Adesso SlimTouch WKB-3000

The Adesso SlimTouch WKB-3000U is a wireless keyboard / trackball combo. Using 2x AAA batteries, it operates in the 2.4 GHz range and has an advertised range of 30 ft. Since it is a HID-compliant device, it works for PCs (including MCE applications), game consoles, media streamers and most smart TVs. The trackball is on the top right, while the mouse buttons and scroll wheel / middle button are on the left.

The unique feature of the SlimTouch WKB-3000 is the feel and ease of movement of the laser sensor trackball. Compared to the IOGEAR GKM561R and the SIIG JK-WR0412-S1, the trackball feels more solid and easier to use. Unlike the IOGEAR unit, there is no selectable DPI resolution for the trackball - it is fixed at 800 DPI. The 2.4 GHz spectrum is pretty crowded, and it is to Adesso's advantage that the kit can operate in one of 8 different frequencies in the 2.4 GHz band. The contouring of the keyboard sides also makes it much easier to hold and operate compared to the IOGEAR GKM561R. On the hardware side, there are four rubber 'buttons' for slip-resistance on the underside. The battery compartment is on the same side at the top. An explicit on/off toggle switch is to the left, while a Connect button to modify the communication channel is on the right. However, the most attractive feature of the WKB-3000U (and most of the other Adesso keyboards that we are discussing today) is the availability of a recessed magentized receptacle on the underside. It can be used to safely stow away the USB key when moving the keyboard to another PC / storing it for later use.

An issue with most of the HTPC-oriented keyboards is that the ergonomics make it very difficult to operate them with a single hand. For typical PC usage, it is acceptable to expect both hands to be used to interact. However, in the living room, it is often common to have the device by the side rather than hold it with both hands (particularly, when using it as a replacement for a mouse). In this context, the SlimTouch WKB-3000 has a drawback, as the mouse buttons are on the left side while the trackball is on the right.

Compared to the similar IOGEAR unit, the keys are proportional (no oversized Return or Backspace keys), though the layout makes it necessary to reduce the size of the Shift key and move the Delete and Insert keys to non-traditional locations. Unlike the SIIG JK-WR0412-S1, the Ctrl and Fn keys are placed in the appropriate location. A similarity with the SIIG keyboards is the presence of a numeric keypad along with the traditional keys, activated by a combination of the Num Lock and Fn keys. With the SIIG keyboards, it still gives me much grief (particularly while typing in passwords for Windows login) - as there is no standard amongst PCs / BIOSes to bring out the Num Lock activated or deactivated at boot time. The Adesso keyboards suffer from the same issue as the SIIG. However, the user can easily identify the issue, thanks to the status LED in the middle of the shortcut buttons on the top row. In addition to the Num Lock, we also have the Caps Lock as well as low battery indicators.

The scissor-switch keys are a pleasure to type on. There are seven multimedia hotkeys which work well with XBMC (and, I suspect, most other media players). Dedicated Internet hotkeys are also present. The scroll-wheel can also act as a middle mouse button, making the keyboard design very flexible. All in all, a very comfortable keyboard layout with the right tradeoffs, though I can say that the numeric keypad feature won't be missed if it goes away. The keyboard currently sells on Amazon for $56.

Introduction Adesso SlimTouch WKB-4400
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  • Keisari - Thursday, October 23, 2014 - link

    Sorry but I'm into trackpoints. A wireless Thinkpad keyboard like the current one would be perfect... if only it didn't have island keys. Reply
  • ruthan - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    Without back light, im not interested. Reply
  • Imaginer - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    Hence I used a K800, with back lighting, that is separate from the M570 I used. With bundles, one has to stick with whatever is bundled out of the offering, which bundled pointer drag and keyboard options in one device may not be desirable. Reply
  • Gunbuster - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    So the Lenovo N5902 Enhanced Multimedia Remote is too small to play in this shootout? Reply
  • EmperorDeslok - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    I don't know, i'm curious who makes it for lenovo because it is an awesome little remote i had the older model(with trackball) and just replaced it with the optical one recently Reply
  • icrf - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    All of these are much, much larger than I'm interested in for HTPC use. I'm currently using a Logitech Dinovo Mini, which is 6.0" x 3.5". I'm obviously not writing an essay on the thing, but it's plenty to type out the name of a movie or actor, and it doesn't take up much space on the coffee table.
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008JGU3YA/

    If I had to pick one, though, it would definitely be the WKB-3000. I had an old IR keyboard with a large track point style pointer input instead of a track ball, but the pointer top right and buttons top left is an incredibly comfortable way to use the device. It's far more comfortable than rotating the wrist and poking at a touch pad. I think so many people use laptops daily that they've gotten used to touch pads they're infiltrating everything else.
    Reply
  • cjs150 - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    Best option for me is the Dinovo. A cheaper version is Rii Mini 2.4GHz Wireless Touchpad Keyboard. I use any even cheaper version (bought about 6 years ago from Maplin UK) which has a thumb trackball rather than touchpad with mouse buttons being where you would expect firing buttons on an XBox or pS4 controller - it is about the same size as an Xbox controller. For HTPC use it is a great design (easy to use one handed) - sadly the build quality is poor and the keyboard needs better key rollover function. Reply
  • icrf - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    I've got a Rii, too, and that isn't anywhere near as reliable or nice as the Dinovo. Definitely cheaper, though. Reply
  • Gigaplex - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    I considered one of those but went with the full blown diNovo Edge as I tend to dual purpose it as a regular keyboard on occasion. Reply
  • JeffFlanagan - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    I think the requirement that the mouse should be built into the keyboard is misguided. I've had a home theater for over a decade now, and would find it extremely annoying to have to use a bulky keyboard all the time instead of simply using a mouse to select videos and music. I use a keyboard less than 5% of the time, so why tie the mouse to a keyboard? Reply

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