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Cheap Keyboards and Mice

Posted 06-16-2010 at 10:05 PM by disturbed1

The keyboards for my main PCs are quite old. Purchased sometime between 1999 and 2001. They are not the cleanest of things, some ink on the letters have worn off, and a few keys have become a little difficult to press at times. The oldest one is a Logitec multimedia keyboard, the other is a nice HP model with multimedia keys from the only OEM PC I've ever owned. They still work, they just have years of dust and dirt build up.

This got me thinking about the reason I still have these old keyboards. It's not that I haven't purchased new ones. It's that all the new ones suck. It's getting harder to find something that's not cordless. Cordless sucks - I've had a few $20 models and $60 models - they all stink. Eat batteries, lose the connection periodically, some worse than others. If it ever loses the connection, even if it's only twice a month, it's unacceptable to me. A corded keyboard and mouse never lose connection unless it's unplugged.

These newer keyboards seem to be made for children. Smaller keys, miniature backspace key, a 2x3 home/pg up/pg down layout instead of the 3x2 layout. Not sure why everything has to be made smaller and cheaper today. I'll pay a decent price for a decent keyboard. I won't pay $40 for a piece of crap that wears out after 3 months of use.

My two most recent victims were a Microsoft 3000 series keyboard, and a Kessington 6 button mouse with a wheel that rocks left and right. Great mouse. The size was nice, not some miniture thing that cramps your hand. Plenty of buttons, plus I mapped the rocking wheel to switch virtual desktops.

After 2 months of use, the left click stopped responding with every press. I put up with it because it was a $25 mouse, plus it had a great feel, and plenty of features. 4 weeks after that, left click hardly works, and right click no longer responds at all. 3 months of use for a $25 mouse is unacceptable.

The Microsoft keyboard seemed ok at first. It was a little smaller than my other 2 keyboards. The keys are slightly smaller, and not as spaced apart as my 2 old keyboards. The buttons felt a little spongy too. Figured I'd get used to it sooner or latter. After 3 weeks, the space bar quit responding on every press, one return press responds with 2-3 carriage returns, the Q key sticks now and then. Microsoft used to actually re-brand decent devices.

Off to Microcenter I went. They have these cheap keyboards and mice made by a company called Gear Head. $5 for a keyboard and $3 for the mouse. I picked up 10 of each. That's $50 in keyboards, and $30 in mice, slightly more than the cost of a keyboard and mouse from so-called higher quality manufacturers. The way I see it, considering I'm getting ~2-4 months on average out of current decent quality hardware, if I use 10 each of these el-cheapos with in a year, I'll still have spent less money on the cheap stuff.

Sadly, this $5 keyboard, and $3 mouse have, so far, outlasted both the Microsoft keyboard, and Kessington mouse. 6 months in, and everything still works.

These are not my pictures, but they show the models I'm talking about.
Logitech keyboard
HP keyboard
Microsoft Keyboard
Gear Head Keyboard
Kessington Mouse
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  1. Old Comment
    Been there and am doing the same. It is sad that they (manufactures) are turning us into a throw - a - way society. I would rather pay for 10 times more for something that would last 10 or better times longer but I think that will only happen in rare instances these days.
    Posted 06-17-2010 at 06:46 AM by Larry Webb Larry Webb is offline


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