Saturday, October 6, 2012

IOGEAR Spill Resistant Keyboard and Mouse Combo

IOGEAR Spill Resistant Keyboard and Mouse Combo
Model: GKM513

By: Kurt von Behrmann
A keyboard for the discerning who want comfort and performance
What you get out of the box:
  • 1 x Spill Resistant USB Keyboard
  • 1 x USB Optical Mouse
  • 1 x Quick Start Guide
  • 1 x Warranty Card

From keyboards that light up, to keyboards that add usb functionality, there are a plethora of options when it comes to what the market has to offer.  All of this is great in terms of choice. However, if you are simply looking for decent keyboard that offers a nice touch, basic functionality and do not want to “break the bank,” Iogear has the kind of keyboard that writers will like, and everyone else may appreciate.
Common wisdom has been the ultimate in keyboards are wireless models. The advantages of not being tethered to large computer case are obvious.  What is not so clear is that wireless means batteries, and that means  having to be concerned with recharging. 
The big problem with anything involving batteries is replacing them.  Almost invariably, when you need the keyboard and mouse the most, that is when the power runs down.  This immediately means replacing the battery.  If you are running short of time and extra batteries, that means frustration.
The other problem with wireless keyboards and mice is the issue of connectivity.  Depending on what models you are working with, even the best wireless device can run into that odd moment when the connection between computer and mouse goes south.  Naturally, this always seems to happen when least prepared.
For those reasons, not even factoring expense and the cumbersome fact of having to stop, replace batteries and go back to business, the disadvantages outweigh the benefits for some users.
This is where a wired keyboard and mouse combo makes sense. 
This is where Iogear offers up a solution that is elegant in its simplicity while providing a lot more that its modest $ 19.95 price point might indicate.
For those who have used a variety of keyboards and mice, it becomes clear that not all keyboards are equal.   Some keyboards and mice that ship with computers can be very good.  Others can be just average.  The same holds true for third party companies that offer up keyboard and mice combos.  Some can be very good. Some can be mediocre at best.
            If you believe that price is an indication of quality, be prepared for a shock.  There are some pricy models that simply do not work that well in the real world. There have been some very “avant-garde” mice that look good. So good they would do well in a museum.  But in practice, they are about as much fun to use a brick.
            There have also been some unique “twists” on the design of keyboards that are intriguing and look as if they may be a real move forward in design.  Then when one uses them, the problems emerge. 
            As with something like this, designs that are too forward thinking can become impractical.  When usability takes a back seat to aesthetics, problems quickly arrive.
            Iogear avoids all of that by creating a basic keyboard. It is not unattractive.  It is not obtrusive or prone to drawing attention to itself.  This design is about pure function.
            While the looks are subtle, the real pros of the Iogear GKM513 are in the use. 
            Put simply, the keyboard has a great feel to it.  While something like this is subjective, the responsiveness of the keys make typing a real pleasure.  It is one of those qualities that is hard to quantify.  When you work with a lot of keyboards and mice, the feel of a keyboard, the way the keys feel to the fingers, all of those little things add up to a big difference. 
            Something that maybe as trival as spacing and size can make a huge difference between a keyboard that is a pleasure to use and one that is anything but pleasant.  Iogear hits all of the right notes here.
            Another area that is well worth looking into is the mouse. Too heavy to handle, and you feel as if you are working with a tool from the Stone Age. Iogear hit an excellent balance between weight and feel with a mouse that feels as if it were not tied to your usb port. Much lighter than most mice, but not feeling insubstantial, the IOGEAR mouse has a more premium feel without the added heft.
            Again, what makes this combo work is not a beavy of features. The high points that this combo is centered around is  being billed as a spill resistant combo.  This is great.  However, the real “high” point here is that the GKM513 is about providing a very high quality typing and mouse handling experience without exorbitant price points.
            If your needs are a great feel, and low price up keep in this case no batteries to replace, IOGEAR has produced  real winner that puts some of it more higher priced competitors to shame.

Key Specs Below:
·         Operating System Support
Windows 2000/ XP/VISTA/7; MAC OS X (10.2.x or later)
Operating Temperature
For Keyboard: 0~40°C (32~104°F) / Mouse: 0~40°C (32~104°F)
Storage Temperature
-20~60°C (-4~140°F)
Connectors (Output)
USB 1.1 /2.0
800 dpi

Unit Dimensions
Keyboard: 17.625 in (44.77 cm) Mouse: 2.41 in (6.12 cm)
Keyboard: 1.125 in (2.86 cm) Mouse: 1.625 in (4.13 cm)
Keyboard: 5.50 in (13.97 cm) Mouse: 4.29 in (10.90 cm)