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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  • DIYEyal - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    Very interesting product category I haven't looked into before.
    Found a typo in page 2:
    "Adesso's advantage that the kit can operate in one of 8 different frequencies in the 2.4 GHz band"
    Should have been "Adesso's advantage that the kit can operate in one of 8 different bands in the 2.4 GHz frequency"
    Reply
  • Imaginer - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    The built in balls of the wireless keyboards are tiny, resulting in more thumb action, despite adjustments in acceleration, which can throw off "zeroing" in on your intended click space.

    That and one cannot game in such a manner, which is a double bonus of an HTPC (but people are thinking HTPCs should only be for media and music).
    Reply
  • praeses - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    actually no, it should be in one of 8 different channels in the 2.4 GHz band" Reply
  • omgyeti - Thursday, October 23, 2014 - link

    Those channels are bandwidths centered around 8 different carrier frequencies. So "8 different frequencies in the 2.4GHz band," as it appears in the article is perfectly acceptable. Reply
  • Imaginer - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    Why is everyone IGNORING WIRELESS TRACKBALLS?

    Specifically, the Logitech M570 as a more better means of HTPC control? Coupled with a inexpensive (preferably Logitech with Unifying receiver compatibility) one can have a full keyboard, unhindered in typing with a cursor drag device that is unhindered by any couch or any necessity of using a coffee table,

    And it is worlds better than a finite trackpad versus a drag space of a sphere.
    Reply
  • nathanddrews - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    Did you even read the review? Adesso SlimTouch WKB-3000 features a trackball. The M570 is awesome (we have two of them), but ultimately it's clunky to have two wireless peripherals unless you really need them.

    We've been using Logitech K400 keyboards (3x) for a couple years now and they have performed flawlessly. They're perfect for navigating the web or XBMC, even some light gaming, but anything involving more than four keypresses gives it trouble. We've only replaced the batteries in one of them in almost three years. $25 is hard to beat. All our HTPC hardware is hidden away behind walls/closets and the keyboards have no problems operating, even with all three going in the house.

    I only break out the M570 if I want to play an RTS on the big screen, but it's so rare as to almost never happen. Otherwise, I just play on my gaming rig in the office with a real mouse/KB combo.
    Reply
  • Imaginer - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    The trackball in the built in keyboard is smaller, thus more thumb action and need more target "zeroing" if one were to adjust the speed and acceleration to move a great distance to compensate.

    Bulky? Being separate, one can solely navigate the HTPC for media sans keyboard. The only time I ever use a keyboard for media, is to type in searches. Otherwise, it really is not much used in an HTPC setup.

    And gaming, batteries still going strong in the trackball I used. Plus, the built in trackball, leaves your hands in a very uncomfortable playing position. And I also mentioned the built in trackball in a reply of another comment, I meant to be a part of this one since there is no edit feature.
    Reply
  • nathanddrews - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    I said clumsy, not bulky. Needing to use two separate devices is often enough to dissuade people from using media PCs or HTPCs.

    We clearly have different expectations from our media/HTPCs and our peripherals. Have you considered duct taping your M570 to a keyboard? :P
    Reply
  • Imaginer - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    No because that is UNCOMFORTABLE.

    My M570 rests to my side, arm relaxed to the side. This is coming from a person that also detests controllers because of the hunched convergence.
    Reply
  • SirGCal - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - link

    I have two M570's also, but NOT on my HTPCs (of which I have 3). As they mentioned, we would prefer one-hand operation. I DO have a solution but it's also the best of the bad options. It does work though. What I have is similar to this (but it is different, this might be better/newer): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9S...

    The HTPC is supposed to be short-access, not accurate (gaming) necessary. And a device like this is super-easy to click on a single file or program to execute and do so with one hand. I have to move my thumb just as much with that device as I do with my Logitech track ball. But in the end it is vastly better either way to have just one device for the HTPC and if you truly feel different, great for you but that's vastly in the minority.
    Reply

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