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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Keyboards | Keyboard Construction and Operation | Other Regular Keyboard Components ]


Ho-hum, the keyboard comes in a plastic box. Boy, can I possibly find anything less interesting to talk about in describing this already fairly mundane device? Wait and see. (Just kidding. ;^) ) Sure, the keyboard case is basically a plastic box, but it too has its nuances and important attributes, so it's worth a quick look.

The case of course holds all of the internal components of the keyboard, including its processing circuitry, and the keyswitches (including their supporting hardware). On the bottom of the keyboard case, some keyboards include "tracks" into which you can fit part or all of the keyboard cable; these are very useful in keeping extra keyboard cable from making a mess of your work area. The LED indicators are set into the top of the case, which is usually textured much the way the keycaps themselves are.

The case affects the overall comfort and ergonomics of the keyboard. The case determines the overall shape and structure of the keyboard: some are relatively flat while others are sloped sharply. Which is better depends, as usual, on personal taste; the best designs are relatively flat but include angle adjusters, making the angle user-controllable. Some keyboards also incorporate a wrist rest in the front, to support the hands during work and (hopefully) prevent some types of repetitive stress injuries. See here for more on wrist supports.

The case is also important to some people from an aesthetic standpoint. Some keyboards just look nicer than others. Cases are available in colors ranging from "that standard PC beigy color" to black, with lots of shades in between; I have also seen translucent colored cases on the market. (As an aside, must everyone try to copy the iMac with the see-through pastel-colored cases? Yuck. :^) )

Next: Feet and Angle Adjusters

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