Today we are looking at a new product from Xebec – the iTouchpad Diamond Series Wireless keyboard which features a built in touchpad. It is rechargeable and is designed for Windows operating systems. Is this the ideal ‘controller’ for media use?
Being a compact, wireless design means the Xebec iTouchPad Diamond series is ideal for a media center. The supported range is 10 meters via the 2.4ghz radio transmission, meaning it should work perfectly even in the biggest living room. Cleverly, the keyboard can be charged from a USB port when not in use. No need to worry about the batteries running out.
- The keyboard is plug n play enabled therefore there are no drivers which need to be installed.
- Full functionality of a full-size layout keyboard due to built in numeric keypad and 12 function keys.
- Tilt feet for adjustment of the tilt angle for an absolute skid-proof and ergonomic operation.
- Blue LED indicating pairing, transmitting and low battery.
- Power On/Off switch to save battery.
- Key count: 89.
- Construction: Soft-Touch-Membrane technology.
- Battery type: 2× AAA 1.5 V (included).
- Plug n play.
- Optimal for Digital Living Rooms (HTPC) as well as for training, conference & presentation rooms etc.
The keyboard is shipped in a diminutive package with a picture of the product on the front.
Inside, the keyboard is protected with a clear plastic cover. There is a USB cable for charging, two rechargeable batteries and literature on the product.
The keyboard measures 307.2 x 24.8 x 203.1 mm and weighs 657 grams with the batteries installed. The trackpad is placed underneath the main keyboard area and has two buttons, just like a dedicated mouse.
The keyboard is responsive and is based on soft touch membrane technology. It isn’t a wonderful choice as a main typists keyboard, but considering it is designed for a media center and use on a chair or sofa, we wouldn’t expect the target audience to be concerned.
There are a row of function keys along the top and the only thing missing is a num pad on the right of the board. This would have obviously made it much wider and less portable.
The rear of the board is black, and features two adjustable feet on either side, for height adjustment. They feel reasonably strong and should withstand moderate abuse. The company say these are ‘skid proof’ which is a rather bizarre claim to make. They don’t move under slight pressure, but they are just plastic.
When the product is shipped, the USB receiver is stowed away inside the keyboard for safety. There is also a power on/off switch next to this. On the right hand side, is a ‘pairing’ switch so the keyboard can sync with the USB receiver. They should only need paired once.
The tiny USB receiver needs to be removed from the slot and then inserted into a free USB port on the target computer.
The two batteries (supplied), need to be inserted into the compartment as shown above. You can use ordinary batteries with this product, but be aware not to try and charge them with the USB cable supplied!
The USB cable which is supplied, simply plugs into the port at the very top of the board for charging. The power switch on the rear should be placed in the ‘on’ position.
Top right of the keyboard section are three icons, next to individual blue LED lights. The lightning icon on the left is a pairing and transmitting LED which indicates that the keyboard and USB receiver are in pairing mode. This stops flashing after successful synchronisation. It also flashes when any key is pressed and when the track pad is in use.
The middle icon is the battery low LED which indicates when the batteries are below 2.2 volts. It is always on until a new set of batteries are inserted (or charged), or the battery is used up completely.
The icon on the right is a recharging LED which flashes when the batteries are recharging and are on permanently when the batteries have fully charged.
The keyboard has three modes of operation as detailed below.
- Sleep mode:
when there is no input on the keyboard or touchpad for over 30 minutes the keyboard automatically turns into Sleep mode (idle state) to save battery power. in this mode the keyboard only consumes 30 uA of power.
- Wake up mode:
To activate the keyboard from sleep mode, press any key on the keyboard (not the left or right mouse function key of the touchpad), or the touchpad itself. In standby mode the keyboard takes 14mA of power.
- Reconnect mode:
The keyboard automatically connects to the USB receiver after it is reactivated. Depending on the environmental conditions the radio transmission to reconnect will take between 1 second and a few minutes. We never experienced anything longer than 5 seconds for reconnection during our test period over the last week. The keyboard takes 100 mA of power when fully active.
On this page we present some super high resolution images of the product taken with the 24.5MP Nikon D3X camera and 24-70mm ED lens. These will take much longer to open due to the dimensions, especially on slower connections. If you use these pictures on another site or publication, please credit Kitguru.net as the owner/source.
The Xebec iTouchPad Diamond Series Wireless Keyboard is a solid product which makes an ideal partner for a media system in the living room. It is light and compact enough to rest on a lap, offering the user control over the mouse and keyboard in one convenient package.
As a standalone purchase for a typist, we can’t recommend it. The Soft Touch Membrane technology may have a lifespan of 5 million activations per key, but it feels distinctively ‘spongy’ and would not be a first choice for serious tasks.
That said, as a media keyboard for light generalised duties it works perfectly fine and the signal strength is more than enough for even the largest of rooms. The signal was perfectly capable of reaching the PC receiver at the other end of a 15 foot room.
We like the driverless install on Windows 7, simply plug in the USB receiver, pair with the keyboard and its ready to use. The rechargeable feature is excellent, as you can rest the keyboard beside the PC when not in use, and maintain a charge. Battery life seems strong, we charged it a week ago as we started the review and it is still going strong on the first charge, under moderate use.
The keyboard is available in the United Kingdom from Overclockers, for £32.99 inc vat.
- Neat, clean appearance.
- Mouse control.
- No drivers needed for modern Windows operating system.
- USB receiver is tiny.
- signal is strong.
- price point is good.
- Keyboard is not ideal for serious typing.