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Tag Archives: Keyboards

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 ]

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


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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[CES 2010] Smartfish Announces A New Twist On The Ergonomic Keyboard


By Chris Scott Barr

There’s nothing new about the idea of an ergonomic keyboard. The logic behind them is that your average keyboard is not designed with your wrists in mind. Most of them are split down the middle, with your hands being at slight angles, rather than running parallel. However, since repetitive motion is still an issue, wouldn’t typing on an angled keyboard still be bad after a few hours? Smartfish thinks so.

While checking out some of the booths, I cam across a rather interesting keyboard. At first glance the ErgoMotion looks like any other ergonomic keyboard. While it is based on the same principals as most, it has one major difference: a motor.

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Keystick Keyboard Folds Like A Fan For Portability


By David Ponce

Designers Yoonsang Kim & Eunsung Park have envisioned the above keyboard, called the “Keystick” as a fully functional qwerty device that would fold up like an accordion when not in use, into the shape of a stick. It’s arguably better than some of the current solutions, like rolling keyboards, since they’re mushy and don’t feel like normal keyboards. Or regular folding keyboards (like the Matias) that take up so much space they might as well not bother trying to be compact.

Sadly it’s just a concept at the moment, but you can look at a few more pictures after the jump.

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Glow In Dark Keyboard Stickers


By Chris Scott Barr

Backlit keyboards have become rather popular over the years, especially with gamers. Why? Because we tend to sit in the dark and game until the sun comes up. Sure, we know how to type without looking at our keyboards, but sometimes after grabbing a drink, we need to be able to quickly see where a specific key is without first finding home row. Oh, and it just looks awesome. Well fancy keyboards such as these can be rather expensive, so someone crafted a way to make the keys glow on any old keyboard.

Glow in Dark Keyboard Stickers are the perfect solution. Of course by “perfect solution” I mean “worst idea ever.” Take a look at your current keyboard, with careful detail to your home row keys. If you’ve had it for a while, you’ll probably notice that either the letters have started to wear off a bit, or there is at least some visible signs that your fingers spend a good bit of time resting there. Now imagine if you put stickers on those keys. How long do you think they’d last? Oh, and don’t forget the tedious task of putting them all on straight. Even at $9, I’d rather have a plain boring keyboard than one with glow-in-the-dark stickers.

[ BaronBob ] VIA [ FoolishGadgets ]

Lenovo Releases New ThinkPad USB Keyboard


By Chris Scott Barr

I spend a lot of time typing, so having a keyboard that’s comfortable is really important. When I’m on the road, I don’t generally mind typing on my MacBook, but only for short periods. If I’m going to be writing anything of great length, I’m going to prefer a desktop keyboard every time. It’s for that reason that I’m surprised to find that Lenovo makes an external keyboard that’s modeled after their notebook keyboards.

The new ThinkPad USB Keyboard is actually not the first of its kind. Rather, Lenovo has been working with customers via surveys to create a better keyboard. The result was a keyabord that matches that of the T400-series laptop as close as humanly possible. Thanks to user input, they have removed the trackpad, numberpad and reduced the price to $59. I suppose if you’re really in love with your ThinkPad keyboard, then you might enjoy this. I’ll just stick with my regular desktop keyboard.

[ Lenovo ] VIA [ EverythingUSB ]