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Dell SK-8135 keyboard (aka DELL Multimedia USB Keyboard) is an excellent keyboard for the price (~$5-$8 plus shipping on Ebay; $13-$15 with free shipping; Amazon prices are obscene). One of the few that has rotating knob for the volume, which is more convenient solution then two buttons used in other keyboards. Works with Linux too. The back side of this keyboard has two USB ports, a rarity on PC keyboards. Good for connecting a mouse or headphones. You probably should use only one in order not to overload computer USB port.
For a keyboard with cheap membrane switches it has excellent touch feel. Despite low price it is comparable in quality with several more expensive keyboards up to, say, $70-$80. For example:
With AutoHotkey it can serve as poor man programmable keyboard.
I think the original manufacturer is LiteOn. Dell's price of new keyboard is $39 I think ( They sell now only Spanish variant: DELL USB Enhanced Spanish Multimedia Keyboard ). On Amazon new are listed also in #30-$30 range. It got mostly posisive reviews (63 customer reviews). For example
D. Ho "Ginsumaster", February 27, 2010
love it love it love it -- buy it because Dell discontinued it
I'm a keyboard fanatic. Because I type 110 wpm, the keyboard has to be perfect. This keyboard is near-perfect.
1. Great touch: soft yet responsive.
3. Varying height keys: keys on home row are low; keys on QWERTY row are higher and curved downward; keys on ZXCV row are higher and curved upwards.
I used to use all the great keyboards of the past: PC-XT, PC-AT, Northgate, Gateway Anykey (Maxi-Switch). This one is the best.
Dell replaced this keyboard with a crappy flat keyboard -- following in the bad steps of the infamous Apple chicklet key style. Hate it, hate it, hate it.
Dell has discontinued one of the best keyboards in history. :-( I am sad.
BTW, love the volume control knob, mute and media buttons.
WolfPup (United States) - See all my reviews, August 1, 2011
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic membrane keyboard, August 1, 2011
This review is from: Dell SK-8135 Multimedia USB HUB Computer Keyboard (Electronics)
First, I am NOT endorsing this company selling this, and have not bought anything from them. Unfortunately this keyboard seems to be discontinued, so neither Amazon nor Dell has it.
It's a membrane keyboard...but it's MUCH, MUCH better than 99% of keyboards today, which seem to be competing with notebooks for how terrible they are.
This has a normal key layout, normal feeling keys when you press them, and just a great feel to them. The Microsoft 3000 I'm typing on now is utter garbage by comparison, as is a Logitech I've also tried.
My only complaint with this model is the volume control (which works in Windows XP, Vista, and 7 without extra drivers) sort of broke off on mine...I think using two normal buttons for volume up/down would be better.
Other than that...this is 100x better than anything I can find actually being sold in stores today. I don't know that it quite compares with like a mechanical Keytronic Dell keyboard from the late 90's (which was on par with IBM stuff or Apple's old keyboards...Apple's gotten progressively worse too, to the point they're actually trying to sell notebook chicklet keyboards as desktop boards!)
So...anyway, if you can somehow find a new one, it's a great keyboard.
Among features I like:
You should not install Dell driver for this keyboard. It is utter crap. All keys including multimedia work with the generic Windows drivers.
The key question about this keyboard is: How to reassign different actions to the macro keys at the top? E.g. Mail, computer, and calculator buttons... ?
The only method that I know produced result is TweakUI, which is part of Microsoft's XP PowerToys:
You'll need to go to Explorer->Command Keys in TweakUI after installing.
It looks like you cannot specify path if you reassign the function. Implicit directory from which keyboard drive picks up executable is probably Window\System32. What you can do is to create small script that calls the necessary program put it into \Windows \System32 directory and assign it to the key. This was I was able to call FAR manager from the calculator button.
If you have problems with the media control buttons with Winamp, try these plugins. The first is easier to set up as it's ready to go after you install it. The second one needs some work to get it set up properly.
Mr. Hacks "Mr. Hacks" (St. Louis, MO USA)
Picked this up at a thrift shop! This is freaking awesome!, May 11, 2013
This review is from: Dell SK-8135 Multimedia USB HUB Computer Keyboard (Electronics)
So while Amazon is selling this discontinued wonderful keyboard for $50, I managed to snag this beauty for about a dollar, albeit the volume knob was missing an one of the feet on the bottom too, but there were like several of them in the bin so I put it back together, took it home and wiped it down with some Clorox cleaning wipes (because this WAS at a thrift shop) and it was like new.
I have nothing but accolades for this keyboard, even though upon further inspection, it is not a mechanical keyboard which seems to be all the rage with gamers willing to shell out $200+ for a keyboard that pretty much does was this keyboard does.
If this keyboard was any better, more than just the multimedia keys would light up. I'm willing to bet there is some sort of hack to make it so, provided you have the technical know-how to make it happen.
The keys are solid. The wrist rest is comfortable although plastic. A soft green glow from the LEDs including the ones that seamlessly are integrated into the dashboard of the keyboard are easy on the eyes and don't shine like lasers.
I'm using this keyboard on Ubuntu Linux. Most of the hotkeys work like they would on a Windows system. The hotkeys on the left manipulate the browser (back, forward, stop, reload, home). The hotkeys on the right open up the mail application, file explorer, and the calculator application. But the media keys have limited functionality. The mute button and the volume control knob work. But stop, previous, next, play/pause, even the button that opens the music application that you want to use (which for some reason, the keyboard application recognizes this as the "Tools" button) will probably require some set up via some hack that I 'm currently searching for. But the fact that Ubuntu recognizes the existence of these keys means that this keyboard is compatible.
It should be noted that the Dell SK-8135 has nearly all the traits of a competing Mac keyboard in that on the back side of this keyboard are two USB ports, a rarity on just about every keyboard intended for PC. This is a great convenience that should not be reserved for Apple Computers and I encourage anyone who manufactures keyboards to tick off the Apple Lawyers and put this feature on your keyboard. I'm pretty sure the reason PC users can have this (or other nice things) has less to do with design preferences or cost cutting, and more to do with frivolous software and hardware patents that have gummed up innovation in this country for over a century. (Think about the guy who won't let us sing "Happy Birthday" at a restaurant. Then realize what a greedy a-hole he is. It's exactly like that.)
Aside from moving the Print Screen/System Request, Scroll Lock, and Pause/Break buttons above the number keypad, Dell was mindful not to remove any of the lesser used keys that are part of the standard keyboard layout. One of my grievances with the Logitech keyboards as of late is the omission of the Insert Key with a large Delete Key. As a Vim users, a keyboard with no Insert Key, Escape Key, or Function keys is like trying to remove someones pancreas and not realizing that this internal organ is required to live.
Overall, this is what any keyboard that is on the market should base itself on. This is what any of those mechanical keyboards should be based on.
18 Aug 2005
Awesome, thanks for the links! I forgot to mention the volume knob works... but it controls the OS sound, not Winamp.
Edit: Just wanted to confirm that it works nicely. For others who may be interested, just download the Winamp plugin at http://www.winamp.com/plugins/details.php?id=78516, extract to the default folder, and restart Winamp. As far as I could tell, there's no configuration needed. (Just ignore the fact that it says it's for the Logitech keyboard.)
18 Jul 2006 | Cheozuka
I was using the keyboard, but the rest of the buttons did not work.
I was using XP however.
I ran this program http://www.winamp.com/plugins/details.php?id=142585 (can be found at link) and it sorted out the media controls for winamp.
It may work.
Thats the best I can do.
This keyboard is ok, but a bit cumbersome.
I got over it, bit the bullet and bought a logitech G15 gaming keyboard.
It reigns Supreme!
It also works with Cad etc, which is awesome.
You can using macro recordings to record steps eg to open a command "trim" you record T R I M ENTER, and assign it to a key.
Press the key once and bang.
SOrry that is a little off your problem.
but on the plus side I think Dell might sell the G15! :)
Heres some shots.
Message Edited by Cheozuka on 07-18-200608:14 AM
This application/driver package will enable programming the hot keys on your Dell Enhanced hot key keyboards, model numbers RT7D00, DT7D10, SK-8100 and KUH1500.
IMPORTANT NOTE:( Win XP users) When you select 'Install Now', you may be given the following four choices - Save, Open, Cancel,More info. You MUST select 'Open' for the installation to work.
IMPORTANT NOTE:(Other OSes) When you select 'Install Now', you may be given the choice of running this program from its current location, or saving this program to disk. You MUST select 'run this program from its current location' for the installation to work.
The Last but not Least Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand ~Archibald Putt. Ph.D
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