The Unofficial Apple Weblog was gushing itself dry yesterday over The ABkey Revolution, a new computer keyboard which promises to deliver us from the soul-sucking tyranny of the standard “QWERTY” keyboard layout once and for all. As I am apparently a brain-dead boob who didn’t even know he needed to be saved, ABkey has provoked a critique from me.
For my critique to be valid, I must be careful not to confuse my criticism of the product’s presentation with my criticism of the product. So, for the moment, I shall ignore the fact that the whole site reads like a hastily-conceived thesis project for an associate’s degree in marketing. I will likewise ignore its complete disregard for brand consistency (is that “ABkey” or “abKey”? Which is the real logo: the one set in Benguiat, Arial, or Futura?). While I’m at it, I will make no mention of the fact that the product design looks like someone dumped a bag of assorted board game falderal on a large puddle of mercury.
Having thus sidestepped addressing the product’s presentation, I am free to discuss the product itself. And honestly, I’m stoked about it. You know how you’ve been typing quite efficiently for years on a standard QWERTY keyboard? Well, throw it in the trash; this keyboard is better. Does it utilize some revolutionary technology that completely sets it apart from the keyboard you’re used to? Well, no, it’s pretty much the same thing, but—get this—the keys are in different places! Pretty sweet, eh? You’re not excited yet? Well, hold on, it gets better. The keys that you use the most are really big and circular! That U key which used to be so darned hard to find (you know, the vowel most commonly used in every Roman alphabet language on the planet) now takes up, like, 10% of the keyboard’s surface area! There’s no way you’ll miss it now!
Still not convinced? Check this out: You will be able to master touch-typing on this keyboard in just one hour! How, you ask? It took you months to learn to type the old way and this way is not fundamentally any different? Look, just trust me, it’s totally easy. Did I mention the ABkey was conceived of while watching “Wheel of Fortune” and is endorsed by Miss Singapore Universe?
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “This magic keyboard sounds amazing, but surely it will cost me a fortune!” Think again, friend! The ABkey can be yours for a mere $109! Sure, that’s four or five times more than you’d probably pay for a regular keyboard, but won’t it be worth it to experience the joy of learning to type all over again?