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Koribo Wireless Keyboard Roundup Review

nVidia_Freak    -   March 21, 2011
Category: Input Devices
Price: TBD
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Introduction:

If you've never heard of Koribo before, you're not alone. Koribo is an Israeli-based company that designs electronic and computer input peripherals. They are not much known outside of the Middle East and currently have no American distributors. Koribo's current product lineup consists of one Media Center / Home Theater PC remote, and four wireless MC/HTPC keyboards, three of which I will be looking at: the Leira, Vivar, and Mini.

Koribo says that its products offer a uniqueness over the competition - they are both stylish and practical; they offer form without sacrificing function. Koribo says that this is essential to increasing the "wife acceptance factor".  The WAF, as the Wikipedia page that Koribo links directly to on their website says, is '...the chance that a wife will approve the purchase of expensive consumer electronics...'  Thus, this concerns purchases of computers, and by extension, Koribo's keyboards. The Wikipedia entry goes on to further explain that the WAF increases, for the most part, as the stylishness and compactness of the product increases.

Well, let's take a look at the keyboards.

Closer Look:

First up, the Leira. I like the look of this keyboard immediately. It's pleasantly rectangular and has a touch-pad. The touch-pad alone makes me giddy with anticipation to start using this! Hopefully its functionality backs that feeling up. As can be plainly seen, the Leira is a multimedia media center keyboard and features a variety of function and shortcut keys to make access to multimedia material and high-use folders as easy as possible. Marketing is briefly mentioned out front.

  • 2.4GHz Wireless
  • 10m
  • Multimedia
  • Compatible with Windows 7

Very standard stuff here. The only thing that's worth clarifying and noting is the 10 meters, which refers to the usable wireless range between the keyboard and receiver. 10m is a bit over 30', and, although that's a rather large distance to be from a computer to still use it, it's definitely worth checking out. On the reverse side are explanations to the points mentioned out front, as well as some other highlights.

  • Scroll wheel & mouse buttons
  • Multi-touch keypad & mouse buttons
  • Media control hotkeys
  • Media center & internet hot-keys
  • Low battery indication & automatic sleep mechanism

What's this 'automatic sleep mechanism'? Will the Leira force put me to sleep on the spot if I don't get off my ass after a Lord of the Rings marathon? Is there an air mattress hidden inside? That aside, everything's fairly standard with one exception - the touchpad functionality. Not only does the Leira have a touchpad with its own mouse buttons, there are an extra pair of buttons on the opposite side of the keyboard. To top it off, the touchpad has multi-touch capability. What this means is that the touchpad can register at least three separate inputs. Obviously, using one finger acts to move the cursor around, however, the other two functions are quite clever.

  • Two fingers: Middle button click
  • Three fingers: Right click

Those should prove to be very useful, and indeed, with its combined keyboard and mouse abilities, the Leira is looking to be an excellent keyboard.

 

 

Next, the Vivar. Just about the same thing, but in a different shape. A rather curious shape; a stretched oval, or perhaps more like an egg nearing the event horizon of a black hole. Yes, that's exactly what it looks like... There aren't quite so many buttons as with the Leira, but, it certainly looks functional enough. Aside from the shape, the most obvious difference is the use of a trackball instead of a touchpad. Having never used a trackball before, I am rather anxious to try this out. Marketing follows the same scheme as the preceding.

  • 2.4GHz Wireless
  • 10m
  • Multimedia
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Compatible with Windows 7

Exactly the same as the Leira with one addition: rechargeable batteries. Presumably, making that a selling point means that the Leira does not come with rechargeable batteries. Everything else aside, that could make the Vivar a more economical purchase. Same scheme again out back.

  • Scroll wheel and mouse buttons
  • 1000 PDI optical trackball & mouse buttons
  • Non-skid surface & rubber pads
  • Media center & internet hotkeys
  • Low battery indication & automatic sleep mechanism

The list isn't particularly remarkable; however, it does provide some clarifications and insight as to what's inside. Not visible from a top-down photograph like the one out front are a scroll wheel and mouse button on the front side of the keyboard. The trackball is reasonably sensitive, which might mean something for gaming, but, this is a multimedia keyboard, so, I'm not quite sure why this is mentioned. Again, there's mention of this 'automatic sleep mechanism' with no explanation. Maybe after so many minutes of inactivity the keyboard will power down to prevent draining the batteries? I suppose I'll have to find out.

 

 

And finally, the Mini, which shall remain shrouded in mystery for the time being.

 




  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look: Continued (Leira)
  3. Closer Look; Continued (Vivar)
  4. Closer Look: Continued (Mini)
  5. Specifcations & Features
  6. Installation & Testing
  7. Conclusion
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