Goldtouch ergonomic products enrich desktop experience

With the Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposing a new program to police workplace ergonomics, agency managers may be on the lookout for products to improve employee comfort. One way to combat the hand, arm and shoulder strain that often comes from using traditional flat keyboards and mice is to use the Ergo Suite of ergonomic desktop products from Goldtouch Technologies Inc.

The FCW Test Center took a look at the Ergo Suite, which includes a keyboard, numeric keypad, mouse, mouse pad and wrist rest.

The Goldtouch keyboard is different from other ergonomic keyboards we've seen. Rather than forcing your hands into a preset ergonomic position, it allows you to adjust it precisely to your liking. The keyboard consists of two separate panels joined by a ball and socket. This allows you to make infinite adjustments both vertically and horizontally. Adjusting is a simple matter of swinging out a lever, positioning the keyboard and locking the lever back into place.

Some of the keys on this keyboard are positioned differently than standard models. The Home, End, Page Up, Page Down, Insert and Delete keys are on the left side instead of the right. At first, we found getting used to this positioning difficult, but eventually, we found it made a lot of sense because you didn't have to take your right hand off the mouse to use those keys.

The Goldtouch numeric keypad is a separate device, so the user can position it where it is most comfortable, such as to the left of the keyboard for left-handed users. The Goldtouch mouse also has a unique shape, with the left side about two inches thick and the top surface gently sloping to the right. This shape replicates the "repose" position, which is the natural curve of a hand and fingers at rest. We found this mouse much more comfortable to use than the standard device.

The mouse pad, which Goldtouch calls a "mouse platform," is curved, somewhat like a fat crescent, with beveled edges and a rubber base that prevents the pad from sliding. The best feature, however, is the gel that fills in the portion of the pad where the wrist rests. The slightly raised, gel-filled area makes using a mouse significantly more comfortable.

Finally, Goldtouch offers a unique ergonomic wrist rest that comes in two separate sections. The rests, also gel-filled, let users position them in accordance with the positions of the two keyboard panels. You could also of course use them with any keyboard and position them in the most sensible locations.

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