|nMedia MCESKB 2.4GHz Wireless Slim Trackball Keyboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Saturday, 07 April 2007|
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Wireless Keyboard Performance
While the standard keyboard is plug and play, the nMedia System MCESKB does require just a few steps before you are functional. These steps were short and sweet, and I found installation was simple enough for any user regardless of skill level. Here are the steps performed:
As previously listed in the specifications, the nMedia System MCESKB claims to have a range of 50 feet. My living room only offered me 46 feet between the HTPC which the receiver was connected to, and the keyboard sitting on the dining room table. There was a clear line of sight, and so therefore the performance was good; but I did notice some loss of range when I used the keyboard near it's indicated maximum range with other 2.4GHz products nearby. This was an extreme exaggeration of normal use, because most people will not even see the screen from 50 feet away, much less have the living room space to accomodate the maximum range.
Also of great benefit is the auto-power feature. Even though there is a power switch, the nMedia MCESKB Keyboard will go into a standby mode after two minutes of inactivity. This is the secret behind the decent battery life I received with tiny AAA batteries.
Conclusion: nMedia MCESKB
The nMedia System MCESKB is a keeper, and I will continue to use it with my HTPC. The 2.4GHz RF range is more then adequate for even large living room use, and yet still allows for expanded functionality in board room presentations or the classroom. Battery life was ample, since I do not use the keyboard for prolonged daily use it seems that AAA batteries are well tailored for the slim keyboard. While accountants may not appreciate the missing 10-key, everyone else will enjoy the same familiar feel that these keys maintain in comparison to a standard keyboard. The upper hotkeys were decent enough, considering they rarely get used, but the left/right mouse function keys could use a bit more seperation. Finally, the trackball is a perfect fit: not too small, and not too large.
So where's the bad news? Well, aside from minor mouse button placement, there weren't too many flaws to be found at all. Over the past few months I have twice been a consumer shopping for a wireless keyboard for use with my living room HTPC. The first thing I learned while shopping was that these keyboards can be very expensive, however the nMedia System MCESKB offers excellent functionality with terrific value. At the time of this writing, the nMedia MCESKB 2.4GHz Wireless Slim Trackball Keyboard is available for a mere $44.99 at NewEgg.com. If this product were any less expensive, the good people at nMedia System would be giving them away. If you are looking for a wireless slim keyboard with great range and exceptional functionality, I highly recommend you purchase this product.
I will admit that I could go the extra mile and report if this unit is spill proof or if I could throw it accross the room and see if it still works, but I'm not going to. I want to keep mine. But if you purchase one and happen to conduct these extreme tests (not recommended) please come back and let us know the results.
+ High-quality construction can withstand damage
- Left/Right mouse button placement
Final Score: 8.85 out of 10.
This review would not be possible if it weren't for nMedia System and their staff. I am grateful, and certainly appreciate the opportunity.