Not all keyboards are built the same – just ask any secretary who spends the better part of the day in front of the computer and a keyboard to find out. Most of them will definitely appreciate an offering that actually comes with some form of ergonomic design so that they won’t take the express train to RSI City too soon. New Standard Keyboards has just announced its NSK535 series of alphanumeric, USB-interface keyboards which have already been tested and are fully compatible with the (not so) new Microsoft Vista.
There will be a couple of models available, where both feature some notable differences over the standard QWERTY keyboard. The NSK535S comes in a traditional silver casing complete with black keys and white letters (which is good in my book, since the dirt and grime from your greasy fingers won’t show as easily as a white keyboard), while the NSK535R boasts a “rainbow” of color coded keys that correspond to common keyboard functions. Both flavors are full keyboards in their own right, but gone is the standard 104 key QWERTY design. Instead, they will use only 53 keys which have been placed within easy reach from the home position, making it an alternative for assistive technology users as well as non-typists who have always wondered how did people arrive at the QWERTY solution.
It would make a great keyboard for media computers as well as gaming rigs since functions for those rarely require you to use the entire expanse of a full sized keyboard. The learning curve of the NSK keyboard is pretty low to begin with, making it easy for everyone to pick it up and learn in a cinch. This is good news for those who love high speed touch typing. Either model will measure 12.5″ x 5″ x 1″, making it possess one of the smallest footprints of any full functional keyboard in the industry today. It might be Vista certified, but bear in mind the NSK535 keyboards will also function just fine in Windows XP and Linux environments. Both NSK keyboards will retail for $59.98.