Imperial 2.4G wireless mini keyboard Author: faceless105 -- Posted: 2007-07-11
One cool area that I don't think we look at nearly enough is wireless applications. Especially with Home Theatre PCs on the rise as they are, the wireless keyboard has become an extremely convenient tool. Today we'll be reviewing the Imperial 2.4G wireless series of mini keyboard by X-Gene.
The convenience of wireless keyboards and mice is that they are still all plug and play. To connect the wireless keyboard you simply plug in the USB receiver. Then you press the ID button on both the receiver and the keyboard to synch them up. After that you're connected and ready to go!!
The keyboard comes with many nice features that you don't see on many mini keyboards. The most handy one is a built in optical trackball mouse with a scroll wheel. Another feature that I've come to require any keyboard I use are the media keys. These make it incredibly easy to control your music from anywhere in the room. In addition to the media keys, there are also internet hotkeys to make browsing that much easier as well. Finally since we're dealing with a wireless keyboard, there is a convenient low battery light to let you know when you're running out of juice.
Now for first hand experience...
I find the keyboard surprisingly comfortable to handle. I've used a number of wireless min-keyboards in the past and they are generally very limited in functionality and built with a very basic shape so they aren't to conventional to hold while using the mouse. The Imperial model has a lot of functionality and as such it sits a bit higher then other wireless mini-keyboards. This also gives it a little weight which I like as well since it makes me feel more solid.
Another cool feature is the placement of the mouse buttons. While the mouse and left/right click are on the top of the keyboard, the scroll wheel is placed conveniently on the side in a fashion similar to many of todays gaming consoles. This also gave them the ability to place an additional left mouse button on the side of the track ball giving you limited mouse control if you want to use only one hand. This is a very cool feature that I have never seen before, and while it may not sound like much it is incredibly convenient.
Time for a quick talk on performance. This keyboard takes 4 AA batteries which is a good amount so you know the battery life will last you quite a long time. Conveniently they also include the batteries to get you started on your way. The biggest thing to consider when purchasing any wireless media is to know what your range/quality is. I first tested distance, and found at 10 meters distance the signal was still crystal clear. I also tested for ghosting while doing this and never had any problems. So I wanted to actually get far enough away that I could push it to its limits. First was 15 meters, no problems, next was 20 meters, still no problems. Now all these tests had been pretty much line of sight and since I was back against the wall it was time to try something new. To get a good place I had to plug the keyboard into my laptop, I was able to walk to the other side of the house and the signal was still crystal clear. This was a direct distance of between 20-30 meters, but it was also through many walls, so I'm incredibly impressed by the performance of this keyboard.
I'd really like to thank X-Gene for providing the wireless Imperial 2.4G mini-keyboard. I've found it to be incredibly impressive and honestly a step above the rest. I've any of you are ever in need of a nice wireless mini-keyboard then this one has my personal recommendation as it has performed seamlessly for me. If you're interested in purchasing it, check it out at Compuvest.com.
As always I'm up for any comments or questions you can throw at me :)