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Flex Keyboard

Former staff writer    -   July 2, 2001
Category: Input Devices
FlyingLizzard
Price: $100


Introduction
First off, I'd like to thank FlyingLizzard.com for sending us out this flexkeyboard.

Over the years, you've probably heard about the nasty consequences of spilling coffee, mountain dew, bawls, ect on your keyboard. Worry no more: This rubberized Flex Keyboard is built to withstand just about anything you can pour on it. Hold it under running water to wash it off, then roll it up for safekeeping. This keyboard can roll up to 4"
so you can easily throw it in your bag when you go to your local lan party.



You might be thinking that too much washing might cause the key cap lettering to fade or rub off. According to the literature, the characters are laser etched and are fade proof so there is no need to worry.



The keyboard dimensions are 499mm wide x 175mm deep x 7mm high and weighs 700g. It's almost the same size as a regular keyboard. The PS/2 connector cable is 6.5 feet long, very long indeed. The keys are almost full size, as you can see in the picture they are alittle smaller than a normal keyboard. I really like the keys being round because it fits the tip of your fingers better. I found that the keyboard felt somewhat rubbery and just a bit tacky to the touch.

When I first saw the keyboard, I thought I would have to mash the keys for them to make contact. Instead I was surprised that it only took a light touch to activate the keys. One slight problem is that you don't get any feedback such as key clicking while typing which might take a while to get used to, but typing is quite easy and comfortable.

The keyboard comes with a standard PS/2 connector that is compatible with all PCs on the market. The keyboard requires no special drivers to operate. It's 100% plug and play instead of "plug and pray" :).

One of the things I don't like is the ESC button along with the F1,F2,F3,F4,ect keys are at the very top of the keyboard. It might take some getting use to. I type without looking at the keyboard, but when I want to hit one of those keys I always have to look down. Not really a huge deal, because I don't ues those keys too much. The keyboard even has the two windows keys, one on each side of the spacebar. This is great for you people that love hotkeys. Another great feature, and is one of my favorite thing about this keyboard, is that you can hold down both CTRL buttons for four seconds and the keyboard will turn off. You can now stack stuff on your keyboard without buttons being pressed. It's also good for security. When you leave your office you can disable the keyboard, and your co-workers more than likely won't know how to turn it on. This is a great feature and I wish ever keyboard had it. To turn it back on, simply hold the CTRL buttons down for one second.

Technical
Dimensions: W 499MM, H 7MM, D 175MM
Weight: 600g (with connection cable)
Voltage Input: 5 V/DC 100mA input
Data Memory: All codes are stored before transmission
Connection Cable: PS/2 plug, about 7 feet long
Repeat Function: Adjustable by system input
Auto Power-on-Reset: Self test after power connection by sys input
Keyboard Switch on/off: Hold both CTRL buttons for 4secs
Maximum bending radius: 60 mm


Testing
They say this thing is waterproof and that it doesn't matter if you spill something on it, but is this all really so true? Well I went to my testing area (my kitchen) and turned on the tap water and placed the keyboard under it.


Appears to be waterproof

We all know how messy and sticky tea is. So for my next test I poured half a cup of tea on the keyboard and then let it sit for 10mins.


Sticky tea would kill any other keyboard

I then rinsed the keyboard off and there was no sticky tea left! I was really amazed that it cleaned up so easy.


As good as new!

Conclusion

I wrote this entire review while typing on the FlexKeyboard. It went almost as fast as me typing on my regular keyboard. I also played some Q3 and CS with this keyboard. I had to press down a little harder than usually, but it did very good. There is a learning curve that goes along with mastering the keystrokes. I don't know if I will be using this keyboard as my primary keyboard, but I will definitely be using it at lan party's and when I travel! Surf on over to FlyingLizzard and pick one of these bad boys up.



Pros:
  • Waterproof!
  • Easy to clean up
  • Rolls up to 4"!

Cons:
  • No feedback when keys are pressed
  • Expensive keyboard



  1. Flex Keyboard
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