Xebec iTouchpad Keyboard Review

👤by Thomas Koflach Comments 📅16-09-11
Setup and Testing
Setting up the Xebec iTouchpad was incredibly easy. I simply inserted the USB dongle, turned on the keyboard and everything else was sorted for me. Everything worked perfectly, including the trackpad. Wanting to catch out the iTouchpad, I inserted the dongle into my mac to see how well it handled that. Annoyingly, it worked first time. So far so good then, but how does it perform where it really matters in use.

First impressions were fairly good. I was expecting it to feel very similar to a laptop keyboard, and it was. The only real difference was the resistance the keys offered they were quite a bit stiffer than any laptop keyboard Ive ever come across. At first this was a little annoying, as I wasnt pressing some of the keys hard enough (so the key press wasnt being registered). After a while though, I got used to it, and found the keyboard far more usable.

Annoyingly, I kept hitting the trackpad when typing. Even though its recessed, as its not centered I found it sat directly below where I rest my thumb. This meant I would occasionally hit it when resting my thumb. This may be a problem unique to me, but its worth bearing in mind and perhaps looking at before purchasing.

The trackpad wasnt my only gripe the layout caused some anger during testing. The small backspace was the most annoying feature a key I regularly use was suddenly really awkward to hit, especially when touch-typing. Moving the delete key can just about be forgiven, but having it on the bottom row took a very long time to get used to. I can understand Xebec were trying to make the keyboard as compact as possible, but I feel they went a step too far and have sacrificed a tad too much in the way of usability to achieve the form factor they were after a mid-way compromise would have been ideal.

Aside from the issues mentioned above, the iTouchpad worked well. The trackpad was responsive and the buttons had a nice feel to them when clicked. The shape of the iTouchpad was also comfortable, with its curved ergonomics working perfectly. I personally found the angle at which the keyboard sat up to be about right, but for those of you that like a bit more angle there is of course the fold out legs. It was also fairly rigid, with very little flex even when pushing down hard in the middle of the keyboard.

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