The Mail key. I was not sure how this would work and pressed it and up came my Outlook Express. Very clever, and response time quicker than my husbands response time by far. If only life were all this easy. This is a useful key if you are a user of Internet explorer and I do use it though only on a limited basis since so many virus problems have hit the internet. I tend now to use online email accounts more, so I think that this button will have limited use for me.
The other internet buttons are useful such as favourites, web/home, and search and I tend to use the web/home button rather a lot because this takes me into my favourite search area rather than Microsofts own page which I find rather daunting to say the least.
Overall the internet keys are self explanatory and enhance your internet experience, although some are personal favourites and a few a little superfluous, depending upon the individual user.
ADVANTAGES OVER OTHER KEYBOARDS
Now here, when I first wrote the review, I wrote a list of features that this keyboard has and many computer literate readers found that my list was of little help. One of the features that I really do like about this keyboard is that it does not assume that you are computer literate. I certainly am a beginner, and would confess that I am new to control buttons, but what Microsoft have done is ideal for a person like me. They have labeled all the control keys and actually make the user curious about their use. Many of these probably existed on my Dell keyboard, although I was not pulled in and tempted to use them as the labeling was not there. I had no idea that different keys pressed after the control key did things like cutting and pasting for example, changing from ordinary type to bold or italic. In fact I am just discovering more features that make my computer experience a richer one just by using the keyboard and reading the front of the letter keys to see what the key does. The Dell computer keyboard had none of these hints for users with limited skill and Microsoft have won hands down as far as I am concerned because they have no assumed user skill.
There is a sleep button as well and Microsoft tell you that the efficiency of this button which puts your computer into standby depends upon your operating system and how well devices in your PC work with power management. This is all a little bit too complicated for me to understand, but with my computer, the button works, and I can leave the computer in standby.
I like the feel of the keyboard. The keys respond well and I can touch type easily, although I found that the return button was smaller than I was used to and this took a bit of getting used to.
THE SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS FOR THIS KEYBOARD
The keyboard software requires 35MB of hard disk space, and the keyboard is suitable with Windows 95 upwards and needs 16MB of ram. It has a PS/2 connector. A 486 or Pentium computer will allow this keyboard to be used.
Not only did this keyboard exceed my expectations, it actually got me using control keys that I would never have otherwise used. It is a user friendly keyboard and I believe would be a good one to train people on the use of control keys. These are such handy shortcuts when working in word, and I have found that they indeed make my experience of computing more enjoyable.
I have enjoyed my use of it tremendously and would recommend it to people who want to learn more about a keyboards shortcuts, and also to people like me, whose memory is not as good as it could be. Clear labeling has enabled me to familiarize myself with functions and not instantly forget where they are.
Cleaning could not be easier either and the keyboard is a robust beast and puts up with being turned upside down and brushed but also comes apart every six months or so for a proper clean.
I am impressed.
The very simple orignall and high quality keyboard porduced by Microsoft is in my opinion the best keyboard i have ever used. during the technology revoultion we have seen so many keyboards with so many options and advantages but it don't last long because of the poor quality. I have used too many of keyboards after i used the Microsoft keyboard but I didn't like any of them and finally returned to the orignal keyboard.
I rarely buy keyboards, my last one that I actually liked I stuck with for about four years - it was one I bought for under a fiver at a computer show, and it worked great and typed great. As time went by though the spacebar worked loose and the wires at the back got threaded.
So I bought a new one, a USB one and it was awful, felt wrong and crashed a lot of games. So, I ended up with this one.
I bought this one for a number of reasons.
I hate cheap keyboards with rubberised undersides and a thin membrane sensor for the keys. I like my keys to have a lot of travel, be firm, and click when you press them. That reduces the chances of you hitting the wrong key by accident, and keeps them comfortable on your fingers.
Those who type a lot on laptops, or who have weaker fingers may not like this keyboard, it is very stiff, but for me, it's perfect.
2)It is PS2.
I hate USB keyboards. These days there are two choices for keyboards - USB, the standard for just about every connection, from printer, to game pads, everything. Then theres PS2 - the standard for keyboards and mice.
PS2 is slightly older as a standard than USB, but personally I prefer it. There are lots of problems with USB devices under certain versions of windows, and also with certain games. I ran some USB keyboards for a while and they caused massive problems. For mice, I use it, since optical mice tend to perform better with it. For keyboards I'll stick to the old fashioned way thank you very much!
3)It's got all the keys in the right place and the right size.
I grew up with a keyboard that had the backspace key above the enter key, and about the same size as the top bit of the enter key, with another key on top (in other words really long). If I ever use a keyboard that has a short backspace key, I quickly go insane and discover how often I actually need to call on that key!
The backspace key on this keyboard is nice and long, so its always right where my finger wants it to be.
This keyboard has the usual numeric keypad, and then separate inserd, home del, end, etc keys.
They're arranged like this:
Print Scr Scroll Lock Pause/Break
INS HOME PG UP
DEL END PG DOWN
This layout is important to me, as I play an online game where I need to hit some of those keys frequently, and without having to look at the keyboard. On many keyboard the row with the scroll lock key on it gets in the way, being either directly above or below the others. On this keybaord it's on the same row as the function keys, so theres a nice big gap.
They're the main reasons I chose this keyboard, but there are other things about it that are worth commenting on.
Firstly, it is MASSIVE. Theres a lot of space around the arrow keys, and between the keyboard and the numeric keypad. Also theres a a gap between the main keyboard and the function keys, then between the function keys and the boards own special keys, which I will comment on later.
The keyboard itself is beige, and has a dark grey wrist rest that sticks out of the bottom, and is also huge, but thankfully detatchable. The lights for caps / num lock / scroll lock are large and noticeable.
I've left it on since I've got plenty of space, but even if you take it off, if you're using a normal keyboard tray on a small computer desk you might have trouble finding space for this beast.
This keyboard has follwed the trend of having 'special' keys - in this case there are seven above the function keys, and three above the numeric keypad.
The ones above the function keys are web related - hence this being an 'internet' keyboard - you get Back, Forward, Stop, Mail, Search, Favorites and Web/Home. Above the numeric keypad you get My Computer, Calculator and Sleep.
I hate these buttons to be honest - the way I use my computer at the moment I reach over the keyboard to use the mouse. Yes, this is bad for posture, and will change soon when I fit my new desk, but it's the way I have to right now. Even when I'm not having to do that, I rest books against the edge of my keyboard. With a normal keyboard that's easy to do, with this, I'm forever starting my web browser by accident.
Unfortunately most of the stuff on there can easily be done with a shortcut key that already exists, or could easily be set up - are people really so lazy these days that they'd rather have third party software on their machine that purely serves the function of allowing them to press one key instead of two?
Thankfully, the drivers that come with the keyboard do allow you to reconfigure the buttons to do something more useful. Disabling them seems more flakey, as I keep doing that and they keep mysteriously turning themselves back on.
When it comes to cleaning the keys come off pretty easily to allow access to the insides, and also re-attach without difficulty or loss of springiness, so top marks there.
This is a nice keyboard, its good quality, nice to type on, and comfortable. It does have one drawback for games though.
There's a standard for keyboard wiring that most keyboards don't adhere to these days, but that games are designed for. When you're driving sometimes you want to accellerate, break and turn at the same time for a split second. When you're playing an FPS sometimes you want to jump, move forward, and turn, things like that.
Try this on your keyboard now:
Open up notepad, and then press the 'w' key and the 'd' key at the same time. Hold them down for a few seconds, then press the 'x' key as well.
What happened? If the 'x' shows up and starts repeating, maybe with some of the other keys, maybe not, then your keyboard is fine. If windows beeps at you, or all the input stops, then you have a problem.
Depending on what keys you define you can usually get away without any problems, but there are a lot of combos like that which don't work, and some of them do get in the way in games.
I'm not suprised to see microsoft break an ancient standard though, it's just like them to try to make rules that aren't as good as the ones in place already.
Ok, I'm ranting now aren't I.
In balance, this is a good keyboard. If your existing one is working though then there's no reason to upgrade to this one. Extra flashy buttons won't really enhance your computing experience.
I'd recommend this to anyone in the market for a new keyboard who happens to have the desk space for it, but at the same time, I'd also recommend checking out some of the cheaper keyboards in markets and computer fairs. If you see one being demonstrated, do the test I just described, and also check out how the keys feel in use.
Your finger and wrist health are at risk when using a keyboard, so the most important thing is that it feels good for you. The second most important thing is that it doesn't crash your computer or degrade its performance. All I can really assure you of is that I've had few problems other than not being able to hold three keys down at once.
The rest is for you to test and decide.
The Microsoft Internet Keyboard has been designed for use... on the internet. As such they include IntelliType Pro software that means you can assign the Hotkeys to perform the actions you want them to perform. open regularly used documents, read your email, surf the net, etc...
Ok, so it's not groundbreaking in the design department, but not all of us have Black or Silver PCs so the lovely dirty cream look still works for many.
And then, you have to consider the price. I don't think you can find keyboards like this for any cheaper.
A few words to the wise though. The Microsoft Internet Keyboard does not have a USB port and as it's a Microsoft keyboard it isn't compatible with Apple Macs (After all, Microsoft do rule the world, don't they?)
Par of the course for new keyboards is the integrated wrist rest, which on this keyboard is actually quite comfy, although I must confess I don't use them myself, so it may not be so comfortable after a prolonged key stroking session. The keys themselves are also quite comfortable to use, but they could do with being slightly softer to touch, although it's all about personal preference.
I went out yesterday and bought a new keyboard. It cost £20. OK, you can go now. What do you mean, that's not enough? Oh well, you asked for it, don't say I didn't warn you! THE PREAMBLE (PRE-RAMBLE?) A while ago, I installed Windows XP Pro on my PC. "What's that got to do with a new keyboard?" Look, if you're going to keep interrupting, you can go and sit outside the Head's room and tell HER why you're there, OK? Go on, I mean it! Look, I didn't join DOOYOO just to have people TALK to me. Right, back to the plot......where was I? Oh yes, back in my Windows 98 days, I had an IBM keyboard with a whole host of extra keys fitted, some of which were more useful than other, but in general, it constituted an uplift in my existing facilities. I could control an audio CD, both its tracks and its volume, access various commonly-used bits of software, e.g. Word and Excel and even put the PC to sleep, a bit like I'm doing with you lot right now....... "But, Mr Nibelung, Sir, we STILL don't see what this has got to do with a new keyboard!" Give me strength! Look, I'm just getting to that bit, OK? If I get any more interruptions, our day trip to the abattoir will be cancelled......... .........all went well until I loaded Windows XP, only to find that all of my lovely little extra keys no longer worked. Finding that hardware has been rendered obsolete overnight by Uncle Bill's Software Emporium is not exactly an uncommon phenomenon. Most of these glitches can be overcome by searching out the new drivers for the offending item, but not my IBM keyboard. Oh no! - I had the temerity to own Version 1. Obviously, IBM had no faith in the longevity of their own produce, because they had produced XP-compatible drivers for Version 2 of the keyboard, but mine had been cast to the four winds, resigned to being an ordinary 10
5-key keyboard from here on in. This concept does not sit easily on the shoulders of a self-confessed upgradomaniac, and so off I jolly well went. It didn't need to be anything too fancy, like cordless or what have you, since my keyboard sits neatly in a sliding tray, which pulls out from under my desk when needed, and back in again to get my belly out from under it. What I wanted was BUTTONS, useful non-chocolate ones preferably. MICROSOFT INTERNET KEYBOARD This is only the £20 version I'm talking about, not the Pro version. Initial Appearance - Two-tone grey, wow, sexy or what? Most of the keyboard is of the usual ivory/grey so long favoured by PC makers totally lacking in any imagination whatsoever, with darker grey used for an "ergonomic" wrist rest (try saying THAT, Jonathan Ross!), and for the extra buttons placed on two ranks across the top of the conventional 105 keys. The "wist west" was the first thing to go, and fortunately easy to remove without breaking anything - clumsy, moi? My sliding drawer places a finite limit on how deep a keyboard can be, without the extra buttons disappearing under the bench, thereby rendering the whole exercise futile. I have one small moan here. Despite being an entirely conventional keyboard, with no interesting "experiments" in re-siting keys at funny angles, the leading bottom edge of the board is curved like it's five months gone, therefore it doesn't snuggle quite so far forwards as the old one. It's a pity that any fancy shapes couldn't have been confined to the removable bits, but then what would a mere user know about such things? The Extra Buttons - Firstly the top rank. In the left-right order in which the present themselves, we have, BACK, FORWARD, STOP, MAIL, SEARCH, FAVOURITES, WEB/HOME, and before you ask, yes, they did spell "favourites" correctly! I know many of you w
ill argue that this does nothing that the mouse can't do from within the Internet Explorer screen, but I do like the option of being able to do something with my left hand too (ahem, pauses for like-minded readers to come up with a suitable innuendo), if only to save my sinister extremity from complete atrophy. The remaining three buttons are placed above the numeric pad. These are MY COMPUTER, CALCULATOR, and SLEEP. My Computer, is, I suppose quite useful although I prefer Windows Explorer for my forays into navigation and file-finding. Calculator is a genuinely useful find, since the real item is buried two or three layers deep in most people's Windows set-up. Then comes SLEEP, perchance to dream. It really all depends on whether you have you hardware and software set-up to take advantage of Power Saving. In the case of my own machine, pressing this button leads to a slow process of Hibernation, which saves anything you were doing and turns the machine off completely. On return from the dead, sometime next Spring perhaps (?), the machine boots up, complete with the job you were doing last on screen. INSTALLATION This is very easy really, especially if you spot the innocent little message on the wrapping to the ps2 keyboard connector. This tells you to load the software BEFORE connecting the keyboard. What you're supposed to do if you are building a new machine is anyone's guess. After answering some easy questions like "in which country are you?" and "can you recognise your keyboard from these pictures?" (this is starting to look like a "Marmaris Menu"), you are more or less ready to roll. Power-down the machine, connect the new keyboard, and that's all there is to it. IN USE It's a keyboard, what else is there to say? It is a bit "clacky" compared to my old board, and keys seem to take more effort to press them, but apart from that, and the fact that it c
an't spell, it's fine. It is "? ready" using the $-4 key with ALT-GR held down. Numbers-, Scroll- and Caps-Locks are indicated by green LEDs. It has the ability to be angled on a slight slope, which I like - I can't stand typing on laptops for the very reason that the keyboard is so intractably parallel to the deck. So there we have it - quite a nice keyboard, if a bit noisy, with some useful features. The price is about right too. You see, you can sit still if you try! I suppose I'll just have to go and tell that child to come back in now!
The Microsoft Internet Keyboard The internet keyboard from Microsoft is great for anyone who uses the internet on a regular basis. At the time of purchase the keyboard cost me £19.99 from Curry’s. So, what makes this keyboard any different from other keyboards? Well, this keyboard has been designed for comfort, and has new hot keys, (which are round and blue), that save you time when browsing the internet. It also has all the standard keys in the usual layout. The keyboard has the following hot keys At the top of the keyboard above the function keys Back – To step back one page during browsing Forward – To step forward one page during browsing Stop – To stop the page loading whilst browsing Mail – To open you default e-mail software Search – To open your default search engine Favourites – To open up your favourites list Web/Home –To jump to your default homepage Above the numeric keypad My computer – To open your “My Computer” window Calculator – To open windows calculator Sleep – To set your PC into suspend mode To set the default settings you have to enter the keyboard properties in the windows control panel. Here you can select what your default e-mail program is, your default search engine, to open my computer/windows explorer when you press “My computer” hot key. When you press a hot key the screen displays the name of the hot key you pressed. The time that this is displayed on the screen can also be set, between 2 and 10 seconds. The keyboard has a palm rest which attaches to the bottom edge of the keyboard. The palm rest is blue to match the hot keys colour. The palm rest is detachable, so if you do not want it on you can just remove it. It also has two small feet at the rear to raise the keyboard at an angle. These feet can up or down.
The keyboard comes with a CD ROM disk, which contains the installation software for the keyboard. You simply install the software, then windows updates the next time you re-boot the PC. The system requirements are as follows, 486 or Pentium PC Windows 95/98/2000/NT 4, 16Mb RAM 32Mb Hard disk space CD-ROM Drive A PS/2 connection to your PC. I think that this keyboard is great for browsing the internet, as it saves you time messing around with the mouse. With the palm rest it also increases comfort which is good for me as I spend quite a bit of time on the PC.
Do you not feel like bending over to plug in USB devices or wasting valuable time looking for Internet,multimedia buttons or other various things? With the latest keyboard coming out of Redmond it looks like now you don't have to. With customer concerns addressed, this newest keyboard is a heavenly beauty. Comfort, Design, and Timesaving elements are just a few of the things the tech savvy engineers at Microsoft implemented with this keyboard debut taking into account aethetics and anthroprometics greatly. And to top it off, they even made a so called "sleep mode" at the simple touch of a button. Along with the new programmable mice, life couldn't be any easier. The Microsoft Internet Keyboard Pro is Microsoft’s most technologically advanced standard-geometry keyboard to date, offering 19 conveniant timesaving hot keys and a pair of USB ports. The Internet Keyboard Pro preset controls make PCs easier for novices to use and allow experienced PC users take their systems to new levels of customization meaning it can be just how you want. Two USB ports are only some of the cool features. This allows hardware such as controllers and scanners straight into the keyboard. This takes out the effort of all us lazy humans (meaning all of us) to avoid the need to go behind the PC to swap periphals. The internet hot key allow the user to launch a browser and surf the web directly from just your keyboard. The e-mail hot key does exactly what it means and lets you do everything you normally do with you e-mail. The sleep hot key allows systems with integrated power managementand OS systems into energy saving or suspend mode and/or starts the screen saver on systems without the feature. of power management The two custom hot keys can be programmed using the provided software to link the hot ket to a document or website. The multimedia keys include mute, volume up
and down, stop, play etc. You can control music directly from the keyboard. The keyboard is great and is certainly an improvement of 'generic' keyboards which are very dull and boring.