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Three New "Mini" Keyboards

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Category: Hardware Published on Monday, 21 September 2009

Think Small 

Are you cramped for desk space?

Is the lack of elbow room giving you nightmares?

You may want to check out a new small format keyboard from Logitech and two new "mini" keyboards from Adesso that can help you reclaim some of that lost real estate.

Logitech's new Wireless Keyboard K340 ($49.99) not only takes up less space on your desk, but is the only one of the three that has a separate number pad (the others have it embedded into certain lettwr keys to save space).

It's also the only one of the trio that has a "unifying receiver," which is smaller than the typical USB wireless receivers. This enables you to leave it inserted in the USB port of your laptop computer even when the computer is packed away in its case. You can also connect the same receiver to six additional wireless keyboards or mice.

Other features include:

  • Up two three years of battery life from one set of AA batteries.
  • Dedicated multimedia and Internet access keys.
  • Programmable hot keys.
  • A wireless extender cable.

The smallest of the two from Adesso -- the Wireless Mini Trackball Keyboard ($79.99) -- is actually a "super mini," offering may of the features you'd expect on larger models.

This little wonder has a wireless range of up to 100 feet, although I really can't see any reason why you'd want to be that far away from your computer. I tested it from about 30 feet away and it worked perfectly.

The keyboard comes with everything you need to untether yourself from your desk, including a USB receiver and batteries. It also features:

  • A built-in track ball, which eliminates the need for a mouse.
  • Eight different frequencies with 65,536 IDs per channel to eliminate conflicks with other wireless devices.
  • It powers down to "standy mode" after eight minutes of non activity to conserve battery power.
  • There are several hot keys that we're used to seeing with larger multimedia keyboards, including volume controls, Web access, and email keys.
  • A magnetic holder on the back of the keybord for the USB receiver, making it truely portable.
  • An LED indicator that tells you when you need to replace its two AAA batteries.
  • An embedded numeric keypad.

The Adesso Wireless SlimTouch Mini ($109.99) is slightly larger, but is still smaller than your average full-size keyboard. It has all of the features of its smaller brother plus:

  • A touchpad and left and right buttons
  • Scissor switch key technology, which, according to Adesso, "offers noise reduction and faster typing."

The only dificulty I had with the Adesso keyboards was finding the delete and insert keys, which are on the bottom right instead of their "usual" location at the top of the device.

All three of these keyboards are designed to be portable and fit easilly into a briefcase or laptop computer bag.

For more information, check out the companies' websites at www.adesso.com and www.logitech.com.

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