Top positive review
53 people found this helpful
Great design and function, slightly frustrating due to Bluetooth
on January 26, 2010
Fantastic design and feel for the keyboard. Great key action, it's very similar to the Microsoft ComfortCurve keyboard in layout and key motion. High responsiveness could be used for games although it is certainly not built as robustly as a gaming keyboard. Bluetooth connectivity is a problem from time to time and turn-on delay can be significant after it goes into power-save mode (sleep state). Wonderfully small form-factor fits perfectly inside my smaller laptop bag that houses my ultra-portable 13-inch-screen ASUS UL30VT.
Build Quality and Design: 8 out of 10
The entire external shell of this keyboard is made out of plastic. The bottom is white, not silver or black. I would prefer a silver colored bottom if an accent color was necessary, or just a continuation of black. The top shiny black bar of trim sucks up fingerprints easily but is also easily wiped off. The black area immediately surrounding the keys has a rubberized texture to it like many Logitech mice have. Time will tell if this coating will rub off or not, but it feels robust enough to hold up to lots of use.
If twisted while grabbing the edges, the keyboard flexes a bit. Since it's so thin I would expect this. It does not feel fragile, but this isn't your father's old IBM weapons-grade keyboard. The smaller edge is almost axe-like although not sharp, it does end in a nice blunted taper. This small leading edge along the palm entirely eliminates the need for a wrist rest of any kind. It has exceptional ergonomics if used on a desk or flat surface. Easily one of the most comfortable keyboards I've used.
Contents of Box: 9 out of 10
The product box is surprisingly small and has a nice weight to it.
Other than the keyboard and the 10-key keypad there is a protective pouch for the keypad that is made out of a gray denim material included in the box. The pouch material isn't particularly amazing and the color choice seems odd since it matches nothing on the product, but at least there's something to put the keypad in. There is no such cover for the keyboard included in the box, and I haven't seen one sold as an accessory.
There are three AAA Energizer batteries in the box. The first round of batteries is on Microsoft. They are difficult to locate since they are tucked in a small white box wedged into the efficient packaging.
The oddly folded "Getting Started" manual is understandable enough and has more languages than I ever would have guessed was required.
Function: 10 out of 10
The keyboard can be used without ever using or connecting the keypad. Or just the keypad can be used without the keyboard, for those in need of an expensive 10-key solution. Each device registers as its own Bluetooth device. The keyboard responsiveness is great, even good enough to play FPS games with from 10-feet away. Although I can't say this is a gaming keyboard it could work for that purpose.
The on-off switch is perfect for shoving this keyboard into a laptop bag. But it does add some conscious effort on the part of the user. If the physical switch is not shut it off when the keyboard is shoved into a laptop bag the keys will inevitably get pressed and batteries will not last.
Connectivity: 5 out of 10
It takes a long time to wake up from a sleep state. I've measured as much as 5-10 seconds. One time so far the keyboard never woke up at all after going into sleep mode. I had to cycle the power switch on the bottom of the keyboard to reconnect the device. I find this unacceptable for the price tag. It's related to the Bluetooth technology, which I still have not seen work as flawlessly as the industry claims. That considered, I've used a few RF wireless keyboards that loose keystrokes and have been unreliable. I would take this keyboard over any of those units. As far as choosing the lesser of two evils I'd go with this Bluetooth unit over the RF devices I've used any day.
Most laptops ship with Bluetooth built in but might not have that connection turned on. There will be no extra hardware needed to connect this device to such laptops. Desktop systems do NOT usually have Bluetooth built in and will require a Bluetooth USB adapter. That adapter can be found anywhere from $8 to $25 depending on where they are purchased. Keep that extra expense in mind if you intend to use this for a desktop system.
Score: 4 out of 5
I had to subtract one point for the sometimes frustrating connectivity that afflicts all Bluetooth devices, this one included. Otherwise this keyboard is solid, designed well and functions great.