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Old April 23rd, 2007, 10:59 AM   #1
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Backlit keyboards

I use Vegas and the Sony line of software…

I’m looking into purchasing a new keyboard that features backlit keys, so I can more easily see the keys in darker—editing-suitable room conditions—I know. I know. Get reading glasses….Can some of you suggest such a keyboard that you’re happy with or maybe suggest brands or ones you are NOT happy with? Hopefully there are affordable ones out there….
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 01:41 PM   #2
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Not the solution you were after, however, how about some small low wattage opera type "puddle" lights above your keyboard or....one of those little usb powered puddle lights made for laptops?
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 11:41 PM   #3
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First off, work in a neutrally lit room with a bit of light. Complete darkness is not a good viewing environment for your eyes. It's also not the majority of your delivery audience (unless you're delivering to film). With that out of the way:

The Saitek backlit gaming keyboard isn't a bad board to type on (the problem with most backlit boards). The keys feel pretty good. It's also blue light (I'll get to this in a moment).

That said, I completely agree with the LED goose-neck USB light approach. I keep one in my bag exactly for this. I like my 10-year-old Dell clacky keyboards. I just stick the LED light into a hub or LCD monitor (with hub).

On my Thinkpad, the ThinkLight is great. It lights above the board. This is, by far, the best option.

On my Dell laptop, I just tip the screen down if I need to see in a pinch. If I'm seriously using the thing, I pull out the LED light.

Now, on backlit keys. I've had a Powerbook with backlit keys, and they have a serious drawback. The keys work by lighting through only part of the key. The letters will get brighter, but the key-faces won't. Let's say we slowly raise the brightness of the ambient light in the room. As we do this, the key-faces get brighter, but the cut-out spaces don't. You can imagine, if we do this long enough, that we'll hit the point at which the key faces and cut-outs for letters are the same brightness.

At this point, you can't read your keyboard anymore. At all. It becomes very nearly invisible.

This is why blue back-lighting is handy. Unfortunately, blue is awful for night vision. You're sitting in the dark to see contrast at the low end and squeeze as much as you can from your eyes. Blue light is kind of awful for that.

The answer? A dim light above your keyboard. Either get a small light or, better still, get a DVKeyboard with a gooseneck light. It even has shuttle/jog wheels and Vegas shortcut keys color-coded.
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Old April 24th, 2007, 09:57 AM   #4
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Another possibility - the newer Saiteks are available in blue, red or purple. Red is used on sailboats at night so as not to ruin night vision -

http://www.saitekusa.com/usa/prod/eclipseii.htm

I've not tried these yet so can't add anything as far as feel, etc... Steve
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Old April 24th, 2007, 10:20 AM   #5
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No, I don't edit in complete darkness. Never have. But the Saitek Eclipse II Illuminated Keyboard looks tempting. http://techgage.com/article/saitek_e...nated_keyboard
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Old April 24th, 2007, 12:51 PM   #6
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I've been using the Logitech G15 gaming keyboard, which is backlit. Its main advantages include a heads-up LCD which will display certain info, including processor/RAM usage, and also a set of keys on the left which can be programmed to any function in any application -- good for oft-used editing functions which require more than a few keys at once; you can consolidate them down to only 1. Or, of course, for functions which don't already have keyboard shortcuts.

And, it types well.

The only problem, though, is that it didn't take long for the black paint on the keys to start showing wear and rubbing off. I've been using it for almost two years, and most keys are intact, but there's a big wear spot on both my space bar and enter keys. Oddly, J, K, and L are unscathed, so it's probably a matter of angle and how often fingernails contact the keys . . .
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Old April 24th, 2007, 03:29 PM   #7
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Yeh, I have it narrowed to the The Logitech G11 and the Saitek Eclipse II. Both are excellent choices, and while the lighting factor gives the Logitech a slight edge, I'm leaning to the Eclipse because of its own solid reviews, and it's slightly sturdier, and doesn't take as much desk real-estate---I don't need all the extra keys and USB ports.

Funny you should mention that because I have also discoverd that the keys on the G11 are painted rather than etched (like on the Eclipse II), so over time, the black surrounding the letters will wear off--accordiong to some owners--like you said. So you are not alone.
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Old April 25th, 2007, 11:28 AM   #8
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The DVKeyboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Chaboud View Post
The answer? A dim light above your keyboard. Either get a small light or, better still, get a DVKeyboard with a gooseneck light. It even has shuttle/jog wheels and Vegas shortcut keys color-coded.
The DVKeyboard sure is nice, and the jog shuttle would be awsome, but $180? Holy crap that is high for a keyboard with colored keys and a wheel. Crazy.
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