What Do I Get for an Extra $240 for a Keyboard?
You can buy a keyboard for $10…or $55…or even $250. Why such a difference in price for something you just use to input data? The short answer is that keyboards can come with a lot of performance factors and features based on their price.
Our clients – who have widely varying technology needs – constantly ask our advice on what to buy, and their questions cover every conceivable piece of equipment. Even the seemingly innocuous keyboard can have myriad considerations: mechanical or electronic, wired or wireless, backlighting modes, function keys, travel distance and even key rollover, which gets into how many keys you can hit at once and still get your desired input.
A recent video on MSN compared three Logitech keyboards: one for $10, one for $55, and another for $250. Watching two self-proclaimed geeks discuss the merits of each was entertaining and informative enough to start anyone thinking about selection factors for a keyboard. It’s obvious that if you’re a gamer, you want a keyboard that has a really short travel distance (the distance a key – or switch – travels to record what you entered); it can be the difference between electronic life and death. More function keys give you more options for firing your weapons, and a scrolling sound control could prevent you from blowing out your hearing or getting dirty looks from people nearby.
Keyboards are not restricted just to desktop computers. Some users have trouble with the keyboards on laptop computers, especially the smaller, lighter-weight models that don’t offer all the function keys needed for their work. Users who rely more and more on tablets and phones to work on planes, trains and buses find their built-in keyboards impractical if not impossible for working with reasonable speed and accuracy. If you check out this video, you’ll get an idea of what features would be desirable for you and how much you can expect to spend.
If you’re considering just the price, Logitech’s K120, a $10 keyboard with a hard-wired connection to your computer, will likely give you the functionality you need to work with business applications, browse the internet and handle email. As the video points out, you’ve probably used it in a library, and I’m more than willing to bet you bought it because you figured a keyboard is a keyboard.
But if you look at the K845 in the video, you’ll learn about what makes a more feature-laden keyboard a better value at $55. By the way, this is in the lower end of a $50-to-$80 price range for that product. One feature that many will appreciate is backlighting, especially if you need to work in a darkened area. You also get much better key rollover – many keys instead of just two – by spending the extra $45, and that could be a major benefit if you type really fast.
Naturally, the most expensive of the group, the G915, got rave reviews for its features, feel and ability to go wireless. But we urge you to pay attention to their comments on the feel of typing and think about what you need and feel comfortable with, including the price.
The takeaway is that the cheapest price isn’t always the best bargain, but you can find something that fits your needs by looking a little more closely at features, feel and price. Logitech isn’t the only keyboard manufacturer, either. We’re more than happy to talk about your keyboard needs, whether you’re a heavy-duty gamer or you need multiple keyboards for your office. Give us a call – 973-433-6676 – or email us with your questions.