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The keyboard cable is the long cable that runs between the main case of the keyboard, and the connector that attaches to the rest of the system. The cable itself is typically of round cross-section and about 1/8th of an inch in diameter, and really, not that exciting. :^) It normally contains within it four wires, corresponding to the four signal lines used for interfacing to the PC through the keyboard connector. These are enclosed in a fairly thick cover of some sort of PVC or plastic.
Most keyboards come with a cable that is several feet long, which is sufficient to reach the connection point of most PCs from the user's work area. However, sometimes the cable is not long enough to reach some tower PCs that are placed on the floor next to the desk where the keyboard is. This happens especially with keyboard cables that are partially coiled--they may reach if you stretch them, but the tension from the coils in the wire may make you feel like someone is constantly trying to yank the keyboard away from you. ;^) If you find that this is the case, you can buy an inexpensive (under ten dollar) keyboard cable extender to let you position your PC and keyboard where you want them for your convenience. See here for more.
The only real quality and design issues when it comes to the keyboard cable are probably related to its attachment points. The cable itself is pretty tough and will last for ages unless abused. The problems usually occur due to stress at the points where the cable attaches to either the keyboard case, or the keyboard connector. The attachment point to the case is especially troublesome for some keyboards, which cause the cable to come out from the front of the keyboard perpendicular to the width of the keyboard. If the keyboard is then pushed up against something, the cable can become pinched, bending at close to a 90-degree angle. This often results in damage over a period of time, resulting in intermittent problems when the keyboard (or the cable) is moved.
Next: Keyboard Connector