Amazon Basics Keyboard & Mouse
So let’s see how much keyboard you get for $15. It’s better than expected. It works when plugged-in, none of the keys are broken and it actually has a little physical and auditory feedback. So far so good. The Enter key is in the right place and is the right shape. The Backspace key is correct as well. I can type with reasonable speed and accuracy (within the limits of my fingers). There’s a numeric keypad, proper function keys an none of the real keys have been replaced with “multimedia” functions and the like. Overall (after spending two minutes with the keyboard) I would say that it’s as good as any sub-$100 device I’ve used before, which gives it a pretty high quality-per-dollar ratio. Now it’s the mouse’s turn. Not much to say about the mouse other than it works as well as any inexpensive corded mouse I’ve used recently. The finish is kind of nice (has some sort of rubberized coating that feels good). There’s not much weight to it but that’s to be expected. Otherwise it seems adequate, clicks seem to happen as they should and while the buttons are a bit flimsy, they click and rebound as you’d expect. There’s nothing notable about the third button/scrollwheel which is a good thing (it could be a lot worse). Overall it’s fine, nothing to get excited about but also no major problems that were noticeable after about a minute of use. Whether or not the pair holds up to heavy use is another matter. If there’s anything new to report, I’ll follow-up with another review in a few months. A few additional notes: As I mentioned earlier the keyboard doesn’t have a bunch of “extra” keys (which I prefer), but it does have volume up, down and mute which work with no additional effort in Ubuntu Linux (completely unexpected). There is also a key on the numeric keypad with a little calculator icon on it. When pressed (again, at least on Linux), the calculator application is launched and you can immediately begin keying in numbers and performing arithmetic. Maybe this is something all keyboards do now but as someone who often turns to the calculator I found this amazingly useful and I was very surprised that it worked out-of-the box with Linux. Until you’re ready to spend serious money on a keyboard, I strongly recommend you give this combo a try. Or if like me you need something inexpensive (and quiet) for a secondary computer, this combo is orders of magnitude better than similarly priced units from Logitech, Microsoft, etc. Amazon Basics Wired Keyboard and Mouse, $14.99 at Amazon.com.