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More laptop accessories

Given that I only outlined my experience with the iCurve in my earlier post, you might be begging for my impressions of the wireless keyboard.

In a word: “meh”.

Don’t get me wrong, wireless anything is sure to excite me, but it’s the ‘keyboard’ part of the title ‘wireless keyboard’ that fails to impress. I’m usually more–than–pleased with Apple hardware (except for that one time), but this falls kinda flat for a number of reasons.

Borderless

When you’re using a physical object to interface with a virtual, remote, or abstracted object (eg: video game controller, mouse, keyboard), the very shape of it dictates how you interact. People far and wide complained about the original iMac’s “hockey puck” mouse, and for good reason, interaction depends on orientation.

I may be barking up the wrong tree from a touch–typer’s perspective (you’re supposed to orient yourself with the home keys, after all… and they’re signified by oh–so–obvious raised bumps on the keyboard), but being able to feel the edges of the keyboard and even rest your fingers on them is an experience steeped in orientation. More often than not on a standard keyboard, and on my PowerBook, I find myself leaning my thumbs on the plastic border below the space bar (I’m supposed to be leaning them gently on the spacebar, stupid me) but the compact form of the wireless keyboard has no room for plastic borders. It lacks left, right, and top borders too, which may be less of a concern for those without long fingers or odd typing habits, but it irks me.

The more compact design looks a hell of a lot cooler, but at what expense?

Spongebob

Compared to both the standard Apple Pro Keyboard and the PowerBook’s fairly compact, low–profile keyboard, the wireless feels remarkably spongy. It just feels less responsive, and a little softer on the rebound than the others. That’s not to say it sucks; hell, it still feels a great deal better under my fingers than some of the keyboards I’ve bought in the past for my PCs (even the expensive ones… and they weren’t even wireless), but when you’re switching between three different Apple keyboards in your day–to–day life and this is the least impressive, you have to wonder what has gone awry.

Rubber feet

Like my iCurve, my mouse, and my run–of–the–mill Apple Pro Keyboard, I like to shuffle the wireless keyboard around on my desk from time to time. Maybe I’m just fidgety, but I like to move it around while I’m finding a comfortable spot for today’s writing adventure. Unlike all of the aforementioned computer accessories, the wireless keyboard has little rubber feet that aim to prevent just that. Sliding it around on the desk isn’t a breeze, it’s a conscious effort; a chore.

And I hate chores.

All said and done though, it’s a freakin’ keyboard. The fate of the free world does not depend on this peripheral… I’m just fond of complaint. It’s fun to be complaining in the hardware realm for once though; software can get so tedious.

‘Til next time.