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Ergonomic Product Categories > Keyboards > Combo Keyboards          
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Combo Keyboards

What are Combo Keyboards?

A Combo Keyboard is a keyboard which has a mousing solution in combination with the keyboard input capability.  This usually takes the form of a built in touchpad, trackball or cursorpoint device (and accompanying buttons for left/middle/right click.     

What are the Ergonomic Benefits of a Combo Keyboard?

The main benefit is similar to that of Central Pointing Devices in that having the mouse on the footprint of the keyboard usually helps to address Overextension for the mouse.  This is because the mouse will be closer to the midline of the user than if it was outside of the keyboard housing, displaced to the left or right by the keyboard.

Unlike conventional mice, embedded mousing solutions in Combo Keyboards cannot usually be pinched or gripped which eliminates the risk factor of Static Grip Force.

What are Potential Concerns when Considering a Combo Keyboard?

The most significant concern is to ensure that the personal Anthropometrics of the individual do not result in an awkward posture when reaching into their Midline.  If this is a consideration, consider Combo Keyboards or other product categories which allow access to mousing functions other than a narrow band around the Midline of the user.

As with all all-in-one devices, a fiduciary risk with a Combo Keyboard is that if the keyboard or mouse functionality develops a problem, the usability of both types of input is affected (unlike the typical situation where there are two distinct devices each of which can be replaced as required).  Also, just as with all in one Printer / Scanner / Fax / Copier devices, while multi-function devices are convenient, being by definition generalist in design, they do not excel in any one function.

For What Types of Tasks / Users are Combo Keyboards Suitable? 

Combo Keyboards are typically most suitable for non-standard workstations such as wall mounted workstations which must store vertically while not in use, or rack mounted server applications.  The convenience of having all input in one solid state device (no moving parts such as what a mouse has) which can be stored vertically, or in any other orientation has benefits in non-standard office environments.

What Physical Injuries or Conditions Typically Benefit from a Combo Keyboard?

Combo Keyboards can at times be of benefit to users including individuals with hand conditions such as arthritis and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.  As they also reduce the amount of movement to use the mouse, they are of potential benefit to individuals with Rotator Cuff, Bursitis and Cubital Tunnel Syndrome.



Last edited December 9th, 2013

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