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 Post subject: Wireless mouse-in Keyboards from Enermax and Moneual
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:22 pm 
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Wireless mouse-in Keyboards from Enermax and Moneual

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 Post subject: Moncaso seems better to my - but I like my gyration
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:42 pm 
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Of the two keyboards reviewed here, I like the mouse button and scroll wheel layout on the Enermax. But as soon as I saw the picture of it, I new the square edges would be a drawback. That's why I don't like the dinovo from Logitech. All in all, the Moncaso being about 1/3 the list price of the Enermax is the deciding factor for me between the two.

However, I've been using a gyration compact keyboard with their air mouse for a few years now, and I really like the combination. I also use a Logitech 880 programmed as an MS remote to control my multimedia applications as well as the rest of the home theater set-up. The gyration keyboard is very lightweight, but solid, and has a small ridge on either side, so it can be held in one hand while typing with the other. I often use it standing up, just a few feet from the TV, when I am doing system maintenance stuff. No trackball on the gyration keyboard, but that isn't a big deal to me.

The gyration is expensive too, as it only comes packaged with the air mouse for a bit over $100. But my kids recently ruined the keyboard by spilling something on it, and I was able to buy a refurbished one as a replacement from Amazon for $25 and it works fine.

Will be very interesting to see how the Boxee remote works when it comes out. Very simple controls on one side, and full mini querty keyboard on the back.

The ultimate HTPC control = Logitech Harmony with full querty keyboard on the back like the Boxee remote, and air-mouse functionality built in like the Gyration remote. Please, someone make this.


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 Post subject: again with the review
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:52 pm 
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Hey, I have that moncaso keyboard, and I have yet to get it to connect to the system I wanted to use it with. It seemed to require a driver of some kind, and I installed it and everything, but it still couldn't seem to sense the keyboard. Very frustrating. I wonder if I have an older version, and things work more cleanly with the new version. In any case, I may pick up the enermax keyboard at some point, I'm still looking for a good replacement for my infrared keyboard.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:08 pm 
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Location: London, UK
How is the accuracy of the trackball? I'm using a keyboard trackball combination from Accuratus (link) and I'm not impressed by its mouse performance. It lacks precision and occasionally moves when you take your thumb off it. To sum it up: overpriced for what it does.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:30 pm 
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After reading this review I feel even better about my decision to get a Dinvo Mini for my HTPC. I do type even less then the review on my HTPC. Just enough to go to my favorite web pages or run a search on google.

For any other tasks it is a better experience to grab my laptop which takes only a moment to wake from sleep.

It would be nice to see some more competition and inovation in this category. The two keyboards reviewed are not much different then a mouse/keyboard I got in about 2001. It is beyond me why logitech does not make a Harmony with a qwerty keyboard, some sort of mouse, IR for the Home Theater and usb RF reciever for the computer. Something like the forbiden love child of a Dinovo Mini and Harmony remote.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:14 pm 
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thanks so much for reviewing HTPC keyboards. I anticipate being in the market for one in several months, and welcome all HTPC related reviews.

Without considering money, i think i value the scroll wheel and better key layout over better connectivity and light weight. But, less money spent on the keyboard = more money to spend on a pretty case for the computer :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:28 pm 
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My choice was the Logitech Di Novo Edge in spite of its premium price. The key action and mouse pad are both a joy to use. I also like never having to buy batteries. A short charge of the Di Novo lasts for a couple of months.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:52 pm 
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Any chance you can do some drop test onto a hard floor to see which one loses any keys, mouse ball, battery cover ect. Or perhaps give feed back if they are captured so there is no way of that happening please.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:26 pm 
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Why don't these things use Bluetooth instead of some proprietary RF system? Rather than messing with a different dongle for every device you'd just need one, or even none if your HTPC is a notebook/netbook with built-in Bluetooth. Bluetooth has been around long enough and is low-cost enough (thanks to its popularity with mobile devices) that there is really no excuse for a wireless peripheral to use anything else and yet it still seems a rarity in the world of keyboards and mice.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:21 am 
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For those who prefer typing experience over a wireless setup this will be available in a while:
Image
Fully configurable, aluminium casing and mechanical key-switches.


http://www.guru-board.com/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:33 am 
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jessekopelman wrote:
Why don't these things use Bluetooth instead of some proprietary RF system? Rather than messing with a different dongle for every device you'd just need one, or even none if your HTPC is a notebook/netbook with built-in Bluetooth. Bluetooth has been around long enough and is low-cost enough (thanks to its popularity with mobile devices) that there is really no excuse for a wireless peripheral to use anything else and yet it still seems a rarity in the world of keyboards and mice.

Filco makes some good Bluetooth keyboards, not available in the US though.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:52 am 
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oakdad wrote:
Any chance you can do some drop test onto a hard floor to see which one loses any keys, mouse ball, battery cover ect. Or perhaps give feed back if they are captured so there is no way of that happening please.


+1

A drop test should be mandatory for all "mobile" devices. Preferably drop it several times.

A friend of mine had the shaft of a mini joystick of his phone break, which made it unusable. The part is tiny and protrudes clearly from the body of the phone when looking at it from the side profile. It is obvious that this is a design flaw, as it will get caught in something eventually.

However the maker did not want to repair it under warranty, stating that application of "external force" had broken it.

But my view is that all mobile devices are subject to getting dropped several times during normal use and they should withstand it. It definitely affected my buying decisions if I knew that the products were sturdy enough to stay usable for me. Call me whatever but I've already dropped my mouse a couple of times today (accidentally of course).


Another thing:

I didn't find a single instance of the words "silent" "quiet" or "noise" in the review. Didn't bother looking for their synonyms though. Several users here like quiet keyboards so it would be appropriate that a spcr review would address that matter in its keyboard reviews. In fact I don't care if my keyboard cilcks a lot, but I know many others here do.

Please take this as a constructive criticism and not as a rant.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:29 am 
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drop test -- not easy. What angles? heights? several samples needed for backup. Wrote this before: No web review site can do proper reliability/longevity testing. Just not doable under current business/economic model. Even the grandaddy of all review sites -- consumer reports -- is no better than spcr.
(ps -- both keyboards survive short 2' drops. higher, the extra weight of the Enermax probably goes against it.)

Noise/silence in a HTPC keyboard? Give me a break! If you use it for real typing, then it's not really a HTPC. For brief intermittent use, even a noisy CD drive is no big deal.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:03 am 
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Which keyboard did you use to type "anpit" instead of "about" on page 3?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:30 am 
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barefootzero wrote:
It would be nice to see some more competition and inovation in this category. The two keyboards reviewed are not much different then a mouse/keyboard I got in about 2001. It is beyond me why logitech does not make a Harmony with a qwerty keyboard, some sort of mouse, IR for the Home Theater and usb RF reciever for the computer. Something like the forbiden love child of a Dinovo Mini and Harmony remote.


Agreed. Ideally keyboards like these need remote control functionality, which means they must have an IR emitter as well as learning capability. Even the $35 Microsoft Remote Keyboard does that (to an extent).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:01 pm 
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The MonCaso appears to use a common keyboard key assembly used on other keyboards. I've purchased two of these Adesso wireless keyboards - they came with slightly different key assemblies, one looks identical to the MonCaso. They're priced well on Amazon and have my favorite mouse button arrangement.

The downside to all these keyboards is that the membrane keys are not cleanable or repairable. The reason I have 2 of these is that the 1st one's decimal pt key (>.) stopped working. Pretty hard to key in web addresses without that one.

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 Post subject: Tried many, still like my Logitech Mediaboard Pro the best
PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:45 pm 
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I looked for a long time for a keyboard that would be perfect for use on my HTPC. After looking at a lot of what was available a few years ago when I built it, and reading a lot of reviews, I ended up buying a Logitech Mediaboard Pro http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/keybo ... 6&cl=us,en :

Image

This thing is designed for use with the PS3, and uses Bluetooth, but I find it works with Windows XP Pro fine, with an off-the-shelf Bluetooth dongle.

The only problem with Bluetooth (at least the way it's done with any dongle I've tried) is that the software on the computer with the Bluetooth dongle/card seems to need to have a true Bluetooth stack to interpret the keypresses. This means that typing a key on the keyboard won't start a machine that's sleeping, and no BIOS or other software without a Bluetooth stack can read the keypresses.

Also, though I don't usually like Trackpads (eg. I only buy Thinkpads for laptops, partly because I like the "Trackpoint" mouse in the keyboard better), this one works better and feels more accurate than the trackballs I've seen on some other keyboards. Also, some Adesso keyboards with Trackpads I've tried were not very accurate and seemed to lose the connection rather often.

It's a little wide, but I've found the batteries last a really long time, the mouse and typing accuracy are great, and it's made to live in a gaming environment where it can get knocked around and spilled on (tho' I haven't experimented with that part :-) ).

Also, some people have reported they hated the key-feel, since there's not much travel in the keys; they've reported finding they feel like old-fashioned calculator keys, but I haven't felt that at all.

--------------------------

What I'd REALLY like would be a Thinkpad keyboard like the below, but with Bluetooth:

Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:52 am 
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The best combo I´ve found is a remote (Logitech Harmony 555 for me) and the Airmouse app for Iphone. Airmouse has keyboard functionality and trackpad, so I don´t need to break out the keyboard & mouse.

I set up Mediaportal to start automatically on boot so I only need the mouse when the odd OK box appears (typically updating software etc.) Otherwise I´m fine with just the remote.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 5:06 pm 
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Anyone know of a UK supplier for the Moneual?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:29 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
drop test -- not easy. What angles? heights? several samples needed for backup. Wrote this before: No web review site can do proper reliability/longevity testing.

There appears to be a rough standard for a drop test. Panasonic advertises it for their toughbooks.

I'd love to see SPCR (and other sites), adopt an in-house test somewhat based on this. Nothing too complicated (to make it easy for you guys), but something that garners some respect.

Sadly, I don't live near SPCR labs so I can't do this for you guys. It'd be a relatively fun test, IMO.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 3:03 pm 
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Better would be the old Samsonite test where the product is placed in a cage as a toy for a hyperactive gorilla. Could you possibly consider such a test, Mike?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 6:55 pm 
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Alright I just built a HTPC for my dad. The PC still needed a final touch... a wireless keyboard/mouse. Not wanting to spend a lot and reading this review I picked up a MonCaso MK-701 from xoxide.com (sp?)

Anway... I am using it now. To me the keys type better than a standard laptop. They require a bit more force than most people are used to. I am a fast/hard typer so the key stiffness just feels like durability to me but some would find it as a weakness. If people care about it being quiet it is more quiet than my Eclipse Saitek keyboard.

It is working great on my Windows Pro XP x64. The mouse right/left buttons have a very audible click when pressed. As it just came in earlier today I have not tested it much accept for this mini review. I have read online that there may be driver issues with windows 7... I am hoping this isn't true as I have not tried it on my Dad's HTPC with Windows 7 x64.

Lastly the trackball works fine... I've never been a trackball user so it feels weird but is completely usable and is not too annoying to use for basic internet and computing. It sits in my lap alright and I'm not afraid its going to break. Decent durability and if it drops and breaks no big deal.


I just hope it works when I try it with his Windows 7 HTPC tomorrow!

edit: This model is slightly diffferent from the one in the review.... here is a picture of mine from the site I bought it from:

http://www.xoxide.com/moneual-wireless-keyboard.html

edit 2: lol, just noticed xoxide's picture is not the same as mine. The difference Is all those media buttons next to the mouse buttons are gone. The left and right keys fall perfect under my left hand middle and pointer fingers with the scroll wheel being in between like it should be.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 10:34 am 
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sorry to dig up this old review...but I had a question for the testers.

In the review, you mention that you pretty much gave up using windows MCE to access media, and just did everything from the desktop, correct?

I was wondering, was it easy to 'move around' and click on things you were trying to click on? In other words, was it easy to browse the internet, and select media to play without fumbling around too much on the keyboard?

In the interest of saving money, I'm thinking about using my current desktop/gaming rig to double as an HTPC. My plan is to buy a newer graphics card, a long HDMI cable, and a wireless keyboard so that I could watch all my media from my living room TV..without building a HTPC to go right next to the TV.

Does this make any sense? Or is there something major that I'm forgetting about...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:50 pm 
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RoGuE wrote:
Does this make any sense? Or is there something major that I'm forgetting about...


Sure it makes sense, which is why most new graphics cards have an HDMI port. Maybe you should consider a wireless mouse as well. The optical mice will of course run on any reasonably flat surface.... If you want to do gaming on a PC there is the wireless version of the XBox controller.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:43 am 
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lodestar wrote:
RoGuE wrote:
Does this make any sense? Or is there something major that I'm forgetting about...


Sure it makes sense, which is why most new graphics cards have an HDMI port. Maybe you should consider a wireless mouse as well. The optical mice will of course run on any reasonably flat surface.... If you want to do gaming on a PC there is the wireless version of the XBox controller.


Yeah, it's pretty hard to find the wireless receivers though. I managed to find one but I also use the wired Xbox controller with my PC which just plugs in a USB socket.

I've currently got a wireless keyboard and mouse but find using the mouse rather fiddly on the available surfaces (arm of the sofa) so for general PC use and non-FPS gaming I think a keyboard with built in trackball would be much better.

I actually got given one of these recently but whilst the receiver and keyboard part work fine, the trackball doesn't appear to be working so I'll have to pull it apart and see if I can fix it :o

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