USB Ultranav Trackpoint
- Touchpad Keyb Black 2Port USB Hub
- Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 10.4 x 1.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
- Shipping: This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
- ASIN: B00009APTK
- Item model number: S2537128
- Date first available at Amazon.com: April 21, 2003
Thinkpad keyboard for the desktop
I’m a 100 word-per-minute touch typist who’s seen a lot of keyboards — I learned to type on a manual typewriter in the early 1970s and spent summers in college earning money as a keypunch operator on teletype-like keyboards. Before this keyboard, I was always on the lookout for a better keyboard.
The throw of the keys on this keyboard is a lot less than that of a standard desktop keyboard. And although the keys feel somewhat “clicky” (good for feedback), they’re also relatively quiet (good for neighbors and family). The key layout is just like on the Thinkpad. I use the windows key a lot, but you can rebind one of the ALT keys in your operating system.
The keyboard extends a long way below the keys, just like the bigger Thinkpad’s keyboards. I find this provides perfect palm rests for me.
I would’ve gotten this just for the keyboard. But there’s also a trackpoint built in. And my fingers want to use it due to long experience on IBM notebooks. Of all the notebook pointer technologies, this is the only one that works for me. It works better than other company’s implementations of track pointers (like on a Toshiba my wife had). Trackpoints don’t bounce on planes or trains like the touchpads. Applying “belt and suspenders” caution, IBM also included a touchpad and two sets of mouse buttons (one high and one low); the pair closest to the keyboard are very convenient for dealing with the endless series of dialog boxes in modern applications.
All told, this keyboard helps my typing speed and accuracy. And even though I’m a speedy typist, my typing and mousing is still the bottleneck in most of the work I do on a computer.
If you like your laptop keyboard, you’ll like this product
Unlike some other combination keyboard/pointing devices, this one works very well. They keyboard feel is quite good, with a very short, sharp throw on each key, and a well positioned and easy to use pointing device. The only problem with this keyboard is that it is laid out like a laptop keyboard, which means that some keys are too small and oddly located.
In all, its a good choice if you want a keyboard on your desktop that matches the keyboard on your laptop
Key action is fast, uniform, and comfortable. Its professional and attractive design is a refreshing change from the glut of overly-buttoned contraptions around these days. For those with space saving issues, the USB ports and option to do away with a mouse with TrackPoint are definite plusses.
I have only two caveats, neither of which are really critical. First, although this is a full size board for the character and numeric keys, the layout and size of the lesser-used keys (insert, delete, home, end, page up/down, cursors, etc) are a tad eccentric and will feel small and misplaced to an experienced touch typist. In particular, if you normally use Ctrl key shortcuts by touch, you’ll find yourself often hitting either the cursor keys on the right or the function-shift on the left — which I’m still not completely used to yet.
Second, if you place the keyboard on a slick desktop (my own is on a metal shelf), the board will slide about considerably — which I remedied with a couple of rubber grip stick-on buttons from the local hardware store.
But overall, I must wholeheartedly concur with all the previous postive reviews. If you conceive yourself a discriminating typist who uses only the best, you won’t be disappointed here.
Simply the best
Now that I use a docking station, I went through two keyboards beofore coming across this one. It feels like a ThinkPad keyboard, but only larger, and is just as responsive.
Best of all, it has the trackpoint mouse in the middle of the keyboard. This is the biggest benefit of the ThinkPad keyboards especially if you job involves heavy typing. With the trackpoint keyboard mouse, there you don’t need to ever move your hands away from the keyboard. What an excellent idea, I just don’t understand why all keyboards aren’t like this.
On top of being a great keyboard, it integrates well with your ThinkPad and it has 2 USB ports!
The only negative things I have to say is the mouse functionality is not plug and play, you have to install a driver (included), and there is no ThinkPad power button.
Overall 5 out of 5 stars!
ThinkPad users… buy this
The right choice
No Mouse Needed
As other reviewers indicate, Lenovo’s UltraNav keyboard is lightweight, and of a solid build quality. I found the UltraNav’s trackpoint to be perfectly configured out-of-box. Other trackpoint devices (I’ve used Dell and HP Compaq corporate laptops) feel “loose” by comparison. The UltraNav’s touchpad supports virtual clicking — which simulates mouse clicks by quickly tapping on the touchpad; and virtual scrolling — which enables quick scrolling down or across a window by sliding one’s finger down the right side of the touchpad, or across the bottom of the touchpad, respectively. The touchpad’s driver software enables both features to be tailored to preference, and comes with a practice “game” to help ensure that one’s preferences are just right. The UltraNav TrackPoint comes with a third button (in addition to the standard left- and right-click buttons) that can act either as a scroll lock or a magnifying glass. Both the touchpad and TrackPoint may be adjusted for left-handed use. Both are also simultaneously active, but one or both may be deactivated or set to use a subset of their features. I keep both enabled; I use the touchpad to move around broadly, and the trackpoint to move around and select items more precisely. With Lenovo’s UltraNav keyboard, a mouse is no longer needed.
The downsides to the UltraNav keyboard generally revolve around its lineage as a ThinkPad laptop keyboard. Like most other laptop keyboards, the UltraNav keyboard has tiny function keys, and tiny Insert, Delete, Home, End, PageUp and PageDown keys. Several keyboard functions — including the three volume buttons, the Fn key, and the blue mechanic (ThinkVantage) key — may be rendered useless for those who don’t pair their UltraNav keyboard with a Lenovo computer. Lenovo should have been smart enough to include software to help such users remap all of those non-functional keys to do something more useful. This keyboard also lacks Windows keys (the Windows key and right-click key), and instead has [Previous Page] and [Next Page] keys. I’m not convinced of the utility of the latter, because it is just as easy to press
The UltraNav keyboard also includes two USB 1.1 ports; which are less useful today than when this product was introduced, since many USB devices these days can take advantage of higher USB 2 speeds. Remember to install the UltraNav drivers -before- plugging in the keyboard into your computer for the first time. Windows Vista 64-bit users should consider using the latest generic drivers from Synaptics because Lenovo’s Vista 64-bit drivers doesn’t support virtual scrolling for the touchpad. Both the Synaptics and Lenovo drivers however, do not support the magnifying glass action for the Trackpoint’s third-button.
Lenovo’s UltraNav keyboard merits serious consideration from those seeking a solid alternative to computer mice, and can sacrifice a bit of keyboard functionality. Hopefully the next version of this keyboard will incorporate with Windows keys (since they were made available in the ThinkPad 60 series keyboard), USB2 ports, and maybe multi-touch support for the touchpad.