VisionTek Candyboard Keyboard Review

Posted: Sep 13 2010, 3:18pm CDT | by , in Reviews | I4U Gadget Reviews

 

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Tiny keyboard for HTPC or game console use

Specifications

The VisionTek Candyboard uses 2.4GHz technology and has a USB receiver that stores inside the small keyboard for use. Power comes from a rechargeable internal lithium ion battery and the Candyboard has an integrated trackpad and laser pointer. The keyboard will work with Windows, Linux, Mac, the PS3, and the Xbox 360. The keyboard has 69 keys that are backlit.

In Use

One of the things that is hard to do with the PS3, Xbox, or a HTPC that stays in the living room is get a keyboard that will work for typing that is small enough to not get in the way on the couch or coffee table. The VisionTek Candyboard is certainly small enough to not take up too much room; the little device is about the size of your average remote control. The keys are a bit larger than those you find on a Blackberry, but much smaller than those on any normal keyboard are.

The size of the keys makes thumb typing as you do on a smartphone the norm. The little keys are arranged a bit differently from a normal keyboard with the enter key next to the <> buttons where the shift key would normally go. The small keys have decent tactile feedback, though it does take a deliberate and firm press of the keys to activate them. The keyboard is backlit and you can turn that backlight on or off.

The thin keyboard is a bit too wide for comfortable typing with the right thumb when you are holding it in your hands. The trackpad makes it a stretch for my medium size hands to reach some of the keys in the center of the keyboard. That trackpad is a nice addition to the keyboard and it allows you to navigate just as you would with a mouse. The sensitivity is not that great.

Low sensitivity coupled with a small track pad surface means you will be lifting your fingers regularly to move them back to the top of the trackpad. The are keys directly under the trackpad that will let you scroll as you would with the arrow keys on a regular keyboard.

The keyboard doesn’t have a shift lock, you might be able to configure your system to use a shift lock to keep in the same case. There is a caps lock key that you could press to keep the caps on if holding the shift key and pressing the keys on the far side of the keyboard is difficult for you. It was difficult for me to hold the shift key and press the Q, A, or Z keys comfortable because of the keyboard length. The VisionTek Candyboard isn't made for tons of typing, but will work well for surfing the web on your game console or HTPC where small size is more important than typing speed.

Verdict

Pros

  • Small
  • Works well
  • Integrated track pad

Cons

  • Track pad sensitivity is low
  • Too wide for comfort in some instances
 

Conclusion

The VisionTek Candyboard is a very nice little keyboard for the person with an HTPC or game console that sees frequent online use. The VisionTek Candyboard may not be as fast as a full size keyboard, but typing on it is much faster than using onscreen keyboards with a console.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/3" rel="author">Shane McGlaun</a>
Tech and Car expert Shane McGlaun (Google) reports about what's new in these two sectors. His extensive experience in testing cars, computer hardware and consumer electronics enable him to effectively qualify new products and trends. If you want us review your product, please contact Shane.
Shane can be contacted directly at shane@i4u.com.

 

 

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