The Greatest Keyboard Ever – Adesso Tru-Form™ Pro – Contoured Ergonomic Keyboard with Built-In Touchpad and Hot Keys (black)

Allow me to tell you about one of the best hardware investments I recently made. It’s the Adesso Tru-Form™ Pro – Contoured Ergonomic Keyboard with Built-In Touchpad and Hot Keys (black). I originally got this for my laptop, which is still running Windows XP. I’m very picky about my keyboards, and this one’s so awesome, I’m now in need of another one so I don’t have to swap this excellent piece between both computers!

I discovered this keyboard when I found myself needing a touch pad constructed into the keyboard. Adesso is the only manufacturer I found providing a wave-shape ergonomic split multimedia keyboard with built in touchpad. I purchased this black keyboard with the matching ps/2 to USB adaptor and had it delivered to my home for under $75 USD. They have a white model that would be better matched to the Mac users for a similar price.

To me, its number one feature is the built-in touchpad. This is what I was looking for in the keyboard when I originally purchased it. This allows the user to not be tied to a mousing surface, while giving us a full-sized ergonomic keyboard. This extends the “portability” of my laptop tenfold. The touchpad has a unique feature lacking from the laptop’s built-in : on-pad right click area. Touching the upper right corner of the touch pad is the same as right clicking. Yes, the keyboard still offers a dedicated right click button as well. I didn’t have to load any drivers to get it to work properly in Ubuntu on my desktop or XP on my laptop. However, I was able to download driver’s from Adesso’s home page and achieve some more configuration options.

The keyboard features an excellent ergonomic design, which is a must for any person suffering carpal tunel syndrome like myself. The space bar is split, and requires some adjustment if you’re more accustomed to the Microsoft layout with a solid, one piece bar. It’s more of a wave-shape than most ergonomics, which makes the numeric keypad more friendly. It also sports the inverted T arrow design that Microsoft abandoned on some ergonomic designs. I also appreciate the 3×2 word processing key (insert,home,page up,delete end, page down) arrangement.

The Tru-Form™ Pro also makes generous use of its size and offers the usual array of multimedia keys.

It’s not too heavy, so it’s a great addition for use in your lap while you’re surfing from the couch. The cord is of an appropriate length for this. It only comes with ps/2 connections, and demands two of them (mouse and keyboard). Adesso takes care of those of us lacking PS/2 connections by offering a perfectly matching PS/2 to USB adapter.(not included) Fortunately, it only requires one USB port and extends the cable’s reach some more inches.

It does have some room for improvement, so I look forward to an updated model. This is probably a tall order, but I’d like to see scalability on the touchpad allowing for proportional 16:10 or 16:9 touch-to-screen movement, so that I don’t have to pickup my finger to drag something across the entire screen. I’d also like to see better use of the vacant real estate between the left and right sides of the keyboard. For example, I miss the Zoom and Back/Forward features of my Microsoft Natural 4000. Also, having a high demand on portability, I would appreciate some attention to halving the heft. The touchpad is below the space bar. This works for both right and left handed people, but for either person, it’s more practical on the user’s respective dominant side. I’d much rather have mine on the right and would be willing to pay a higher price for such a tailored model.

Considering the stack of features, the price tag was comfortable. Keep in mind that you’re getting a mouse and a full-featured ergonomic multimedia keyboard together. Having owned mine for a couple of months already, I can tell you the keyboard shell and keys are sturdy enough that it’s sure to last for a long time. Even my wife likes it so much she agrees we need another.