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There  aren’t that many technology names that make me grin but the term “chiclet” most definitely does. If not conjuring up images of baby chicks attempting to write theses with tiny feet, I can’t help but feel amused by the fact that it sounds a lot like chick-lit. And if you don’t know what that is, use Google…

The ASUS K53E comes with a chiclet keyboard which won an IF Award for design. If you don’t know what these awards are, then check out their home page and spend some time looking at the various elements and awards, and the competition faced by ASUS when submitting this chiclet keyboard to the panel…

The keys are extra wide and they are dust repellent, they have been designed to make them more comfortable for you to use, even during extended typing sessions. I was prepared to challenge this statement, IF Award or not…

The CNET review of the keyboard wasn’t overtly flattering, saying that the keys have very little flex and that there is no backlight, and no allocated keys for volume or brightness. While these issues are true, there is no backlight and you do need to rely on key combinations to get things like your volume in shape, I didn’t really have a problem with them.

The thing is, the ASUS K53E is a budget notebook and isn’t supposed to boast every bell and whistle in the book. Instead of attempting to throw a ton of features at it and running the risk of them being shoddy or poor, ASUS has focused on making sure the features that do exist are strong and reliable and I have found that the chiclet keyboard of the K53E is one of them.

asus k53e

I tend to use an ergonomic keyboard with a central split and downward slope. This is because I spend about nine to ten hours a day in front of my PC, working and writing. I need comfort as I don’t relish the idea of ending up with any one of the many weird wrist and hand issues that exist out there, like carpal tunnel syndrome.

So I am not used to battling it out on a flat, plain, keyboard like the one the ASUS K53E sports. I was worried that I would hate it. I am not going to lie, initially I did struggle. I am using it to type this review and I’ve had more than my usual number of typos to fix as I smash the wrong keys or push two at the same time. However, unlike smaller chiclet keyboards, the one on the K53E IS wider and the keys are bigger which means I am not hitting the wrong key as often as I thought I would.

Nor am I, and this is the big one, hitting two keys at once all the time. I find that incredibly tedious on any laptop and this is working for me. In terms of their stiffness, I like it. I tend to be a bit of a keyboard smasher (this was pointed out to me the other day) so the keys on the ASUS K53E’s chiclet keyboard are perfect.

So, what is the final verdict? I think for the light and delicate typist the chiclet keyboard may prove to be too firm but for the average typist with big hands, the widely spaced keys and firm touch will be more than satisfactory.

I will be taking the ASUS K53E through a series of tests in my next article, with the poor thing being forced to run 3DMark, a battery drain test and plenty more, so stay tuned.

What do you think so far? Has the ASUS K53E captured your fancy yet? Or are you still waiting on my pushing it to the limits first?

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