zCover TypeOn Keyboard Protector full review

zCover is perhaps best known for making a living out of silicon-based skins for various products (iPhones, iPods, and other gadgetry). However, the company also does an interesting sideline in protective keyboard covers.

The concept of keyboard protection isn’t as big these days as it used to be (in the 1980s owning a keyboard dust protector was de rigeur among business-types), but there’s no denying Apple’s choice of a white colour scheme for its keyboards leads to an accumulation of dust, crumbs, hairs and fingermarks. These can make six-month-old Mac keyboards look pretty disgusting.

However, freedom from grime isn’t the really cool part of zCover’s keyboard range. That is reserved for the special editions that feature shortcuts to your favourite programs (you see, you can still push the keys while the cover is in use).

These shortcuts provide comprehensive key guides to major programs such as Final Cut Pro and Adobe Photoshop, as well as some more niche apps such as Cakewalk Sonar and Digidesign Pro Tools. You can find a complete list here.

Using the zCover keyboard protector really couldn’t be easier. You place it over your keys and type away. We noticed that those designed for the new aluminium keyboard gave a snug fit, while the older curved keyboard seemed a bit looser, but both functioned perfectly adequately.

We’re going to go out on a limb and say that a keyboard shortcut guide, such as this, is a vital purchase for serious users of these shortcut-focused programs, and it’s especially useful if you’re trying to learn an application. Not only do they help you work faster, they also ensure you become more familiar with the program and all that it has to offer.

The only downside is the price. There again, the only alternative is to purchase a dedicated keyboard, such as the Logic Final Cut Pro Keyboard, but at £79.95 this is an even more expensive option. Dedicated keyboards aren’t necessarily better either.

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