Finding a good wireless keyboard turned out to be trickier than what I initially imagined. All I wanted to get was a reliable wireless keyboard for my work with hot-desk setup. I can deal with cleaning my new desk location every morning with alcohol wipes, but having to clean the keyboard seems to be a hassle I can avoid with a good keyboard of my own.
There are a few criteria when I was searching for a keyboard. First, it needs to be wireless. Ideally I’d wanted it to be Bluetooth, but since the office laptop is an old machine with Windows 7, most Bluetooth keyboard available in the market today is not even compatible with the laptop. So I gave up the idea of Bluetooth keyboard. Next requirement is that the keyboard must be compact and lightweight, but the keys are somewhat close to full-sized keyboard. These combinations quickly eliminated most products available in the stores. I noticed that most keyboard with “compact” form-factor has smaller keys and most keyboards with full-sized keys are paired with ergonomic design, which translates into something bulky. Perhaps not a problem for permanent desk setup, but definitely not for my use case.
Last but not least, as a bonus requirement, since I’ve been using Apple keyboard in desktop computer and laptop for many years, I kinda hope that I could find Windows keyboard with similar look and feel, especially on the keys.
Few hours of Internet browsing got me a few candidates, most of them are Logitech. When I went to a store and actually look at the product, each and every one of them ended up having a deal-breaker factor. Then my eyes got focused into this Dell KM714 wireless keyboard. It uses 2.4 GHz USB wireless receiver for connectivity and comes in a combo of keyboard and mouse. It has numeric pad area without being unnecessarily wide, thanks to its directional arrow keys packed under the right Shift key.
I can’t tell you how much I love keyboards that put the Ctrl key on the bottom left side instead of the Fn key. Long years of habit is really hard to change and my finger will always reach to bottom left for Ctrl in Windows. Accidentally pressing Fn key multiple times in a day is more than frustrating.
The design of Dell KM714 is simple and solid. It has LED for battery indicator. It’s reasonably lightweight and the feel of pressing the keys are somewhat similar to the Apple Wireless Keyboard (first gen) that I still use at home. Love this keyboard. Have used this for more than 3 months and battery is still going strong. I don’t use the included mouse though. I love my old-and-reliable Logitech M905 Anywhere MX mouse and see no reason to even try this Dell mouse.
I enjoy working with Dell KM714 keyboard and will continue to do so. Good and solid product at reasonable price.