GCN Lab Review: Goldtouch ErgoSecure 2.0 keyboard with smart-card reader

Pros: Security-minded slot for smart card, gentle feel, ergonomically designed
Cons: Takes a week or two to get used to it

Performance: A
Features: A+
Ease of use: A
Value: A
Price: ErgoSecure keyboard — $159 ($119 GSA); Go! Travel Keyboard mobile kit — $375 ($329 GSA)

GCN Lab Reviewers Choice small logoThe Goldtouch ErgoSecure 2.0 keyboard with smart-card reader is designed to be easy on hands that are already stressed or injured and prevent repetitive motion injuries in the first place.

The keyboard is divided into two halves that are attached with an adjustable ball-and-socket joint, sort of like an elbow, so you can adjust it horizontally and vertically and lock it in place with a lever at the top left-hand side of the keyboard.

Traditional keyboards require 60 grams of pressure on a key; the Goldtouch requires 40 to 45 grams of pressure. Right away, you can feel how much easier it is to type.

An office mate who was recovering from a broken hand tried the Goldtouch, which easily plugged into the USB port on her docking station. She liked the slightly smaller size of the keyboard because she didn’t have to stretch her recovering finger as far to reach the Shift key. It took her a few days to get used to the slightly different spacing, and she kept hitting the Caps Lock key by mistake. But the keyboard ultimately brought her much-needed relief.

What makes the Goldtouch of interest to government workers is its security features. It’s the only ergonomic keyboard that meets personal identity verification standards specified by the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Federal Information Processing Standard 201.

The keyboard has an embedded smart-card reader on the top right that’s illuminated by a blue light, so you can’t forget it. Unlike most keyboards, the Goldtouch has no numeric keypad on the right because you should do intensive number crunching on a separate calculator or stand-alone numeric keypad for ergonomic reasons.

Goldtouch also offers a smaller version, the Goldtouch Go!, that sits in your lap and weighs about 1 pound — instead of the 3 pounds the standard version weighs — but it lacks the smart-card reader. The mobile keyboard is part of a travel kit that includes cases approved by the Transportation Security Administration.

Goldtouch, 512-259-5688, www.goldtouch.com

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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