Kensington Ci70 Keyboard with USB Ports
Price: $49.99 USD
I’m a pretty fast typist but the one thing I kept hearing while I was typing at home was “Why are you typing so loudly?” Hey, it wasn’t me, it was just the keyboard responding to my fingers flying over the keys. I’ve always, for the most part, used an Apple keyboard hooked up to my Macs. You know, the big, almost sounds like a typewriter, keyboards.
Now when I purchased and started to use my new MacBook in January, there were no longer any complaints of my banging the keyboard to death. Why, maybe because of the change in the keyboard style from the larger keys to the shorter, chicklet-like, keys on the MacBook. So when the chance came around to get a new Kensington Keyboard, with added USB ports, for my regular desktop Mac, I couldn’t resist.
Kensington’s new Ci70 keyboard (wired) provides the user with a smaller footprint than most of the other keyboards. The keyboard has been reduced in size by 35% and presents a lower and much more laptop-like keyboard for the user. The keyboard is very lightweight, comes only in black and typing is easy and enjoyable. One thing you have got to know from the start, Kensington decided that one model fits all, so the keyboard also has Window keys (or to a PC user, it has Mac keys) and it has also been tweaked to prevent any wasted space. If you take a look at the picture below, you’ll get a good idea of what I’m talking about in regards to there not being an inch of wasted space.
Here’s the other interesting point of Kensington’s Ci70 keyboard… they’ve added USB ports to the keyboard. I know, even Apple has USB ports on their keyboards. But Kensington’s keyboard, besides the two standard USB ports (one on top, one on the back) also has a mini-USB cable that hides on the top of the keyboard under a sliding cover that permits a digital camera user to hook up directly to the keyboard without having to go searching for their USB cable to hook up and download pictures. Kensington has put the cable right up on top for you to hook up, download, disconnect and then continue with whatever you were typing.
Under the same sliding cover, you will also find five control buttons that, from left to right, permit one to open up their CD/DVD drive, conduct a search of their Mac, open up the default email program, open up the default web browser, and finally, open up iTunes, or whatever your default music app is. Speaking of iTunes, Kensington also has five controls on the right side of the keyboard, right above the number pad, allowing you to start/pause your music app, move up and down your playlist and finally, raise or lower your volume.
As you can see above, the keyboard presents a very low profile. There are two small feet on the back of the keyboard to raise up the board, but it will no be well off the desk. However, I found it very easy to get used to and it did not present a problem at all.
Using the keyboard is great, it produces very little key noise. (scissor-key mechanism) Once you get used to the compressed keyboard, you’ll really enjoy it. The one thing that threw me for a loop was the fact that there is no Caps Lock indicator. I thought maybe I had a bad keyboard so I checked. It seems the caps lock function was intentionally left out in the keyboard’s design of a 35% smaller footprint. Once you get by that, unless you’re typing in a password and you’ve inadvertently now gone into Upper case and you can’t access what you need, it’s okay and not a big deal. Hooking up a camera to the mini-USB cable is fast and simple, just be aware it’s only five inches long so it will be close to your keyboard or on the top portion. I encountered no problems with syncing my iPod to my Mac. All in all, a great little keyboard.
So to review:
Pro: Easy to use, Mac/PC compatible, low profile, reduced size, provides 2 USB ports and one mini-USB cable. Looks good. Keyboard size: L 16.0″ x W 7.0″ x H 0.25″-1″
Cons: The only problem that I had with the keyboard was the lack of a Caps Lock indicator. (You’ll adjust to it)
Warranty: Kensington 5-Year Warranty and free technical support.
My Mac rating: 4 out of 5