This page is a gallery of Microsoft Desktop Keyboards. (not including gaming model, ergonomic model, nor portable model.)
Microsoft Wired Keyboard 200
This is the cheapest keyboard that Microsoft offers.
If i were to use a non-split keyboard, i'll like this. Plain and functional. Note the standard F keys, arranged in traditional 3 clusters, 4 keys each. This means you can press them without looking. Also, the keys are full-sized. Nice. Some fancier keyboard make these into one continuous row, and as flattened non-tactile buttons.
I'll take this keyboard any day than the ≈$250 Happy Hacking keyboard. 〔➤see Happy Hacking Keyboard Review〕
Microsoft Wired Keyboard 600
This is second cheapest from Microsoft according to MSRP (manufacture's suggested retail price).
Added are 4 multimedia keys and a calculator launch key. But as you can see, there's one screw-up already. The function keys F1 to F12 now became special buttons, losing the tactile quality of keys.
Microsoft Wireless Keyboard 2000
This is new. Seems just came out in 2011.
As we advanced into the higher-end models, the form gets stylish, function goes downhill.
Notice the F1 to F2 key are degraded further, now becoming one beatific continuous row. You need to look at them to hit the correct key.
Notice that there's no gap between the arrow keys and adjacent key blocks. LOL
Also new is that they replaced the right Windows key with a Fn key. For advanced keyboard users, this means, you are losing a modifier key.
Microsoft Digital Media Keyboard 3000
Interesting is that these days they have a dedicated Flip3D button. It's great to add a dedicated key to a frequently used function. However, Flip 3D function is badly designed. 〔➤see Windows Flip3D, Instant Viewer, Productivity Tips〕
In this model, they have the very annoying F Lock key. 〔➤see Microsoft Keyboard: How to Disable the F Lock Key〕
Microsoft Wireless Comfort Desktop 5000
Notice the top buttons — one beatific continuous row. You can't feel them, but you must look!
Microsoft Wireless Keyboard 6000
There is a desktop set with this keyboard, named “Microsoft Wireless Desktop 6000”. But actually, there are 3 generations of this keyboard+mouse set, all physically different but sharing the same name, with “v1”, “v2”, “v3” on Amazon. The v1 is dramatically different than the other two. Dunno why Microsoft named them the same.
- “Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 6000 v1 (B7T-00001)” (2004) amazon
- “Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 6000 v2 (69A-00001)” (2006) amazon
- “Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 6000 v3” (2008) amazon
They all got very bad reviews. Usually like connection problems.
Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 6000 (Cat Keyboard Hero)
This comes in 2 versions, with or without number-pad. It seems that this keyboard is also called “cat keyboard hero”, because the images on Microsoft site is named that.
Microsoft Arc Keyboard
This is new in 2011.
Apparently, this one is designed for couch potatoes. Note the newfangled 4-in-1 arrow button.
Smartfish Technologies K2418B ErgoMotion Keyboard
Now comes this smooth bull. Not a Microsoft keyboard, but i had to put it here.
Quote from Amazon
This ErgoMotion keyboard with its patented pivot-motion design that automatically adjusts to your natural hand and wrist position is the world's first intelligent keyboard that prevents Repetitive Stress Injury. The patented DPC - Dynamic Positioning Controller automatically moves based on your use pattern capitalizing on productivity while diminishing operator hand and wrist fatigue and discomfort.
Supposedly, this keyboard moves slowly, by a built-in motor, so that your hand muscle use is not always the same from the same position, thus preventing you from getting a Repetitive Strain Injury. But, from its clean geometric look, like Apple's keyboard, i can tell you right away it's PAIN.
All Garbage. They Are ALL Garbage!
Ok. Spend 9 hours on this now. I think that's enough keyboard geeking today. None of these keyboards i can use. They all have multitudes of serious flaws:
- Function keys not as real keys (but lousy buttons without tactile feedback on whether the key is registered; and hard to press repeatedly (For example, Sound Level Increase key))
- Function keys in one beatific continuous row. This makes them useless without visual-contact.
- Multimedia keys and app launcher and other buttons merged into the F keys. This means, you have to press 2 keys, usually requiring both hands, with the Fn.
- The keyboard is non-split. PAIN follows your typing eloquence or verbosity.
- Flat shallow keys. Shallowness is not my style. I prefer depth and solidity.
- I don't want a damn Fn on the bottom right. I want the ▤ Menu key and or ❖ Window key. Because, i can remap them to ❖ Super or Hyper for Emacs for many purposes. 〔➤see Emacs: How to Set Super and Hyper Keys〕 Fn key is usually hardwired and hardware-specific. That means a dead-horse squatting in the front seat.
For keyboards that i deem useful for programers or heavy typers, see: How to Chose Ergonomic Keyboards.
Warning: Wireless Hack
When i look at computer keyboards, saliva drools from the corner of my mouth. I don't need another keyboard, i already have plenty. But, i look at them, look for them, stare at them for hours, every week. I:
• Compare their sizes, the keys on them.
• How they label their keys? Do they say “Page Up” or “PgUp”, “Enter” or “Return”? Do they use graphics symbol like ⇪ or ⇧ or ↑ for Shift key? ↵ or ↩ or ⏎ for return/enter? What graphics symbol they use for Zoom In, Zoom Out, Mute, Web, Search? 〔➤see Keyboard Enter/Return Key Symbol — a Survey〕
• The key's positions, arrangement. Are the arrow keys in inverted T? In one row? In a cross? How's ↖ Home/↘ End key cluster shaped? 2×3 or 3×2? 〔➤see Keyboard: Home/End Keys Arrangement: Horizontal vs Vertical〕
• What are special buttons and knobs they offer. Sound level controller as slider? As rotary knob? disc shaped? Touch sensitive bar? Zoom as seesaw rocker? 〔➤see Keyboard Evolution: Zoom Button, Dedicated Keys〕
What's their functions, the style of the keys, their height, tactile sensations, the differences between them, their ergonomic implications, the implications for Emacs use …. 〔➤see Guide to Computer Keyboard Key Switch Mechanisms〕