The keyboard was around long before the computer or the mouse, and it has generally remained the same. Keyboards were heavily used in jobs that required a lot of data entry, and the number pad was added to make it easier for typists to enter numbers. Since right-handers are more common, the number pad was placed on the right side. Since the computer mouse debuted, the keyboard has continued to remain the same and some would say it is inefficient. The Evoluent Mouse-Friendly keyboard wants to bring efficiency back into your office. Read on for our full review of the Evoluent Mouse-Friendly keyboard.
The Evoluent Mouse-Friendly keyboard has the following features and specifications:
- USB port required. Does not work in PS2 port.
- Full functionality in Windows XP, 7, 8 and 10 (32 bit and 64 bit) without a driver. Some hotkeys on top row may not work in other Windows versions.
- Works with Mac, Unix, and Linux – except the hotkeys on the top row. With a Mac, the Windows key is the Mac key, and the eject key is pressing and holding F12. Num Lock is locked on.
- 15.4″ / 393 mm wide, 6.25″ / 159 mm deep, 0.5″ / 12 mm thick.
- Eliminates stretching your arm to reach the mouse by having the numeric keypad on the left.
- Your mouse may be much closer on the right.
- Allows your right arm to be in a relaxed neutral position when using the mouse.
- Reduces the need to remove your hand from the mouse by allowing your left hand to operate Enter, Del, Page Up, Page Down, arrows, and other keys in the numeric keypad on the left.
- Duplicate Page Up, Page Down, Home, End, Del, and arrow keys on the right.
- Full size arrows, Del, F’s, Ctrl, and Alt keys for easy operation.
- Extra Del key at the left end of the spacebar allows left-hand operation so you can keep your right hand on the mouse.
- Tactile bumps on often used keys such as Del, End, Page Down, Ctrl, and down arrow to aid operation by touch.
- Hot keys for one touch access to the Internet, e-mail, media player, volume control, standby, power off, and other functions.
- High quality, notebook computer-type key mechanisms with precision feel.
- Only 1/2 inch or 12.5 mm thick overall with ultra flat key caps.
The Evoluent Mouse-Friendly keyboard design doesn’t look or feel much different from any other keyboard in terms of build quality and aesthetics. It’s constructed from plastics, which do feel good but not really premium. Evoluent does shoot from some design flair with the exaggerated front lip outfitted in a chrome covered plastic with their logo. Overall there’s not a lot exciting about the look and feel of this keyboard. It’s basically a black shiny keyboard.
Ease of Use
Keyboards are generally easy to use, especially if you’re using one that you’re accustomed to. This Mouse-Friendly keyboard is going to take some getting used to, and I, honestly, had a very difficult time acclimating to it. At first, I thought it wouldn’t be too big of a deal having the number pad moved to the left, but I soon found out it was more difficult for me than I liked. Now, this isn’t to say you’ll have the same experience as me. Others may get used to typing on this very quickly. I’m sure it can be done.
With the number pad moved to the left, other keys had to be rearranged slightly which consistently threw me off. Evoluent’s concept is to give the user a more efficient workspace and workflow by reducing the movement the right arm and hand make to access the mouse.
I think the concept is amazing and will probably work for users who can tolerate the change in layout. I personally didn’t find the layout comfortable even with the added value of quicker mouse access and less arm movement. Ease of use is going to be a mixed bag of results for each individual, so I’d say if you have a chance to test it out before purchasing or are able to return if you don’t like it, then give it a go.
Tactile feedback of the keys on the keyboard is good, the keyboard is responsive and not overly clacky (which is annoying). If you can learn the new layout without issue I have no doubt the performance of the keyboard will be good enough and comparable to other keyboards.
Evoluent is asking $54.95USD for this keyboard which seems a bit higher than necessary. The pricing is probably due in part to the left placed number pad but I think this would be more reasonable at a $39.99USD price point. Still, if you feel the better mouse reach and left handed number pad would benefit you, then it may have that value for your needs.
If you can manage to adapt to this layout and want your mouse closer to your right hand, this keyboard may be for you. If you have a hard time adapting to new keyboard layouts, this may not be for you. The price would seem more reasonable at $39.99USD.
*We were sent a sample of the Evoluent Mouse-Friendly keyboard for the purposes of this review.
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