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
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 ............Edited by Heuer - 12/25/12 at 4:38am