EMPEROR LOOKS GOOD
THE EMPEROR KEYBOARD for the Spectrum from Saga Systems, previewed in the June issue of Sinclair User, is now available in the shops. It has undergone a few design changes since then, primarily the removal of the single key functions, but it still retains its good looks, positive key action and 67 separate keys.
In addition to the traditional 40 keys there are 21 of the most commonly used functions on separate keys plus an extra three symbol shift and one caps shift keys. Those are arranged so that the functions are adjacent to a shift key. In that way one finger can be used to press both keys, a system that works remarkably well. Those extra functions are the mathematical - addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and equals; punctuation - full stop, comma, semi-colon and colon; together with hash and dollar. All are operated by symbol shift. Delete, edit, graphics, caps lock and the four cursor keys are operated by caps shift. For good measure there are two enter keys and extra run, save and 0 keys.
To fit the keyboard the top half of the Spectrum is removed and the bottom half, containing the PCB, is bolted under the base of the keyboard. As the original Spectrum base is now the base of the new keyboard, add-ons such as Interface One connect with difficulty. Fitting only takes five minutes, as claimed in the advertising, but you then have to stick the labels onto the keys which takes considerably longer.
The price of £54.45, plus £1.15 p&p, is above average but the multitude of keys make the keyboard worth consideration. It is available direct from Saga Systems Ltd, Woodham Road, Woking, Surrey.