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Keyboard Considerations

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Some writers work best with a deadline, and others even use the pressure that, if writer’s block sets in, food won’t find its way to their table. But it’d be a rare writer who enjoys pain and/or a manuscript full of typos, so this week, let’s take a few minutes to think about keyboards.

Scott Stein recently gave some thought to whether or not really little keyboards are harder to use than not-quite-full-sized ones. He wrote, “Even though any Netbook keyboard is better in theory than any smartphone keyboard, slightly-smaller-than-full-size keyboards provoke a strange effect on prolonged typing. Fingers can get cramped, hands tired, and keyboard errors get made more often.”

His argument is that tiny keyboards keep your attention, while with an almost-normal keyboard, you’ll likely try to go on autopilot but keep finding things “off.”

And then there’s the realm of full-sized keyboards to consider. Some will happily submit to a trip through the dishwasher. Others are “ergonomic” to the degree that they look like the control panels to an alien starship. Then you’ve got your standard-layout keyboards, but with all varying degrees of button pushback and noisiness.

Depending on how much typing you do, it might be smart to buy several different keyboards and then just pick a favorite.

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