Microsoft Digital Media Keyboard 3000
Shortcut keys galore
- Stylish, streamlined design, multitude of customisable shortcut keys, keys are soft to touch and comfortable
- Not wireless, space bar is louder than other keys
If you aren’t hell-bent on a wireless keyboard then the Digital Media Keyboard is an excellent option, particularly for Windows XP and Vista users.
Price$ 49.95 (AUD)
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Sporting a stylish, streamlined design and featuring a large set of media controls for quick access to commonly used applications, Microsoft's Digital Media Keyboard 3000 is a versatile and comfortable keyboard that is ideal for the office.
The Digital Media Keyboard 3000 is somewhat larger than a regular keyboard, thanks mainly to the inclusion of several media controls, but the size isn't a hindrance. When sitting on a desk, the curved shape provides a comfortable typing platform, and the contoured edge and matte black and silver finish create a professional, if not fashionable, look.
The Digital Media Keyboard 3000 isn't wireless, so you won't be able to use it away from the desk. Setup is simple — simply install the included software and then plug the keyboard into a spare USB port on your PC or Mac. Although it's designed to work in tandem with Windows Vista, the keyboard operates without any issues on Max OS X Leopard.
The keys on the Digital Media Keyboard 3000 are excellent. The keyboard is a standard QWERTY layout and the keys have a slightly curved shape and are soft to touch, making it very comfortable to type on. Further, the keyboard is rather quiet, with heavy keystrokes making minimal noise — although the space bar does tend to make an annoyingly louder noise than other keys.
As this is a media keyboard, Microsoft has included plenty of shortcut keys. The top row of the keyboard contains most of these, beginning with buttons for email, Internet home page, Windows Messenger and Windows Media Player. Media controls allow you to navigate to the next or previous track, play, pause, and control volume, with a mute button also present. Sandwiched between these sets of keys are five programmable shortcut keys that you can assign to a number of folders, files or even Web pages.
Below the top row of shortcut keys are a row of F keys that double as more shortcut buttons. These keys include functions related to word processing, such as undo, redo, new page, save and print page. Perhaps the two shortcut buttons we valued most were the zoom buttons on the left side of the keyboard and the Windows Flip 3D key. The latter works similar to Expose on Mac OS X — you can view a 3D overlay of all open windows and cycle through them.
The accompanying software is simple to install and use. Conveniently, you can customise most of the key assignments.
Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.
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