Old keyboards from the 80s aren’t exactly washable, but they took a licking and kept on typing. One of the computers in my parents’ house still has an old Dell keyboard that suffered the indignity of having had an entire glass of milk spilled over the top of it — the result of an errant joystick movement. It still types.
That said, the brand new Kensington Washable Keyboard looks and feels indescribably retro. The white 104-key device with full size and full depth keys feels like typing in a bygone era in computing. I even fired up Doom 2 for a little spin around the arrow keys.
The keyboard is no relic, however. That old Dell keyboard still types, but it also still sticks from the milky punishment.
You can immerse this baby in soap and water and scrub it down like a dinner dish and come out with a new, clean keyboard.
The board also has antimicrobial coating to prevent the growth of molds, mildews and fungi that can get you sick.
Let’s face it, the keyboard is one of the dirtiest surfaces you touch all day. In the newsroom, we often share old keyboards, and they’re just grungy. I read a study once that claimed that the average keyboard holds more bacteria that a toilet seat!
I soaked the Kensington and put it through scrubbing and rinsing and then let it dry. Let me tell you, putting a computer keyboard under the sink is NOT a natural task. The whole time I felt like I was breaking some major commandment of computing. But lo and behold, once the keyboard sat for a few and dried, it worked perfectly.
My only complaint about the keyboard is that the folding legs at the top are a little cheap. I broke one of the little legs by accident, which is enough to prevent the keyboard from being a perfect “10.”
The keyboard is comfortable to type on. A lot of newer keyboards have taken a page out of the laptop world with shallow keys, but this is a regular keyboard that feels very traditional.
With that take on things, the Kensington Washable Keyboard is a winner. It’s a regular keyboard. It’s wired — no batteries to replace. It has all the standard, regular keys that a keyboard should have. It’s the perfect solution for an office or a computer user that just wants to clean up a bit.