Ergonomics!

16 Feb

Talking to Joan a few weeks ago, she told me that laptops are supposed to be really bad for you ergonomically. Basically either the screen is too low or the keyboard is too high, and it’s supposed to be really bad for your posture.

I bought the Coolermaster Ergostand, which came recommended by Howie. He paid $38 for it at MSY and was sad when they reduced the price to $35. Then I found it for $32 at CPL and he was even sadder.

image from Coolermaster

It’s multifunctional – there’s a fan to keep your laptop cool and it enables you to raise your laptop screen to eye level so you’re not hunched over. There are also 4 built-in USB ports, so instead of losing a USB port you actually gain 3! James was very jealous, and said that if he could do it again he would have bought this one instead of the cooler he did buy. His laptop cooler is just a laptop cooler.

Apparently the rule of thumb for using your laptop as a desktop is that you need either a separate screen or a separate keyboard. Cos if the screen is at the correct height then your hands are too high, and if your hands are at the correct height then you’re hunching over to look at the screen. So I bought the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000:

image from Microsoft

I bought the UK version so the left shift key is a bit smaller. That’s irritating me a bit right now because I keep hitting the \ key that has taken the other half of the shift key, but I expect that I’ll eventually get used to it.

You can’t really tell from any of the photos, but the keyboard is actually really weird looking. The plush wrist resting pad is raised up (though you can change that if you prefer your wrists to be lower) and the keys are pointing inwards. Supposedly it’s a better position for your hands. Also all the keys are pointing inwards. I’m not sure what the technical reason for that is, but I am finding that my hands have to move a lot less to type, so maybe this shape is better at mimicking the natural curve of your hands when you rest them on the keyboard.

Also the middlish keys are larger than the others, which makes them easier to hit. You can see that the keyboard is split in half (the thing in the middle is a zoom slider so you can zoom in on your screen – it’s actually a really useful addition). The split keyboard has made me realise that I’ve been touch typing incorrectly. I’ve been hitting the b key with my right pointer finger, but I guess you’re actually supposed to hit it with your left.

Mouse has totally been eyeing my new keyboard and I’ve seen suspicious tufts of fur left on it. I’m especially worried because he has a bit of a history of inconveniently draping himself on stuff.

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2 Responses to “Ergonomics!”

  1. Cat February 16, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I hit he b with my pointer as well =(. Also, lol at rude Mouse

    • pamperedhousewife February 16, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

      That happened when James was at a lunch meeting. He had to leave his laptop on for some reason so he told me to keep Mouse off.

      I took that picture with my phone and sent it to him and he SMS’d me back with just “!”. I laughed and laughed.

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