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7 Tips To Choosing The Perfect Computer Keyboard For You

7 Tips To Choosing The Perfect Computer Keyboard For You

Many of us spend a fair amount of time at our computers every day, pressing the keys ceaselessly (when we are not clicking and scrolling). We’ve got plenty of typing jobs to do these days- home works, school projects, documents that our boss wants typed, and what not. We rely heavily on our computers and of course, the keyboard on it.

Keyboards are primarily used for typing but really they can do so much more. With a few extra features, what your keyboard can do for you will make you fall in love with it.

When your old keyboard needs to be replaced, you’d naturally go for the same kind of keyboard which you are used to. But, with a great many types of keyboards coming to the market every day, the keyboard you want might not be the right one for you. (Chances are your old keyboard is outdated and is not available in the market anymore).

Here below we have listed a few things you have to consider to choose the perfect computer keyboard that matches all of your computing needs.

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1. Work type

Varieties of computer keyboards are available in the market today, each designed with a focus on specific features to suit special purposes. The first thing you need to consider is the kind of work you will be doing with your keyboard.

There are keyboards specially designed for gaming. Get one of them, if you are a serious gamer. The best gaming keyboards incorporate special gaming keys to assist playing computer games. If you need your computer for typing jobs that have you typing for prolonged periods, then get an ergonomic keyboard that gives you a great, comfortable typing experience.

If you need to work with the numbers, you’d better make sure that you get a keyboard with a numeric keypad. Your work dictates, to a large extent, what kind of keyboard you should choose so that you don’t spend your money unnecessarily on the wrong type of keyboard that you don’t need.

2. Keystrokes (Switches)

Make sure you check the keystrokes the first thing, when you are buying a computer keyboard. You don’t want to end up with a keyboard that feels like a typewriter (which will literally give you a hard time). Check and test how the keys feel. There are keyboards that have sensitive, soft, feather-like touch and there are others that require some extra pressure to type on.

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The mechanism that makes the keys respond to touch is ‘switch’. Rubber dome switches, scissor switches, and mechanical switches are the primary types of switches used by most manufactures. The switches make all the difference in the sensitivity, level of noise, and comfort. Learn about them and pick the right one.

3. Compatibility

Most keyboards nowadays connect to the computer via USB ports. The old PS/2 ports are almost obsolete. Wireless keyboards connect to the system via bluetooth and are somewhat tricky to setup unlike the plug and play USB cord keyboard. Most keyboards need some software installed on your computer to use the function keys. Make sure the keyboard is compatible with your system before you actually buy one.

4. Design

The design and architecture of the keyboard makes a big difference in your computing experience. Based on design, the keyboards can be grouped into standard, gaming and ergonomic.

Standard keyboards are the most common types. These days, standard keyboards come with multimedia keys besides the standard set of 104 keys. Gaming keyboards are for the purpose of gaming which incorporate the multimedia keys as well as other special keys for gaming.

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Ergonomic keyboards are designed to position your hands naturally and reduce strain by offering a proper wrist rest to maximize comfort. They sure are pricey but they are worth the money. Opt for an ergonomic keyboard if you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome.

Those who use their computer in the dark might prefer the keyboard with illumination. Those who focus on portability might want to get a flexible, foldable keyboard that doesn’t take much space in their bags. For those prone to accident, keyboards that can resist liquid are available in the market.

For those concerned with comfort, keyboards with split-style design or with a proper wrist rest pad might be the thing for them. For programmers, the keyboard in DVORAK layout is better than the standard QWERTY layout. There are washable keyboards available for those obsessed with cleanliness.

Many manufactures have poured lots of clever ideas into their keyboard designs. Choose the one designed to meet your requirements.

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5. Wired vs wireless

The wired and wireless configurations both have their pros and cons. The wireless configuration cuts the cord out that clutters your desk but there are chances that it interferes with other wireless devices.

For gaming, the wired keyboards are preferred since the wireless keyboards tend to lag which impedes gameplay. Wireless keyboards are battery powered, which needs to be charged or replaced from time to time. That adds to the cost. Therefore, a keyboard that supports both wired and wireless configurations are preferred by many who want the best of both worlds.

6. Extra function keys

To speed up your tasks, lots of keyboards these days have extra function keys for launching apps, controlling volume, controlling music player etc. They also incorporate power management keys, special character layouts and customizable shortcut keys which come very handy at times. Some keyboards come with a touchpad or a mini joystick to replace the mouse.

7. Price

Depending on the features they incorporate, keyboards come in different prices. Obviously, the more the features it has, the more expensive it is. Look for a keyboard that meets your requirements as well as your budget. Be smart and don’t spend on things you don’t really need.

Featured photo credit: Wikipedia via upload.wikimedia.org

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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