First off, many thanks to all of you who came to my aid with recommendations in this thread
I finally decided on the MX3200 as my ultra-quiet keyboard of choice and I'm on my first day of using it at work.
I did purchase this keyboard with the express purpose of finding a keyboard that would make as little noise as possible. I have a psychological hangup about people paying attention to me, or at least unnecessary attention, and a result of that is that I want to draw as little attention to myself as possible. I think it's an Aspie thing, but having people's eyes on me makes my skin crawl. Anyway, the Dell-branded noisemaker-with-keys that was on my PC was less than optimal for my going ignored (and don't ask me why - I work with great people, but like I said, I just hate drawing attention to myself unless I absolutely have no other choice) and so I ordered me an MX3200.Basics:
The MX3200 is a "standard" form-factor keyboard (i.e. straight, no hump or curve or anything), with numeric keypad, full-size. It has a number of additional keys (more later) and a touch-sensitive zoom/magnify bar. Also, it comes paired with a wireless laser MX600 mouse.Noise factor - The Biggie
As noise levels go, the MX3200 produces some very quiet and subdued clicks if I type at full speed (something I still can't quite do as I haven't developed a feel for the keyboard just yet, give me a couple days). If I slow down my typing and soften up the keystrokes, it is almost completely silent.Feel:
The keys are large and comfortable to press. There's an antibacterial coating on the device that lends a "slippery-soft" feel to the key surfaces, but it's oddly pleasant. Keystrokes are a tiny bit "mushy" but it's really only a problem when I'm hotkey-chaining like crazy in my various development environments, image editors, etc. Keypress depth is pretty deep, which I like. I've used deeper and shallower keyboards, and this one is pretty much the Goldilocks board as key depth goes. I don't feel like I have to mash every key as far as it'll go, but my fingers don't "bottom out" unexpectedly either. Also, the double-tall forward-delete key is nice for command-line environments like my mainframe terminal emulator and, again, some of my IDEs. Function keys are small, but placed such that everything from F1-F7 is easily within reach of my left hand without the need for me to move it from its resting position, or requiring only the slightest of moves. The same goes for F9-F12 and the right hand.
There's a palm-rest that's curved and angled just about perfect and is also coated with the antibacterial surface material. It has more of a non-slip feel than the keys and is quite comfortable on the hands.Additional Functionality:
There are 11 multimedia buttons along the top row by the integrated LCD clock, with the usual functions: Play, Pause, Stop, Volume, Skip, etc. The MX3200 also has a launcher for a calculator (Windows default is calc.exe, haven't tried on my Mac or Linux systems), a sleep/suspend button, three buttons for VoIP functionality (box boasts AIM/Yahoo functionality, though I'm sure they can be hotkeyed to Ekiga, Skype, iChat, or a number of other VoIP software), and a number of preset functions that are programmable and are accessed through its laptop-esque "Fn" key.
One feature in particular stands out (enough to get its own paragraph, even), and that is the multi-function search area on the left side of the keyboard. In addition to a row of function buttons for searches, a Close button, and a custom Alt-Tab button, there's a touch-sensitive zoom bar that will zoom in and out (ostensibly via Ctrl+ and Ctrl-, though I haven't found a way to reprogram it yet) as you slide your finger up and down it. Also, Logitech have demonstrated enough foresight to put a "100%" button (also touch-activated) beneath the bar to counter any frustration that may come from inadvertently touching the bar and altering magnification settings. In all honesty, though, you'd really have to try (or have Guinness Book finger size) to bump the bar by accident.
Though not a button, the keyboard features an integrated LCD clock. To be perfectly honest, it seems a little superfluous in that most users will have a clock on their PCs anyway, but I suppose it's for people who work in command-line interfaces or perhaps for home-theater PCs where it's being used at too great a distance from the PC to be able to read the system clock (which would be obscured by full-screen video anyway).Other:
I had a minor problem at first with the connection dropping and keystrokes either not going through or repeating, but I realized it was because I hadn't explicitly established a connection with the mouse even though I had full use of the mouse. As soon as I pressed the "Connect" button on the mouse, all was well. Moral of the story: Connect all your devices properly before you use them!
It's also a very nice-looking device (or pair of devices, as it were). Black and charcoal-grey make for a great colour scheme and the keys are just rounded enough to have a sort of "organic" look without looking strange. There are a few blue and orange highlights that serve to make it extra-shiny, and a few glossy areas up around the clock and along the sides and bottom, where the VoIP buttons are. The whole thing smacks of polish and looks really nice on my desk.
And now, pictures.