Built-to-last and great for typing: quit reaching so far for your mouse!
I'm a writer, a programmer, and a typing enthusiast who has beat the crap out of this keyboard; in fact, i apologize if this review goes on terribly long for that reason. Until i upgraded to a mechanical keyboard just this week, this siig mini keyboard was my workhorse for six years -- and that's no exaggeration. It's like a dear friend, so the least that i can do, after all of this time, is leave a review of it so that others know what this keyboard is all about.Durability: what do you want me to say? It's never had any mechanical problems, ever, and still feels brand new; the only reason that i upgraded to a (cheap) mechanical keyboard was mostly out of curiosity. For a few years, now, the key-labels of my most-used keys have been worn away -- so, if you're not a touch-typist, i can see that potentially being a problem for you. On the other hand, for a $20 keyboard, that has to be par for the course, and it never really caused me any problems as somebody that knows where to find the keys by feel. When i say that my "most-used" keys were faded away, i mean that three or four letter keys had lost their labels, leaving the key completely black.Size: this is the most important thing about this keyboard, and, despite its coming in so much smaller than a traditional keyboard, the keys, themselves, are not miniature; they're the same distance apart as on a standard keyboard, with only a couple of exceptions (to accommodate the repositioning of the arrow keys), so it won't take much getting used to. I originally purchased it because i was on an ergonomics kick, and i'd read somewhere that ten-key-less keyboards (this is technically an '84-key keyboard', since the arrow keys, 'home,' 'end,' etc., are snuggled up along the side) are better for ergonomics because they allow you lots of spare space on the right-hand side to bring your mouse in closer -- less reaching when you move the mouse, which means that your arms can rest at your sides in a more natural position. After having my desk set up this way for so long, i could never go back, and, when i sit at a traditional desk, i can't believe how far-off to the right the mouse is situated (you pretty much need an arm-rest, right?). Obviously, if your work involves data entry or if you play computer games which make a lot of use of the numpad, this is going to be a problem for you, but i insist to all of you that don't make constant use of your numpad: try a keyboard in this form-factor. Bring your mouse in closer. It feels great. Even if you make occasional use of a numpad, they're sold separately as standalone usb devices, or this keyboard's 'function-key' accessible numpad is serviceable.Feel: in my opinion, the typing-feel of this keyboard is insane for its price, and i say that as someone who's used cheap keyboards and found them deplorable. Since i got a new, mechanical, brown-switch keyboard a couple of days ago, i've been comparing it back-to-back with this siig keyboard, and, although there is a difference, it really goes to show just how comfortable a rubber-dome keyboard like the siig mini can be. In fact, depending on your preferences, i would argue that there are things that the siig does better: although the keys on the siig depress a satisfying distance, the tops of the keys are broader and flatter (less 'space' between the peaks of the keys). To me, this makes it very pleasant to glide my fingers from key-to-key; i find that, with my new, mechanical keyboard, with more traditional keys, i have to lift my fingers a little bit higher when moving between keys because i can't just glide them over the top like i'm used to. Secondly, despite the fact that my new brown-switches aren't manufactured to be "clicky" (like blue switches), the mechanical action and bottoming is still much louder than typing on the rubber domes of this siig, which has a more subtle 'tap-tap-tap' sound (just the sound of plastic clicking against plastic, which is what i was doing on this keyboard, versus the thudding and spring 'pinging' of a mechanical). Finally, the rubber domes on this siig keyboard have a very tactile feel to them, since you begin the actuation by pushing down against the top of a rubber dome, which is resisting you. Once the dome caves in, the key quickly falls the rest of the way, almost pulled down, to make electrical contact with the board, thus registering the key-press.After all of these years, i decided to get a mechanical keyboard because i wanted to see if it would require slightly less force to depress the keys, and the difference is very, very subtle, which isn't surprising; after years and years of using my siig, i've always felt that the force required to push the keys down was very light.Oh, and i should repeat: the distance and positioning of the keys is 99% identical to that of a standard us keyboard. This keyboard is only "miniature" in the sense that the numpad has been removed and just a couple of the wider keys have been shrunken a bit to accommodate the arrow keys.If you're on this page, i imagine that some combination of queries must have gotten you here: maybe you're looking for a cheap keyboard, maybe you're looking for a mini keyboard. In any of those cases, you have found your keyboard; it's $20. You're not going to find a nicer keyboard than this for $20, unless you're really offput by the relatively wide, flat design of the keys, which i actually think felt great to type on. The key-action is great, the size is great for ergonomics (or if your desk is just lacking space). It's lasted me countless years without any trouble except for a couple of the key-labels fading away.Buy it![for the curious, my newer keyboard is a drevo grammr, which i bought because it has the same layout as this siig, and that's rather uncommon. It costs twice as much and is missing the siig's dedicated media keys (which could be a pro or a con; i kind of miss them, but it does make the keyboard even smaller). I still haven't decided if it's truly an improvement over the siig; the mechanical keys feel nice, but the siig's rubber domes really were nothing to sneeze at, especially as far as non-mechanical keys go.]