Lenovo Enhanced Performance USB keyboard

Price:  $59 AUD (i got it free with the Lenovo 3000 J series desktop)

Score: 6.5/10

Pros:

-Integrated usb hub port offering 2 extra 1.1 usb ports

-Good ergonomic

-Multimedia control

-Includes rubberised palmrest

-All black design

-High quality construction

-Integrated Blue Thinkvantage button

Cons:

-Key feels not that good (keys feel mushy)

-Many of the quick launch button requires the 110 mb drivers file to operate

-Driver support is outdated

-only usb 1.1 hub ports (which seems to be a common standard on desktop keyboards)

Verdict: An modest keyboard, but i would not go out and buy it at the listed price. Spend an extra 15 dollars and get the ThinkPad USB keyboard with Trackpoint for $79 instead.

Lenovo Enhanced Performance USB Keyboard

Review

I had this keyboard for a quite a while now, it was packaged with the Lenovo 3000 J series desktop that i had. This keyboard has much the same key tactility as the Lenovo Preferred Pro USB keyboards, which means the keys feel mushy and thus not a very good typing keyboard. However, since the price of this keyboard does double that of the entry level Lenovo Preferred Pro USB keyboards, therefore there are other features included to justify the price hike that are bundled with this keyboard.

These extra features come in the form of extra shortcut or quick launch key options, for things such as calculators, word processor, spreadsheet, internet, etc, or you could customize your key functionality with the included software/driver. However, a word of warning the software is about 110 mb in size, and it sometimes produce odd behaviour in Vista and Windows 7.

The keyboard also includes multimedia control keys, like mute, volume control, play, stop, forward, reverse, etc, all of which are useful if you work with lot of multimedia contents or play lot of audio/videos, these controls doesn’t require any installation of drivers, they are directly supported by Windows operating system. There is also a set of webpage forward and back page keys on the keyboard, which are useful if you need to go through lot of webpages. However, these keys are not placed in a convenient spot, where you can use them easily, which prevents them from been properly utilised, but it also prevents you from accidentally touching them. This keyboard also has a blue Thinkvantage key which allows you activate the Rescue and Recovery environment during startup, where you can restore from backup or restore the desktop/laptop to the factory condition from the hidden recovery partition.

Finally, it would be amiss of me to not mention that this keyboard has two usb ports (but it is only usb 1.1 ports), where you can plug in low power and low bandwidth device like a mouse, etc.

Conclusion

It is an okay keyboard, but it is held by the poor driver support and mushy key feel. It would be a much better investment to get the ThinkPad USB keyboard with Trackpoint for $79 and use that as your main desktop keyboard, it have all the features of this keyboard minus the usb hub, but you get far better key tactility in a far more compact package.

References

[1] http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/product-and-parts/detail.page?&LegacyDocID=MIGR-54780

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