Computer Keyboards

In addition to standard computer keyboards, Staples carries a wide selection of flexible, handheld, laser, ergonomic and gaming keyboards. Choose one that suits your usage habits and design preferences.

Choosing Between Wired and Wireless Keyboards
Wired keyboards connect to computers via USB. These plug-and-play devices do not require users to pre-install drivers or additional software. While some wired keyboards have PS/2 connectors, most modern models connect to computers via USB. Wireless keyboards are ideal for eliminating clutter from workspaces. They allow users to keep typing even when several feet away from their computers. These keyboards run on removable or rechargeable batteries. They also use RF (radio frequency) technology for wireless communication.

Features to Look for in a Computer Keyboard
After choosing a type of keyboard, consider the arrangement of its keys. Not all computer keyboards have the popular QWERTY key layout. Some PC users prefer non-standard key layouts and find them more comfortable to use. In addition to layout, there are other features to consider when shopping for keyboards. For example, keystroke travel distance and key spacing are important considerations for those who write a lot on their computers. In addition, numeric keypads are a necessary feature for those who use their keyboards for entering numbers into spreadsheets.

Another consideration is backlighting. A backlit keyboard makes typing easier in dimly lit rooms. This is a common feature on high-end laptops and gaming keyboards. Some other convenient keyboard features include media buttons for controlling movie and music playback and padded wrist rests on ergonomic keyboards to help reduce wrist strain during long gaming or writing sessions.

What Is a Gaming Keyboard?
Gaming keyboards differ from standard models in build quality and design. Many eschew spongy electrical or membrane switches for mechanical switches because they are more responsive and offer better tactile feedback. Some even have swappable keys. These specialty keyboards also often have customizable keys for programming macro commands and colorful LED lighting on select function keys. Like standard keyboards, gaming keyboards usually connect via USB.

Do Computer Keyboards Wear Out?
Yes, computer keyboards wear out with time and continued use. The letters painted on their keys fade. In addition, the switches underneath those keys lose their firmness after a while and become less responsive to key presses.

Do PC Keyboards Work with Macs?
All PC keyboards work with Mac computers. However, some keys on Windows keyboards need remapping to work properly on Mac OS. For example, the placement of the option or alt key on a PC keyboard matches the position of the command key and not the option key on a Mac keyboard. Similarly, users have to reassign the Windows key to become the new Mac option key. To remap these keys, go to the keyboard settings menu on Mac OS X.

Can Wireless Keyboards Interfere with Wi-Fi Signals?
Yes, wireless keyboards can interfere with Wi-Fi signals. That is because radio frequency keyboards use the same 2.4GHz frequency used by most wireless devices, including Wi-Fi routers.

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