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New Keyboard--Preliminary Report

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 Just bought this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00481BEY8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

While certainly NOT cheap, it has the following advantages:

1) Frees up a USB port, since no separate mouse is required

2) Every key is programmable.  While I don't envision re-programming the already dedicated keys, the option is there.

3) Spill-and dust-resistant, as per IP 54 spec., and otherwise very reliable.  I have used this keyboard in a commercial environment for several years, and amongst the numerous keyboards being in constant daily use/abuse, I do not know of one of that has failed or malfunctioned.  Probably the most trouble-free device in our POS setup.

4) The keys are mechanical, and so extremely reliable and will retain their "touch" for a very long time.  Rated for 20 million actuations before failure, as per mfr.

5) The integral mouse pad is just as useful as the one on your laptop, after you tweak its' settings to suit you-- DO NOT fail to do so.  After slightly adjusting "Mouse Properties" for the mouse pad on the new keyboard, I find no issues with the keyboard's mouse pad;  It's faster than reaching over to the mouse, IMHO, once you get used to it.  I found myself reaching for my mouse many times before I remembered it was now on the keyboard, instead of the desktop. 

This keyboard has some disadvantages, to wit:

1) The keys are not back-lit.  I like this feature, but admit that some may not.

2) The programming of the keys will require of the user some experimentation/familiarization.  Understandable, perhaps.  The documentation of the programming program is not what it might be.  

3) Cost.  Plain and simple, it's expensive.  OTOH, it's extremely reliable, and has loads of non-assigned and programmable keys.

The keyboard comes with almost zero instructions, but with Mfr's web site address.  Win 10 system will install the basic drivers.  After that, go to Mfr's site, and download/install the main program for the keyboard, which will allow programming of keys, including (they claim) macros.  The keyboard comes with a metal tool to remove the key pads easily and painlessly, and it works flawlessly.  Best tool of its type I've ever used.

I plan to install some color-coded paper into some of the  non-assigned keys for use in flight sims: Green for ground, Blue for air, Red for guns, Orange for bombs.   All will be grouped, and labeled.   As of this writing, I can't respond on the key programming feature, but I reckon, with some persistence, it will work OK.   Other reviewers have said such. 

Some sims are not friendly to auxiliary keyboards/keypads.  I cannot say whether this keyboard will overcome this issue.  It is possible that aux programmed keys from the main keyboard might be recognized, as opposed from key-commands from a separate keyboard. 

So, a preliminary report; so far, the keyboard/mousepad, with the latter having very slight adjustment, is perfect.  Will advise as the programming of keys is accomplished.

Disclaimer: No financial connection with mfr or vendor.

Submitted for consideration


Edited by RIBob

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I could see this being useful in VR. My preference would be for the version with the mousepad squeezed in between the keypad and keyboard where the cursor keys would normally be. But years of using laptops with mousepads has taught me that I would much rather have a real mouse than a mousepad unless the environment can't support a mouse.

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