What if laptop designers came up with more innovative ways to make keyboards better. Small keyboards are a hassle to use, especially on the small netbooks that are appearing all over the place. I don't know if you've tried using them, but they are a pain to use. Do ergonomic keyboards actually make a difference?
When I first discovered the natural keyboard line from Microsoft, I thought to myself that this was a pretty cool concept. The keys are nice and separated and your hands have access to all parts pretty easily. Then I tried it out. It was awkward at the beginning. There was something the matter though. The way that the keyboard is designed is not for everyone. Why? Well, the two parts of the keyboard are really separated, meaning that if you right and needs to push a button that is on the left side, you are out of luck. Even though I've been touch typing for years, I've never really adjusted well to that kind of setup, and I'm sure that others agree with me there. They must not be that popular. I can only think of one person that I know who had one, and this was a few years ago.
I think that small keyboards are most definitely a problem with netbooks and small laptops. It might be a good idea to try an integrate these keyboards on some netbooks to see if they make a difference. I've seen more than a few laptops, even played with a few, the smallness of the keys makes it really hard to type fast. This could free up some space, while it eating up space in a different way. From some designs that I have seen, there might actually more room for more buttons, which could be a good thing. Usually laptop keyboards are crammed with buttons. Even though the initial post I saw on this was an April Fool's day post, it got me thinking.
There isn't really a problem for full-sized keyboards and larger laptops. There is enough space there to make you comfortable, no matter how you type. I think that's why ergonomic keyboards were never popular. There is also the fact that when your hands are close together, they are easier to picture in your brain, making touch typing slightly faster. When the hands are on separate pads, it's more of a problem. Anyway, that's what I think. I'd like to hear from you, if you ergonomic keyboards work well for you or if you think that they are just worthless. [Maltron keyboard images via Maltron]