Xebec Tech HTPC Wireless Mini Keyboard with Touchpad Review
Andy Ruffell / 571 days ago
[wpcol_1half id="" class="" style=""]Xebec are a brand that not many consumers may have heard of, but that’s not to say they don’t make brilliant products as we found out from looking at their Itouchpad back in September.
They are aiming to make products that are convenient to the market and this includes wireless keyboards for HTPC users.
The HTPC Wireless Mini keyboard breaks the boundaires in design by offering a tiny product that is portable and easily tucked away when not in use and from getting a first glance of this new gadget at Insomnia i43, we were eager to see if it was any good once we returned to the eTeknix headquarters.
From a first glance, you will instantly see a lot of similarities between it and the much loved Sony PSP and some may confuse the touchpad for a screen, which is what we initially thought.
Included is everything to get you going with the keyboard, two AAA batteries, Unifying receiver and a brief instruction guide including system requirements.
The main aspect of the keyboard is the way it’s designed and shaped to comfortably fit into the users hands with the ability for it to be controlled easily with your thumbs.
The keyboard followsa QWERTY style design and also has extra functions for some of the number and symbol buttons.
The top-left part of the keyboard has a d-pad style controller which also has extra functions for scrolling on your chosen page.
Application buttons are also situated nearby for easy control of the start button and other secondary functions.
The top-right part of the keyboard looks very similar but has slightly different functions, aimed more at multimedia including volume controls and the ability to play/pause, stop, rewind and fast forward/skip through your media.
These buttons also double up for starting up your internet browser and email applications.
The touchpad sits between these various buttons and provides a simple to use system that laptop users will be familiar with from the start and due to the size and shape of the keyboard, is easily within reach when holding the unit.
[/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id="" class="" style=""]Flipping the keyboard over to the other side reveals a very slight rubber type material that provides extra grip and comfort and is ergonomically shaped to provide the best handling.
There are two buttons on the rear for controlling a left and right click motion and are conviently positioned for your index fingers, much like you’d find on a portable gamepad or PSP style device.
There is also a space provided to slot the unifying receiver into when not in use. This is especially handy when transporting the device for use on multiple HTPC devices, although we can’t see this situation arising very often.
Getting down to the nitty gritty, whilst the device is really comfortable and responsive to use, the unifying receiver can be a bit troublesome unless the device has a clear line of sight to it, though with the majority of HTPC users having front panel USB, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
A product like this can only be commented on once you’ve been using it for a few days, and after having an extensive use over the weekend, we found it to be extremely versatile in many ways. The fact that it’s lightweight and small, allows for it to be tucked away in the usual places, including down the side of your sofa.
It also gives a lot of unique features including the ability to use the trackpad and d-pad buttons depending on your preference. The QWERTY keyboard allows for a simple transition from a standard keyboard, to that of a smaller design which people will favour immediately.
As this product isn’t in retailers just yet, we can only comment on the recommended RRP of £26 + VAT GBP, which in our opinion is a little bit on the pricey side, compared to it’s bigger brother, the Itouchpad, but still provides a simple solution to a common problem, and with rival products from the likes of Logitech, coming in at over £100, it does seem to offer good value none the less.
If you are looking to give comfort and style to your home theatre setup, the Xebec HTPC wireless keyboard would be the perfect addition and will certainly leave your friends wondering where they can buy one from.