Let’s face it, our computers are like a second home. Wait, they are actually more like a second spouse or significant other. After all, we spend more time staring into our monitors than the eyes of our loved ones. And since we’re spending so much time together, we want a relationship that makes us feel comfortable…and cool. Using cutting edge design and extensive research several top PC accessory-makers have broken new ground in the area of ergonomic keyboards, which now looks better and cost less than ever before. And while some of these keyboards help us keep our joints healthy, others are just plain cool and innovative.
Here’s our top ten (in no particular order):
Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000
This hulking behemoth sports most of the features you’d want in an ergonomic keyboard, including: programmable favorites keys; dedicated back/forward keys for Web surfing and a nice, wrist-friendly design. However, you might want to clear off some extra room on the desk for this bad boy. It takes up its fair share of space.
Logitech Wave Keyboard
The Wave is a sleek addition to the ergonomic keyboard landscape, featuring a raised wrist pad and programmable keys like those found in many of its brethren. The design is a bit smaller than many of Microsoft’s ergonomic keyboards and fits nicely on even the smallest of workspaces. The real difference with this keyboard is the “wave concept” behind the design. Commonly used parts of the keyboard are raised up just enough to save you that extra effort – which really adds up over time.
True-Touch Flexible Keyboard
Sometimes, innovation = crazy! Check out this completely flexible keyboard from True-Touch. It works as a totally functioning QWERTY keyboard, but when you’re done using it, you can roll it up into a ball or fold it away for later use. And at only $30 (retail) it is a small investment to amaze and delight your friends.
Not since peanut butter and chocolate has a combination looked this mouthwatering to programmers and web surfers everywhere. From Combimouse Ply Ltd comes this ingenious amalgamation of the mouse and keyboard. The product allows users to switch seamlessly between typing and mouse movement, without ever taking their hands off of the keyboard. This product is currently in the final of stages of development, so look for it soon!
Fellowes 98915 Antimicrobial Split Design Keyboard
An ergonomic keyboard for those who want to avoid Carpel Tunnel Syndrome and still be able to log serious hours on World of Warcraft. The design is no-nonsense and the additional hotkeys (7 more than most like-minded keyboards) means gamers were definitely on the minds of the good people at Fellows. One more cool feature: if you share your keyboard with co-workers or fellow gamers, this unit has Microban antimicrobial protection to keep it cleaner and ward off dirt and germs.
Sure, it may look a little crazy, but once you have used this customizable split keyboard for a few days, you’ll realize why it is the choice of so many hardcore PC users. The QWERTY keyboard is split in two, and each side can be tilted at the ideal angle to suit the user’s body type of seating arrangement. The result is faster typing and much less stress on the wrist and hands.
Virtual Laser Keyboard
Excuse us for a minute while we live out our sci-fi movie fantasies with this incredibly cool “virtual laser keyboard” from I-tech. Developed for use with PDAs and small laptops, the device emits a laser image of a QWERTY keyboard on any surface. When you start moving your hands over the area, VOILA! There may be more functional keyboards on the market, but none with the kind of WOW factor this laser keyboard delivers.
SafeType Ergonomic Keyboard
Now here’s a keyboard that uses some serious science to deliver ergonomic comfort to its users. Based on the principals of biomechanics, the two towers on the sides of the keyboard actually force the hands of the typist into what the makers call an “Orthopedically Neutral(TM) position” which will remove all the stress on the hands and wrists caused by other keyboards on the market.
Another design concept so freaky it HAS to be good for you! The creators of the Kinesis Advantage spent years perfecting their design – and went so far as to field test it with people who use their keyboards the most, namely programmers and medical transcriptionists. The result is an amazing device that lets the user flow through hours of work without reaching for their hands once!
Saitek PC Gamer’s Keyboard
Got a gaming addiction? Live the joy without the soreness! This keyboard has been a hit with gamers for more than the just the fact that it looks like it was plucked off the deck of the USS Enterprise. It’s also got tons of function keys, wrist rests and a sweet back-lit display.