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Tag Archives: Keyboards

Hawking Technology’s Mini Touchpad/Keyboard Combo Device

Hawking Technology’s Mini Touchpad/Keyboard Combo Device (Image courtesy FCC)
By Andrew Liszewski

We usually shy away from writing about devices that won’t be available for purchase in the near future, but we have to admit we’re intrigued by Hawking Technology’s wireless keyboard/touchpad combo that just made its way through the FCC. The company is better known for its networking gear, but based on this keyboard design we’d like to encourage them to branch out even more. Instead of individual keys the device has a large multi-touch capable surface that works as a keyboard or as a touchpad supporting up to 2 finger gestures. At 3.7 inches on its longest side it’s also conveniently compact and thin from the looks of it, though it forgoes Bluetooth for a 2.4GHz wireless connection to your PC via a USB dongle making this version unfortunately not compatible with keyboard-lacking smartphones.

[ wireless goodness - Hawking Technology’s RMTP mouse combines touchpad and a keyboard ] VIA [ Ubergizmo ]

Germ Genie Provides ‘Always On’ Germ Protection For Public Keyboards

Germ Genie (Image courtesy Gizmag)
By Andrew Liszewski

I’m often disgusted at the appearance of my keyboards, and I’m the only one who uses them. So I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to deal with them in a multi-user environment like a hospital, which is probably the worst case scenario. According to Falcon Innovations, an average multi-user keyboard has 3,295 microbes per square inch, but thankfully their scare tactics don’t come without a solution.

Their Germ Genie is another germ killing keyboard sanitizer that uses UV light, but instead of having to remember to place it in some sanitizing box every night, it sits above the keyboard providing ‘always on’ protection. And of course by ‘always on’ I mean ‘only when someone isn’t typing’ since UV light can be harmful to skin, so the Germ Genie includes a motion sensor to turn off the light whenever someone’s actually using the keyboard. It retails for about $220, but the company seems keen on selling then en masse to large facilities, so I suspect it gets cheaper the more you buy.

[ Germ Genie ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

Jorno Folding Bluetooth Keyboard

Jorno Folding Bluetooth Keyboard (Images courtesy Cervantes Mobile LLC)
By Andrew Liszewski

While adequate for entering URLs, passwords and the occasional search criteria, at a recent press event I discovered the iPad’s on-screen keyboard is quite terrible for any kind of serious note taking. Thankfully I had Apple’s own wireless keyboard to fall back on, which worked like a charm, but admittedly it’s maybe not as small as it could be. I have no trouble squeezing it and the iPad into slots previously occupied by my laptop, but I can understand that others might prefer a more compact solution.

And that’s basically what the Jorno wireless keyboard offers. Not only are the keys about 15% smaller than standard keys, still allowing for touch typing, but the whole thing folds down to a pocket-friendly pseudo-cube. To be perfectly honest it’s not really that much different than the folding keyboards offered years ago for devices like the iPaq and Palms, except for Bluetooth connectivity which lets you ditch the included docking cradle for that last extra ounce of portability. It’s not available yet though, and the “most likely in early 2011″ statement on their website doesn’t fill me with much confidence, but you can pre-order one now for just $79, $20 cheaper than the regular price of $99 which comes into effect on December 25. Wow, bah-humbug!

[ Jorno Folding Bluetooth Keyboard ]

EFO’s Credit Card Sized Mini Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard

EFO Mini Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard (Image courtesy EFO)
By Andrew Liszewski

Those of you who’ve made the upgrade to a touch screen smartphone but pine for a physical keyboard can now enjoy the best of both worlds without your pockets bursting at the seams. Somewhere someone is diligently working to make Bluetooth keyboards as small as they can possibly be, and the latest fruits of their labors is this credit card sized model from EFO.

Now it looks like someone has actually just pryed the keypad off of a Blackberry, but it’s a fully working QWERTY keyboard complete with F1-F12 function keys, CTRL, ALT, DEL, multimedia playback buttons and it’s been tested with both the iPad and iPhone. I’m not sure what kind of battery it’s sporting or how long it works before needing a refresh, but for a limited time you can order one for just $32 before it goes back to its regular non-introductory price of $40 in September.

[ EFO Mini Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard ] VIA [ The Gadgeteer ]

Mad Catz Eclipse Wireless litetouch Keyboard Now Available

Mad Catz Eclipse Wireless litetouch Keyboard (Image courtesy Mad Catz)
By Andrew Liszewski

First shown at CES 2010 earlier this year (it’s amazing how much you still miss even after wandering the show for 3 days) the Mad Catz wireless litetouch keyboard, which is being sold under the company’s Eclipse brand, is now available with an official MSRP of $129.99. The 2.4GHz wireless keyboard features a touch sensitive panel on the right where you’d normally find the numerical keys, but don’t worry, the numerical keypad is still there, it just appears on the LCD instead. The display can also be toggled between a layout of media playback buttons, or a ‘MyEclipse’ mode with 12 customizable icons that can be used to access oft-visited websites and/or applications.

Just below the touch panel is an integrated trackball with left and right mouse buttons, allowing the keyboard to be used for surfing while splayed out on the couch, or with an HTPC, and the rest of the keys feature a low profile backlight allowing them to also be seen in the dark with minimal drain on the battery. And speaking of the battery, the Eclipse wireless litetouch features an internal rechargeable lithium-ion power source that’s good for about 20 hours of use between charges. Not amazing battery life, but understandable given the keyboard’s fancy LCD panel.

[ Mad Catz Eclipse Wireless litetouch Keyboard ]

MS Arc Keyboard Reviewed. Verdict: Aesthetically Pleasing as it is Versatile

By Ian Chiu

MS Arc Keyboard seems to have something for everyone. Whether you need a miniature wireless input device for your HTPC or an easy-to-carry laptop keyboard replacement, the Arc looks like it can serve these roles just well enough to get by. The keyboard itself has a familiar layout for touch typists, and has acceptably low latency to satisfy casual gamers. Though, the D-pad is a pain to deal with during text selections. There’s also no built-in mouse controls which may not be particularly important in a home theater PC environment.

The lightweight Arc keyboard measures just 12″ x 6″, making it extremely portable especially with the bundled nylon pouch. A tiny USB receiver can be quickly stowed into an open compartment on the underside of the keyboard. It’s a shame however that the keyboard and the Arc mouse couldn’t share the same nano USB dongle, unlike Logitech’s Unifying receiver. As the Arc is primarily made to save precious desktop space and to minimize carry weight for road warriors, the miniature keyboard with a slight curvature lacks a lot of advanced features found on similarly priced alternatives yet it should fit nicely in various environments.

[Everything USB - MS Arc Keyboard Review]

Rii Mini Wireless Keyboard

 Rii Mini Wireless Keyboard (Image courtesy Brando)
By Andrew Liszewski

Last year we had a brief hands-on with Unisen’s wireless compact keyboard & touchpad device, and while it’s served its purpose well, we’ve already got the hankering to upgrade to this little beauty from Brando. The Rii mini wireless keyboard looks like a display-less cellphone, but it’s designed to control a Windows or Linux based PC via a wireless 2.4GHz RF connection with a decent range of about 30 meters.

All of the keys are backlit, making it particularly useful in a darkened home theater, and the rechargeable lithium-ion battery has a standby time of around 500 to 700 hours, though there’s no mention of how long it will last with regular use. The square shaped touchpad allows it to be used in either a horizontal or vertical orientation, but there’s also a miniature 4-way directional pad that most likely doubles as your standard arrow keys. And if you’re using it in a business or office environment to control a slideshow, there’s even a built-in laser pointer which is a plus for any gadget. Now the $92.00 price tag from Brando is a bit steep, so I imagine a lot of people who might be interested in the keyboard will be holding off until someone posts a review confirming it works as claimed.

[ Rii Mini Wireless Keyboard ] VIA [ The Gadgeteer ]

Mobience smallQWERTY Keypad Designed For Keyboard-less Touchscreen Devices

Mobience smallQWERTY Keypad (Image courtesy AVING USA)
By Andrew Liszewski

Touchscreen displays not only make portable devices like smartphones and MIDs easier to interact with, but they also remove the need for a dedicated keyboard, which can take up a lot of space. However, if you still prefer the tactile feel of a hardware keyboard, the compact smallQWERTY keypad from Mobience could be a reasonable compromise.

Even though its name includes the term ‘QWERTY’ the keypad doesn’t have 26 alphanumeric keys, instead it includes a 12 button numeric keypad like on a traditional phone, with 8 additional function buttons. Typing out words either requires you to hit certain buttons multiple times to get the letter you need, or hopefully it uses a software trick like T9 to predict the word with minimal presses. Unfortunately there’s no information on when this device might be available, and the fact that the Mobience website is currently just a GoDaddy pageholder doesn’t bode well for anyone wanting to get their hands on one.

[ AVING USA - Mobience to develop 'smallQWERTY' keyboard for MID and smartphone ] VIA [ DVICE ]

[CES 2010] Eclipse litetouch Keyboard Brings A Touchscreen To Your Living Room

Eclipse

By Chris Scott Barr

There was a time not all that long ago where Mad Catz was a brand associated with cheap gaming accessories that no one really cared all that much about. After the acquisition of Saitek, the company really turned things around. I had the pleasure of checking out their latest line of products, each one a quality piece of hardware. In fact, the first one I’m going to show you isn’t even related to gaming.

We’ve seen a number of solutions for controlling your living room PC and Mad Catz has their own. Under the Eclipse brand, the new litetouch keyboard is a sleek peripheral that wouldn’t look bad at all sitting on your coffee table. It’s a little smaller than your average desktop keyboard, thanks to the F-keys being dropped down and the arrow keys (and a few others) being brought in to the left of where they’d normally sit. If it’s going to be sitting out, smaller is generally better.

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