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Tag Archives: Keyboards

itablet Bluetooth Thumb Keyboard Sports A Rear-Facing Touchpad

itablet Thumb Keyboard (Image courtesy AHX Global)
By Andrew Liszewski

The rise of HTPCs and touchscreen devices lacking a physical keyboard has created a real market for external wireless keyboards. Designed for use with everything from Windows, Android and Apple tablets to tucked away computers connected to a big-screen display to even gaming consoles, the itablet features a compact keyboard layout primarily designed to be used with your two thumbs.

And if the device you happen to be using it with also features a cursor-driven UI, on the back of the itablet you’ll find a rear-facing touchpad. Logistically it would probably take some time for me to get used to using a reverse touchpad, but by placing it on the back the itablet does end up with a smaller overall footprint which makes it smaller to hold and easier to travel with. It’s available now in black or white with US & UK keyboard layouts for ~$132 (£79.99), with other commonly used keyboard layouts becoming available in Q3 of this year.

[ itablet ]

Review – Razer Anansi MMO Gaming Keyboard

This post is syndicated with permission from GamerFront.net

Razer is well-known in the world of PC gaming, mostly for their keyboard and mouse offerings. You can’t hardly have a conversation about such peripherals without the company’s name being brought up. Well today we’re going to take a look at their latest keyboard offering, the Anansi. This particular keyboard is aimed specifically at the MMO player.

Features

At first glance, you’re going to see two of the features that set the Anansi apart from most other keyboards. These would be the five function keys on the left-hand side of the keyboard, and seven more just below the spacebar. You’ll also see the backlit keys, which by default, cycle through the color spectrum. What really makes this device stand out is that you’re not limited to customizing the 12 extra function keys. Rather, every single key is mappable. Also, it has a “gaming mode” which disables the Windows key. A handy feature for anyone that’s had the misfortune of hitting that button by accident during a raid.
Strangely enough, there were no audio jacks or USB ports on this keyboard. I don’t often use them myself, but if you have a short headset, it’s much easier to just jack into the keyboard instead of finding an extension cable.

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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 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 Arc-shaped keyboard and the 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 environment.

[Full Review @ Everything USB]

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 ]