Cat touchpads by Cirque. A while back, I’m sure someone on the list said that they were going to get a Cirque cat… if so, how has it been?  I’ve got a cirque smooth cat keyboard. It is an ergonomic i.e. split keyboard, with a built in glidepoint. I’ve had it about 18 months now and think it is excellent. The key touch is light but responsive, the split seems quite a good angle for me and the glidepoint is 100 times better than a mouse. I now find I can spend most of the day at the keyboard with minimal pain. I had to go on a course the other day where they only had normal keyboard / mouse and within half an hour of using it I was starting to hurt! I got my keyboard from the states for about 65 ukp (I believe you can get them over here but I couldn’t tell you where offhand). Best 65 quid I’ve spent in a long time!

Comment 1: Thanks for your info about the Smoothcat. Looking at the illustration of it, it appears to have quite a deep integral wrist rest. Do you find that okay? I have a MS Natural Elite at the moment, and that has something similar, and I’m still trying to work out whether I like it or not. In the description of the Smoothcat it says it has ‘legs’ at the front to tilt it ergonomically. Does that mean you can raise the edge nearest to the body – which is supposed to give a better angle?

Comment 2: I find the wrist rest quite useful – it is recommended by physios etc that you only use the rest when pausing from typing and to this end it is quite nice. The one I’ve got 2 sets of legs at the front, one set can raise the front of the keyboard up by about 1″ (which is the set I use as this angles the keyboard so that it is sloping down away from you), the other set is about ½”, or you can just have the keyboard flat by collapsing the legs completely. The integral glidepoint is great – you can scroll documents just by sliding your finger down the side of the pad. If you are using the internet then you can move forward and back between pages by sliding your finger either left or right across the top of the pad. Clicking and double-clicking is done by lightly tapping the pad itself.

It also has 2 proper buttons which you can program. I have one set to click lock for drag-drop type operations. The pad comes with a comprehensive settings program so that you can get everything set up to your personal liking. It took a while to get used to but I really like it now. You still have to be a bit careful when using it that you don’t hold your finger extended for long periods and that you keep your shoulder relaxed. But I can use the pad for quite long periods with minimal discomfort, whereas a mouse hurts within about ½ hour! Hope this helps.

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