A Mini Keyboard
The K2 product from Penclic is a mini keyboard that has been designed to help alleviate any problems that might occur through Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) and is compatible with either Windows or Mac systems. This mini keyboard communicates with a host computer via a nano receiver inserted in an available USB port. Included in the box with the keyboard are the nano receiver, extendible micro-to-standard USB lead, two rechargeable AA batteries and a small User Guide.
The mini keyboard has a footprint of 285 x 162mm (W x D) with a height that rises from 6mm at the front to 21mm at the rear. The body of the keyboard has a computer grey colouring while the various keys are white apart from an orange Enter key. Positioned on the raised part of the keyboard are LEDs indicating wireless activity and battery capacity. Located on the base of the keyboard are a pair of orange coloured height adjusters, on/off slider switch and a compartment holding the two AAA batteries that are used to power the unit.
Setting up this keyboard is meant to be a simply straightforward process as the two batteries are charged, using the supplied lead, and the nano wireless receiver is inserted in a USB port. No extra software or drivers are required. However after several hours of charging, the keyboard was unable to communicate with the computer. Switching to another set of batteries, this time of the disposal type, produced a successful result and I could type away happily with the mini keyboard perched on my knee as I sat in my favourite armchair.
Later I charged the batteries supplied by Penclic using an external device. While not a particularly fast operation, I finished up with a pair of batteries which could now provide the power to drive the wireless signal between the keyboard and a computer. Obviously my original problem was more to do with the charging process rather than the batteries themselves.
The keyboard layout offers a QWERTY style arrangement headed by standard numeric / punctuation and function keys. An additional number pad is combined within a block of keys towards the right of the main keyboard. Navigation keys for Page UP / DOWN, Home and Exit are positioned in the lower right of the keyboard.
Several of the function keys are paired with their own additional features which are activated using the FN key. I had mixed success with these additional options. While the paired function keys on the right of the keyboard, dealing with features such as Scroll Lock, Num Lock and PrntScr, performed as expected, those on the left did not. Offering features to mute and adjust volume level, these keys failed to have any effect with the audio sound delivered by Amazon Music, my chosen application when playing music during the review process.
I found that the size of the keyboard, and the total lack of any area to be used as a wrist-rest, certainly required an adjustment to the positioning of my hands when typing. My hands felt cramped and this feeling was not helped by the miniscule movement of the keys when pressed. The lack of any tactile feedback from the keys certainly added to the number of typing mistakes I made when using this keyboard. Often the mistakes made were the result of missing letters due to the keys being touched rather than pressed.
It was noticeable that I tended to take more frequent breaks during typing sessions due to the cramped condition. I suppose this would count towards helping reduce RSI. But then with more correction to be made with the increase in typing mistake, this would have the reverse effect and balance everything out.
The Penclic Mini Wireless K2 Keyboard is currently listed at £54.99 on Amazon.co.uk.
|add to del.icio.us||Digg this review|