10 Best Numeric Keypads | May 2017
- number lock indicator light
- automatic hibernation mode
- battery tends to slide out of place
|Rating||3.5 / 5.0|
- smooth and quiet operation
- comes with a quick start guide
- mac compatibility is inconsistent
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
- uses bluetooth wireless connectivity
- has a useful tab button
- keys tend to stick or fail over time
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
- pairs easily with tablets
- 10-meter wireless range
- white design shows dirt easily
|Rating||4.4 / 5.0|
- designed to match apple keyboards
- useful clear and triple-zero keys
- keys don't feel especially durable
|Rating||3.8 / 5.0|
- angled to help limit wrist strain
- backed by a 1-year limited warranty
- a bit too thick for some users
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
- nonslip rubber base keeps it stable
- 1 aaa battery is included
- no onboard usb dongle storage
|Rating||4.8 / 5.0|
- universally compatible
- built-in surge protection
- shielded cable limits interference
|Rating||4.8 / 5.0|
- great value for the price
- easy plug-and-play functionality
- long cable for versatile placement
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
- doesn't occupy a usb port
- 8 built-in calculator function keys
- sleek and attractive looking
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
Wired Vs Wireless; Does It Make A Difference?
With the modern era have come benchmarks in convenience such as wireless connection. Yet, not every user is a fan of the idea. Does it make a difference in the functioning of the end product, or is it a matter of personal preference?
Wireless connection works in a similar manner in all devices. Whether it be a remote-controlled car, wireless house phone, or numerical keypad; wireless connection works through radio frequency, or RF technology.
The RF technology process requires two basic components: a receiver and a transmitter. In the case of a numeric keypad, the transmitter is in the keypad itself. It sends out an electromagnetic signal which includes information about the keys pressed on the keypad. The receiver is generally plugged into the computer. This receiver accepts the signal and turns it into information the computer's operating system can use. Using radio frequencies means the signal can pass through barriers on its way to the receiver. Books, desks, monitors, and relatively large distances can be traversed by the signal with ease.
On the other hand, wireless keypads require pairing and encryption to be secure. As many household items operate within the 2.4ghz frequency band, there is room for attackers to hack this frequency and steal any information passed through it. This is one reason many transmitters and receivers encrypt information sent through radio waves. Interference form other 2.4ghz devices is possible as well, which leads many to stick to wired options.
Some people prefer not to have too many wires and cables in their work space, while others perceive wired units to be faster. This may be superstition, however. The difference in speed is undetectable.
Others note possible health implications from being surrounded by radio frequencies. While using one radio-controlled device may have little to no effect on the human body, some users are wary of the lack of long term studies on the health effects caused by increased exposure to radio frequencies in the modern era. A branch of the World Health Organization classified radio frequency as a possible carcinogen to humans, but said there remains no definitive evidence towards this. One study showed that radiation from 2.4ghz devices can affect the nervous system when turned up; implying that over time this may have an adverse effect on humans. Concerned users aiming to reduce their interaction with radio frequency fields usually stick to wired devices wherever possible.
Who Uses Numeric Keypads?
As the modern era has brought about the race to smaller, more portable devices; seemingly extra external features have regularly become after-market options. While standard keyboards regularly include a numerical keypad, it became common to remove them from laptops. Many external keyboards have even removed the numeric keypad feature.
Numeric keypads are a must-have for anyone who regularly inputs a lot of numbers into a computer. Data entry positions regularly require workers to input large amounts of information, including numbers. This is difficult with the row of numbers provided above the standard QWERTY keyboard. Just as there are alternative options to keyboard layouts, the numeric keypad provides a much better option to entering numerical data. The physical reason for this is that the amount of hand movement required to enter numbers using the top line on a keyboard is very impractical. From the key for the number 1 on a keyboard, reaching the key for the number 9 requires unnecessary stretching or hand movement to perform. The standard numeric keypad is about the size of a palm, and the hand can stay centered over the entire area of input at once.
Networking and systems administration positions will likely need to use a numeric calculator. Entering multiple IP addresses all day can become tiresome without the use of a proper keypad.
Mathematicians and accountants also favor the numeric keypad for its calculator-like layout. When a lot of basic algebra needs to be executed quickly, the keypad is the place to go. Most keypads have additional keys for the most commonly used functions of a calculator. Keys for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division are standard in most keypads. This can all be accomplished with relative ease and as little hand movement as possible, making it a very efficient process.
Evolution Of The Numeric Keypad
The numeric keypad's introduction into modern computing is a blend of two devices' historical stories: the keyboard and calculator.
The keyboard has its roots in typing, and specifically, the typewriter. The typewriter is said to have been invented as early as the year 1714, when Henry Mill filed a patent for a typing machine which typed one letter after the other, as in hand writing. The first known working machine was created in 1808 for a blind woman to write with.
As the standard typewriter took the market in 1874, the QWERTY keyboard came with it. This is the standard keyboard we have to this day, and its creators focused less on efficiency as they did on keeping the keys from jamming. In other typewriters of the time, when typists became proficient, they were too fast for the keys. This led to jams and stuck keys. The QWERTY keyboard was introduced to prevent that, and has since become the standard for all keyboards. Other efficient ways of typing exist, such as the Dvorak keyboard, but are simply not familiar to the hands and therefore not popular.
When the computer was introduced, the QWERTY keyboard stayed and very quickly the numeric keypad was introduced. This was due to the early need for calculations in computers. When the computer keyboard was introduced, solving non-linear equations with a calculator was becoming easier than ever. Basic calculator programs were often added to early computers as a selling point. This feature made them more valuable to offices which required calculation. To better support this feature, the numeric keypad from accounting calculators was added onto the QWERTY keyboard of the day, and the full keyboard as we know it today came to be.