Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Ten Digit Keypad = Add Tiny Geek Pit (Targus PAUK10U A0126554 Wired Keyboard review)

Note:  This is a review that I'm reposting from Epinions.  It has been modified slightly.

When I got a netbook, I soon realized that I’d need a ten-digit keypad.  I wanted something small and inexpensive.  I went to OfficeMax and found Targus USB Ultra Mini Keyboard Keypad for about $25.  It was small and under $30.  I also didn’t need to buy anything else, as it came with the cord to attach to the netbook.  There was no software to install, either.  I had a winner.

All I was looking for was something that had the ten-digit keypad.  I’m used to entering long strings of numbers using the ten-digit keypad and have become pretty good at it to the point where I find it difficult to enter numbers using the row of numbers at the top of the keyboard.  It was worth the $25 to buy the keypad just for that alone.

The keypad has been plug and play.  I didn’t have to download anything nor did I have to install stuff from a CD, which is important; my netbook doesn’t have an optical drive.  The one downside is that it does take a few seconds for the keypad to warm up.  There’s a green indicator light that lets you know when it’s good to go.  Actually, it's the number-lock key, but if you keep it on, it does serve this function well.  There have been a few times where I plugged the mouse in through the keyboard and couldn’t use the mouse until the keypad was ready.  At first, I thought the mouse had broken.  It took me a few seconds to realize what had happened.

Most laptops and netbooks come with several USB ports.  If you only have one on yours or you use all of them, the keypad has two USB ports.  I believe that they are USB 1.1, but I haven’t had a problem with them.  I’ve attached a USB mouse through the keypad and have been able to use both of them normally.  I’ve also been able to attach the mouse through a neighboring USB port on the netbook.

One big advantage is that, despite the name, the keys are big.  This makes things very easy, considering that I’m coming from a netbook with very small keys.   This is good both for people with big fingers or for those with not-so-good eyesight.

The only thing that I really question is a 000 key.  Presumably, this is meant for people that are dealing with whole powers of 1,000.  I find it ironic that I only need that key when I’m not using my netbook.  I’m a member of a site called Where’s George that tracks currency by entering the series and serial number.  Very rarely do I come across a serial number with 3 zeroes in it.  It almost always happens when I’m entering bills at home rather than when I’m away somewhere using the keypad.

The keypad has proven to be worth the $25.  One thing I’ve come to find about things designed to be small is that they’re often designed so small that they’re impossible to use.  This keypad has been the only exception so far.  It’s small and durable enough that I can carry it around with me in a backpack, but is still big enough that I can hit the key I want on the first try and not have problems with it.  I’d recommend this to anyone who has a netbook or laptop that doesn’t have a built-in 10-digit keypad.

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