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Reviewed by: Bryan Pizzuti [04.18.03]
Manufactured by: Bytecc
MSRP: $55

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Well, I mentioned that this keyboard was light.  In fact, it's a bit TOO light.  There's not enough weight in it to hold it in place, even with the included non-skid "feet" on the bottom. It could use a little extra weight just in that area to keep the keyboard from sliding while you try to type.  Now, if your desk (or wherever else you upt it) has a fairly rough texture, it should still stay, but if it's smooth and/or shiny, it's going to move on you.

The backspace key is a little small, so be careful of it; you could end up hitting the home key by accident instead. It also seems to be hard to use: you have to hit it just perfectly for the keystroke to register on that particular key. The ENTER key is comparitively HUGE.  There's a FN key to access the "numeric keypad" embedded in the text keys.  it's the same setup as on a laptop, so if you're used to that, then that's great. If you're not used to it, it takes quite a bit of getting used to.

It gets locked into keypad mode with the NUMLOCK, but then you have to shut that off to be able to type letters again.  But if your primary keyboard is also USB, it has the interesting side effect of switching Numlock on for BOTH keyboards (Caps lock works the same way).  I think that's a Windows issue though.  Besides, who out there besides me is using 2 keyboards right now?

As a matter of fact, if you want to play FPS shooters, that keypad may be a VERY good idea, considering the small size of this keyboard's arrow keys.  That's of course assuming you stick with the arrow keys. The keyboard is so small that you can span your hand across it very easily, which might make it a pretty decent game controller if you can get used to the key size. Everything's close enough together that you can get at it VERY quickly.  Plus it's nice if you play games in the dark.

One really handy thing is this set of 3 buttons along the top.  You get an on/off light for the keyboard glow, and you also get power and sleep mode buttons for the PC, something that not all keyboards out there offer still.  These buttons work depending on the configuration inside of Windows for your power and sleep buttons, in the Power section on the control panel. SO if you don't have a Sleep button on your box, and set it to "none" for some reason, then the keyboard's button won't do anything.  I prefer to set mine to "Ask me" so I get the stand-by/shut-down dialog, and sleep sends my PC into hibernation.

Ok, so what about this glow?

Well, it glows.  The key caps are white so that the luminescent surface will show through.  And it does look quite nice.  It also makes it a LOT easier to type in a dark room, small keys or no.  Initially, it takes a bit of practice, but it gets easier.

Well, I could see this as being a good companion for a case to take to LAN parties. The keyboard is small and lightweight, and solid enough to not be able to damage easily.  It mgiht be a decent tech bench addition, since it's much smaller than that full size keyboard that you keep running out of room for on your workbench (yeah, you. You know who you are).  It might be an IDEAL companion for a TabletPC, or for a PDA capable of accepting a USB keyboard, assuming such devices could power the glowing keys properly (I believe most USB host ports on those devices are unpowered and would not be up to the task). And if your desk space is at a premium, this would be incredibly useful too.  I'm in that situation at work, where we have 2 monitors, 2 keyboards and a pair of mice crammed onto each desk...there's no room left to write!  Maybe I can get the office to buy a couple of these...besides, they're VERY stylish.  Of course, for such small keyboards, they're pretty expensive too.

But look at that nice color scheme I have going there, with all of the blue-lit LCDs, and the blue LED fan, and the keyboard and mouse. All nice and color-coordinated.  But I think I'd want a bigger glowing keyboard if I have to type on it every day on that particular desk, since space isn't at a premium.  Of course, this IS advertised as a "super-mini" keyboard, so we shouldn't be surprised at the size.  I just wish Bytecc made a full-size version of this as well (if they did, I'd grab it). Maybe they'll at least offer a glowing numeric keypad to match; I'd grab one of those too.  But this is a pretty cool looking keyboard by itself, and I think I'll keep it around for a while.  Initially, it looks small and dinky, but it grows on you. And glows on you too. :)

  • Cool blue glow
  • fairly big function keys
  • Ultra-compact
  • Resonably comfortable to type with, despite the size
  • Power and sleep buttons

  • No dedicated numeric keypad
  • Small keys
  • Needs a tiny bit more weight for stability
  • Expensive

Final Score: 80%