Quest for a decent keyboard

There are more than a dozen keyboards available at my local Staples and none of them is worth a damn for a touch typist like me. Those who aren't old enough to have used an IBM Selectric typewriter or the first IBM PC keyboard don't know what a difference a good quality keyboard makes.

Those early devices had excellent keystroke travel and responded with satisfying mechanical clacking sound that told you the system had registered each keystroke.

Good keyboards can improve productivity and reduce stress on your hands. Unfortunately, today's keyboards are cheap, unresponsive, lightweight affairs with little or no tactile response. Keyboards are tacked onto computers almost as an afterthought. They have become the equivalent of the standard equipment AM radio that used to ship in American automobiles in the '70s. But while Detroit's choice of radios has improved a bit since then, keyboards have only gone downhill.

Most aftermarket units I've played with focus not on tactile quality but on adding buttons and features such as infrared or Bluethooth connections. Ergomics are limited to slanting the keys so that the user must assume a Yoga position to type on them.

I was sorely reminded of this situation when I ran across a CNET story on this topic today, Top 10 tech we miss. Number 7 on the list? Good keyboards. Fortunately, author Rafe Needleman says there is at least one company that still makes a top-notch keyboard: Unicomp. I think I'll have to get one.

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