Xebec Tech itouchpad diamond keyboard review
During our testing, the Xebec Tech itouchpad diamond keyboard met our expectations. The compact and light keyboard felt excellent for controlling a PC from a distance. Speaking of distance, the range of the keyboard is definitely great and would work with the user standing 8 meters away, way too far for it to be usable anyway since even a 32” TV was too small at such a distance. HTPC users will hate the fact that this keyboard is missing any media keys but not all is lost; albeit the itouchpad diamond keyboard has no media keys, media players nowadays do have pre-programmed (and programmable) keyboard shortcuts, therefore the user can perform all basic actions by using ordinary keystrokes. This might actually be easier for most people, since the vast majority of users would reach for the “Space” key in order to pause/play a movie rather than look for the media key.
The most positive attribute of the itouchpad diamond wireless keyboard is, without a doubt, its versatility. The relatively small size and integrated touchpad make it an excellent all-in-one solution for all scenarios where long typing hours are not a possibility. You may connect the keyboard to any device with an USB port and it will work like a charm, including gaming consoles and (with the use of a USB to micro USB adapter) Android tablets. Some of the latest Android tablets running Honeycomb, such as the Motorola Xoom and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 which we both tested, will also recognize and make use of the touchpad.
The “soft touch membrane” keys are exceptional for short-term use and comfort; they are soft and very quiet. We would not recommend this keyboard for long typing sessions however mostly because the keys feel spongy and they require quite a bit of force to press them down, which can be tiring after an hour or two. We doubt that most gamers would find this keyboard comfortable to use either; not because of the keys but because of the tight layout and the position of the touchpad. It would be impossible to game for hours without touching your wrist down and unwanted clicking/movement would be catastrophic for a gaming experience.
When it comes to value, the itouchpad diamond keyboard is very sensibly priced at about 35GBP (55USD or 70SGD at the time of this review), a fairly good price for the kind of versatility it offers. Finally, it would be worthwhile to mention that this product comes in three colors: black, silver and white, with “apple’s” white being a very difficult color to find among peripherals, making this keyboard an ideal companion for Mac computers.