MacMost Now 5: Crazy Keyboards

Gary Rosenzweig takes a look at 10 strange and unusual computer keyboards.

Video Transcript
Hi this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now. This is my new favorite keyboard. It's the new Apple keyboard, it's really thin, feels great to type on and it doesn't take up much room on your desk. But it got me thinking, what other cool keyboards are there? I mean there's gotta be a whole bunch of weird different things, I've seen it from time to time. So I've compiled this top ten list. Let's take a look at some of the strangest keyboards you'll ever see. First one here is the rollout keyboard by adesso. And I love the idea of an ultra-transportable keyboard, even if it's not that easy to type on. This probably is also pretty easy to clean, and only costs about thirty dollars. And I think they make it for all sorts of different devices too, so if you have like a Blackberry or some other small, portable PDA you can probably use this one to type with it, and that's probably true of anything that can take a USB keyboard. Okay this one's probably the coolest keyboard on the entire list, it's a virtual keyboard. It's just this little device that just stands there, and projects the keyboard onto a flat service, and then you can type with the flat service. I have no idea how this actually works, although I can make some guesses having read a lot of science fiction. But, it seems to be ultra-cool. The only problem is it's pretty expensive, it's a hundred and fifty dollars, but hey, it'll get you uber-geek status. And speaking of uber-geek status, I think this is probably the ultimate. It's called DOS keyboard, and as you see by the picture, it's got nothing on the keys. That's right, they're totally black, it's basically a black keyboard with black keys. Anyway, you gotta know where to type. So it really establishes you as super-uber-geek. I'd be impressed by anybody that used this keyboard. Okay, suppose you want your keyboard to be a little more three dimensional. Well here's two keyboards for you. The first one is the MALTRAN keyboard. And this strange looking keyboard is supposed to be ergonomically something something, and be a little bit better for you to type on, once you get the hang of it of course. It's really expensive: six hundred bucks. Here's another one called the safe-type keyboard. And this one takes it completely vertical on the sides. Not exactly sure how you're supposed to type on this, but it looks really interesting. Anyway, both of these keyboards come in left and right handed versions, so make sure you get the right one for your right hand. Or maybe you like your keyboards a little bit smaller than even the Apple keyboard. Well here's two for you that don't even have a full set of keys. This first one, the frog pad, is a hundred and fifty bucks, and it's got a very unique set of keys. It's also a left hand and right handed version, and I suppose it's something you have to learn how to use, but afterwards you can just type one handed. Here's another one that's specifically meant for gamers. It's the wolf king warrior keyboard, and this also doesn't have a full set of keys, I'm not exactly sure how you're supposed to type on it, but I'm sure once you get the hang of it you can go pretty fast. And this one's only thirty bucks. Here's probably the most normal looking keyboard of the bunch. This is the denova keyboard from logittech. Now, it looks normal, but it's got a ton of features, like it's bluetooth, wireless, it's got some ultra-ray types of key sensitivity, and it's got a little scrolling pad on it, and it seems to have tons of function keys. So if you want, basically a normal keyboard, but one with a lot of advanced functionality, this may be the one for you. Bit expensive though: two hundred dollars. Okay, now here's the strangest keyboard out of the bunch, strange because it doesn't have any keys at all. It's the orbi-touch, and it'll cost you four hundred bucks. But, it's probably the most unique thing. Supposedly you manipulate these orbs with your hands and somehow form letters from them. I'm not really sure how this works at all, but I'm sure it's probably be a great conversation piece. Now no conversation about cool keyboards is complete these days without talking about the optimist. Now the optimist, this one here, looks like a normal keyboard from this viewpoint, but what it actually is is each key is a little LCD screen. So the character on the key could change. Now, this is a pretty expensive keyboard. I see price
estimates anywhere from twelve hundred to two thousands dollars, it's not actually out yet. However they have some cheaper options. For instance, there's a five hundred dollar version that only has a changing LCD on the spacebar. And there's another one that has twelve function keys change. But the big one, that's the one that's going to cost you the most money. Anyway, this certainly is going to become a really cool keyboard. I mean you can switch from regular keyboard to dvorak, or you get special gaming keys, whatever you want to do. You probably could do all sorts of special effects as well. Not sure if it's going to be worth the money, but if you've got the money to spend on a keyboard, this is probably the ultimate one to have. Now, an important thing to think about when talking about these keyboards is that not all of them work with USB. All Mac's have USB keyboard inputs. In the PC world, there's these things called PS2 keyboard inputs, which they still use even though they're antiquated. So some of these keyboards use PS2 connections. You can get a PS2 to USB adapter pretty easily in just about any sort of online store. So make sure you get either the right type of keyboard or this type of adapter for it. And also, if you're going to look for an unusual keyboard, make sure that it doesn't need some sort of special drivers that are only available on the PC. These are all pretty cool, but you know what? I'm going to stick with this one, it works just fine. Hope you enjoyed this look at unusual, crazy keyboards. This is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: 6 Responses to “MacMost Now 5: Crazy Keyboards”

    12/4/07 @ 12:15 pm

    I like the idea, but I find the video a waste of time. You have used NONE of the keyboards and you have little knowledge of the said keyboards.

    I wont be watching anymore of these videos.

    12/4/07 @ 12:43 pm

    Thanks for the feedback. It wasn’t really practical to spend $2,000 to buy all the keyboards and weeks to use and test each one. I thought an overview of unusual keyboards was a good idea. Sorry that you disagree so strongly.

    Debbie
    12/28/09 @ 4:36 pm

    Wow, I never knew there were so many choices!! This was awesome, its good to see the diversity and variety of different ways to do things. I especially like the far out ones like the track balls – huh? how does that work??
    Thank you for sharing, looking forward to more like this.

    Daniel Thomson
    3/23/10 @ 8:01 am

    awww naww

    Mr Anthony Cotton
    7/11/11 @ 11:00 am

    I have the small Apple keyboard and its totally different from the image on the Apple site. Also the hash key was missing. You can get it on,but i do not know how to. I agree with Diana about the video until the very end you showed an Apple keyboard which i have as well. I would like to see images of the Apple keyboards. I do not know if they are made different for the USA or the UK

      7/11/11 @ 11:24 am

      Yes, I believe they are different in Europe from the U.S. versions. Just slight differences.

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