P.I. Engineering has announced they are bringing their USB powered X-Keys product to the Mac. X-Keys is a stand alone keypad that is full programmable for use with macros, keyboard shortcuts, or any other commonly used key combinations. According to P.I. Engineering:
P.I. Engineering, inventor of the Y-mouse line of adapters and manufacturer of a full line of computer interface products, is proud to announce USB X-Keys for Macintosh. This evolution of the company's premiere line of programmable keyboard products represents not only a cosmetic change, but also a dramatic engineering innovation.
USB X-Keys for Macintosh is a fully programmable keypad that comes in two distinctive flavors, a 20 key Desktop model and 58 key Pro model. Priced at $99 and $129 respectively. Both models come packaged in special Macintosh coordinating plastics and include MacOS USB drivers.
USB X-Keys provides a bank of fully programmable keys that users can assign to any key or combination. This provides a degree of speed and macro programmability that is seen only with third party applications. Of course, since USB X-Keys looks to the OS just like a keyboard, most macro programs and system extensions can take advantage of the extra keys that the user configures.
Since it's USB, USB X-Keys coexists with other USB devices. Conformity to the USB specification assures a seamless user experience. Plug it in and it works. Once it's programmed, X-Keys looks like a USB keyboard and doesn't even require the driver to work properly. A programmed USB X-Keys unit can be moved from machine to machine and function as expected.
Having extra programmable keys can be a boon to any user. Keys can be configured to provide frequently used words or key combinations for general use, or tuned for specific applications. Photoshop and Illustrator users, for instance, can configure complex key combinations onto a single key thus liberating their mouse hand and speeding productivity. Users of the newer iMac keyboards will find that just having configurable keys that can be used for editing or function keys recaptures much of the advantage of larger, extended keyboards while adding a host of new, programmable options.
USB X-Keys comes in a 20-key which is priced at US$99.95, and 58-key version which is priced at US$149.95. You can find more information on X-Keys at the comapny's web site.