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on January 14, 2011
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.
34 helpful votes
35 helpful votes
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44 comments|Report abuse
on October 22, 2011
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.
4 helpful votes
5 helpful votes
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22 comments|Report abuse
on December 30, 2010
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!
16 helpful votes
17 helpful votes
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on October 11, 2013
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
1 helpful vote
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on January 25, 2011
I'm a Libra so I tend to over research all my purchases. After a week of reading reviews I picked this iogear for couch browsing.
What sold me is the left click button by the trackball. It makes for good one handed use. Also the track wheel is very useful which you can also click then use the ball to scroll with.

My main concern with the products currently on the market is size. They're either too small to type effectively on or takes up too much space. This keyboard has a smaller foot print than I expected.

The quality is surprising for it's price class. The finish is a velvety hard plastic with rubber non slip pads on the bottom. The keystroke is fairly short and is comfortable enough to type this letter on. Actually it's better than my $200 dollar Logitech. Installation is a snap. The instructions call for the batteries to be charged for 6 hours first via the USB port. I recommend using regular AA's to start of with and charge overnight. I have been using it for two weeks with no need to charge the batteries. The reception is very good and have not had any dropped keys yet.

The not so good. There's no software involved. Which makes for a very easy install but you're not able to change the functions of any of the keys. The trackball is not a marble ball and is not perfectly smooth. It still is 99.9% as good as can be expected. The batteries fit very snug and is not easy to remove (which technically you'd never have to).

I would expect this keyboard to be in the $140+ range. But for $60 this is a winner and deserves 5 stars.
I highly recommend it.
1 helpful vote
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on July 10, 2013
This is the second IOGear multimedia keyboard I've purchased, and it will definitely be the last. The design is actually pretty clever, but the build quality is a complete joke. I had their older design before this one, and the scroll wheel on that keyboard lasted about a month and broke, and the rubber strips on the sides were constantly coming off and getting glue everywhere. I figured I would give this one a shot. This time instead of the scroll wheel, the left mouse click button lasted about a month and broke.

Additionally, the battery compartment is too small for the batteries to actually fit inside. It's nearly impossible to actually insert or remove the batteries. There's also the giant, pointless rubber feet that just like the last one began coming loose within weeks and are now getting glue everywhere. I don't feel like paying half the price of the product to send this piece of crap to IOGear for them to send me what will likely be someone else's refurbished junk which I'm sure will break even faster than this one did. DO NOT BUY PRODUCTS FROM IOGEAR. They seem to engineer them to last 30 days or so.
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
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11 comment|Report abuse
on August 29, 2013
I bought this to use as my day to day keyboard in my home office. I wanted something I could put in my lap and use comfortably.

1st off the computer would not recognize the device. I was able to get the keyboard working by using the generic Windows USB driver but the trackball would not function. The blue light would flash on the usb plug when I moved the track ball but the computer would not respond.

The keyboard it self missed about 1 out of every 10 keystrokes. I played around with it a lot and found that speed was one issue and firmness of key press was another. I am not a great typist but I go pretty fast and now and then I don't quite catch the key perfectly. Most keyboards seem to let me get away with the near misses but not this one. Several times I would watch the screen while typing and see a perfectly good key stroke ignored.

I even got a USB extension cable and made sure the USB plug was right next to the keyboard as I typed thinking that my desk was obscuring the signal but there was no difference.

I used it for a half day and knew that it was not viable as my day to day keyboard. I tried contacting support and described the issues with both the non-functioning trackball and key stroke misses but I only got a return policy response so I did not waste my time any longer.

The trackball issue was no doubt a driver problem on my computer but I could never track down a driver that would work and the manufacturer does not offer any because it is supposed to just work with the standard HID drivers, which it did not at least for me.

If all you want is a keyboard to type in search requests on your TV then this will probably do fine but no way it can be used for emailing and writing documents. You'd spend more time going back to fix missed key presses then composing your email.

I am returning it and will go back to the drawing board.
1 helpful vote
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11 comment|Report abuse
on February 20, 2011
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.
14 helpful votes
15 helpful votes
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33 comments|Report abuse
on March 15, 2013
UPDATE: 8/11/2013: After six months it is still working great. Definitely would recommend this keyboard for any HTPC. The attenuation issue I noted was easily overcome but putting the dongle at the end of a USB extender cable so the dongle sits up on the shelf instead of behind the HTPC case. No issues at all.

UPDATE 4/15/13: Still pleased I purchased this as it works great. The rechargeable batteries are lasting a few days at a time before needing a charge. The only thing I've begun to notice is an apparent sensibility to attenuation (reduction of the signal). My HTPC sits on a shelf of a metal and wood entertainment center and the dongle is inserted into a USB on the back. At over about 8 feet or when someone stands directly between the keyboard and the PC, I definitely experience degradation. For me, since I prefer to sit a little closer anyway, this has not been a significant problem; just something I noticed.

UPDATE 3/23/13: Still working great. Typing on this has proven to be a non-issue: still no dropped characters, only the keyboard is a little stiffer than other keyboards, requiring a little more pressure on the keys than usual. I have experienced a couple of occasions where minor interference occurred; i.e., I had to move the keyboard to a different position to get it to respond. In the main, however, it just works. Still is still my recommended HTPC keyboard.

I am typing this using my just received IOGear keyboard, while sitting about 10 feet from my computer. I highly recommend this keyboard for HTPC use. I hope to update this review as time goes by since some of the previous reviews indicate a short hardware life. Here's hoping I can testify differently.

After reading through all of the previous reviews, I had concerns about the quality of this keyboard and whether it would really work for me. But I finally decided to give it a try figuring I could return it to Amazon or eat the $35. I paid $80 for my previous keyboard - nMediaPC.

The majority of the other reviews spoke of hardware issues (e.g., broken keys), poor connections (missing letters while typing), and nearly all mentioned a loose/poor trackball. I used my nMediaPC for a about two years -- loved the ergonomics of it, but it consistently had missed characters while typing and poor trackball performance. The trackball finally died and I had to get something to replace it.

This keyboard is nearly as ergonomic as the nMediaPC -- could be as good or better as maybe I'm just not used to it yet. You can see that it is not missing a single key -- the only edits I have made were due to my own mistypes; it has not dropped a single character. The trackball is astoundingly better than the one on the nMediaPC -- it is smooth and travels well with no issues.

And this keyboard has rechargeable batteries I can charge from my HTPC -- a definite plus. The nMediaPC took four standard AA batteries.

The only down sides for me: the keys are a little stiffer than a general PC keyboard -- but I'll take that over dropping characters. And the placement of the Insert/Delete between the right-hand Alt/Ctrl is odd -- but in this day of typing on laptop keyboards that are inconsistent with key placement -- and the fact they have to place keys in a way that fits a form factor that fits on your lap, that isn't insurmountable; only a matter of getting used to it.
1 helpful vote
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on January 28, 2014
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.
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
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