In this issue...
The MX518 Optical Gaming Mouse from Logitech is Now Available!
The Logitech MX518 Optical Gaming Mouse enables you to take your game to the next level. Compared to conventional mice, you can feel the difference in your hand - and your game. The MX518's optical sensor is adjustable from 400 DPI to 1800 DPI with the easy access switching buttons (no software required). The maximum and minimum sensitivity offer pixel-precise targeting or lightning fast maneuvers. The low friction feet allow you to mouse around without getting bogged down by your mousing surface. A lightweight, dome shape supports the hand, helping to reduce discomfort during extended usage. The MX518 Optical Gaming Mouse offers 8 programmable buttons, including a middle button on the scroll wheel, as well as 2 thumb buttons.
For more information on the The MX518 Optical Gaming Mouse, see the Wireless/Mini Mice category in our online catalog.
Ergonomic Workstation Tip of the Month
Setting Up an Ergonomic Keyboard Tray Workstation
Many computer users already know some basic things about setting up an ergonomic workstation with their desk: choose the right kind of ergonomic keyboard, the right kind of ergonomic mouse, get an articulating LCD monitor for correct height positioning, etc. In most cases, as long as the products work well together and are compatible, the setup should be straight forward and relatively easy to accomplish. But what if you are one of those users who have or need to use a keyboard tray as part of your workstation? Are there any special considerations to take into account? What are the key things to remember when setting up an ergonomic keyboard tray workstation?
As you may have guessed, the answers to these questions are not all obvious but are still important to keep in mind when researching keyboards and mice for a keyboard tray. Here are a few questions and answers (tips) that will hopefully help you make wise decisions that may end up saving you time, pain, and money in the long run.
1. How big will your keyboard tray be? This is perhaps the most important question to be answered when setting up your workstation on a keyboard tray. The tray will obviously have to hold both your keyboard and mousing device if your workstation is to function properly, and this includes taking into consideration both the width and depth of the keyboard tray. For example, if you are using a traditional rectangular keyboard (about 18" to 20") and standard optical mouse (using about 6" wide mousing area), the standard size tray depth, which is about 11.0" to 11.5", will be sufficient. The recommended tray width with these devices will then be around 27" to 30". However, if you are going to use an ergonomic keyboard that curves or is non-standard in shape, depth may be more of a concern; and if you are going to use a central pointing device as your mouse, such as the RollerMouse Free, you will likely need at least a 13" deep tray, even if you are using a standard size traditional keyboard. With central pointing devices, which are positioned in front of the keyboard instead of to the side, depth is a more important dimension than width.
2. How adjustable is your keyboard arm? Keyboard trays have the additional benefit of being used on height adjustable keyboard arms. Usually, the tray should be positioned on the arm so that the tray is just above your lap, in order to ensure that your forearms are parallel to the ground or sloped slightly downward (i.e. away from you). In some cases, such as in sit/stand workstations, the keyboard tray will need to be raised above the desk height when the user is standing at the workstation. In either case, it will be important to determine the adjustable range for your keyboard arm, or whether adjustability is even important at all. For some people, keeping their keyboard tray at the same height is all that is required.
3. Will your keyboard tray and arm be stored beneath the desk when not in use? In cases where work space is at a premium, a keyboard tray and arm that can be stored beneath the desk is an essential requirement of the arm itself. Many such arms need underdesk space of around 24", or sometimes less, in order to mount the arm's track. Tracks using ball-bearings are better than simple sliding mechanisms, since they produce less friction during movement and are more durable over time. Most users prefer storable tracks for their keyboard tray and arm, because it gives them the option of storing them when not in use or when the desk must be used for other purposes.
4. Does your keyboard tray have built-in palm supports, cable management, etc? Easily overlooked components of keyboard trays include built-in features such as palm supports and cable management, which can either add to or detract from a tray's usefulness. Trays with no palm supports, or removeable ones, are generally best, since it is easy to add them if you want or need them, and easy to leave them out if you don't. If your keyboard and mouse are both wired devices, it is also good to have some way of routing the cables so that they are not hanging or snagging on parts of your desk as you move your tray and arm. Any slot or opening on the back of the tray makes for easily routing of these cables and will help reduce the cluttered look of your workstation. Keep these features in mind, then, when planning your keyboard tray workstation.
5. Do you need a sliding mousing platform or mousepad for your mousing device? As a last point on keyboard trays, it is perhaps worth mentioning whether it is advisable to get one with a sliding or swivelling mousing platform, or whether a mousepad must also be purchased for your mouse. The first question is an interesting one, because many people think that they need such features, especially if their tray's width must be as short as possible due to space restrictions. Actually, most mousing platforms that swivel or store are poorly made or designed and are not very durable over time. They also increase the height difference between your keyboard and mouse. A better option would be to use a more compact keyboard with a stationary mousing device instead of a traditional keyboard with built-in number pad and optical mouse. A decent compact keyboard doesn't have to be wider than about 15", and stationary mice like touchpads or trackballs are seldom more than 4" or 5". These devices are also more ergonomic in many ways and are ideally suited to keyboard trays. If space restrictions do not really exist, it is better to get a wider tray of one solid piece, so that your mouse and keyboard will be on the same level. In this case, and in answer to the second question, if you choose to use an optical mouse, getting a mousepad is a good option, too, since it's primary purpose is to provide a sleek, continuous mousing surface to make your arm and shoulder movements less stressful and more fluid.
Featured New Product
Laptop or Circular Wow!Pads by Microthin
The New Laptop or Circular Wow!Pad by Microthin is a superthin mouse pad made of one single ply of antibacterial, chemically inert polyvinylchloride (PVC) just 15/1000th of an inch thick (i.e. less than half a millimetre). The top is designed for perfect tracking of all ball, optical and laser mice. The patented sure grip bottom is great on any surface - just press down firmly and watch it stick without adhesive. There is minimal intrusion on the desk/table top, and the mouse pad is 100% washable in common household and even industrial cleaners and disinfectants.
The Wow!Pad also doubles as an excellent writing surface, protecting your desk and providing you a convenient location to jot down notes in a prime 'real estate' area. It is available in an attractive retail package or in bulk packaging for orders of 2 or more units.
The Laptop model is quite portable and can be stored with the laptop during travel, while the circular model will easily fit on your desk or tray and will work with almost any standard mice.
For more information on the Wow!Pad, see the Mouse Accessories category in our online catalog.
Featured Promo of the Month
The AirO2Bic Vertical Mouse from Designer Appliances
The AirO2Bic Vertical Mouse is designed using the science of Biomechanics. The idea of the AirO2Bic is to immobilize your wrist and force you to use your upper arm muscles exclusively to move the mouse. To use this mouse properly you need a minimum of a 10" x 12" mousing area.
This product is available in both left and right handed models in both pearl (white) and onyx (black). The optional Nib software provides an auto-click feature, eliminating the need to 'click' the mouse, which is quite practical for web surfing and other non-cursor dependent tasks. The Nib software is $55 when purchased with this mouse and this bundle is called the Virtually Hands Free Mousing System. The Nib software is also available for $80 when purchased by itself.
Promo Price for AirO2Bic Vertical Mouse: $95.00 (Pearl White model only)
Regular Price: $120.00
See the AirO2Bic Vertical Mouse in the Vertical Mice category of our online catalog.
Our Prices Have Changed Again!
We have again updated our prices (effective May 1st, 2010) on ErgoCanada.com to better reflect the recent gains the Canadian dollar has made over the American dollar. Our policy has always been to bring the best products available worldwide to all Canadians at fair and affordable prices.
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