Our school finally recently replaced the teacher workstation computers with updated machines running Windows 7. One thing they did not replace was the old keyboards. I am not sure how old the keyboard I had was, but it was enormous. I remember a few years ago when keyboard seemed to have the bigger is better phase and this was a remnant from that era. The keyboard was so high that I had to use a wrist pad to raise my hands up to even use it. I was not a fan of the large spring-loaded keys either. (I know some of you love those.) My Mac keyboard at home seemed so small and slick compared to the clunky old Microsoft version I was using at work. I recently started using the Arctic K381 keyboard on my work machine and prefer it much more than the older large keyboards. Lets take a look.
The keyboard, K381, has an ultra-slim design. This makes it to be very space-efficient. The simplicity design of this keyboard embraces style, quality and functionality.
- 12 office function keys – one-touch access to different features
- Keys for volume control and standby
- Low-profile layout and key structure – perfect for comfortable typing
- Low resistance switches allow continuous typing without fatigue
- Sharp and clear pressure point
- Save space with ultra-slim design
The K381 keyboard is compact measuring at only 17″ (L) x 4.5 ” (W) x .7″ (H) and weighs in at only 1.2 lbs. The keyboard does not skimp on features despite the small size. Twelve function keys along with volume and sleep keys make the keyboard as functional as the huge version found on my work machine. I also like the fact that a number pad is included. Just a word of warning for Apple fans like myself though, this keyboard is not compatible with Macs. I did try it, but only the volume buttons worked.
Ergonomically, the K381 is far superior to larger keyboards. I thought the keys may feel too small or they keyboard would be cramped, but that was not the case. This may be due to the common use of laptops and netbooks, but either way, the keyboard was easy and comfortable to use. My favorite part of the keyboard is the height. I can easily type while resting my wrists on the surface and type with comfort and ease. The tactile feedback of the keys is also more modern. This is sometimes an area of debate, but I much prefer the flat keys that are easy to press to the tall keys with spring back feedback. The keys feel similar to my Mac keyboard so there is not a different feeling from home and work computers now.
The K381 easily connects via USB to any PC and comes in black or white models. The device is compact and light, yet brings all of the features expected on a full functioning keyboard. The ergonomics are much better for me and the tactile feedback a big improvement over the keyboard I am replacing. Another great feature of the keyboard is that it is affordable. At $24.95 it is easy to replace a broken or older and larger keyboard without breaking the bank.
What I like: I love the size and ergonomics of the small keyboard while still having all of the features.
What could be improved: I would love to have a keyboard like this that is Mac compatible.