Thursday, July 28, 2011


When something works well, has great features, is comfortable and fits your lifestyle, you might not notice or appreciate how many elements go into making a product.

I bought my new PC online, so I didn’t get to assess whether I’d like the keyboard/mouse it came with. I have small hands, so I need to be able to easily reach keys I use often. Sometimes I get forearm pain after many hours of typing, recording and editing days in a row, even if I take breaks.

I didn’t like my new peripherals that much. The keys seemed hard to press, made a lot of noise, and the mouse was harder to click and slide than my old one.

Buying another k/m online didn't seem like a good idea, despite many choices, because I couldn’t test them and repackaging and shipping returns can be a pain and/or costly. I went to Office Depot, which allows a two week in store credit exchange. They had a good selection of wireless keyboards, which I tried in the store. But standing and typing for a couple of minutes isn’t the same as really working.

I bought a Logitech (the brand I had before, and liked but I don't think they make that model anymore) ergonomic wave style keyboard and mouse, which was easy to install with a USB. Loved the way the deep curves on the mouse fit my hand. But looking the curving keys made me seasick, and the keys were spaced too far apart, so sometimes my fingers landed on cracks.

I went to a Best Buy, but they didn’t have as big a selection, and I'd already seen a couple of the options they offered.

Back the new keyboard went. I bought a Microsoft. This one had a “new” mouse design, but it was much too large for my hand, and it was heavier than other mice. The bottom of the keyboard curved down, so the CTRL keys were hard to reach. The F keys were high up and really tiny. My arms hurt after hours of use. Back that one went.

So after all the time and effort spent shopping, buying and retuning, I’m finding that the original keyboard is better than I’d first thought, except for the loud noise of the keys.

No product (or person) is perfect...compromise is the key. Pun intended.

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