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INPUT DEVICES

TypeMatrix EZ-Reach 2030, a Different Kind of Keyboard
By: Shawn Milochik
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    2006-05-01

    Table of Contents:
  • TypeMatrix EZ-Reach 2030, a Different Kind of Keyboard
  • TypeMatrix Features
  • Stuff that I don't love
  • Conclusion

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    TypeMatrix EZ-Reach 2030, a Different Kind of Keyboard - Conclusion


    (Page 4 of 4 )

    The Fn key allows special features to be used, including shortcuts for Cut, Copy, and Paste. Also, an additional Home, End, and set of arrow keys are available within the normal letter-typing area. However, I didn't find either Fn key to be in a convenient spot which would allow me to take advantage of the special editing keys while touch-typing. If this key were moved or maybe programmable, then this keyboard could rival the Happy Hacking Keyboard in terms of keeping the fingers over the home keys instead of lifting them to another position or a pointing device.

    My 2030 is the Dvorak model, which is labeled in Dvorak but switchable by the function key to be able to be used in either the Simplified Keyboard Layout (Dvorak) or QWERTY. Oddly, the keyboard is QWERTY by default. Even more oddly, I like it that way. The reason is that the two machines I use most often are laptops. So I have the OS set to Dvorak, allowing me to use the built-in keyboards if I have to. And the ability to take advantage of the hard-wired layout change helps when it comes to typing my password to log into a Windows machine, or when using a DOS utility or a simple command-line Linux interface to fix a problem on another machine.

    My overall impression of this keyboard is that it's small, nice-looking, and I love typing on it. There are a few things I'm not in love with, such as the odd placement of the Alt and Fn keys, and the fact that -- for the Mac -- the Cmd (Apple) key is in a weird place. But the non-staggered layout really has me held fast. I'm hoping they'll come out with a Mac version or, even better, a version with jumpers to allow re-mapping of a handful of important keys, like the Happy Hacking keyboard had. At the moment, this keyboard is entirely plug & play; there are no special drivers required, nor does the company even produce any.

    I recommend this keyboard to anyone who isn't happy with the norm, and with a $110 pricetag, it's pretty cheap compared to the other "alternative" keyboards out there. The manufacturer's website is TypeMatrix.com.


    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.
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