Well its not Often I get to review a bit of hardware, most of the ones I have done have not yet gone up for you lot to have a look at, which although is my fault I think ill blame it on the system!
Today, we have a review of the Microsoft Internet Keyboard Pro, Out at the moment this is available for you to buy if you feel persuaded at the end of this review.
The first Thing that you notice about the keyboard is the fact that it is a lot larger than your normal run of the mill keyboards, then again, any keyboard that's 'a Pro' has to be special. It's got a lot of space around the actual keyboard area, it's a lot wider than normal and with the hand rest is possible the widest keyboard around. The other thing you notice is the number of buttons it has, an additional row of nicely rounded buttons above the F key buttons and the numpad provide you with quick access to your calculator, Internet navigation & your mail program.
Now call me silly but do you really think this could be good, after all my first impressions about this were, what the hell do I need these keys for, the mouse does that, what fools!
Having the USB version of the Keyboard really helped in the installation, as most of you will know, the USB interface allows you to plug a peripheral into your PC and for Windows to recognise it immediately, well almost immediately.
I unplugged my old keyboard while my PC was off, it happened to be off when I got the keyboard, and plugged the brand spanking new Microsoft Keyboard in then booted it up.
Windows as usual in its Plug and Pray days detected the keyboard right away and proceeded to install the drivers off the CD. Further Installations off the Provided CD allow you to Install the latest version of Internet Explorer 5 and a few other programs to allow you to configure stuff.
Besides that, installation took about 20 minutes, including the Installation of IE and the reboot which was needed after the IE installation. pretty groovy.
Well with the installation away I proceeded to use my new keyboard as normal. My previous keyboard had lasted me from my old 486 days, just about 4 upgrades ago. This is just an impression as to how I treat my keyboards, and I was sad to see that go when I last upgraded. My substitute keyboard, until I bought a new one was a right hell to use, the keys were clunky, not soft typing like most new keyboards and it looked like someone had spilt tea on it and left the tea to dry. A really nasty piece of work, I can tell you.
In comparison this lovely white coloured, multi keyed beauty was now sitting in its place ready for me to use and test to its limits.
Actually, I do use the keyboard a lot, I am surprised my original one did last for the time it did. Well, with a few months now using this keyboard (thank you Microsoft) I have really fallen in love with it. The thing looks lovely, the Internet keys and special keys I mentioned are a nice green colour, the Keyboard arm rest that bolts to the bottom of it is the same nice green colour, and works really well, no wrist pain for me!
As for the Special Keys that have been mentioned all over the review, well I said earlier that I thought they were useless, something that I still stand by. The Internet ones are completely useless to me, someone will find them useful, who I don't know, but for all the keyboard makers out there that add them in, well I don't know anyone that uses them!
I actually Found 1 key that was useful, the calculator key. As I use the calculator a lot, then I found that being just above the numpad is good, I have grown into a regular user of the 'calc' button which as far as I am concerned could be the only extra button needed. That thought also Includes the 'special' windows buttons, you'll know, if you got one, they are the keys with the Infamous windows Logo and what looks like a menu, completely useless, used it a few times to see what it does, but that's all.
Well as I have mentioned earlier, the Keyboard is a dream to use, I can recommend this to anyone and everyone, you won't be disappointed with it, I think ill get one.