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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, except for trackball
Bought this for my home theater PC, running Linux. The size, weight, keyboard layout, typing feel, and battery life are all great. It's well balanced in the hands, and I can easily type one-handed while standing up, say, for entering a username and password while browsing the web. The wireless sensitivity appears to work as advertised, having used it at distances well...
Published on January 14, 2011 by Andrew Tolopko

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice Design but Quality Lacking
This would be a really sweet keyboard if only the trackball worked all the time. It's very rough, hard to accurately place the cursor and works only about 75% of the time before it freezes. Also on my unit the 'T' key was very soft. It worked but you had to look to make sure.

Too bad because ergonomically this thing is perfect. They should have spent another...
Published on February 20, 2011 by Thomas Husband


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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, except for trackball, January 14, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: IOGEAR 2.4 GHz Wireless On-Lap Keyboard with Optical Trackball and Scroll Wheel GKM581R (Black) (Personal Computers)
Bought this for my home theater PC, running Linux. The size, weight, keyboard layout, typing feel, and battery life are all great. It's well balanced in the hands, and I can easily type one-handed while standing up, say, for entering a username and password while browsing the web. The wireless sensitivity appears to work as advertised, having used it at distances well over 20' from my computer. There is a "left" mouse button on the front right of the keyboard, so you can use just your right hand for pointing and clicking, unless you need to use the "right" mouse button. Then you have to use your left hand to operate the mouse buttons on the left side of the keyboard. These left-side mouse buttons take a little getting used to, since my brain is wired to operate mouse buttons with only my right hand. But after a day or two of use these left-side buttons feel naturally placed. I've also come to rely heavily on the the scroll wheel on the front left of the keyboard. The Home/End/PgUp/PgDown keys are conveniently positioned in the right-most column of keys right next to the trackball, making for easy page navigation during web browsing, PDF reading, etc.

Unfortunately, IOGear has not improved the trackball design from previous models, which others have complained about in Amazon reviews. Out of the box, it felt gritty and rough. This has smoothed out somewhat over time, but is still far from perfect. It also wobbles in its socket, which makes for a wholly unsatisfying experience and reduces accuracy. I use a Logitech Marble Mouse with my office computer, which is so smooth and accurate that it makes the IOGear trackball seem like an afterthought. If only IOGear would improve this one critical part, the keyboard would be the perfect addition to our home entertainment system. That said, I enjoy using the keyboard, and have come to live with the trackball. I still think it's a better setup than balancing a separate keyboard and pointer device when sitting on a couch.

The keyboard comes with rechargeable AA batteries and USB cable for recharging, which is a nice touch.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very cool, December 30, 2010
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Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: IOGEAR 2.4 GHz Wireless On-Lap Keyboard with Optical Trackball and Scroll Wheel GKM581R (Black) (Personal Computers)
I received the keyboard earlier than expected after I put in my Pre-Order purchase... was great to get early.

I've been using this lapboard/keyboard for my HTPC and have been very happy with the performance and features.

It hasn't had any connection issues, all keys work as expected, battery life has been great so far, the additional function keys are used often, the track-ball and mouse buttons really do work well in place of a mouse.

I've tried a few other products like wireless keyboard and mouse sets and mini keyboards and this IO Gear lapboard has by far been the best experience yet.

I particularly like the mouse functions including the scroll wheel which actually even has a button function built into it... and the feel of this keyboard in your hands is fantastic.

I'm glad someone has put all the right pieces into a keyboard designed for the emerging home-theater PC market.

One thing to watch for is if the keyboard starts to triple click on all mouse selections it is due to the rapid-fire mode being selected.

In my opinion this is a great product by IO Gear!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice Design but Quality Lacking, February 20, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: IOGEAR 2.4 GHz Wireless On-Lap Keyboard with Optical Trackball and Scroll Wheel GKM581R (Black) (Personal Computers)
This would be a really sweet keyboard if only the trackball worked all the time. It's very rough, hard to accurately place the cursor and works only about 75% of the time before it freezes. Also on my unit the 'T' key was very soft. It worked but you had to look to make sure.

Too bad because ergonomically this thing is perfect. They should have spent another 10 bucks on a better trackball as I would have gladly paid it.

This will go back for a refund and I'll continue my search for the perfect keyboard.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very dissapointed, October 22, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: IOGEAR 2.4 GHz Wireless On-Lap Keyboard with Optical Trackball and Scroll Wheel GKM581R (Black) (Personal Computers)
ORIGINAL REVIEW: I have used this keyboard for 2 days now. It has a very nice form factor. Too bad it's useless. I can only operate the keyboard at a max distance of about 3 feet from the receiver. Beyond that it is so inconsistent as to be useless. I have tried new batteries to replace the rechargeable ones it came with. That didn't help. I bought it for the TV room. But I can't use it from the couch because the distance is too far (about 6 feet). For the cost, this is totally unacceptable.

UPDATE 12/07/2011: IOGEAR contacted me and I RMA'd the unit. Their instructions required that I ship UPS or FedEx and use *2 inches* of foam on each side of the original box of the unit. Odd since the unit was shipped to me loose in a box with no foam. I spent $14 on shipping - *my expense*. They have now returned to me a refurbished unit to replace the new one I had originally purchased. And guess what, the replacement unit doesn't work! I have tried it with 3 computers and on each one it works for the first 3 seconds and then quits (even with brand new batteries, etc I tried everything). At least the first unit I had worked most of the time at a distance of 3 feet from the receiver. This one wont even do that. So, I asked for a simple refund and am being refused. Just in case anyone may be tempted to think I may not know what I am doing: I own a different model IOGEAR board that I use at home without issue (GKM561R). It works fine on the computers that I am trying to use this one on. They want a 3rd chance to try to send a unit that works. I am 2 months into this fiasco and I have no choice so I am going to send this one back - again. At least this time they agreed to pay shipping. Well, you have been warned. It really is a shame because this product feels really nice in the hand and on the lap. I can tell that if it actually functioned, I would love it. The only problem is, its totally dysfunctional. Well, I will update this again when I get #3.

FINAL UPDATE: I received unit #3. I believe it arrived the first week of January. It works fine. Had this been unit #1, I would have given it a 4/5. Why 4? Because sometimes it loses connection to the receiver and I have to angle it up off my lap for it to work. That problem is a minor annoyance but may affect those who intend to use it as a lap keyboard with a home entertainment center. For me it is a minor issue. I am quite pleased with this unit. I am not pleased with the way IOGEAR handled this problem for me though. It is an expensive keyboard and should come with decent customer service. I should not have had to pay to ship it back to them and they should have been eager to correct the problem. I would have been tempted to adjust up my rating a star or two if they would have shown a reasonable level of concern for a customers inconvenience, especially after sending me 2 defective keyboards over a 3 month period. Anyway, that is that.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Product, March 3, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: IOGEAR 2.4 GHz Wireless On-Lap Keyboard with Optical Trackball and Scroll Wheel GKM581R (Black) (Personal Computers)
I have had the keyboard for one week for my htpc and have enjoyed it from the start. The overall design and quality is great...except of couse as stated before; the track ball feels a little loose in the socket. This being said it does require some "controled" movments to activate smaller links on a web page. This is not a gaming keyboard by any means however, for normal naviagion the trackball serves well.

The rest of the design is superb. The key layout is very ergonomic with natural placement of mouse wheel and left click mouse. All buttons and mouse wheel feel very solid and responsive. The keyboard works well pointed toward the reciever, away, upsidedown, under a blanket and at multiple horozontal planes(aka up the stairs).

Besides the trackball the only CON I have is that my charging light never turned green to indicate a full charge (I charged for 10 hrs). This is not a big deal since from the initail charge I have logged approximately 6 hours of use with out a recharge. Note the key board will automatically go into a sleep mode if lying stationary, with quick "wake up" when any key is pressed (the trackball will not wake the keyboard up; a key must be pressed).

I do recommend this keyboard to anyone looking for a htpc controller and wants to maintain full computer functionality, unlike a set top box. I will update if need be.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DO NOT ORDER THIS KEYBOARD !! HORRIBLE!!, December 3, 2013
By 
Carrissima "Caro" (Manhattan, New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: IOGEAR 2.4 GHz Wireless On-Lap Keyboard with Optical Trackball and Scroll Wheel GKM581R (Black) (Personal Computers)
DO NOT BUY THIS KEYBOARD AND DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THIS HORRIFIC COMPANY!! My brother bought me this keyboard which stopped working completely after a few months. It was still under warranty, so after a few weeks I called the company. They told me I would have to MAIL the keyboard in, PAY for shipping and and they would pay for the return postage. I reluctantly did this and paid over $20 to send the keyboard back to be repaired. They returned it a few weeks later and it was working. After a few months it stopped working completely again! I called them today and they told me that I would not be eligible for a refund! I would have to pay for postage and mail it in again to be repaired. This is an immoral, corrupt company. They get away with this horrific customer service because they are solely an online company as opposed to Target or Best Buy. DO NOT ORDER ANYTHING from this company! They should be put out of business for their unethical practices.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worked good at first, November 22, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: IOGEAR 2.4 GHz Wireless On-Lap Keyboard with Optical Trackball and Scroll Wheel GKM581R (Black) (Personal Computers)
Loved this keyboard at first. Use it in our living room to control the laptop connected to our TV and have no issues with signal. I've honestly only used it a total of 20 times and the scroll button/wheel on the left side (to move your web pages up and down) stopped working. Paying this amount I would have expected it to last longer than a few uses however I like that this is rechargeable so I never need to replace the batteries. I will keep using it as the scroll button does not make it unuseable just not as functionable. I would not buy it again however - too expensive to not be reliable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MAC Mini, February 18, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: IOGEAR 2.4 GHz Wireless On-Lap Keyboard with Optical Trackball and Scroll Wheel GKM581R (Black) (Personal Computers)
I purchased this keyboard to use with a Mac Mini (running Snow Leopard ) connected to a plasma TV and the internet.

The installation was very easy and problem free. The Mac instantly recognized the keyboard and it has functioned flawlessly ever since. The wireless range is good and there have been no drop outs or connectivity issues ( we have the keyboard about 20 feet from the computer).

The unit looks and feels nice and seems to be of reasonable quality. The only minor criticisms I have is that the trackball has a small amount of play (that is apparently common in IOGear products) and the recharge time isn't quick. The trackball works fine, however I wonder whether it will be the weak link in the unit long term.

The keyboard is a good size, easy to use and has the full range of keys, although the Mac specific keys are absent (however the Mac adapted to that easily enough).

In summary, I am very happy with the keyboard and it has proved to be an excellent wireless unit for lounging on the couch. I would recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent keyboard for HTPC, nice design, works great., February 3, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: IOGEAR 2.4 GHz Wireless On-Lap Keyboard with Optical Trackball and Scroll Wheel GKM581R (Black) (Personal Computers)
I looked at a number of cheaply constructed compact wireless keyboards in person at MicroCenter & WorstBuy for use in my living room with a pc running to the HDTV before deciding on this model. Few were less expensive than this IOGeear, most were pricier yet still felt & looked cheap with poor construction and weak trackballs.

When I came across this new model I was pretty stoked, I wasn't sure about the oval design but I decided to give it a shot sight unseen. When it arrived I was pleasantly surprised at the design, ergonomics and quality. It looks better in person than pictures. The case has a rubberized soft coat, similar to the back of the Harmony One remote, & the keyboard is laid out well and is a good size. It doesn't feel chinsy like many of them I looked at. The track ball works really well, is pretty accurate and the left click button in front of it is perfect combined with the scroll wheel on the left side.

Highly recommended for anyone looking for a mid sized fair priced wireless keyboard.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars some problems with design, can be fixed if you are techie, October 11, 2013
By 
Almost immediately I noticed that the scroll wheel was cheap, it has a plastic axle and it broke after three days. I took the board apart, and taking a small brad nail, poked it through the axle and then trimmed it creating a new metal axle. Also, the trackball is NOT sealed and it will collect dust. I have several other boards and they all need to be taken down and apart and have the trackballs cleaned. If you like the style, and are willing to do upkeep as I am, they are a great item. Would I recommend them for my wife? No. My kids? No, unless they have me to repair and keep them up. I forsee this particular board lasting a year or two tops on the regular usage without upkeep. If you need yours repaired, send me a private message over amazon.com and I will do my best to fix it at a VERY reasonable cost. Regards, Bagpiper8
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