HomeHome : Monthly Tips : May 2015

Try a New Keyboard

May 2015 — Tip of the Month

Millions of people with typical desk jobs spend several hours a day typing on their keyboard. Yet for some reason, most keyboards are not very ergonomic and are uncomfortable to use.

If you use a standard desktop computer at work, you most likely use the cheap stock keyboard that came with it. Most keyboards bundled with desktop PCs have a loose feel to them and some don't even have numeric keypads. If you have a laptop and use the built-in keyboard, I can guarantee it's not very ergonomic.

Typing on an uncomfortable keyboard can take a toll on your hands and wrists. It can also slow down your typing by causing more typing errors. Therefore, if you use a keyboard several hours a day, it makes sense to upgrade to a better one.

From my experience, the best keyboards are gaming keyboards. After all, gamers place the highest demands on their equipment, so their keyboards need to be engineered well. Nearly all gaming keyboards have responsive keys that can improve typing comfort and accuracy compared to other keyboards. Most gaming keyboards are wired (instead of wireless) and have backlit keys. I switched to a Razer Anansi keyboard a few years ago and never found the cable to be an issue. Plus I can see my keys better and I never have to recharge or replace any batteries.

Another option is to get an "ergonomic keyboard." Examples include the Logitech Wave keyboard, the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic keyboard, and the Adesso Tru-Form keyboard. These keyboards are curved in a way that makes it easy to press every key and reduces strain on your fingers and wrists. Most ergonomic keyboards include a wrist rest, which in my opinion should be a requirement for anyone who uses a keyboard for an extended period of time. Whether you get an gaming keyboard or an ergonomic keyboard, a wrist rest will prevent unnecessary tension in your wrists and may help you avoid carpal tunnel syndrome.

The best way to find the right keyboard is to try a few at a store and decide which style works for you. Keep in mind that using a new keyboard always takes awhile to get used to, especially if you switch to one with an ergonomic layout. But once you get used to a better keyboard, there's no turning back.

- Per Christensson