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Tag Archives: keyboard

IOGEAR Mini HTPC Keyboard Reviewed. Verdict: Packing Tons Of Function Into A Tiny Package

By Paul McCollum

The HTPC setup is becoming more and more the norm now than just a computer enthusiast project. Major manufacturer support for these projects is making HTPC creation easy enough for just about anyone. Logitech, Microsoft and Lenovo all have models that combine QWERTY keyboards with multimedia controls. The latest from IOGEAR improves on Logitech diNovo Mini’s design in several key areas.

The IOGEAR Mini Wireless Multimeda keyboard has a full QWERTY and combines it with a tiny pearl trackball for mouse control, all in a footprint measuring just 6.5″ x 4″. The trackball sensitivity can be controlled on the keyboard itself. However, the layout is definitely made for the right-handed, lefties will need to adjust. Nearly all keys are backlit and almost every key has an alternate function. There’s also a full top row of multi-function multimedia keys as well for volume and video player control. When you close the lid, the keyboard will automatically go into sleep mode for saving battery life. The wireless dongle achieves more than adequate range from a discrete nano-sized dongle, giving you about 30 ft. range. But has IOGEAR included enough features or lowered the price point enough to make it a serious competitor? Read the details to decide for yourself.

[ Full Review @ Everything USB ]

Review – Thermaltake Challenger Pro

This post is syndicated with permission from

Thermaltake has been branching out from their previous offerings related to PC cases, cooling and power supplies. We’ve already shown you a couple of their gaming peripherals in the Tt eSPORTS line. Today we have a second gaming keyboard, dubbed the Challenger Pro.

The Challenger line of keyboards currently comes in three flavors: regular, pro and Ultimate. We have the middle of the road, which only loses 2 macro keys, audio jacks and the ability to change the color of the backlight. Otherwise the Pro appears to be nearly identical to the Ultimate.

Some of the notable features include an adjustable red backlight, 10 customizable keys, a pair of USB 2.0 ports and a hand fan. That’s right, there is a removable fan that will blow air onto one of your hands. We’ll touch more on that later. Thermaltake also includes the necessary software for customizing your keys, along with a bit of on-board memory to store your profiles.

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Review – Thermaltake MEKA G1 Mechanical Keyboard

Thermaltake MEKA G1 Mechanical Keyboard (Image courtesy Thermaltake)

This post is syndicated with permission from

Thermaltake has taken a dive into the gaming world with their new set of peripherals with the Tt eSPORTS series. This week I got to use the Thermaltake MEKA G1 Mechanical keyboard, which is one of two keyboards currently in the series. The MEKA is a great keyboard, with excellent response time, USB 2.0 inputs, and my favorite feature – “clacky” mechanical keys. Let’s get to the review.

The MEKA G1 comes equipped with two mounted USB 2.0 ports, as well as onboard headphone and microphone jacks to make connecting your peripherals faster and more efficient.  The keyboard comes with a removable palm rest, which I found very comfortable and stylish. Another great feature of the G1 is the heavyweight military-grade 1.5m braided cable that leads to a PS2 connector, as well as a USB connector. These features alone make the MEKA G1 more than a standard mechanical keyboard right out of the box.

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ThinkGeek Releases Their Own iPad Bluetooth Keyboard Case

By Chris Scott Barr

Yesterday we showed you a gadget that could essentially turn your iPad into a netbook by giving it a sleek case with a built-in keyboard. It looked rather fancy, and gave the appearance that it actually was a netbook or laptop. Unfortunately, for the $150 price tag, one could actually buy a netbook.

ThinkGeek has just announced their own iPad Bluetooth Keyboard Case, for a fraction of the cost. It has a nice black silicone cover, which folds out to reveal a Bluetooth keyboard, and a stand for the iPad. It can also be flipped around so that the flap sits behind the device, letting you hold it just as you normally would. The rechargeable lithium ion battery lasts up to 90 hours, and is recharged via USB.

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Logitech Releases A Solar Powered Keyboard

Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 (Image courtesy Logitech)
By Chris Scott Barr

When was the last time that you changed the battery in a calculator? There’s a good chance that unless you have a really fancy one, you don’t ever change the batteries on your calculator. They use so little power that a simple solar panel suffices. When Logitech released their MK700 keyboard last August, I was surprised to see that it would last up to 3 years on a single pair of batteries (the one I reviewed is still running strong on that first set) and wondered if they couldn’t somehow recharge the batteries using solar power. Apparently they can.

The company announced their latest peripheral, the Wireless Solar Keyboard K750, which, as you might have guessed, is solar powered. The keyboard features two sets of solar panels which will gather energy whenever there is light. On a full charge it can last up to three months in complete darkness. You’ll be able to download an app that tells you how much light the device is getting, and how long the battery is estimated to last. I’m not quite sure that I’d be ready to spend $80 on a first-gen solar keyboard, but I do love the idea of not having to change out batteries.

[ Logitech ] VIA [ Gearlog ]

Cleankeys Touch Keyboard Gives Germs Nowhere To Hide


By Evan Ackerman

You don’t have to be a hypochondriac to get freaked out by the amount of nastiness that’s probably living on and around your computer keyboard. And not just living, but also eating, pooping, dying, and having lots and lots of unprotected sex. Ick. Traditional keyboards are full of all kinds of nooks and crannies that are to bacteria what the back of a Volvo is to high school kids, and just like with high school kids, you can only eradicate about 5% of them with a disinfecting cloth.

The Cleankeys keyboard eliminates all of the hiding spots that you’d find on a keyboard with, you know, keys, by being completely 100% touch sensitive. This means that if you wipe the keyboard down with a disinfecting cloth you get rid of 99% of the nastiness in one fell swoop. Since the average keyboard has 3,295 germs per square inch, that leaves a mere 33 germs per square inch to deal with on the Cleankeys keyboard. Incidentally, the average toilet seat has about 49 germs per square inch. Cleankeys: it’s cleaner than your toilet!

Actually using the Cleankeys keyboard would take some getting used to, since there’s no feedback when you push a key. Cleankeys says that it’s about 30% slower than typing on a standard keyboard, but “that time is typically made up many times in the time saved cleaning.” Mmmhmm. They keyboard is entirely washable (you can stick it under running water), includes an integrated trackpad, and is available with a plastic or glass top for $400 and $450 respectively.

[ CleanKeys ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

MSI’s New HTPC Keyboard Features A Built-In Air Mouse


By Chris Scott Barr

Over the last year or so we’ve seen a lot of new HTPC controllers pop up from various manufacturers. It’s been interesting to see how each one decides to integrate both keyboard and mouse into a single device. There have been some that went the way of a touchpad, while others resorted to one of those tiny nubs that I hate so much. Well MSI thinks that you shouldn’t sacrifice any of the surface space for either such device. Instead, they installed an accelerometer.

The new HTPC keyboard features a full QWERTY layout, along with some essential media hotkeys to make your life easier. Youll hold the device with both hands, and move it around to control the mouse pointer. Your left and right mouse buttons are controlled via a pair of triggers, much like you’ll find on most game controllers. Look for it later this year for around $110.

[ MSI ] VIA [ EverythingUSB ]

Presenting The FAILboard

Fast Finger Keyboard

By Chris Scott Barr

With the rise of instant messengers, we saw a rise in the use of acronyms. I remember the old days of chatting on ICQ and learning simple ones like ‘lol’ and ‘afk’. These days I still use a few when chatting or texting, but not nearly as much as the current school-age generation. Not only does half of a conversation consist of acronyms, but now they don’t even have to bother typing all of those out. Now there’s a keyboard that will spew out 3 or 4 meaningful characters (in caps no less!) with the push of a single button. I give you proof that the current generation is doomed: the Fast Finger Keyboard.

If you thought that 12 function keys that are dedicated to acronyms was bad, you’re in for a real treat. The standard QWERTY layout has been tossed in the back seat so that children don’t get confused. Instead, all of the letters are lined up alphabetically. They’ve even added in a “www” key (because apprently no one told them that you don’t need to type that on every address) and a second “@” over on the tilde key. If only they’d thought to toss in dedicated question mark and exclamation point keys, your child would never have to mess with the pesky shift key again!

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New Logitech MK710 Combo Features A 3-Year Battery Life


By Chris Scott Barr

If you’ll recall, last August Logitech released a wireless keyboard/mouse combo that promised incredible battery life. Specifically, you could go three years on your keyboard and one year with your mouse before needing to change the batteries. (Logitech is good to their word, five months in and my keyboard still reads as full, and my mouse isn’t even down to half a charge.) Well the company has decided that it can do a bit better and thus has announced the new Wireless Desktop MK710.

Largely, the two devices are pretty well the same as their predecessors. The mouse seems to have gotten a small design change, but otherwise you’ll find the same features in both. This includes the Incurve keys, hyper-fast scrolling, and the tiny Unifying receiver. The main difference here is that you’ll get three years of battery life out of both devices. That’s right, they’ve somehow tripled the battery life on the mouse. Look for the combo starting in April for the same $99 price.

[ Logitech ]