Very Specific Keyboard Request... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 12-10-2012, 08:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello,

I know that a million keyboard threads exist, but my requests are very specific and I wanted to get you folks' expertise on this.

Here's what I'm looking for in a keyboard for my HTPC:

1. Slim design (no big, chunky keys, low-profile key action)
2. Wireless (I suppose RF is best, but other techs may work acceptably well)
3. Touchpad/trackball (or similar. I need some basic control on the keyboard)
4. Backlit keys

EDIT:

5. Full-size keyboard (or at least 90%. I do some gaming)

I've found tons and tons of keyboards that have 3 of 4 requirements, but none that meet them all, and I've been searching for at least 5 hours or so. Hopefully someone here has some insight that I'm missing.

Thanks in advance for the help!
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post #2 of 20 Old 12-10-2012, 09:07 AM
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http://mobilemouse.com/

http://hipporemote.com/

Both are far better than any keyboard/mouse I've ever used, and I've tried a lot of them, which are all sitting in my closet now gathering dust.
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post #3 of 20 Old 12-10-2012, 10:26 AM
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Lenovo 5902. Has exactly what you're looking for. The only caveat is that it has no function keys. Other than that it's a great keyboard/remote for HTPC use.
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post #4 of 20 Old 12-10-2012, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. I should have remembered to include the caveat that it should be a full-sized and very close to full-size keyboard, as I also game on the system. I've edited my initial post. Thanks for the replies so far!
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post #5 of 20 Old 12-11-2012, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Any ideas? I hope someone has a really good idea. I'm very surprised a maker hasn't put this combo together into one item...seen lots of requests for it...
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post #6 of 20 Old 12-11-2012, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
I know that a million keyboard threads exist, but my requests are very specific and I wanted to get you folks' expertise on this.
I've read a lot of those threads and actually your requests are about the same as everyone else's. Logitech K400. No backlight but it fits all the other things. According to most of those other threads you won't find a backlit portable keyboard. I suppose battery life is a major factor in that being the case. Maybe you will find one. Good Luck.
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post #7 of 20 Old 12-17-2012, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes, of course. We all want the moon. But since so many want the same thing, I'm boggled that this hasn't been brought to market. Putting a bigger rechargeable battery in the sucker would help it meet all the requirements. Shucks. If I were Logitech, or Razer, or Kensington I'd see a lot of $ to be made.
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post #8 of 20 Old 12-18-2012, 10:56 AM
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I went through this exact same exercise recently and couldn't find what I was looking for. In the end I found the Logitech K400 was as close as it gets and of all the requirements, backlighting was the least important. The price is also very good (often under $30 and was $5 on a super special deal at one point).
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post #9 of 20 Old 12-18-2012, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sliphorn View Post

Yes, of course. We all want the moon. But since so many want the same thing, I'm boggled that this hasn't been brought to market. Putting a bigger rechargeable battery in the sucker would help it meet all the requirements. Shucks. If I were Logitech, or Razer, or Kensington I'd see a lot of $ to be made.
Nah. I'm happy with a regular keyboard and mouse. Or the K400. Get a tablet if you want back lit.
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post #10 of 20 Old 12-19-2012, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

Nah. I'm happy with a regular keyboard and mouse. Or the K400. Get a tablet if you want back lit.

Right. However, the trick is gaming, so I really am looking for a hardware keyboard. Thanks!
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post #11 of 20 Old 12-19-2012, 11:31 AM
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I have been through the same bit of research but like you I cannot find a decent backlit keyboard with trackball. I have a diNovo Mini but it is pretty clunky for anything other than occasional use. My latest attempt is a Rapoo Blade E9080 wireless which has a large touchpad but no backlight. Slim and cute though:




The other one I have been looking at is the Eclipse Litetouch which is reviewed here: http://www.techreaction.net/2010/08/03/review-eclipse-wireless-litetouch-keyboard/

Adesso also do a nice range with touchpads but not sure if they are backlit or not: http://www.adesso.com/en/home/keyboards.html
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post #12 of 20 Old 12-19-2012, 09:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I've looked at the Rapoo before, and it's an intriguing design. I just wish it had a backlight. Many reviews also mentioned the touch interface being a flawed design, and the hardware getting iffy in a hurry. Nice concept, though.

The Eclipse...Great idea, but some rough user experiences on Amazon. This is probably the closest thing to what I'm looking for, just need it to be better executed.

Adesso...No backlight. They make some really nice designs, though.

I suppose it's really only a matter of time until my 'perfect' keyboard comes along...

Thanks for bringing these to my attention!
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post #13 of 20 Old 12-20-2012, 07:01 AM
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Until the perfect one comes along, get a K400 and stick a booklight on it smile.gif
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post #14 of 20 Old 12-20-2012, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Thought of that, too. May come down to it. Thanks again!
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post #15 of 20 Old 12-20-2012, 09:20 AM
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The reviews for the Eclipse are not that bad!

Seems they have released new drivers which overcome most of the reported issues and the cost, £30 from Amazon UK at least, is fairly good for such a unique keyboard i.e. wireless, illuminated, trackball, programmable touchpad.

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post #16 of 20 Old 12-23-2012, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Alright, I'm going to give it a try. Amazon has these for $40...I'll report back after some usage.
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post #17 of 20 Old 12-24-2012, 08:25 AM
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I now have both the Rapoo and Eclipse keyboards and have been giving them a good test.

1. The Rapoo Blade E9080 is absolutely gorgeous to behold and hold. Just the right weight, very slim and you an immediately see where the 'Blade' name came from - the back is a nice sheet of solid stainless steel. Just a case of plugging the RF dongle in and it was working immediately. Range is good (my dongle is on the rear of the HTPC surrounded by cables and the metal of the case) as is the response. The main key actions are very good, the touchpad works well for mouse gestures and it can easily be switched between mousepad and numeric keyboard. Nice to type with and navigate around your screen. The on/off switch is small and difficult to locate on the rear of the battery compartment but that will probably improve with experience. I find it far better to use than my diNovo mini and the only let down is the lack of key illumination but if you can live without it this is a superb and economical keyboard that will not look out of place in the living room. There is nothing on the keyboard to indicate it is switched on but it has a power saving mode and goes to sleep to save batteries. - touch a key to re-awaken.

2. The Saitek Eclipse Wireless Litetouch (beware there is also a wired version!) is much bigger than the Blade and beautifully made with a nice alloy coloured plastic surround. It is solidly built and oozes quality. Although it works straight out of the box once the RF dongle is connected it is supplied with a CD containing the drivers and a configuration utility. This allows you to program the touchpad virtual buttons for media playback and hot keys to open web sites or run applications. The keyboard contains rechargeable batteries and these can be refreshed by using either the supplied mains charger or plugging it into a USB socket. The touchpad allows immediate control over the light intensity of the keys or can be switched to control volume. To avoid firing off applications the touchpad can be locked with a dedicated key on the main board. Below it is a small trackball and left and right mouse keys either side. The trackball is quite sensitive and takes a bit of getting used to but it works well nevertheless. Once again the main on/off switch is small and not easy to locate but that would change with experience but the board is designed to go to sleep after a period of non use; touch a key to wake it.. Key action is the same as the Blade. My biggest disappointment is that whilst the large and responsive touchpad can be switched to one of three different modes these do not include its use as a mousepad similar to the one on the Blade. But then you do have the trackball but a choice would have been nice. Oh and the box it comes in is a real work of art with a magnetic lid! Forgot to mention that whilst the entire keyboard lights up like a Christmas tree the manufacturer clearly forgot to light up the trackball and L/R mouse keys rolleyes.gif

I bought each of these keyboards for £35 ($50) although the Saitek has a retail price of £120. Currently I am favouring the Blade because of its ideal size and I like the mousepad. The Eclipse looks wonderful when lit up, the key actions are excellent and the programmable touchpad allows you to run applications, read mail or open favourite web sites at a single touch. If you can live with and get used to the small trackball it is the ideal HTPC keyboard. If you can touch type or don't have your room in complete darkness and have no use for programmable buttons the Blade is a better option. Both leave the diNovo mini dead in the water when it comes to use and price.

If only they made an illuminated Blade ............
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post #18 of 20 Old 12-24-2012, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Heuer View Post

I now have both the Rapoo and Eclipse keyboards and have been giving them a good test.
1. The Rapoo Blade E9080 is absolutely gorgeous to behold and hold. Just the right weight, very slim and you an immediately see where the 'Blade' name came from - the back is a nice sheet of solid stainless steel. Just a case of plugging the RF dongle in and it was working immediately. Range is good (my dongle is on the rear of the HTPC surrounded by cables and the metal of the case) as is the response. The main key actions are very good, the touchpad works well for mouse gestures and it can easily be switched between mousepad and numeric keyboard. Nice to type with and navigate around your screen. The on/off switch is small and difficult to locate on the rear of the battery compartment but that will probably improve with experience. I find it far better to use than my diNovo mini and the only let down is the lack of key illumination but if you can live without it this is a superb and economical keyboard that will not look out of place in the living room. There is nothing on the keyboard to indicate it is switched on but it has a power saving mode and goes to sleep to save batteries. - touch a key to re-awaken.

Does the touchpad support tag and drag, i.e. double-tap and hold down to drag? I read a review that seemed to suggest that it didn't, which would be a problem given the lack of physical buttons. Also, having the touchpad go all the way to the edges makes me wonder if it supports the "swipe in" Windows 8 gestures, e.g. swipe in from the right border to open the charms bar. If both these work, then it seems like the perfect keyboard for me.
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post #19 of 20 Old 12-25-2012, 04:31 AM
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It supports tap gestures as follows:



No idea about W8 as I don't have it but Rapoo say their drivers support it. The touchpad does not go fully to the edge, there is a border.

I have been using the Eclipse today and I am starting to like it a lot.
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post #20 of 20 Old 12-26-2012, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Heuer View Post

It supports tap gestures as follows:

No idea about W8 as I don't have it but Rapoo say their drivers support it. The touchpad does not go fully to the edge, there is a border.
I have been using the Eclipse today and I am starting to like it a lot.

Interesting, I didn't know there was a border. I might give that Rapoo a try. I actually think I'd like the Adessos better, with the touchpad in the center like a laptop keyboard, but the Adesso touchpads don't even seem to support simple multi-touch gestures.
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