A keyboard for heavy computer users

Most people don't give a whole lot of thought to their computer's keyboard.

Many users just use whatever keyboard came with their computer. But there are some folks, like heavy-duty gamers or people who sit at a keyboard every day, who might want something a bit better.

A company called Metadot has a line of very nice keyboards that aim to help users with speed and accuracy. The Das Keyboard 4 Professional for Mac is one of the best-built on the market. It offers PC versions as well.

Das Keyboard is not perfect. For example, it does not have backlighting on the keys. And it's heavier than most at 2.9 pounds.

But the keys are made with Greetech mechanical key switches that use gold contacts and are rated to last 50 to 60 million keystrokes each. Users actually have a choice in the type of keys — soft tactile (brown switches) or "click" (blue switches). There are two high-speed USB 3.0 ports on the back that provide enough power to charge an iPhone or connect a thumb drive or mouse. And its USB cable is 6 ½ feet long, so you won't need to search for a USB extension cable if you keep your computer under your desk.




Printer has ink cartridges that last

The Epson Workforce ET-4550 comes equipped with enough ink to last up to two years. That would be enough to print 11,000 black pages and 8,500 color pages. That's equivalent to 50 sets of the ink cartridges (at a cost of about $4,000) many printers use. The printer costs $500. Net savings? Do the math.

The printer also copies, scans and faxes. Glossy color prints are high quality, but not in the league of the best inkjet printers. Black printing is laser-quality, but is slower than on other printers. The printer also is louder than many others.

Yet it's wireless, can work on its own network, prints on both sides and works with both Windows PCs and Macs.

If you're on a budget or you like to print and print and print, this printer cries out for your attention.

Tribune news service