Microsoft Digital Media Pro Keyboard
Like many others when it comes to parts of a computer I have in the past gone for a cheap and basic keyboard, don't get me wrong it works and that's fine but over the years these have failed, often don't include any programmable features and can be noisy. So when the latest cheap keyboard had a couple of crucial keys fail, it was time to upgrade and this time spend a little bit extra.
I decided to look for a mid-range model, I wasn't intreste3d in wireless as it would stay on a desk all day and I didn't see the point in using yet another set of batteries. My requirements where to buy a branded model as I had used too many cheap models previously and the keyboard had to be of standard layout, none of this splitting the keyboard in half for me. Also some programmable buttons would come in handy.
Well, the Microsoft Digital Media Pro Keyboard fitted the bill as I have been very happy with their other input devices and had heard good things about their keyboard range. Price wise this was the cheapest Microsoft model without paying more money for a wireless or Bluetooth version.
Keyboard, USB/PS/2 adapter, Software CD, Manual.
Well it has a standard layout with the addition of a Zoom slide on the left hand side. This can be useful for zooming in or out when viewing photos on screen or even standard documents, without the need to select the option from the tool bar.
Just above the Zoom slider there are three volume buttons to increase or decrease and mute the sound. Then above the function keys are buttons to Play, Stop, Rewind, and Fast Forward, to the right of these are five programmable keys.
Then continuing to the right are shortcut keys to My Documents, My Pictures, and My Music, along with Mail, Home Page, and Messenger keys. All of the function keys are preset with commands to open, undo, save, or spell at the press of a button.
The last shortcut keys are above the number pad and are set to open the calculator, log off or send the system into sleep mode. I make the total number of shortcut and programmable keys 21 not including the function keys.
The keys were very soft and made hardly any sound when being used. I noticed this a lot as with other keyboards they are often very noisy. These were very quiet and responsive.
The build quality of this model is very sturdy and to a high standard. The lower part of the board is designed to make it comfortable to use and depending on your preference you can use it with or without the supplied wrist rest which is made from plastic.
I think the Black and Silver colour scheme works well; the layout is typical and very easy to use. It comes with plenty of buttons to customise and make launching your applications easier. I think it's worth the £20 price tag and should be considered when you look to replace your current keyboard.