Rechargeable Bluetooth keyboards with touchpad

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by ATIVQ, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. ATIVQ

    ATIVQ V⅁O⅄ Senior Member

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    Here's my experience with Bluetooth keyboards with touchpad. Why Bluetooth? Because that way there's no dongle that takes up a USB port for no reason. Why rechargeable? So you never have to replace the battery. Why with a touchpad? Because one device that combines a keyboard and a mouse pointer is a lot more accessible than two separate devices.

    Here's what I tried so far:
    • Logitech DiNovo Edge - the best one, excellent build quality, lasts for years. Logitech discontinued it. Probably realized that if they make unbreakable keyboards, people won't have to buy new ones. Hard to find and extremely expensive, $200+ used, $500+ new.
    • Logitech K830 - great design, terrible build quality, bad reception. The signal drops, and the keyboard is prone to breakage. Logitech discontinued this one, too, but it's still cheap, $50 new.
    • ThinkPad Compact Bluetooth Keyboard with Trackpoint - nice, sturdy, but the reception drops a lot and the mouse buttons are prone to failure. Having to replace the pointer nib when it wears out every few weeks is a bit of a hassle. Guess what? This keyboard is discontinued too! Still available for relatively cheap, $65 new.
    • Corsair K83 - the model identifier is suspiciously close to the K830... but unlike the rest, it's not discontinued... yet. I ordered one so I'll have hands-on experience soon. It's dual-mode wireless - supports both a USB dongle and Bluetooth. Amazon reviews say the wireless reception is bad, the Bluetooth reception is good, and that the touchpad is terrible. Bonus: backlight that drains the battery super-fast. $75 new.
    • Apple Magic Keyboard 2 and Magic Trackpad 2 - these two can be held together with a 3rd-party tray. Probably the best performance overall, but at $90 for the keyboard and $120 for the trackpad and another $40 for the tray it's pretty expensive. It's not discontinued! Keyboard and trackpad and tray price total at $250 new.
    Anybody else got a recommendation for a rechargeable Bluetooth keyboard with a touchpad? Currently the best solution for me is the Apple Magic Keyboard 2 and Magic Trackpad 2 combo.
  2. ATIVQ

    ATIVQ V⅁O⅄ Senior Member

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    Corsair K83 review:
    Top: Corsair K83. Bottom: ThinkPad Compact BT KB w/TrackPoint

    Appearance and key tactility:
    • No palm rest
    • Keys are very clicky
    • Keys are approximately the same size and layout as the ThinkPad KB
      • Half-height up and down arrow keys
      • No separate PgUp, PgDn, Delete, Insert, Home, End keys
      • No key between right Alt and Ctrl
      • Fn is between left Ctrl and Win key
    • Very nice knurled volume roller
    • Backlight key for two backlight levels (low, high, off)
    Joystick and touchpad:
    • Without the proprietary iCue software, the sensitivity of the joystick and touchpad can't be configured separately, making moving the mouse cursor either too fast with the joystick or too slow with the touchpad. The proprietary software allows their sensitivity to be configured separately.
    • By pressing the FnLock button the joystick alternates between controlling the mouse cursor or acting as the arrow keys, and the two buttons underneath the keyboard alternate between mouse clicks and enter and escape.
    • Despite the touchpad being a precision touchpad, two-finger scrolling acts as a clicky mouse scroll wheel and not true touchscreen finger scrolling.
    Power and connectivity:
    • The keyboard takes four hours to fully charge.
    • Support for wired USB connectivity
    • Support for two different Bluetooth pairing
    • Support for wireless USB dongle
    • So far, no reception issues, despite what the Amazon reviews say.
    The lack of palm rest and a dedicated Delete key are bothering me, but I'll see if I get used to it. The clicky keys are very nice, and despite what the Amazon reviews say I can't find a fault in the touchpad except for the scrolling.

    I'd definitely recommend this over the available alternatives, especially if they drop the recommended price from $100 to $75 or lower.

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