Rosewill Super Slim Wireless-Touchpad Keyboard Review

Compxpert - 2010-07-23 11:04:52 in Input Devices
Category: Input Devices
Reviewed by: Compxpert   
Reviewed on: August 17, 2010
Price: $59.99

Introduction:

When choosing any peripheral it's important to get one that suits your needs. Whether you're gaming or just using it as an HTPC, a peripheral such as a keyboard or mouse can make or break that experience. There are many options to consider when buying any keyboard or mouse. Do you buy them in a set, or separately? Do you really need a mouse, or will a touch-pad suffice? Suffice to say, you are definitely looking for something capable of performing the task at hand and Rosewill manufactures such a product. Today we have the super-slim wireless touch-pad keyboard. This keyboard is an 88-key keyboard, which includes your typical keyboard keys as well as a few media specific keys. Of course it's also wireless and even features a touch-pad. It even boasts that it is ready for Vista's Media Center and claims to sport a 20 meter wireless range. Just from the sound of these features one could say this keyboard would be great for an HTPC, but how well does it hold up to its claims? Let's find out.

 

Closer Look:

Looking at the front of the box we have our keyboard/touch-pad centered and at an angle, with the heading in bold white at the top and some specifics about the keyboard off to the lower-left corner. Some features in particular that it shows are the auto-sleep mode, the 2.4Ghz wireless with range up to 20 meters, and the Microsoft Vista Media Center shortcut key. On the rear of the box some tasks the touch-pad can accomplish are described. The touch-pad itself is multi-touch sensitive and can pick up three touches at once. You can left-click with a tap, middle click with a two-finger tap, and right-click with a three-finger tap. It also demonstrates that a double-click can be done with a double-tap and you can scroll vertically by sliding two fingers vertically across the surface. Also shown on the back is a features diagram and below that are the package contents, as well as the system requirements, which shows that no driver is required.

Off to the right is a list of features as well as some technical specifications about the device. I notice in particular, that Rosewill mentions their idea of the intended use of this peripheral. It goes into detail saying that you can, "Build a Home Theater, connect your PC to your large TV screen. Control your PC from up to 20 meters away with this wireless laptop-style keyboard with incorperated mouse! Pefect for Media Center use!" Going off that alone, I would say they intend this keyboard to be used with an HTPC or even just a PC you happen to hook up to your TV. Moving on, the list of features goes into some more detail than the front, also showing that the keyboard is 14mm at its thickest point and that this keyboard provides the same functionality as a standard layout keyboard. Lastly, we have the box with the sleeve off, ready to be opened.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what is inside this box? Seems pretty interesting so far - heck, it even boasts it can function in a 20 meter radius of the receiver. This definitely needs some testing. Read on.

Closer Look:

Upon opening the box, we are greeted with the keyboard sandwiched between two pieces of foam, as well as a set of four AAA batteries for the keyboard. Once out of the box, we have our plastic wrapped friend as well as our batteries and wireless receiver. Out of the wrapping we have our keyboard, which is a standard 88-key keyboard. The keyboard itself has the ever-so-familiar 'Fn' key, which when pressed, allows you to access the additional functions that are labled on some of the keys. Also included on the keyboard are Print Screen, Scroll Lock, Pause Break, Home, Page up and Down keys and an End key, as well as arrow keys. Not here though, is a separate number pad. However they still give you a number pad of sorts, by utilizing a Num Lock button and the blue labeled keys.

Towards the bottom of the keyboard, we have the touch-pad and laid out beside that are ten media keys. Starting from the top-left of the touch-pad, we have Media Center which opens Windows Media Center on Windows 7 and Vista. As I only had Windows 7 for a test OS, I am unable to discern what the key does in any other OS besides Vista in the listed specifications. For the next key moving down the side, we have Media Player, which for me opened my default music player. Next we have the Flip 3D key, which initiates windows flip 3D and with each button press moves you though flip 3D. Again, due to having no other test OS, I have no idea what this key does in any other OS. Next on the list of buttons we have the Next button which goes to the next song in your music players play list. We also have the Previous button, which moves to the previous song, and Play/Pause which pauses or resumes a song or plays a new one, and Stop which stops the music. Moving on, we have Mute, which as the word implies, mutes your audio device, and Volume Up and Volume Down which turns up or down the volume of your audio device.

The back of the keyboard is probably one of the least mentionable parts, but we do have a few things worth mentioning here - one being keyboard feet, which can be lowered to elevate the keyboard. There also is the battery compartment at the bottom right and a reset switch in the bottom left corner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moving on to our last to images we have a close up look at the wireless receiver which is about the size of an average flash drive. On this flash drive sized receiver is a small button which allows you to reset the link between the keyboard and wireless receiver. Last but not least we have a picture of the receiver parked in the top panel USB port of my case. After plugging in the receiver the PC immediately installs a generic driver and your ready to go.

 

 

Wow! This keyboard packs quite a lot, but how easy is it to use and how well does it live up to its claim of 20 meters?

Specifications:

 

Model No.
RK-V1TP
Color
Black
Type
2.4GHz Wireless
Normal Keys
88
Operating System Supported
Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/7/Linux
Warranty
1 Year

 

Features:

 

All information courtesy of Rosewill @ http://www.rosewill.com/products/1609/productDetail.htm

Testing

To just test this against my usual setup with my G15 keyboard and Cooler Master mouse I thought would be a bit unfair, since the G15 is a full keyboard and well, the mouse isn't exactly a touch-pad. To be fair, I decided to also compare it to the setup used on my laptop, which is still isn't that fair since it also has a full keyboard, but does have a touch-pad to compare with. For testing, I felt that comfort using the keyboard and touch-pad, touch-pad speed and accuracy needed to be compared amongst different setups, as well as testing how far the wireless keyboard reaches. All tests are based on a scale of one to ten, with one being the least comfortable, least accurate, or slowest and ten being the most comfortable, accurate, or fastest. I also decided to test the distance the wireless range covers. Sadly I could not locate a tape measure any longer than 10 meters so I can only test for half the distance. For this test I hooked the PC up to a TV and tested how well it worked from a distance.

 

Testing Setups:

 

Gateway FX P-7805u

Comparison Setups:

 

 

 

 

In terms of comfort, the keyboard felt a little clunky to me, probably because I'm used to a full keyboard. It took some getting used to, in order to be able to type like I can on my Logitech G15. Of course, a touch-pad can never contend with a mouse in terms of speed or accuracy, but compared to the Synaptics touch-pad included on my laptop, the touch-pad on the Rosewill keyboard held on pretty well. I also cannot complain about the wireless range, which seemed to go far enough for my purposes and when measured, it definitely went as far as 10 meters or about 33 feet. The media keys also were a nice inclusion and provided functionality similar to the G15 media keys, allowing me to control media on my PC from a distance.

Conclusion:

Overall, I would have to say I thought very well of the Rosewill keyboard. Not only does it feature media keys, which I find to be useful on a keyboard, it is also slim in size being only 14mm at its thickest point. Being thin also makes this keyboard light-weight, which is useful should you plan on lugging it around with your gear. It did take some getting used to, typing on something so small, much like the switch from a full size keyboard to working on a laptop, but after a while it wasn't too challenging. The touch-pad I thought was spectacular with being able to left click, right click and center click using one finger, three fingers and two fingers respectively. The ability to scroll by sliding two fingers across the surface vertically was also useful, as I don't know what I'd do with out a scroll wheel to be honest.

Overall, the touch-pad itself is as good as any Synaptics touch-pad included on laptops. What is really brilliant about this, is that it requires no drivers or software - just plug it in and you're ready to go - as long as the batteries are installed. Its wireless distance of 20 meters makes it a great choice if you have an HTPC and the media keys make it easy to control your media experience. In testing I found the keyboard was able to manage at least 10 meters and at this distance, the keys all still worked and I was able to use it as a media keyboard. As for price, it retails for $59.99 on Newegg, which if you consider the price of most keyboard and mouse sets, is in the right ball-park. If you happen to have an HTPC, then this keyboard should definitely fit the bill and even if you don't own an HTPC, but own a gaming PC, this is a great product. Of course, you might not find much use with gaming, but if you, like me, happen to have a gaming PC and a TV in the same room, then I also recommend this keyboard/touch-pad, which allowed me to control media on my PC making my gaming PC a really high-end HTPC.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: