Therefore, my eyes are always fixated on monitors and my hands are always on keyboard and mouse, constantly working on either typing or moving the mouse and clicking.
This means that the keyboard and mouse are the most crucial devices for me, not only for interacting with the computer but also affecting the comfort level and even productivity.
Ever since I started working professionally about 14 years ago, I only worked with laptops due to the fact that I worked for consulting companies. On average, I was able to get a new laptop every two years so I had the opportunity to use different laptop brands and models, such as IBM, Toshiba, Dells, and Lenovo.
Even to my surprise, one of my favorite laptops was SONY. The Z-series SONY VAIO laptop was very portable, lightweight, high performance with long battery life, and had a very unique and comfortable keyboard. I would highly recommend this laptop but it is very pricey.
After using this laptop for over 3 years, however, the wrist/palm-rest part of the keyboard got really hot if the laptop was on for more than an hour. I'm guessing either one of the fans died or there's not enough ventilation due to dust clogs. However, it got so hot that it felt like my hands were burning and I didn't feel anything in my palm after a while (which can't be good).
So, this is how I was using the laptop for a while...
The pink thing that you see on the wrist-rest is a cut-out of insulation form that you would use to insulate the floor or wall
The insulation form stopped the heat from come up to my palms but it made it very uncomfortable to type on the keyboard. So, for the first time in 14 years, I finally decided to get an external keyboard for my laptop... and that's how my quest and obsession to find the best and perfect keyboard started...
As you probably know already, the laptop keyboard feels very different from the desktop keyboard. The desktop keyboards are very hard and clickety-clack, while the laptop keyboards are silent and has very soft feel to it. I definitely think (and know so) that laptop keyboards are more comfortable and are easier on your hands compared to the traditional desktop keyboards.
Here is the list of criteria that I was looking for from my ideal/perfect keyboard:
1. similar to laptop keys
Since I was looking for an external keyboard for a laptop, my #1 criteria was that the keyboard had to have the same feel as the laptop keyboards, which means silent and comfortable.
2. wireless but not rechargeable
For a while, I didn't believe in wireless mouse because the mouse is one of the most frequently used computer device and it didn't make sense to me to have the inconvenience to replace batteries once in a while. However, after using a wireless mouse, I soon realized that convenience of being freed from the wire is far greater than the inconvenience of having to replace batteries. Also, I didn't know that most mice can last for several months, if not years, before needing to replace the batteries. However, I certainly do not want a keyboard or a mouse that has a built-in rechargeable batteries because 1) it's more inconvenient to charge the battery compared to replacing it with non-chargeable battery, and 2) all rechargeable batteries have a fixed number of times that it can be recharged and once it reaches that limit, it doesn't recharge anymore and at that point, your device is as good as a brick.
3. long battery life
In order to minimize the inconvenience of having to replace the batteries, I would prefer the ones that have the long battery life. Again, I'm an extremely heavy computer user so if the battery life is not so great then I might get annoyed at replacing batteries more frequently than I want it to be.
4. wrist/palm pad
I think all laptops have a built-in wrist/palm rest with a touch pad in the middle. I'm so used to having to rest my palms/wrists on the keyboard rather than on the desk so this is definitely a nice to have a feature.
5. number pad
Since most portable laptops do not have a separate number pad, it would be ideal to have the number pad if I'm going to use an external keyboard for the laptop. I do lots of calculations and having number pad comes in handy when using Excel or even when dialing phone numbers within a VoIP application.
My above criteria is in the order of importance and my #1 criteria out-weights the remaining 4 criteria combined. The quality and comfort criteria is my main concern.
After searching on Internet for keyboards that have these criteria, I immediately came across Logitech diNovo Keyboard for Notebooks. It appeared to have met all of my 5 criteria!
I was shocked that the MRSP on this keyboard was $150 but this keyboard was on sales for $60 due to the fact that Logitech now had a new model, diNovo Edge.
The newer model, diNovo Edge, didn't really attract me because it has a rechargeable battery and comes with docking station for charging the laptop. This means that I have to put the keyboard on this docking station once in a while for charging the keyboard and if the docking station dies or if the rechargeable batteries no longer charges (as with ALL rechargeable batteries over time) then this keyboard becomes no different than a brick. This keyboard was (and still is) selling at $150 price tag, which is clearly out of my budget for a keyboard.
So I ordered the Logitech diNovo keyboard for Notebooks and used it for a little over an year now...
to be continued on perfect keyboard part 2!