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  1. #1
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    These days, it's all about connections




    BEST HARDWARE
    These days, it's all about connections

    By Michael Lasky

    Our digital landscape is no longer all about how peripherals connect to PCs; it's how our many digital devices connect to the Net.

    Here's a quartet of new hardware that handles input/output particularly well.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/best-hardware/these-days-it-s-all-about-connections/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

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    I purchased my first computer keyboard in 1988. It was not an IBM but it was a "clicky" keyboard. I got quite a few years use out of it before the switches began to fail. I paid around $100 for it back then.

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    Michael says " Most of today's desktop PCs and all notebooks use membrane keyboards." Not so! The latest Thinkpad (by Lenovo) has a full mechanical keyboard with cantilever springs. It is also has the best layout I've ever seen on a laptop, It features a double size delete key and separate buttons for what you really want, like sound mute and volume. Also, for $50 extra you get a screen like the Apple Retina which has the same brightness viewed from any angle. Very nice view! With a 128 GB solid state drive, it runs about $1350.

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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Spafford View Post
    Michael says " Most of today's desktop PCs and all notebooks use membrane keyboards." Not so! The latest Thinkpad (by Lenovo) has a full mechanical keyboard with cantilever springs. It is also has the best layout I've ever seen on a laptop, It features a double size delete key and separate buttons for what you really want, like sound mute and volume. Also, for $50 extra you get a screen like the Apple Retina which has the same brightness viewed from any angle. Very nice view! With a 128 GB solid state drive, it runs about $1350.
    You had me until I saw that price. That's twice what my laptop costs now (or an updated model) and this is a powerful core-i5 Toshiba Satellite. Lenovo is noted for charging a premium price for its products. The quality is great, but the value? Eh, not so much.
    -- Bob Primak --

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    New Lounger MitelInMyBlood's Avatar
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    Rattley-Bang keyboards

    As someone who has severe hearing loss & extreme difficulty hearing conversation above the din of background noise, one of my all-time pet peeves is what I have come to dub as the "rattley-bang keyboard", for example the original DEC VT-100. Good heavens, will someone please shoot that thing and put it out of it's misery?

    Unfortunately as many keyboards age they become +quite noisey (2~3 yr old HP Desktop systems in particular) and in fact some people I know rely on this so-called "tactile feedback". Not me. My wonderful keyboard (Logitech illuminated/backlit) makes not a sound & disturbs no one. I'm also a somewhat-accomplished typist and can gererally average 55~60 wpm with occasional bursts of common test phrases, ie, "the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog's back" at a fairly consistent 75 wpm, so I don't buy into this perceived 'need' for tactile feedback. It's a crutch. Where is it written that the keyboard has to make noise?

  6. #6
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    @MitelInMyBlood -- What is being discussed in the article is someone whose touch typing is so rough that a membrane keyboard would be destroyed very rapidly. The issue is durability, not feel. The clickety-click is almost an inevitable side effect of durable keyboard mechanics, but Mr. Lasky says that the model he recommends is among the quietest mechanical keyboards he's used.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2012-07-31 at 00:13.
    -- Bob Primak --

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MitelInMyBlood View Post
    Unfortunately as many keyboards age they become +quite noisey (2~3 yr old HP Desktop systems in particular) and in fact some people I know rely on this so-called "tactile feedback".

    ... so I don't buy into this perceived 'need' for tactile feedback. It's a crutch. Where is it written that the keyboard has to make noise?
    Tactile means touch, not noise.

    Tactile feedback is something you would probably want, not want to avoid.

    tactile feedback [‚tak·təl ′fēd‚bak] (computer science) In haptics, devices that provide a user with the sensations of heat, pressure, and texture.

    Bruce

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    I got a Power 2U and it would not fit into my wall outlet. My wires were stiff and there were 6 wires in my box. I could not get them to fit into the Power2U. The Power2U unit is quite large and I would think just about everyone will have trouble installing it, no matter how many wires are in your box.
    All the best,
    David

  9. #9
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slodave View Post
    I got a Power 2U and it would not fit into my wall outlet. My wires were stiff and there were 6 wires in my box. I could not get them to fit into the Power2U. The Power2U unit is quite large and I would think just about everyone will have trouble installing it, no matter how many wires are in your box.
    All the best,
    David
    Furthermore, no one but a qualified electrician should be messing around with household wiring.
    -- Bob Primak --

  10. #10
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    Regarding keyboards

    In issue 348, in hardware section, ...connections column, it was said:

    ...When I returned to typing on a Logitech keyboard, it felt mushy by comparison. ...

    Let's not lump all Logitech keyboards together. While most likely some do feel mushy, a while back I got a Logitech K800 keyboard, which has their "Perfect-Stroke" keys. I had tried a bunch of different keyboards, most of which felt unacceptable to me, and others had layout issues. The K800 isn't perfect, but, for the money, it's rather good. I really like the feel of the keyboard, and the layout works for me. I'm quite happy with it.

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