Laptop Use in the Office:
Theres a new keyboard on the market designed directly for laptop users who want to add a full-size keyboard.
Now you might say, a keyboard is a keyboard and you would be right. As long as you stay away from the cheapest of the cheap, you have many options for under US$100. But this new product from Darwin Keyboards in San Francisco comes with something else: It comes with legs.
The legs are designed to lift the keyboard sufficiently high off the surface of your desk so that your laptops own keyboard can slip right underneath this full-sized model. This is important for two reason, according to the manufacturer.
First, by stacking the keyboards one on top of the other, you preserve valuable desk space. Second, the stacking arrangement allows you to maintain a comfortable distance between the laptops screen and your eyes, making it easier to see and use.
The keyboards legs adjust to six separate heights, helping it fit laptops of any thickness. There is also a handy wrist support built into the front of the keyboard. This is an ergonomic feature that frankly should be part of every keyboard, but its especially important to have on this one, since the keyboard sits particularly high off the desk.
Beyond its legs, at Roadnews.com we found that the Darwin keyboard functioned identically to most any Windows 95, 104-key keyboard. The feel of the keys and their travel is good. In fact, we found the keyboard and its wrist support superior to our existing desktop PC keyboards, even for use on our laps. The keyboard weighs 3.2 lbs (1.45 kg).
To sweeten the deal, Darwin is throwing in a matching mouse with its keyboard, also for use with your laptop. It is also including a software utility that can be used to reprogram the keys on your keyboard to automatically launch programs, insert boilerplate, or enter passwords.
While youre unlikely to want to take this keyboard along on brief trips abroad, you may wish to use it at the home office or anywhere else you plan to set up shop for an extended period. The keyboard runs US$99.95 directly from Darwins Web site, or $79.99 without the mouse. The company is willing to ship internationally. Darwins Web site also lists retail and mail order stores in the US that carry the product.