Vidabox Premium Wireless Keyboard ReviewTheScavenger - October 19, 2008
Next, I will run the Vidabox keyboard through a series of simple application tests to measure its functionality and ease of use.
- Processor: Intel Q9450 Core 2 Quad 333x8
- Motherboard: Gigabyte X48-DQ6
- Memory: Mushkin XP2 Redline 8000 2 x 2GB 5-5-5-12
- Video Card(s): Palit HD4850
- Power Supply: Mushkin 800 watt Modular power supply
- Hard Drive: 1 x Seagate 1TB SATA
- Optical Drive: NEC DV5700
- OS: Windows Vista Ultimate Edition
After I initially installed the Vidabox keyboard, it took a few minutes to get familiar with the compressed layout of the keys. I also noticed that when the keyboard is held with both hands like an oversized console game controller, the track ball and buttons are easier to use. I was amazed by how light-weight and thin the Premium wireless was. Lifting the keyboard was almost effortless, which made it fantastic for transporting the keyboard around my PC and media center. Moving on, I put the device through a series of usability tests.
First, I loaded up Firefox using the keyboard hot key to test some web browsing capability. I found that browser windows and tabs were easy to navigate, but once the mouse pointer sensitivity was turned down, ease of navigation improved greatly.
Next, I tested the keyboard by navigating Windows Explorer. Files and folders were effortless to move and scrolling was simple as well. During this test I did notice that the trackball moves a lot smoother when the keyboard is laying closer to a horizontal position rather than a vertical position. This is because the actual ball slightly falls away from its housing when turned vertically, which makes the ball harder to move accurately.
Moving on, I created a Word file to test the fluidity and ease of the Premium Wireless' typing action. I found typing to be a lot slower on the smaller layout of the Vidabox than on a full size keyboard. I am sure a lot of this has to do with my lack of familiarity with laptop-sized keyboards. I must point out that my typing speed increased dramatically after the first 30 minutes of use.
Finally, I tested the wireless range of the keyboard. Vidabox's website states that the Premium Wireless has a range of up to 30 feet. I believe this 100%. The range on the keyboard is incredible. I could take the keyboard into any room adjacent to my PC and it would still maintain a strong connection.