iOne Gemini R16 Keyboard and Mouse Combo Review

Sagittaria - 2007-01-24 20:19:35 in Input Devices
Category: Input Devices
Reviewed by: Sagittaria   
Reviewed on: January 30, 2007
iOne
iOne
Price: Not available at press time

Introduction

IOne has used the Greek word for twins in naming their new keyboard/mouse combo, the Gemini R16. It's an office keyboard and gaming mouse set, an unusual combination. However, the keyboard seems to be a promising product with solid construction, professional look, and 40 handy hot-keys. The mouse is pretty light with three re-programmable buttons, four way scroll wheel, and a DPI adjustment button. Oh man I can see all kinds of uses from this set!

As for iOne, I never heard of them up until a few days ago, but after doing some research I found that they're a subsidiary of Itron Technologies. They have been producing computer input devices since 1984 and sell their products at competitive prices all over the world; including Europe, North America, and Asia. I'm surprised that I've never heard of them up until now.

Closer Look



Well, here's the package. Looks like your average flip-out keyboard box. Please note that this is a special review sample given to us before the official release, so it this may be different than the final product.



Upon opening the box revealed the keyboard, mouse, and the mouse driver CD. Of course, you won't need to use the software unless you want to program your mouse, otherwise you can just plug it in and XP/2000 will take care of the rest. Note: There is no manual, but there will likely be one in the official release, but who needs it. It's pretty straight forward for the average-Joe. Both cords are a good length of about five feet, so no worries there. Now for the mouse...




The mouse is pretty cool looking with a sleek design. If you couldn't tell, it's symmetrical, so both right and left handed people can use it. The mouse cord is fairly thin and slides easily. Like most gaming mice today, this mouse uses a laser. There are a total of six buttons: left, right, DPI, page up, page down, and middle click, with a four way scroll. The scroll wheel is rubber and has a good grip, but it is a bit on the small side for my likes. Granted, it is a "gaming mouse," but I think that it'd be a bit uncomfortable after awhile. The iOne Scorpius N4 is on the far left, the iOne Gemini R16 mouse in the middle,and a standard Western Digital hard drive on the far right.

Closer Look Continued

Now for the keyboard:





I love the contrast of black and silver on this keyboard, it gives it a nice professional look that I love. The standard layout is all the same (The letters and number pad) however, the delete key takes up two buttons where the insert key usually is. The insert key is now the delete key, which you will have to push shift to use, a nice idea. The letters on the keys are nice and thick, you can actually feel them. The scroll wheel is nice and solid and the keys on the far right of the keyboard are great! You won't even have to take your hands off the keyboard to copy and paste anymore! The back flip-out raisers are very solid, so it shouldn't break on you. Lastly, there are four LEDs, not three as the box states.  The "extra one" being the office lock, which allows you to use the office keys (F1-F12).  All in all, the keyboard is nice and solid.

Installation

Installation Setup
IBM ThinkPad R40 Laptop
CPU Intel Celeron 1.8ghz 478 Varient
RAM 512mb DDR PC-2100 SO-DIMMs (2x256mb)
GPU Integrated Graphics by ATI Mobility
HDD Hitachi 20gb IDE 4200rpm 2.5" 2mb Cache
USB Hub Micro Innovations USB2.0 4 Port hub
OS Microsoft Windows XP SP2
 

I chose to install this combo on my laptop. And well, you simply plug the USB connections in, nothing else! The mouse is on the left with the keyboard on the right.

Configuration

Now that I've plugged it in, Windows XP SP2 took care of the rest via Plug and Play. Now the included CD I mentioned earlier allows you to customize the four buttons on the mouse.



Now the CD didn't have an autorun, so you had to manually go inside the 6mb CD and double click the setup.exe file. But after that, it's straight forward. This will most likely be fixed upon the final release. Now install and reboot.



Upon reboot, I found that it installed a small tray icon, no biggie. It practically doesn't eat any system resources and is basically a shortcut to your mouse settings in the control panel.

 

 
In the mouse controls window in the control panel, it installed a new tab which allows you to customize each button. Now what about the options?

Configuration Continued

Options:



For either page buttons, you can configure it to launch a file,  website, or a function of your choosing. Best part of all, you can use the middle click (Scroll Wheel) to bring up a shortcut list of anything you want. I added a few applications of my choosing, and voila! (I also noticed that there were some grammatical mistakes in the software. Hopefully, "Configuration", "System", and "Launch" will be spelled correctly in the final release of the software.)



Now that is cool. Let's get to the specs and the real testing!

Specifications


Features

Keyboard
40 hot-keys and scroll wheel for quick access
  to MS. Office and Multimedia
Save up to 70% time of typing and movements
  between keyboard and mouse
3 LED indicators
  (Num Lock, Scroll Lock, Caps Lock)
  your hands
Stylish ergonomic design with superior quality
   
Mouse
Fashion and modern design
6-button optical mouse with 4-way scroll wheel
1600 dpi optical resolution with motion detection
  up to 37 inches/sec and acceleration up to 20G
  acceleration
Full-speed mouse controller with data
  report-rate of 500 times per second
1 dpi adjustment button with 400, 800,
  1,600 selection
3 re-programmable function keys
























 

 


Testing

Testing Setup
IBM ThinkPad R40 Laptop

Software:
OS: Microsoft Windows XP SP2
Office: Microsoft Office 2003 & 2000 Pro
Media: Microsoft  Windows Media Player 9 & 10
Games: Half Life 2 Episode 1

Office/E-Mail/Typing/General Use/Noise
Well it's a keyboard, but the keys aren't that noisy, but they still produce some noise. I typed an eight page report with this keyboard, and I liked it. The keys have some weight to them, but not so much that you will get sore. The F1-F12 Office keys were VERY nice. I no longer had to stop, pick up my mouse, and then click on spell check or any other function. In fact, I barely had to touch the mouse while typing. Everything is on the keyboard: window close, homepage, e-mail, cut, paste, copy, play, favorites. Wow! This took me completely by surprise, I love not having to stop to pick up my mouse! Wow!!! Very Nice!

The paint on the keys did not wear off at all, the paint used is heavy duty and once again, you can actually feel the letters while typing, cool! Surprisingly all the hot keys worked with Microsoft Office 2000 and 2003, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. No issues there.

Testing Continued

Gaming
I tested the setup in Half-Life 2 Episode 1, a fast paced first person shooter. No problems arose as you're only really using the W, A, S, D keys and the mouse. I sort of liked the feel of the mouse. It's light and the ability to change the DPI is wonderful. For instance, if you're running and gunning, you can quickly change the DPI of the mouse so it accelerates, very useful when precision is not needed, but when precision is required, like sniping, you can quickly slow down your mouse. Very handy! But the mouse is just too small for my tastes and it became uncomfortable after a while.

The Keyboard Hotkeys
All of them do what they're supposed to in the programs that I tested with. I encountered no problems using them with Internet Explorer, Windows XP SP2, Office 2000 and 2003, and Mozilla Firefox. Very handy once again! Here's a list of all the hotkeys:

F1-F12 Office Keys
In Sequential Order from Left
Purpose Help New Open Save Replace Spell Check Undo Redo Reply Reply All Forward Send
Function Key
F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 F6 F7 F8 F9 F10 F11 F12

Top Program Keys
In Sequential Order from Left
Purpose Sleep/Hibernate
Office  Lock
MS Word 
MS Excel 
Home  Page Default  E-Mail Client Forward (Internet) 
Refresh
(Internet) 
MS  Search 
Pp 
Favorites  (Internet) Stop (Internet) 
Back (Internet) 
Key # from Left
1 2  3 4
5
6
7
8
 9 10
11
12
13

Top Right Media Keys
Row Button Name Button Name
1 Back Forward
2 - Volume +Volume
Middle Mute
Bottom
Stop Play/Pause

Bottom Right General Keys
Description Purpose
Two Top Large Keys Cycle Windows Window Close
Four Curved Bottom Keys Mark
Cut
Copy
Paste
Scroll Wheel

 

Conclusion

This is a great setup from iOne, a company that you may not of heard of, but probably should! The keyboard is excellent with very nice hot-keys and placement for Office, Internet, and Windows. You will virtually never have to pick up your mouse again when using your computer. This is an awesome and I mean it when I say it, awesome feature! I like the mouse fairly well, it's light with programmable buttons ( a very handy feature). I love the DPI change button so you can slow or speed up your mouse speed on the fly. The cables are fairly thin so it will not clutter up your desk much and both products are pretty sturdy. I cannot stress how much I love the function keys!

On the negative side, the mouse is a little small and will get uncomfortable after a while. But other than that, a nice combo!

Pros

 

 

Cons