Urgent Keyboard Recommendations Solicited!

Isn’t watching TV willfully forcing fragmented optical and auditory illusions into a plausible series of events? When was that last you you were having diner at home with the wive(s) and all of the sudden an orchestra starts playing?

You haven’t tried the little square pink pills with a clover leaf stamp on the top, yet, I take it.

No. Should I? Does the wife(s) need one too?

Aside from it waking an indeterminate number of wives and dogs, is the Tactile Pro a keyboard you’d recommend? I’ve been on the fence about getting one, since I have my own “office” at home. It shares a wall with the bedroom, but my special lady friend often wears earplugs – I think the cats snore or something.


I love my Tactile Pro 2, but it’s a sometimes irrational love.

I’m assuming you want this kind of keyboard — clackity Alps keys, lots of feedback, a sturdy thing to pound on. If that’s the case, this is resolutely THIS kind of keyboard. I’ve beaten the crap out of this thing for two or three years now, and it’s doing just fine.

You can wash it in the diswasher, on cold, on the top shelf. You have to let it dry for like a week, so it’s become a vacation ritual for me. Before I leave, I make sure the stove is off and the keyboard is in the dishwasher.

Drawbacks: It has these plastic feet that keep it propped up at an angle, and they break all the time. All. The. Time. The Matias people are a friendly bunch of Canadians, and they’ll send you new ones for free, but it’s a problem. I fixed it by replacing the feet with that clay-like sticky stuff you use to hang posters on the wall in dorm rooms, and that works well for me. If you’re the kind of person who is inclined to think “I spent $150 on this thing and I have to prop it up with PlastiTac!?!?!” then it may not be for you. (Looking at the pictures of the new one, it does seem like the feet are sturdier on the 3. I don’t know.)

The 2 has two USB plugs. Not ports. Plugs. You have to plug the thing in to two holes. It is, to say the least, inelegant. It is, to say the most, ghetto. I think they’ve fixed this too.

So, it is what it is. Like the dog that it wakes up, I love it a great deal, even when it’s stupid.

Mr Coffee,

I believe you have just replaced the top line of “best internet quotes ever” list. It is a short list of … one line … but you have reached it.

Although come to think of it the previous top line was yours as well. This is a disturbing trend.

Seconds this.

Which part? I assume it is the use of the word “disturbing”…

If you really want to be different, check out the compact little FrogPad, which is supposed to be coming back into production soon:


Here’s the Wikipedia article on the FrogPad


And a YouTube video:


Looks like it’d be great for single-handed typing at a reasonable speed. Amazon even sold a white Bluetooth version to mixed reviews:

amazon.com/Bluetooth-FrogPad … B000222734

–Michael W. Perry

Letting your wrists rest on a surface while typing, means compressing the muscles that move your hands and fingers. Not a good idea.


After trial and error I’ve settled on the Logitech diNovo keyboard (mac edition). It has the right amount of tactile feedback and wireless and has not needed new batteries in nearly a year. I’ve written 90K words on it and I can’t fault it. Oh, and it’s available in the UK…


I had checked that Web site in the past, but this one seemed like a better option since it offers a high degree of customization:

Quite expensive, though.

I can’t recommend the Matias Tactile Pro. The previous poster is right, the little feet broke easily. The keyboards are white and get dirty very easily (although I never tried to wash one in the dishwasher). But the case would crack as well. Good keys, but the rest of the keyboard left something to be desired.

I use a DAS keyboard, it’s very sturdy. I have my own writing space so I’m not bothering anyone with the sound of my typing and you get used to the noise, to me it sounds like progress. I like the sound and the DAS is much more like a tank than the typical Apple keyboard.

Like Keith, I used to use a Macally and it was a very good keyboard.

This will be either terribly off-topic, or dead-on. However, having seen that semi-vertical monstrosity… I, too, will suffer nightmares and anxiety for days to come. So, here goes…

I was searching for a good writing keyboard a month or so ago. Bought one of those fancy- looking ergonomic, soft-touch beauties for a pretty penny. A week later, my hands were cramping and I was ready to toss it out the nearest window! That thing had been created by Satan!

So, the search resumed and this time I had found something that is not a keyboard at all! I now handwrite on a tablet and it recognizes the text and types it. It’s an old idea, but before I had never seen it implemented well enough to be useful. Now, it absolutely is! I’ve written about 10,000 words with it over the last few weeks. The accuracy is good, while my handwriting is Not. The speed is as good if not better than with a keyboard. Well… At least that’s how it feels to me. I’ve never measured whether I type faster than I handwrite. Hand fatigue… I don’t know. Does a hand get more tired using a pen and paper than a keyboard? Maybe. Maybe not. Anyway, I am a compete convert. In general, I think better while sitting on a couch by an open window with a pen in my hand. Creativity comes more reluctantly to me in front of a keyboard. Archaic, I know, but it’s true. I’ve always said that typing up the stuff later is my first major editing run… But it does suck and it is counterproductive.

The handwriting app is WritePad. They have it for the iPad, but I use it on my Android Xoom tablet. The mobile version of Dropbox syncs the files to my proper computer (with Satan’s keyboard still attached) and then on to Scrivener for integration, organization and editing. So far, it’s been a dream!

I should caution that a couple of left-handed colleagues had a hard time keeping their wrist from resting on the pad, but they might how sorted that out with a trial that lasted longer than a few seconds. My own learning curve was maybe ten minutes.

Here are some links:
The app:

The stylus:

Note: I published this is another forum, but I’m reposting it because it might be more likely to be seen here.

OWC is currently selling the Apple iPad keyboard dock (list $69) for $28.


It’ll turn an iPad (in portrait mode) into a quasi laptop by letting you type on the standard Apple keyboard rather than touch the screen. The base is weighed and sticks out, so it isn’t too portable, but it would be fine around the house or office.

At an Apple store, a salesman also demonstrated to me that it worked quite well with the iPod touch 2-gen I had at that time. It may or may not work with other iPod touches and iPhones, depending on how well it fits into a base designed for the 1-gen iPad. You might check out what you have before you buy. Also, used with an iPod touch, the special loudness and screen brightness keys work.

They also have the compact aluminum Apple Bluetooth keyboard for $50.


That’ll work fine with iPads and recent iPhones and iPod touches. These units come without the fancy packaging and may have minor cosmetic blemishes. (One I bought a few months ago had a small ding in the aluminum.) My hunch is that these units come from production lots Apple rejected for some reason but allows to be sold on the grey market. They are guaranteed to work.

There are also numerous other Apple products at decent discounts including the larger aluminum keyboard, MacBook power supplies, the Magic trackpad, iPad cases, and earphones with the special Apple remote. You can find a complete list at:


Look through the entire, two-page list before making up your mind. Some items have multiple prices depending on their condition. I’ve bought from OWC several times before and never regretted it.

–Michael W. Perry, Untangling Tolkien