written by: D Lamberti•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 7/3/2011
The Dell SK 3210 is a keyboard designed for business use, as its built in trackball eliminates the need for a mouse, saving space and money. It is no longer manufactured by Dell, and as such finding a keyboard that can replace the SK 3210 can be a hard job.
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The Dell SK 3210 keyboard is a basic Dell keyboard with a trackball built in below the numberpad, which has been raised to allow room for it. It is ideal for use in stores or in retail, because its design allows for easy space saving and data entry at cash registers or computer monitors. It possesses no other features besides the trackball, making it a simple, easy to use keyboard that can be used by anyone. However, Dell no longer manufactures this keyboard, and finding a replacement can be tough, as affordable keyboards with a built in trackball or trackpad are hard to find. These three keyboards are viable replacements for the Dell SK 3210, as they are both affordable and effective.
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Adesso Mini Black USB Keyboard
The Adesso Mini Black USB Keyboard is an inexpensive replacement for the Dell SK 3210. It is smaller than a standard keyboard, as it doesn't have a numberpad. The trackball is located in the top right corner, and the left and right click buttons are in the left hand corner, and surprisingly it is not very hard to get used to when compared to the mouse.
The small size makes this keyboard ideal for small spaces and desks, and with the trackball taking the place of the mouse, this keyboard can fit almost anywhere. The keys are easy to use, and don't take a lot of effort to press. The trackball is very easy to clean, just using a wet paper towel to wipe the trackball as it spins, which will remove dirt and grime that could mess up the functionality of the keyboard. Using a dry paper towel to dry it in the same fashion will remove everything from the trackball. It connects with a USB cable, so it works with all Windows based PCs. The keys are laid out in the standard 104-key layout, so the typist will not need to get used to strangely placed keys or a differently shaped keypad.
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Fentek Standard Trackball Keyboard
The Fentek Industries Standard Trackball keyboard is a simply designed keyboard without arrow keys, but with a trackball and mouse buttons in their place. The arrow keys can still be used by presssing the function keys and using the number pad instead, and it comes with a built in removable wrist rest for added comfort.
The keyboard works with Windows 98, 2000, ME, XP, Vista and 7, and requires one PS2 connector for the keyboard to work, and two for the mouse to work as well, or one USB port depending on the model. Both the USB and PS2 models sell for $69.95 USD from the Fentek website, and measure 18.75 x 7.5 x 1.5 inches. The keys are the standard keyboard keys, requiring a fair bit of pressure to press, and there are no specialty keys or hotkeys, or outstanding features, besides the built in trackball and mouse buttons instead of arrow keys.
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IOGEAR Wireless Multimedia Keyboard
The IOGEAR Wireless Multimedia keyboard is not ideal for businesses, as the added media keys and hot keys are more suited for personal use. The trackball is built into the right hand corner of the keyboard, and the two mouse buttons and scroll wheel are built into the left hand corner. While the trackball is slightly loose in the socket, it does not affect the functionality of the keyboard.
This keyboard is ideal for HTPCs or home offices, because the receiver works very well over distances and it has a built in mouse. The receiver works on a 2.4 GHz frequency, and has a maximum range of 33 feet, though I have found that the range actually peters out around 27-28 feet. The keyboard is slightly smaller than a standard keyboard, because there isn't a built in number pad or palm rest, making it ideal for small desks or for use in a user's lap. The media center hot keys only work on Windows XP MCE and Vista Premium, which is a slight downside.
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Pick of the Bunch?
All three of the above keyboards are ideal replacements for the Dell SK 3210 keyboard, but serve different purposes. The IOGEAR keyboard is great for personal use, but may have too many different features that are unneccessary for business or retail use. The Adesso or Fentek models may be more appropriate for business use, but the different positioning of the trackball and mouse buttons meet different needs.