OK, my birthday is still almost two weeks away, but the package arrived today. I decided that since I bought it for myself, I really wasn't spoiling the surprise, so I opened it.
Inside I found my prize, an illuminated keyboard. Actually, in this case, I bought a Logitech G-11 gaming keyboard from Amazon. Not that I do any real online gaming, in fact, I generally stick to the spider solitaire game that came with my laptop. No, I bought this keyboard mainly because it is illuminated. Yes, I do have an associate in programming from back in the days of COBOL and RPG, but other than being able to use a word processor and surf the web, I really have let my skills go to the wayside.
I tend to be a nightowl, and I prefer to turn the light off to reduce eyestrain, the problem is, if I lifted my fingers off the keyboard, I used to have to grope in the dark until I found the right keys again. Now, admittedly, I do prefer a split keyboard, which is what my last keyboard was (is), but I couldn't find a decent illuminated split keyboard for under a hundred dollars... and frankly, I about choked when I bought this one for around fifty dollars including shipping.
I'm going to start with the cons, because I think that so far, this is the shorter list...
- Standard placement of letter keys. Yes, I've already admitted that I'm partial to split keyboards rather than the standard layout, it's just more comfortable for me (bear in mind that this comes from a guy that keeps his trackball on the left side so that he can jot notes with his right hand while websurfing).
- Letter wear-- though I haven't seen this yet (let's face it, I just got it today!) I have read several reviews complaining of letter wear, but that happens with any keyboard (my old split keyboard only had a few letters left that were legible!), but I doubt that it's really any worse than other keyboards I've used.
- The "enter" key is not as large as my old keyboard's, but I do tend to use the "enter" key from my keypad, so it's not that big a deal to me.
- First and foremost-- IT'S ILLUMINATED!!!! It has two different light settings, dim and brighter. The dim setting is plenty for me, I can find the keys easily after taking my hands away.
- It has eighteen "G" keys with three different sets of presets for each, so it's actually like having fifty-four "G" (or "macros") keys. I haven't set up any of my macros yet, but it is something I plan on doing this weekend.
- Windows Player controls... yeah, yeah, I know,no big deal for most, but not a feature I had on my split keyboard.
- Other than the letter keys not being split, and the additional keys, the basic layout is similar to other keyboards I've used and liked.
- The keyboard has two USB ports... Handy because my laptop only has three USB ports, my "other" birthday gift to myself was a cooling fan that needs one of these ports.
I'm hoping that having this keyboard will mean that I will spend more time writing articles. I also have several papers to write in the coming semesters and I think that this will be quite beneficial. Overall, I would say that in my circumstance, the fifty bucks for the keyboard is (groan) justifiable.