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Review: Ideazon Zboard

by Ryszard Sommefeldt on 13 May 2004, 00:00

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qax4

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The Zboard Concept

The Zboard concept is pretty simple. Let users swap their keyboard's entire key layout for a new one that application specific. The targetted key layouts, in theory, should allow you to work or play more efficiently, saving you from suffering your standard layout when things could be made a lot easier.

For games, common gameplay keys are grouped together logically and labelled for easy identification, within easy reach of either hand, saving you having to hunt all over the keyboard for a specific key.

For applications, common application specific shortcut keys are clearly labelled and possibly grouped together, while still retaining a standard key layout (i.e. QWERTY or AZERTY).

The Zboard uses a couple of functional tricks to enable those concepts. It enables quick and easy swapout of key layouts, while the PC is still running, so you can adapt the layout without a break to reboot. Software then automatically detects what layout you've just swapped in, after having been notified by the Zboard, remapping the new game or application specific keys on the fly, so they Just WorkTM.

Basically, you can fiddle with the keys whenever you like, the Zboard doing the rest to make them work as soon as the new layout is in place.

It's how that works in practice that's going to make or break the Zboard. Let's take a look.