Top critical review
15 people found this helpful
If you have hair.... beware of pulling it out!
on April 23, 2012
After reading numerous reveiws here and elsewhere on the web praising this keyboard of HTPC use... I decided to give it a go. Here are my opinions on what's good and bad about it:
1) Has all F1-F12 keys unlike most of the compact keyboards I've seen (*see 2nd Con before you get too excited).
2) Has backlighting (*see 3rd Con before you get too excited).
3) Has the Ctrl key in the right spot.... I know this is something minor but I find it extremely annoying when keyboard makers don't position the Ctrl key as the lowest-leftmost key on the board... some will put a function key there and actually move the Ctrl key... and force me to shop elsewhere.
4) Not too big; easy to set around as you would a remote.
5) Slick looking, fold-down top that covers the keys when not in use. Not really anything major, still a nice aesthetic touch IMO.
6) While it worked fine on Windows 7, it also worked just as well under Ubuntu 10 and Linux Mint 12. Normally, I would expect a k/b to work the same under all three anyway but still, credit where it's due.
1) The god-awful, forsaken trackball... sometimes it wasn't too terrible, more or less the same as a mouse. Other times, it would get caught in a bad spot and would stick repeatedly and navigating around on the screen would become an utterly complete pain in the a**! I will NEVER buy another keyboard with a track-BALL based on my experiences with this one...
2) While small, it would have been better to make it slightly larger... Many of the keys I frequently use need to accessed with the function key. This isn't a big deal for F1-F12, but it gets very annoying when you have to Shift+Function+End to select a range, Function+(Left/Right/Up/Down) Arrow to move around, or even Function+Esc to use the Escape key. This keyboard is only 5.5 x 6.5 and it still has room for another row of keys on the bottom... Even if they made if 6.0 x 7.0, it would still be much more compact than most keyboards and they could have made things much easier to use *without* resorting to the function key for every other operation.
3) The backlighting, while nice is still fairly dim... I didn't notice a whole lot of difference when trying to adjust the brightness. To be fair, I might be biased... I have a backlit gaming keyboard (Logitech G15) that IMO seems to have brighter LEDs which give better contrast on the lettering for individual keys. This wasn't a deciding factor for me either way, but it was just slightly more difficult to make out the keys in a dark room (as compared with the G15).
4) Spotty signal. There were times when it would frequently miss keystrokes while typing from my couch, with the HTPC mounted high (~5 ft off the ground), k/b receiver in the front USB with an unobstructed viwq, and HTPC being ~10-15ft. from the couch depending on where you were sitting.
I will probably keep this one around as a backup, but I decided to go for a larger model with a track-PAD instead of a track-BALL (Logitech K400). The first two Cons are what I couldn't stand, and while I will miss having backlighting (even if it was dim) and a smaller k/b, I won't miss the trackball or the cramped key layout...