To provide additional portability to computer users, IT manufacturers have created wireless keyboards that do not have to be kept at the user's desk. Wireless keyboards can be used by both desktop and laptop users as the technology used in wireless keyboards is universal to all computer models. While wireless keyboards may offer additional mobility for some computer users, however, they may not be for everyone. This article will explore the advantages and disadvantages of owning and using a wireless keyboard so that the user can make an informed decision before purchasing such a device.
What is a Wireless Keyboard
A wireless keyboard is a regular keyboard that is not connected to your computer by any cables. Instead, wireless keyboards use either radio waves or infrared laser technology to connect to a wireless adapter that is plugged into the computer's USB port. Wireless keyboards offer portability and flexibility to the user as the user can move the keyboard around without having to keep it directly on a desk.
The main advantage of using a wireless keyboard rather than a regular keyboard is that it offers much more mobility. A wireless keyboard can be used on a lap, in a bed, or just used while on-the-go for laptop users. All wireless keyboards use either radio waves or infrared to communicate with the wireless adapter that usually comes with the keyboard. The keyboards that use radio waves have much more flexibility as they do not need to "see" the wireless adapter. Wireless keyboards that use infrared, however, need to be in a direct viewing range of the wireless adapter – much like a TV remote.
Lack of Clutter
The other advantage of a wireless keyboard is that there is a lot less clutter involved compared to a regular keyboard. While regular keyboards generally have a long cable that has to be wrapped around other things to fit on the user's desk, a wireless keyboard just sits wherever the user puts it and communicates with the wireless adapter without using any cables whatsoever. Wireless keyboards can also be moved out of the way when the user wants to use their desk for other things such as paperwork.
While wireless keyboards offer mobility and lack of clutter, they tend to be slower than regular keyboards. Computer users who type at a fast rate may experience problems with their wireless keyboard as it may hesitate to register keystrokes or not register some keystrokes at all. The majority of wireless keyboard users do not report any problems with this but it is something to consider before purchasing a wireless keyboard.
Another disadvantage of using a wireless keyboard is that it has to be installed and configured before it can be used. Regular keyboards, on the other hand, run on Plug and Play software and work immediately after they are plugged in. The majority of users will not have a problem with the configuration but some users, particularly those with limited technical skills, may have a problem setting up their wireless keyboard.
Another thing to consider before purchasing a wireless keyboard is that it operates on battery power rather than using electricity from the user's computer. Most wireless keyboards use four AA lithium batteries so the user does not have to worry about finding special batteries but they will need to be replaced regularly. Some models of wireless keyboards have a longer battery life than others with the average generally being between six and fifteen months. While this sounds great, the user will need to make sure that they always have spare batteries or a regular keyboard nearby so that their wireless keyboard does not spontaneously stop working.
The final disadvantage to consider before purchasing a wireless keyboard is that there are limited options on models. Wireless keyboards are still rather new to the market so many of them are expensive and contain a lot of extra features that are not needed and are only added so that manufacturers can raise the price. The user should consider whether or not they really need a wireless keyboard and, if so, what features are desired in a wireless keyboard. The best option would probably be to purchase a used wireless keyboard from Amazon or eBay.