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94 Reviews
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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
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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
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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
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
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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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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, January 31, 2014
This review is from: IOGEAR 2.4 GHz Wireless On-Lap Keyboard with Optical Trackball and Scroll Wheel GKM581R (Black) (Personal Computers)
This keyboard is great, except the darned thing needs a break every few minutes. It can't be bothered to work for more than five minutes at a time. I guess the stress is too much. The form factor is nice. It has everything you want in a good package, but it is a lazy cob. Every few minutes, it simply stops working. My son really wanted me to play a multiplayer game with him. We died every time. It's hard to win when you can't even play for minutes at a time. Today, I needed to check the weather report for work. It took me almost 20 minutes because the keyboard stopped working five times. It's a strange thing that a piece of electronics is so fickle.

If you don't mind randomly being made to wait every time you use your computer, this is the keyboard for you. If not, look elsewhere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It is a POS, January 29, 2014
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)
Failed after two weeks of marginal performance and recharging problems. Replaced it with a Logitech and the Logitech works flawlessly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars POS, January 28, 2014
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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've been looking for two years now for a decent keyboard that works and does what the mfr claims it will do. None of them will operate at 33ft away or even 10ft for that matter. I was hopeful that this one was going to do just that, but to my disappointment, it did not. It has trouble working 8ft from my HTPC in direct line of sight from the USB receiver. The rechargeable batteries don't last long between charges. Now, after almost two months of use, it is having trouble communicating with the USB. I go through the recommended procedures to connect with cable, and after many tries, it sometimes work.
I also own the previous IOGear model wireless keyboard, and that one works better than this one, sorry to say. Thinking of returning to Amazon under RMA and getting my money back to purchase the older model.
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