I wore down two Microsoft Natural keyboards already, and I still believe it is simply the best keyboard on the market thanks to big control/middle keys and curved key placement. I was early adopter of Logitech MX Revolution Mouse, and I still did not hold in hands any mice that would be at least comparable to the Revolution model. However, in never ending search for excellence I got to retire both devices recently.
The Natural Keyboard was so comfortable, that constantly moving right hand about 45 degrees clockwise to reach the mouse turned to annoying exercise over time. Thanks to excellent design of the mouse I did not come even close to any injures, but at the end of a day the discomfort was obvious. So, one day I asked myself – why can’t I have a keyboard with multitouch trackpad, to work the way I do while traveling with MacBook Pro?
No need to be a genius to come up with an idea of pairing Kinesis Freestyle keyboard with Apple Magic Trackpad. Couple of online orders, and voila: split keyboard with trackpad are sitting on my desk:
Please note the alignment of trackpad – unlike laptops or keyboard/trackpad combos it is rotated 45 degrees counter clockwise to be aligned with my right hand.
Also, after typing a couple paragraphs I felt pain in my wrists – keeping palms in horisontal position and without support was too unusual to me. So, I had to order VIP kit for the keyboard. The kit consists of palm rest pads and keyboard risers.
Some observations after 3 weeks of using the split keys with trackpad.
- The Microsoft Natural keyboard is still the best. I miss big Control/Option/Command keys, I miss curved key rows (especially when typing square brackets and -/+/=) and I miss … Esc key, as it is unexpectedly placed far far away on Kinesis keyboard.
- I enjoy additional free space on my desk, because Kinesis keyboard has smaller footprint.
- I quit using mouse. It is still here, and I happened to grab it infrequently during first days, but now I consider retiring it completely.
- Apple made good decision to support only a few trackpad gestures. You may find both free and commercial software (such as BetterTouchTool) that recognizes a whole lot of additional gestures, but unfortunately you must be very careful when touching the pad to make sure the system will not treat your “three finger tap” as “single finger tap right side middle”. Your mileage may vary, but in my experience even being a piano player does not help much, so I had to uninstall the enhancements.