Earlier in the year, we wrote about The Best HTPC Remote You Can’t Get Your Hands On…. We’ve got good news: There is a better remote you can get your hands all over. It’s the Wireless Mini Keyboard we’ve been waiting for and leave it to a new company, Visopix, to deliver one of the best remotes out there for any media center and home theater PC. The Visopix mini-keyboard encompasses every important feature that a mini-keyboard needs: sleek form, great range, rechargeable battery, accuracy, and compatibility, with a full backlit QWERTY keyboard and nicely sized touchpad.
The design of the Visopix Mini Keyboard is a thing of beauty. Since it relies on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, it wastes no space on a thick battery cage. It uses a standard mini-USB cable to charge. The Visopix is shaped like a miniature surf board. They managed to fit every important key on the front of the keyboard without having to double up by use of the function key. This includes individual buttons for all letters, numbers, F-keys, arrows, page up/down, and mouse clicks. There are media center features which are accessed by first pushing the function key.
On the back of the Visopix is a large button and a slideout compartment. The button turns on a built-in laser pointer great for presentations and confusing your cat. The compartment stores the nano-sized USB RF receiver.
By the looks of the touchpad, I had low expectations. It looked too small for my chubby fingers, and I figured the wireless precision would be subpar. I was very wrong. The trackpad is just as good as a laptop trackpad. It even supports double tapping so you only need one hand to use the Visopix as a mouse. Interestingly, you can change the touchpad orientation so you can hold the remote in landscape or portrait mode.
In terms of accuracy and precision, the Visopix is just about top notch. We regularly use the remote about 10-15 feet from our Windows 7 computer, with the receiver sitting in the back of the desktop, out of sight. On rare occasion, a key won’t register, and we’ll simply point the remote more directly at the computer. It’s supposed to work up to 30 meters. The mouse is sensitive and accurate enough to do whatever you want. There’s no delay at all.
The Visopix Mini-Keyboard is compatible with Mac and Windows computers. It’s even supposed to work with Google TV, Xbox and PS3.
There’s not much to gripe about. The keys have nice feedback, and are large enough to type naturally. We’re not writing blog posts from the Visopix Mini-Keyboard, so we can’t complain about typing speed. It’s not a tool for intensive word processing, but rather a tool for regular web browsing, computer usage, and emailing. The keyboard has a hard on/off power switch; there’s a built-in sleep function that turns the remote off with inactivity. If we had to gripe, it’d be about the LEDs. They’re too bright in the dark and there’s an unnecessary blinking LED while the device sleeps.. The battery is amazing during usage and standby, so why bother with a blinking light? We’ve been using it every day for about three weeks, and have yet to charge the device. The battery is supposed to last about a month.
Surely it’s clear that we’re really excited about the Visopix Mini-Keyboard; it’s the solution our living room has been waiting for. We’ve been through quite a few mini-keyboards, and this is by far the most usable, convenient, and accurate. It definitely beats having a full sized mouse and keyboard laying around. At a retail cost of £30, or about $40, it’s worth every penny. It’s thin enough to lose in your couch, so that should be your only real concern. Currently, the Visopix Mini Keyboard is only available from Visopix.com
The Good: Slim Form, Comfortable to Use, Long-life Rechargeable Battery, Accurate and Precise, Good RF Signal, Built-in Laser Pointer, Compatible With Multiple Platforms
The Bad: LEDs Are Too Bright, Blinks in Standby Mode, Not Available from Amazon