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Gmail has long had keyboard shortcuts, though learning them can be difficult. Enter the Gboard, a
specialized mini-keyboard for Google's e-mail service. It debuts this Friday at an asking price of
The Gboard consists of 19 colored keys set in a standard size numpad-only keyboard. Clicking on any
one of these performs that particular keyboard shortcut. Included are Gmail-specific features such as
starring messages, starting a search, and jumping between message threads. Outside of Gmail they
simply act as normal keyboard buttons, and will type in whatever letter or number corresponds with
The device is powered by USB and requires no special software or drivers, however users need to first
enable keyboard shortcuts within Gmail's settings before using it. Also worth noting is that it was
created not by Google, but by Charlie Mason, a film producer from Venice, Calif. This is his first foray
into the computer hardware business.
With the Gboard, no setup required, and the color coding is logical and makes it easy to learn the
keys. Things that normally take three or four mouse movements can be done with one click of the
Gboard. The Gboard is small enough that most of the keys are readily accessible with little or no
movement. If you suffer from wrist or hand pain, the Gboard might be able to alleviate some of it.
Gboard says that the average office worker spends 2 to 3 hours of their day dealing with e-mail. There
are millions of G-Mail users that could benefit from this time saver. (www.gboard.com)