This product review is for the Seal Shield brand. A couple weeks ago, the nice folks at Seal Shield sent me a couple keyboards, a mouse, a remote control, and a few packs of pens. All their products are dishwasher safe, so when you dump your Dr. Pepper (uh! Sacrilegious!) onto the keyboard, you can relax you sphincter. A quick trip to the dishwasher is all it takes to cure the problem of sticky keys.
The Seal Shield booth at CES 2012
Seal Shield claims that you can simply take their products and run them under water, soak them in a tub or even run them through the dishwasher. Of course, in our line of work, using a computer mouse and keyboard can be downright hazardous, biologically. I taught at a computer learning center for a time, and I saw students and coworkers coughing on them, using tissues and going right back to typing. Yuck! I’d have to shut down the computers and then take Lysol and Clorox wipes to the keys and mice. What about what happens at the station or in your apparatus? We’ve all seen the studies about how the front of the ambulance is dirtier than the back. Gang, there’s no reason it has to be this way!
Seal Shield Keyboard immersed in water at the Seal Shield CES 2012 booth.
Does your keyboard have a little more than Cheetos residue on it? Dunk it in a bucket with some bleach and water! That firehouse remote control? Run it with the end of shift dishes.
For my review, I was sent many items, including a standard keyboard, model STK503, a.k.a. Silver Storm keyboard, a
Silver Storm mouse, model SM7, a white Seal Touch Glow Silicone All-In-One Keyboard with Built-In Touchpad, model SW90PG2, a Silver Seal Universal TV Remote Control, model STV1, and two packs of 4pc Seal Pens, all pictured below…
Two keyboards, a mouse, a remote control, and some pens.
Most of Seal Shield’s product line includes silver ions embedded into the plastic to prevent bacterial growth and spreading. They also claim products are 100% waterproof and spillproof, and they even have earned the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.
My test on the standard style keyboard was remarkable to me. I marked my fastest typing speed ever at 52 words per minute! Okay, so it isn’t THAT fast, but it is for me. It was responsive, and thanks to an IT manager I know who put it through the ringer with his kids, it took a dousing in soda, with no complaint…
Seal Shield Keyboard doused in soda.
My IT colleague also had the pleasure of unwrapping the mouse (pictured below) and testing it out. He liked it quite a bit, claiming it was also very responsive, but it isn’t the best model for people with smaller hands. He took a pic of it next to his usual mouse to illustrate. The back end of the mouse feels very large and without that large grip from your hand, you might have some trouble getting your fingers to splay out across the buttons and scroll wheel comfortably.
Seal Shield Mouse (left) and Microsoft Mouse (right)
The final test, alas, did not go so well. The one I had the highest hopes for was by far the worst performer. This is the Silicone Keyboard. The pros: it looks cool and it looks cool! The cons: the key response was terrible, giving me 14 words per minute error-corrected. :-p I haven’t typed that poorly since I got my TI-99/4A in themid-80’s.
Silicone Keyboard - It looks cool.
I found my accuracy improved when I added force to the impact of the keys, and my speed went up to something like 25 words per minute. The touchpad was as good as any first generation touchpad, with only single-touch available. Finger taps were about half recognized. The built-in left and right mouse buttons were only accurate if you hit to either the right or left side of each button, but rarely in the middle. If aesthetics were all that mattered, this would be a sure winner, but as my wife often says, “Looks and smells aren’t everything.”
It's Glowing - It just looks cool!
I tried to contact the Seal Shield rep to see if this unit might be faulty, but I never heard back from him. I’m going to keep trying.
Here is a quick summary: All this stuff is great, except for the silicone keyboard, which is the one I thought would be most likely to be put into service in a rig.
Silicone keyboard's touchpad - It looks cool.