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With modern software becoming ever more sophisticated and complicated, the myriad of keyboard shortcuts, trackpad swipes and function key combinations seem ever harder to remember. After five years behind the computer processing images in both RAW and Photoshop, I have to say I do have rather a lot of memory allocated to remembering the most bizarre of actions, across both Mac and PC platforms.
After realising that left hand shortcuts were detrimental to enhancing my speed, I forced myself to discover and remember them all. It’s easy to venture no further than the one handed ‘mouse and menu’ approach, but to deny yourself fluidity at the helm is to hamper creativity. KB Covers realised there was commercial potential in this arduous of personal memory tests, but are they a help or hindrance? I decided to find out.
KB Keyboard Covers Features:After a few dippy emails from yours truly, I managed to select the right cover for my 13” Mac Book Pro before their MD left for a vacation. As European and American keyboards differ in layout and configuration, KB have a variety of options. The Return key can be the biggest problem – some are L shaped while others are rectangular, but not to worry, the website is clear and easy to decipher. For this test I chose the Photoshop cover as well as a second for Lightroom.
KB Keyboard Covers Handling and Performance:Firstly, the cover fits perfectly. It’s made of soft and supple clear, rubbery material that almost sticks to the unibody when applied. I know what you are thinking, because I was thinking the same thing – it’s going to get nasty over time; covered in dust and finger grease. Is it actually easy to type with it on? Or will it just ascend upwards to shelf of the office obsolete?
Typing is actually extremely natural. Although there could be a little latency, I became convinced this was actually in my head. The backlit MBP keyboard is something quite special. I can type extremely fast thanks to its responsive action and thankfully this was hardly lost on the cover. This means it’s easy to dip in and out of emails whilst processing work without any noticeable inaccuracy behind the keys.
The layout is colourful, not garish. The fonts are all sharp and defined, as are the coloured blocks that help identify shortcuts. After looking at the Photoshop cover, I was somewhat smug that I knew most of them. So I replaced it with the Lightroom cover to see just how fast I could learn some new left hand skills.
KB Covers have you snapping into action. I suddenly realised I only know two shortcuts for Lightroom and I spend all my time using the mouse alone when I should be sorting, flagging and rating my work with relative ease. Looking around at all the shortcuts in greater detail, it made me realise how much potential the covers have.
To top it all off, the KB Cover will save you from self loathing. Spill a glass of wine all over your MBP and you may be thanking your lucky stars you were trying to improve your Photoshop shortcuts. They can help keep liquid but also dust and dirt out of the keys. For its final trick, the keyboard is also washable, so should it get a little horrid, you can put it in the washer with the dishes.
KB Keyboard Covers Verdict:It’s a great idea, it’s a well made product made of quality materials that I can certainly recommend. Costing the same as a good post processing book, its not cheap, but it will stop you referencing back pages in an attempt to get the most from your software. The process of learning shortcuts quickly becomes…well shortcut. The website does lack a few essential layout pictures right now, but this is work in progress from a company gathering pace. Visit the site and you’ll be surprised at the array of software they make covers for. Prices start at around £18.00 at the current exchange rate.
KB Keyboard Covers Pros
Protect your keyboard from dust and dirt
Learn shortcuts you didn't know
Improve your workflow
KB Keyboard Covers ConsAppears to be expensive for what it is
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Visit KB Covers for more information.