After failing to find a highly suitable keyboard I chose to invest more money into another keyboard, and this latter one is superb. Like the Lenovo and SIIG keyboards that I have used before, the Max Keyboard BlackBird Blue Cherry MX Backlit is a compact keyboard and as such it does not have a keypad/numberpad/tenkeyless. This lack of the ten keys allows, in my observation, a better posture and allows me to be more comfortable. Below you will find images of the box contents and some thoughts regarding this product.
The back of the box.
Box contents: the keyboard, user guide, palm rest, and a pink slip notifying users about the company's desire for reviews at Amazon.
The user guide.
The first page covers specs of the keyboard.
The second page has the functions and key combinations. Most of these combinations relate to the backlit keys.
More functions and troubleshooting.
The included palm rest (wrist pad) is very comfortable. There is a very soft and smooth layer on the outside but the inner portion has a rigidity that will keep it's shape. The rigidity helps in ensuring that your palms remain at a good elevation.
The bottom side of the palm rest is rubber based and the pattern will prevent it from sliding. The palm rest's width is the same as the keyboard and this makes it look proportional, however I wish it was a little more wide--which would provide slightly better support when resting palms closer to the edges. I may be tempted on purchasing the larger palm rest.
The keyboard is worth the investment. The keys are mechanical and offer a wonderful "clickiness." The clicky sound though is quite audible and if you have roommates it may irritate them. View the video below to hear and see the different options that Max Keyboard has to offer.
There are a few media buttons which will require you to press the Fn key. The volume related media buttons function well, the play/pause next and previous ones may or may not work unless the program is selected. (VLC tends to dismiss them, but Windows Media Player always reacts to them).
The Ctrl key is on the bottom left side, and there is no Fn key on this side--to me this is well thought of.
The right side has the Fn and App keys. Fn allows you to access secondary functions, the App key is a right click equivalent.
By doing Fn + F12 you can disable or enable the Windows key. There are several configurations that can be accessed by pressing the Fn key (more details on the User Guide above).
There is a power related warning label attached to the side of the keyboard.
The bottom side of the keyboard has pads that do a decent job at keeping the unit in place, however this is not as good as the palm rest. On a side note, the keyboard's built quality feels solid and there is a substantial heaviness.
You can route the USB cable through the left, middle, or right.
You can adjust the angle by using these small raiser legs.
The keyboard without the raisers.
With the legs extended.
There are some lights that flash during programming of individual key lights.
The USB cable is among the most "premium" quality I have seen--it's gold plated and has an exquisite wrapping.
Blue backlit keys pic 1.
Blue backlit keys pic 2.
There are several adjustments for backlit brightness.
First level of brightness.
Second level of brightness.
Third level of brightness. There is a fourth setting that makes the backlit keys fade in, stay on for a bit, and then fade out.
There is a backlit preset for gamers.
Every single key can be modified.
The sides also have lights.
Which can also be turned on/off!
Comparison with the Lenovo USB Compact Keyboard (Precision style).
The Max Blue Cherry keyboard will replace my old SIIG keyboard. You had a good run buddy, but your keys were starting to stick too much.
I will have to rate the keyboard's functionality as very high. I can consistently type between 70 and 80 wpm, but on a good run I can go over 80. Max Keyboard should be very proud of this product and I'm sure it will satisfy the needs of the most demanding typists.