View Full Version : Keyboards and Mice...

Ice Nine
07-22-04, 07:03 PM
I had the original MS Natural keyboard. It was GREAT. After a moving mishap, I had to replace the keyboard. The only Natural I could find at the time was the "Natural Elite", which you can still find in stores today. However, I HATED that keyboard's arrow key/home/end/pgup/pgdn/ins/del layout. It was non-standard, and it SUCKED.

Luckily, I didn't have long to wait for a replacement. I replaced it with the even better MS Natural Pro keyboard that came out shortly after that. This was keyboard nirvana for me. It was a STANDARD layout, and had two USB ports to boot (plugging a mouse in one of those was perfect). I'm a touch-typer, and I love the split-keyboard design (most people who hunt/peck or don't use the "home row" method typically hate these designs). But what I can't stand is non-standard layouts. Why anyone would try to design a better layout after so many years of an ACCEPTED layout baffles me.

Fast forward to now, the Natural Pro wore itself out. When I built my new system, I was pretty annoyed by the fact that I couldn't find a "Natural" design keyboard by MS that had a standard layout. I would have opted to get another Natural Pro (you can still find 'em on ebay), but they're still the ancient white color. While that's not a big deal to most (or even me), my computer is "out in the open" - so my wife says the components have to match. Bummer.

As it stands right now, I can't find a natural-layout keyboard with a standard arrow key/center keys layout, either in wireless or wired form. The newest MS "Multimedia" layout has the right arrow key layout, but the home/ins/del/end/pgup/pgdn layout is butchered, and there's this ANNOYING "F-Lock" key you have to press to make the function keys work. While it's not as bad as the "Elite", it's still annoying to work with if you've been using the same layout for years and years.

At one point in my life, I had the Intellimouse Explorer 3.0. Man, that was one great mouse. It would track on ANY surface, even stuff the MX700 wouldn't track. But it eventually went byebye when the cord was cut (to this day, i'm not sure how it happened).

As a replacement, I got the Explorer 4 with that "tilt wheel" business. What total garbage. While the mouse itself tracked well, it lacked the accuracy of the version 3 model, and the scroll wheel was just a mushy mess. It's since been replaced with a Logitech MX510, which seems to be the best all around mouse i've ever used.

I recently tried the logitech wireless duo (MX700 + Wireless keyboard). The MX700 was ok (same as the MX510, only you had to remember to drop it in the cradle to charge it), but the Keyboard, although completely standard in layout, was awful. The keyboard was physically too small and its keys were tighter together and smaller than the averge keyboard. It's going back.

What's going on here? What's with all these BAD input devices?!? Are keyboards - the most frequently "interacted with" item in your PC - so unimportant that these companies can slap together any old thing and just redesign an ACCEPTED format at will?

More importantly, does anyone know of a STANDARD LAYOUT keyboard, wired or wireless, preferably "split" natural style?

07-22-04, 08:48 PM
More importantly, does anyone know of a STANDARD LAYOUT keyboard, wired or wireless, preferably "split" natural style?

Don't think they exists anymore. :(

I've been thinking along the same lines of your comment regarding the latest perepherials. Over the last yr my desktop has seen: MX700 > MX900 > Logitech diNovo Media Desktop + MX 900 > Logitech Cavalier Media KB + MX510. Have to admit the MX510/MX700 are the best mice I've ever used. This new kb is always very nice as they've finally moved the stupid "F-Lock" key above the rest of the standard "F" keys so its no longer accidentally pressed. That was a major problem on the diNovo Kb because it was right next to the "esc" key :banghead: Another issue of frustation has been Logitech's implmentation of Bluetooth in their input devices which up until a few months ago has been utter crap. This has been corrected w/ updated drivers though. And even as much as I tried to convince myself and others when they first came out, BT tech still cannot match ole school RF tech when it comes to accuracy/smoothness.

07-27-04, 01:13 PM
Pretty sure that Microsoft has stopped making them. While they were a great innovation, they were too frustrating to use and nobody used them. I've tried a few but after several hours I'm pulling my hair out wishing I had a standard keyboard. Although the natural one is a dream for the wrists if you type alot.