Posted July 27, 2006
A colleague recently asked me to help her fix her computer keyboard—the semi-colon key kept sticking. I took a look and was, to be honest, a little disgusted. The whole thing was not only so grimy I hesitated to touch it, but you could see all manner of nasty stuff (cookie crumbs and...was that guacamole?) lurking down in the recesses between the keys. I could have shown her how to pry the keys off and clean the key contacts with ethyl alcohol wipes and Q-tips, but instead I recommended a total makeover. Even if your keyboard isn't revolting, the quickest way to massively improve your computing experience on the cheap is with a brand new keyboard set-up. For my money, the best options on the market right now are the Logitech diNovo Cordless Desktop keyboard-and-mouse kit for PCs (shown), and the Logitech Cordless Desktop S-530 Laser keyboard-and-mouse kit for Macs (which is similar to the PC version, but all white). Both are cordless, both have scroll-wheel mice (to make navigating Web pages and long documents easier), and both have programmable hot keys (the Mac version, for instance, has a dedicated iTunes button). Both will make you feel, for $100 or less, like you've got a whole new computer.
$100 ($70 after rebate through Sept. 30) for PC version and $75 for Mac version at J&R Music and Computer World, 15 Park Row, between Ann and Beekman Sts.; 212-238-9000; jr.com.