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hether you are a college student with a mountain of work in statistics class or someone who works from home in need of efficient data entry, a number pad can be an invaluable tool to have at your disposal. These useful, external devices have begun to rise in popularity for their practicality and space-saving uses. However, recently number pads with letters have entered the market.
These devices feature letters and additional keys than the regular number pads which have the potential to increase the functionality of the device, but with costs that may not be worth the trade-off.
In this blog, we will explore the trend and whether it is worth investing in one or sticking to a traditional external number pad.
Number pads with letters: Game-changer or Gimmick?
Number pads with letters are essentially number pads that double up as mini-keyboards, with letters overlaid on them to facilitate faster data entry.
Targeted at individuals who spend long periods of their days crunching numbers, such as accountants and data analysts. These devices promise a streamlined approach to the data entry process by reducing the need to move your hand back and forth between numbers and letters.
While this may seem enticing to some users, it’s important to consider whether it is actually a game-changer or simply a gimmick.
While number pads with letters promise to streamline certain tasks, there are still some limitations.
For example, the added letters will not be of much use if you are using software applications that rely on shortcuts.
Additionally, some users have found that the combination of numbers and letters on a single pad can be overwhelming and confusing for those who are used to regular number pads.
Do the additions reduce the practicality?
The appeal of the number pad comes from its practicality and space-saving uses. By being able to operate with a compact keyboard and utilize the external number pad when necessary, the user can reduce their workspace size requirements and clutter.
The additional keys required to overlay the letters increase the overall size of the device. Importantly, the overlaid letters also reduce the useability of the device, as the simplistic nature and layout are cluttered, making the device harder to use – as we previously mentioned.
Is it a Good Long-term investment?
While it is easy to be tempted by the latest technology, it’s important to not get caught up in hype, and instead choose devices that are proven.
Choosing to invest in a traditional external number pad like the ones from Macally, is a smart choice for anyone who is looking for a good long-term investment. Traditional number pads are tried-and-tested, reliable, and generally more affordable than their newer number pad with letters counterparts.
What makes standard number pads a worthwhile purchase?
Detached number pads, or standalone numeric keypads, are devices separate from the main keyboard that consist of just the number keys.
It has a variety of uses that can help to streamline many computer tasks. The ability to have a dedicated number pad wherever you need it, and wish to position it is a highly advantageous move – leading to their growing popularity.
- Data entry
Are different areas that can benefit from having a separate number pad.
Combined with their relative affordability in comparison to other external keyboards, it is easy to see why traditional number pads continue to be a popular choice for many.
Overall, there is a lot to be said for traditional number pads as they provide users with the versatility and reliability that more modern keyboards simply can’t match. Their ergonomic layout makes them one of the most user-friendly devices on the market and an ideal tool for anyone looking to increase their productivity when working with numbers.
Macally's Numpad Recommendations:
- Bluetooth Numpad: $49.99
Macally highly recommends the Bluetooth Numpad due to its seamless wireless connectivity, providing users with the freedom to utilize the flexibility and space-saving advantages whilst working unencumbered by cords. Its compatibility with all modern Mac, Windows, and other OS devices allows for easy integration into your existing setup. The Bluetooth Numpad boasts a full-sized 35-key layout ensuring a familiar and comfortable user experience that has all the functionality you need, and its compact design makes it perfect for both desktop use and travel. The responsive, quiet keys provide the tactile feedback that typists love, while the rechargeable battery ensures longevity and dependability. It's this blend of functionality, reliability, and user-friendly design priced at an affordable $49.99, that makes the Bluetooth Numpad a top recommendation.
- USB-C RF Wireless Numpad: $29.99
For users seeking a cord-free work environment with the option of wired connectivity for greater stability, Macally suggests their USB-C RF Wireless Numpad. This versatile device offers both RF wireless and USB-C wired modes, catering to varying user preferences and work scenarios. With its 18-key layout, it offers functionality, including useful shortcut keys without taking up much space. The USB-C RF Wireless Numpad is compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems, making it a versatile addition to any workstation. The sleek, compact design, coupled with silent, responsive keys, delivers a satisfying typing experience. The plug-and-play feature negates the need for complicated setup procedures, making it an exceptional choice for those seeking convenience, versatility, and performance in a numeric keypad. At just $29.99, we cannot recommend this device highly enough.
- USB-C Wired Numpad: $29.99
The USB-C Wired Numpad is highly recommended by Macally for its direct, reliable connection that eliminates the need for constant battery charging. This device features a 22-key layout, including essential shortcut keys, which increases efficiency, particularly for data entry tasks. Its compatibility with Mac and Windows operating systems, along with its plug-and-play functionality, allows for quick and straightforward setup. The sleek design and silent, responsive keys ensure a comfortable and unobtrusive typing experience. Macally puts its weight behind the USB-C Wired Numpad due to its combination of reliability, ease of use, enhanced functionality, and affordable price - at just $29.99 - making it an excellent choice for both casual and power users.
To summarise our investigation into the future of number pads with letters, it’s safe to say that they are not replacing the standard devices. Due to their features rendering the advantages of the device negated, they do not have a long-term future and are failing to land a consumer base as the standard model has.