Xebec Tech Easy Eye Large Letter Keyboard Review
Peter Donnell / 8 years ago
I have something a little different in the office today, the Xebec Easy Eye keyboard and while some of your are likely recoiling in shock, thinking “what on earth are you doing” well, I’m going somewhere with this and I think this is an important product in many different ways, so lets see if I can get to the bottom of this.
The Easy Eye is quite a popular product and while I expect you don’t see many of them on the pro gaming scene or the gaming scene at all really, there are a lot of people in this world that would have good use for a keyboard like this, its big, bright, simple and water proof, perfect for those who are hard of sight or perhaps other disabilities that would make the use of a regular small key-keyboard more difficult.
The thing that interests me the most however is that its effectively water proof and while I don’t expect it would survive an over night soak in the bath, Xebec say it should survive some severe spillage, which is something I aim to test.
Priced at around £15-£20 from most major online retailers its reasonably price too and so long its build quality is up to par and its actually a comfortable keyboard to use, I see a big market for this keyboard, I already know before I open the box that my dad would love this keyboard.
The box is nothing fancy but it does list a few of the major features such as USB connection, large print keys, high contrast design, multimedia hot keys, a low profile design, spill proof and UK layout.
Style wise I actually think it looks pretty good, it makes you eyes widen a little at first, but that’s the point. The keys are huge and feature massive lettering that is super easy to read and hopefully this is still true for those who are hard of sight.
It’s a full size keyboard design, and we have a full set of number keys, although the ins, home, pgdn, pgup, end and del keys have been compressed into a 2×3 format and the arrow keys moved to the left a little to keep the width of the keyboard within normal parameters,
The low profile design gives a nice flat surface across the whole keyboard, and this should make it easy for your fingers to travel across the board while typing, it also means that non of the keys are obscured by other keys, regardless of viewing angle.
Around the back of the keyboard everything is straight forward and only a USB cable pokes out on the top right side.
Underneath we have two flip up feet and two rubber grips, all fairly standard stuff. More importantly we have a range of holes which serve no other purpose than letting water drain through should you spill something on the keyboard.
Setup was as simple as plug and play, there are no extra drivers, no fancy software, no macros or anything like that. This is a pure and simple keyboard that you just hook up and use and it couldn’t be more back to basics than that. This is of course one of the designed intentions for the keyboard as some people have limited computer knowledge and just need their products to work straight away and that’s what the Easy Eye delivers.
Typing is actually quite pleasant on the keyboard, the soft touch of the keys gives a nice tactile feed back and while I can’t type quite as fast as before, I don’t feel its an unpleasurable experience, the keys have a nice travel and tactile feel to them and in all honesty its far better than I was expecting. It’s not going to be #1 for a StarCraft II tournament but its not going to stop you from doing any other day to day computing tasks either.
That’s right, I fully intend to test out the main feature of this keyboard, it’s time to take it outside and introduce it to my friend Mr Garden Hose. I’ve wrapped the USB cable in a plastic bag and used a cable tie to keep the connection dry, not sure if that will work or not as I’m writing that while the keyboard drys out!
After a quick blast of water the keyboard is well and truely dripping wet and there is only one solution for that, peg it out on the washing line in the sun to let it dry off.
An hour later and its time to hook it back up to my computer and see if it works…. OF COURSE IT DOES! Not a problem and dare I say it’s also remarkably dust free too. This test might not work every time as I’m sure I would eventually break the board, but should you knock a cup of tea, pint of water or something similar over this keyboard, it looks like its got a high survival chance. Should I do this with my own desktop keyboard it would be very very dead by now and I’d be looking at a £100 bill to replace it.
There were a few minor issues at first as the QWE and 789 keys refused to work at all, even after 4 hours of hanging out on the washing line in the sun there was still moisture within the keyboard, fortunately this dried out over night after leaving the keyboard close to the radiator over night, now all is good.
Other than a few water stains on the keyboard all was good and it looked fine, all the keys felt fine to press and there was no damage, now kick back and enjoy the video of me blasting the keyboard with my garden hose, because pouring a pint of water over it was just too boring.
Xebec have really hit on a few major issues here and while none of them are specific to my needs I think its easy to see why this product would appeal to certain people. Not everyone who uses a PC on a daily basis has need or desire for a high end gaming keyboard, with mechanical switches and a £100+ price tag, some people just want something that is simple and functional and thats certainly something that the Xebec provides.
The easy eye keyboard is tailored to the need of those who may be hard of sight and its big bright keys and bold lettering makes it super easy to read, obviously. My dad uses his PC everyday and he’s constantly having issues with seeing what he is typing and at 70 years old I know for a fact he would love this keyboard, not only because he can see it better but because he is terrible for spilling things on his keyboard, beer, tea, water you name it, all of killed his keyboards time and time again over the last few years and maybe this keyboard is the solution for him?
I was really impressed that it survived our water test and while it took a whole day to dry out, likely due to me over doing it with the hose, I have no doubt that this will survive most day to day spills. It’s not everyday that your going to hose your keyboard down and hang it on the washing line, although sometimes that wouldn’t be such a bad thing if you could.
Its modestly priced, performs well enough for day to day tasks and it can survive being attacked with a garden hose, overall I think that’s a pretty impressive result.