With CAD becoming increasingly popular it is hardly surprising to find computers and accessories tailored for CAD professionals. There is one accessory however that has not taken its turn towards CAD which is the CAD keyboard. Let me get this out of the way first.
There is no such thing as a CAD keyboard
Having a penchant for gadgets I have spent quite some time looking for them and here is why there is no particular thing as a CAD keyboard. The aim of having this type of keyboard would be to allow the designers to work more efficiently but that has been taken care of by CAD softwares instead. These days softwares allows you to set hot keys or shortcut keys for the commands so the only thing that a keyboard should have is a numpad which almost all keyboards do.
So here I will discuss some keyboards which I feel are best suited to CADing. Let’s go ahead and see the possible options.
Best CAD Keyboard Products on the Market
Logitech Keyboard MK120
I’d like to start with one of my personal favorites as the best CAD keyboard, the MK120 basic keyboard – a beautifully designed ergonomic keyboard with the most basic layout settings and punch-like sound with every keystroke. The design is generic, and can be used for Photoshop as well as any CD software with a hardcore and mature feel beneath your fingertips. The edgy design and protrusions show an innovative attitude, in my opinion going very well with the aesthetic nature of the job. The regular function keys on the top are the only extra options so that may stop the serious CADer with more than 12 macros already setup to reconsider. Otherwise it works like a charm with the accented, open-spaced interior casing easily cleanable.
Click here to see reviews and prices for the Logitech MK120 keyboard on Amazon.com
The keys are paste on and big enough for any size of fingers without any backlighting. The plastic is hard enough to withstand 10 million keystrokes per key. For a CADer, that would be 12 years of CADing on average.
I know what are you thinking, gaming keyboard! Here is a good reason why I chose this. Like most gaming keyboards or CAD-friendly keyboards, the G510s has programmable keys. 18 of them! The backlighting is custom for the main body of the board with a sleek, stealth-aircraft design makes you want to crunch those keys over and over.
Click here to see reviews and prices for the Logitech G510s keyboard on Amazon.com
But none of that is the best part. The fact that sets the G510s apart is its game panel LCD right on top of the keyboard. A wealthy suite of add-ons and third party widgets are available for you to show custom data in the LCD including CPU core temperature and other non-keyboard-related function. Imagine previewing the dimensions for every part you click as soon as you click it!
Logitech’s K830, Logitech’s K480 & Logitech’s K350
Following the G510s, the next of kin is Logitech’s Illuminated Living Room Keyboard K830 . Not exactly the type of thing you had in mind, but don’t let the to-the-point look fool you. It’s basically meant for your SmartTV and that’s why they have the trackpad integrated into the keyboard. The trackpad is multi-gesture enabled with easy USB connectivity that also allows charging. For people who are interested in rendering, simulation or CADing tasks not involving a lot dimensional input, this keyboard is perfect for their needs. The illumination settings have a variety of options for automatic and manual illumination. And of course the wireless is a 2.4 Ghz wireless band giving you much room to move around in.
Click here to see reviews and prices for the Logitech K830 keyboard on Amazon.com
Another of the same family is Bluetooth Multi-device keyboard K480. This is a universal keyboard and connects through Bluetooth. Gives you about 30 ft, but for those who have mobile devices to type on or CAD on the cradle will prove to quite handy. Connects to 3 devices and switches with the twist of a dial. Android, IOS, Windows and Mac controls are all supported and printed on the keyboard which is available is two color schemes.
Click here to see reviews and prices for the Logitech K480 keyboard on Amazon.com
And last but not least, from the Logitech family is the K350 . Wireless and simple. Designed to ergonomic perfection with a wave like fluid curve so as to cushion to your hand without you even trying, something seriously needed by every keyboard user. Instant media access is guaranteed using the media controller on the top with three programmable keys.
Honestly, I am quite ambivalent as to which I feel is the best CAD keyboard amongst them. All of them offer extreme reliability and comfort while doing design work. Each one of the choices will appeal to a person according to their needs.
For those of you who are into customizable keyboards, programmable ones would suit you best. Those who like to mix CAD with multimedia should go for Logitech's K830. People who are looking for economic options without sacrificing both comfort and efficiency should look no further than Logitech's K120. There are tons of options to choose from but the ones mentioned above should cater to even the most eccentric of users.