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Author Topic: Choosing a keyboard and a mouse  (Read 11908 times)

Lashiec

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Choosing a keyboard and a mouse
« on: March 15, 2007, 07:32:07 AM »
DonationCoder is full of heavy computer users. Between software developers, hyperactive members and prolific writers, one can say this is one of the finest sources of information when it comes to keyboard and mouse usage. After all, Find & Run Robot is (probably) mouser's most used piece of software, everyone and his/her dog is a die-hard fan of AutoHotkey, and it even has its own team of olympic computer users, led by app.

After these words, written for you to have something nice to read before we reach the boring part :), comes my pack of questions. I'm completely lost in the task of buying a new keyboard and a mouse. OK, maybe I'm not so lost when it comes to mouses, but keyboards are difficult for me. So I'll be more than glad you'll be able to give me a helping hand. So let's start:

  • Should I buy a wireless keyboard + mouse combination? Do wireless keyboards have some caveats compared with their corded counterparts?
  • Do ergonomic keyboards really make that difference in comfort? What about Logitech's "Zero Degree Tilt" 'technology'? I know that palm rests are mandatory for a good experience typing
  • What about optical and laser technologies for mouses? Is the extra cost worth it?
  • Do you have any recommendation on affordable Genius or Logitech specific products? That means no mention of diNovo or MX Revolution ;)
  • Finally, can someone explain me how is possible that there's no company capable of making quality non-gimmicky keyboards?

I think that's all. Thanks in advance!

mouser

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Re: Choosing a keyboard and a mouse
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2007, 08:03:57 AM »
Just some brief observations:

1) I didn't think i would need a wireless mouse -- now i wouldn't go back to a wired one, the wire does become annoying and an obstacle.  Only downside is need to change or recharge batteries.  Read reviews to make sure you don't end up with a mouse needing an inconvenient recharge every 10 minutes.  I had a rechargable one once that had to be put in its "base" to recharge, which i just could not ever remember to do.  Never had any trouble with reception of my wireless mice.

2) Wireless keyboard - can't see the use for this if you dont work from bed/couch/etc and constantly move keyboard.  However, given quality of wireless mouse transmission i can't see any reason why the wireless keyboards would have any noticable defficiencies over wired versions.

3) i've had bad experience mixing microsoft and logitech mice recently, and so i would probably go with either both MS keyboard+mouse or both logitech keyboard and mouse.  Ive used mice and keyboards from both companies and been very happy.

4) i'm currently using the MS ergonomic 4000 keyboard and have grown very fond of it, even though i never expected to like one of the ergonomic types.  Be warned though that it may be hard to switch back and forth between ergonomic and non-ergonomic keyboards if you use one type at work and another at home, etc.

5) in short my summary recommendation: buy a Microsoft or Logitech bundle which includes a wireless mouse and a wired or wireless keyboard depending on your preference.

kyrathaba

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Re: Choosing a keyboard and a mouse
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2007, 08:08:23 AM »
My father bought me a wireless mouse once, and I never did like it.  Finally switched back to my regular one.

Recently, I got a new PC and it came with a wireless keyboard and wireless mouse, and they work quite well.  As far as caveats go, naturally they cost more, but IMHO it's worth it not to have the additional wire-spaghetti.

I really cannot say much about one keyboard being better ergonomically than another.  For me, personally, a standard keyboard is fine and I've never had any problems with fatigue/pain/discomfort.  I'm a lazy typist, though:  often, I find my wrists touching the desk while I type.

I think choosing a particular keyboard/mouse is kind of like choosing a programming language.  Depends on the individual.

mouser

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Re: Choosing a keyboard and a mouse
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2007, 08:10:58 AM »
Quote
I think choosing a particular keyboard/mouse is kind of like choosing a programming language.  Depends on the individual.

Quite true -- best thing you could do is go to a local store and try some out.

kyrathaba

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Re: Choosing a keyboard and a mouse
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2007, 09:12:32 AM »
Here's some info on computing ergonomics:

http://www.pcstats.c...ew.cfm?articleID=835

TucknDar

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Re: Choosing a keyboard and a mouse
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2007, 09:39:52 AM »
I used to love the ergonomic Logitech keyboard I had once. Was great, until my gf spilt coffee on it :( Stupid me told her to buy a new one, and she bought one I never was too happy with.

Now I use a notebook, but recently bought a vx revolution mouse (Logitech) which is excellent. I highly recommend it, but I suppose the MX revolution is even better for a stationary computer system.

app103

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Re: Choosing a keyboard and a mouse
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2007, 11:52:35 PM »
Because of my typing style, the choice of keyboard really isn't that important, as long as it's 'normal' (none of those crazy ergonomic ones for me)

My choice of mouse though...that is important. Most people will develop a bump on their wrist (right where the palm meets the wrist, in line with your pinkie) from mouse use, over time...and it won't bother them any. (it's like the bump you develop on your middle finger from writing) For me, though, it is painful and the skin is prone to friction damage. I had to throw away my mousepad with the gel wrist rest because it was rubbing me badly and causing my skin to crack.

Someone wonderful person gave me a great gift of an ergonomic mouse that keeps that area of my wrist off the desk, and I LOVE it!

It took a little bit to get used to it, but I can't use a regular mouse now...they are much too uncomfortable, in so many ways.

I would say that if you type like a normal person (I don't), that getting a keyboard that you hold your hands in a normal natural position is important...and holding your hand in a normal natural position with your mouse is important too.

I type with 1 hand, and just turning the normal keyboard at an angle works for me.

I like to keep my pet mouse & keyboard on a leash (cord)...keeps them where they belong.  :D

Lashiec

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Re: Choosing a keyboard and a mouse
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2007, 12:49:52 PM »
So many advice, I'll try to comment everything.

mouser
1) I'll check mouse reviews. The candidates for solo wireless mouse are the Logitech LX5 (optical) and the LX7 (laser). Both are affordable, and work with batteries, which I can recharge, keeping a pair fully charged in case of emergency. Even then, I don't think I would have any problem. One of my friends have a Microsoft combination (1000 Series, I think), and he didn't recharge the batteries up to this day, and it's been some months since he bought it.

2) Yeah, but I was asking about wireless keyboards for the option of buying a wireless combination. I'll probably use the mouse from bed when I watch some movies, but I tried using wireless keyboards without a desk and it's not recommended :)

3) If I mix, I'll mix wireless mouse and wired keyboard. It's almost impossible to find solo wireless keyboards.

4) In a shop they sell the 2000 model. It's also ergonomic, but it doesn't have a palm rest, so I don't know if it'll be an option. In my city, it seems there some kind of ploy to sell Microsoft low-end products, so that's why this is the only offering from them I'm considering. The rest (700 and 1000 combinations, and standard keyboards) can't compete with Logitech and some of the high-end Genius products.

kyrathaba
 Avoiding cable mess is one of my pursues in life ;D. Standard keyboards are fine, but recently I started to have some minor pain in the arms and wrists, and a great one on the palms. Maybe I'm using the computer too much ("hell yeah!" would say my mother :)), but I want to play safe. Thanks for the article!

TucknDar
 I would LOVE to buy that Logitech combination, but that's EXACTLY the only one they don't have at any shop. CRAP! They even have the whole diNovo line!

app103
 You know what? I didn't notice that bump 'til you mentioned it. It doesn't ache, but well, I would prefer not to have it there (although the one in the middle finger is QUITE worse ;D). And that's a strange mouse :)

To end this long post, apart from the two mentioned mouses and the Microsoft keyboard, I'm considering for buying all these products:
  • Genius ErgoMedia 700 (keyboard only)
  • Genius ErgoMedia R800 (wireless combination)
  • Logitech Cordless Desktop LX710 Laser
  • Logitech Cordless Desktop MX 3000 Laser
  • Logitech Cordless Desktop MX 3200 Laser
  • Logitech Cordless Desktop S 510
  • Logitech Media Keyboard Elite
So, if you've tried one of these, tell me! And thanks for all comments!
« Last Edit: March 16, 2007, 12:51:26 PM by Lashiec »

dk70

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Re: Choosing a keyboard and a mouse
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2007, 02:43:27 PM »
MX 3000 combo is what I have now and no major complaints yet. I even like the hated Logitech software, Setpoint. Im not sure what specs are common for those you mention but because of this mouse I know I will always want scroolwheel with left/right button features and thumb buttons on the side. So much easier/faster to navigate browser when you assign tab switching to thumb buttons and next/previous extension shortcuts to scrollwheel button.

Im just looking at retired MX 700 mouse and remembered all these quick steps did not work very well. Thumb buttons too small, strangely placed as well - and no button on scrollwheel. Ergonomics is all that matters, for you that is. MX 3000 and I assume MX 3200 fits my hand size perfectly. You have to test with own body parts to be sure but you can see at Logitech site keyboard is quite big and spacy, not too many gadgets. Most is useful. Fx keys could be bigger is about only problem I can think of. If I want to complain I would prefer more rounded buttons instead of narrow/thin ones for zoom buttons on mouse and media stuff on keyb. Im not really interested in zooming but since Setpoint lets you assign whatever to whatever they could be more useful - perhaps back/forward in browsers, almost no use for mouse gestures then. They are so narrow you almost feel they could cut finger!

http://www.logitech....2162,CONTENTID=10709

kfitting

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Re: Choosing a keyboard and a mouse
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2007, 03:45:51 PM »
Just wanted to add a plug for the Evoluent Vertical Mouse.   I have been using one for a year or two now (left and right hand... one for work, one for home!).  It's not perfect, but it is fairly comfortable!  www.evoluent.com

Kevin

edit: just noticed app already has a link to the vertical mouse... but the one I gave is the main page.
edit2: also, if you are interested in the whole RSI thing, "The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook" ( $13 on Amazon) has been an amazing guide to pain relief.  It has worked amazingly well for me, though I will not claim that it will do so for others.  It takes a little time and effort, but over the last year, I would definitely say it's been the best $13 I have spent!
« Last Edit: March 16, 2007, 03:54:02 PM by kfitting »

Lashiec

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Re: Choosing a keyboard and a mouse
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2007, 02:15:36 PM »
mouser, about your keyboard, do you have the wireless combination or only the keyboard? I'm asking because I found the wireless desktop right in the shop where I'm going to buy the monitor (maybe I should check the graduation of the glasses again...)

EDIT: Yep, I should check the glasses and the brain. The keyboard is way different. Sorry!
« Last Edit: March 21, 2007, 02:24:06 PM by Lashiec »

skywalka

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Re: Choosing a keyboard and a mouse
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2007, 01:39:30 PM »
The closer the keyboard is to your body the more you will benefit from an ergonomic keyboard.

If you have your arms stretched out in front of you, a regular keyboard isn't as bad as they can be.

Earthcoder

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Re: Choosing a keyboard and a mouse
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2007, 02:58:44 PM »
Im a Logitech G15 Keyboard - One with the screen and 18 Macro keys x3 - It maybe my fave keyboard yet, Love the screen shows me the time, and what music i am playing and alot more, so dont need much on my desk top screen, My pc setup has no Start Menu or system try, I use the keyboard or Find and run robot. Its all you need, 18 macro keys x3 is very handy for loading programs or tools from a keyboard.

My mouse i use is Logitech MX518 - 2 side buttons i use matched to Page up and down, Which i ue in games, The 2 buttons on the wheel i use for ClipTray and Paste the Middle app key i use for Find and run Robot
I find it a nice mouse for gaming and office work.
Just wish there was a mouse with 20 buttons on it and still be comfy :P would never need to move.

But i also have another keyboard - http://cgi.ebay.co.u...678350QQcmdZViewItem
For when im sat watching Tv or in bed, Very handy mini keyboard with mouse joystick built in, Also can be used as games joypad :P
« Last Edit: March 24, 2007, 03:01:08 PM by Earthcoder »

Lashiec

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Re: Choosing a keyboard and a mouse
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2007, 07:30:57 AM »
But that's a gaming keyboard... it's a bit too "modern" for me, even me being myself a hardcore gamer.

I've found yet another Microsoft combination. The problem wasn't lying in my short sight or the dying neurons in my brain, but in the bad design of the shop webpage, with the names of the different products waaaaayyyy too abbreviated. Anyway, this time is the 6000 one, which looks and (seems to) work cool enough. Only one caveat: the image showed by the page corresponds to the first version, and Microsoft released an updated (almost new) package since then, which seems even better, judging for the reviews I read. I'll check on Thursday along with the remaining components (all of them) for the PC.

For now, the Genius packages had been discarded due to the lack of information about them. I've also discarded the MX3000 and 3200 because of the high price (not that the 6000 is much cheaper, but I save around 20 €), and the LX5, because the mouse keeps receiving bad press wherever it goes. Also, no separate keyboard and mouse. The trend within the companies seems to be going towards wireless combinations, and because of this, you can't really find decent keyboards around. So, it seems the battle is between the aforementioned Microsoft offer, and the Logitech LX710. Who will win? I'll tell you when I got an Internet connection at home ;D

By the way, if you're thinking in upgrading some PC components, I'll root for memory DIMMs. They're downright cheap!

gjehle

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Re: Choosing a keyboard and a mouse
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2007, 04:35:44 AM »
well,
i'm kinda against the wireless thingy, because of the downside mouser already mentioned (i don't want that thing dieing on me in the middle of whatever)

right now i'm using a cheap ass no-name keyboard and some old logitec mouseman pro dual optical.
i'm more than happy with the mouser, but the keyboard is so-so

once i'm a little better on the cash side i think i'll go for a laptop-style keyboard
i prefer very soft and short keypresses with an almost subtle pressure point (i dont want to use any force to press down the button, it takes too much time)

but most important is the keyboard layout
here in germany the layout is total BS for coders [ and ] are altgr+8 altgr+9 all the special chars cre on top of the number row !"§$%&/()=?` or god knows where
to get to my beloved negating character ~ i even have to go as far as pressing altgr+] (us) altgr++ (de)

i think if you're giving thoughts to what hardware to buy, i'd also put some of your time into thinking if you're using a proper layout
if you're in the US you're ok already, i switched to en_US keyboard layout years ago to prevent finger-breakage while coding c/c++
works like a charm

chinablue32uk

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Re: Choosing a keyboard and a mouse
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2007, 02:13:46 AM »
Have a look at the Microsoft Bluetooth desktop elite  I have this and it is great batteries last ages and futhermore if you have any problems you can not beat microsoft support,i damaged my first one my fault but I phoned them and told them it was damaged never said how but they replaced the whole set with no problems

cthorpe

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Re: Choosing a keyboard and a mouse
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2007, 03:14:38 PM »
I've had two logitech mice crap out on my in the past year.  On both of them, the middle button (scroll wheel) started intermittently double-clicking (and sometimes even triple clicking) whenever I would click it once.  This makes browsing a pain as middle clicking a link to open it in a tab sometimes causes two or more identical tabs to open.  The one I have right now is a MX310.  Sorry I don't remmeber what the other one was.

Carl

roadrunner2525

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Re: Choosing a keyboard and a mouse
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2007, 03:23:22 AM »
First of all, hello to everyone.  Since I just did this, I would like to put my 2 cents in.  I bought a Logitech Mouse (MX518) and a Microsoft keyboard (Media Pro).  I love the keyboard.  Key pressure is good - kind of reminds me of a silent IBM keyboard.  Only thing I have to get used to is evidently sometimes, the Function Lock key comes unlocked and the function keys are different.  I spent 30 minutes trying to figure out why F5 was trying to open a file when I was wanting to refresh explorer.

But the mouse was the big surprise.  Never having used a gaming mouse, I was expecting a steep learning curve to just use the mouse.  But it obviously was the right choice for me.  Great feel.  I particularly like the ability to change resolution on the fly.  But I haven't gotten brave enough to start programming either one.  Soon, I hope   ;D
60's revival?  I didn't know I died.  Did anyone?  Better living through chemistry.

                       :-P

mouser

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Re: Choosing a keyboard and a mouse
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2007, 03:43:08 AM »
Welcome to the site roadrunner2525.  all i can say is:

Quote
I spent 30 minutes trying to figure out why F5 was trying to open a file when I was wanting to refresh explorer.

been there. done that.  :P

f0dder

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Re: Choosing a keyboard and a mouse
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2007, 09:08:01 AM »
Grmbl, I hate those keyboards with "fancy keys" overlaid on the Fx buttons, and defaulting to "fancy key" mode :(.

I'm sorta looking for a new keyboard myself, the IBM one I have is decent enough, but I'd like softer (and silent!, so I can code while the girlfriend is sleeping) keypresses. Dunno about ergonomic - I'd die if the keyboard at work wasn't ergo, but i'm afraid it wouldn't work that well when coding.

gjehle: en/us keyboard layout is definitely better when coding, Danish layout seems similar to german - pain in the buttocks. Good thing I used DOS so much, with games and some apps not respecting the keyboard mapping and reading they keyboard directly... gave me a good feel for the en/us layout :)

It's so nice that I can set keyboard locale per-app on windows, just alt+shift and notepad++ is en en/us mode, leaving the rest in Danish so I can type my æøåÆØÅ without any funkiness.
- carpe noctem

Lashiec

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Re: Choosing a keyboard and a mouse
« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2007, 06:03:37 AM »
Quick update to my never-ending search: the Microsoft 6000 desktop I chose is no longer in the shop's website. Guess I'm getting the LX710... More details at the end of the week, when hopefully the bank will have granted to me the money for the loan, and the new computer will finally be assembled. I'm wondering what to do about the old one, though...

Danish layout sure is nice... ;D. Fortunately, Spanish is not as wicked. At least, I didn't break my fingers with C++ (yet)

bobdec

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Re: Choosing a keyboard and a mouse
« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2007, 10:54:58 AM »
I have been using the Microsoft Wireless Photo Keyboard and Mouse for over 1 year now and I love it. I use my computer about 10 hours per day and the batteries last apx. 6 months in the mouse. If they go dead just open the cover on the back and reinsert new ones without missing a beat.
The original battery on the keyboard is still working.

Previously had logitech and often had problems with the recharging process malfunctioning.
Bob