Quick (and not so Cheap) Upgrades for Your PC

 17 Jun 2011 - By Omar Yesid Mariño+

Computers are great but, let’s face it, stock parts just aren’t happening. Every computer user (even the grandmas who can barely handle email) can benefit from a little personal tweaking. This time around, we’re taking a look at some quick and dirty upgrades for your PC. They range in price from $20 to nearly $1,000, so you could say there’s something in here for everyone.
Let’s get started with a little keyboard action.

Microsoft Comfort Curve Ergonomic Keyboard

I’ve seen some pretty whacky keyboard mutations that claim to benefit the user and increase ergonomics, lessening the dangers of carpal tunnel and other repetitive stress ailments but most of them are far, too far-flung, to be of any real use. Microsoft, however, isn’t exactly known for reinventing the wheel. That’s why I think that their newly redesigned Comfort Curve keyboard is one of the simplest and most efficient keyboards the average user can upgrade to.

Upgrading Your Computer

Instead of splitting the keyboard like many fancier keyboards try to do—which makes it a clunky peripheral, especially when using it for various functions other than typing—Microsoft just gave their device a little curve.

The bowed design supposedly allows the user to properly align their hands and ease stress on muscles and tendons. At the same time, the keyboard retains all the functionality of a standard QWERTY keyboard. This is partially thanks to the fact that designers kept the keys a uniform size rather than varying them to achieve an end. Microsoft even kept the number pad (which a lot of ergonomic keyboards surgically remove).

The best part about this peripheral though is definitely the price. You can get your hands on one of these when they launch in August for just $20. That’s right around the price of other bargain basement keyboards which don’t work half as well.

The only drawback I can see is that the glossy surface is definitely going to pick up dust and fingerprints a lot faster than your old model.

Visit the official Microsoft website for more information about the Comfort Curve.

PFU’s Happy Hacking Keyboard Type-S

On the other end of the keyboard spectrum you have the Happy Hacking Type-S keyboard—the new device from PFU. The keyboard has been streamlined and retooled to allow for speed. That’s right, fast typists no longer have to worry about their peripheral not being able to keep up with them.

PFU’s Happy Hacking Keyboard Type-S

On the plus side, the keys are also guaranteed to make 30% less noise, excellent if you don’t like to listen to a lot of clacking while you work.

One quirk of the design is that the standard version of this keyboard comes with no letter printed on the keys. That means you have to memorize the position of each of the letters and function keys. Another drawback is that there is no number pad. The third drawback is that this keyboard costs $270 and you have to order it from a mostly Asian-language website.

So why would you even buy one of these things? The name and the fact that it’s a status symbol. After all, if you’re a hacker, how good can you really be when you have to stop to look at the keys?

There is another version available that has keys printed on it but you don’t get a discount.

If you’re determined to get your hands on one of these, you can visit the official PFU website.

OWC’s Mercury Electra 6G SSD

For those of you whose hard drive is just too tiny, too slow, or too mechanical, a solid state drive might just be the answer to your prayers. If you have $900 and some change lying around, you can get your hands on the new Mercury Electra SSD from OWC.

OWC’s Mercury Electra 6G SSD

The line of drives ranges in size from 120GB to a whopping 480GB, but the size isn’t really the story here. These drives use 6GB per second SATA 3.0 technology to deliver data at incredible speeds. In fact, with one of these puppies in your computer, you can write at up to 523MB per second and read at speeds up to 556MB per second. That’s fast.

The drives are both PC and Mac compatible and come standard with a 3 year warranty out of the box.

While the cost of these drives (the cheapest and smallest starts at $230) is prohibitive to all but the most technologically savvy, the fact that you never ever have to worry about a mechanical hard drive failure again is almost worth the price—almost.

If you’re interested, visit the OWC website for more details and ordering information.

Disclaimer - Category: Adapter, Chip, Computer