Microsoft's Digital Media Keyboard 3000 (DMK3000) at first glance seems like an ordinary keyboard with a few extra multimedia buttons, and a little light — however, this changes the moment you start typing. It's quite well built, and each key strike is exceptionally soft and quiet. If you're someone that's driven mad by the clackety-clack of cheaper keyboards (or the divine old IBM-style "battleship" keyboards), this could well be worth a consideration.
The DMK3000 is covered in a matte black, textured surface, which is both pleasant to the touch and fingerprint resistant. Apart from the standard keys, it also features a full range of file operation buttons (which are essentially shortcuts to common functions like new file, open, save, save as etc) that replace the F1 through F12 keys. The function keys aren't gone altogether — they can be accessed by pressing the "F Lock" button — but it's an indication that the function keys aren't so widely used these days.
Featured above this are shortcuts to your default email, Web browser, messenger application and media player. While initially they load whatever your program defaults are set to, this can be modified via included software to start any program or open any file you desire.
Next to this are five customisable hot buttons, and then media and volume controls. Wrapping up the extra buttons are a shortcut to My Documents and My Pictures; and magnification tools on the left; a shortcut to the calculator above the numpad (we're a fan of this, but it will only spawn one instance of calc.exe); and finally a button purely for Vista to enable Flip 3D, the poor, destitute, seven times removed and thrown out of a dump-truck cousin of Apple's Expose.
It comes with a built-in, non-removable wrist rest, and can be elevated one level by using the feet on the underside — and that, folks, is that. You can find the DMK3000 online for AU$50 or less — and at this quality and price, you really can't go wrong.