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:
    [​IMG]
    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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  3. ATIVQ

    ATIVQ V⅁O⅄ Senior Member

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    So.... after using the Corsair K83 for six months, one of the keys had its scissor mechanism pop out of the aluminum tabs that hold it. No biggie, I bent the aluminum tab back into place and went on. Then it happened to another key... and another key... so I'm dumping it. The aluminum tabs that hold the scissor mechanism are defective.

    I've returned to my trusty ThinkPad Compact Bluetooth Keyboard with Trackpoint. Although the trackpoint is a pain compared to the big, responsive trackpad of the Corsair K83, I know this keyboard won't have keys failing on me every other week. I've worn the keycaps quite a lot from typing and it's not as clicky as the Corsair K83, but there are no keys popping out. The function keys behave the way you want them and there are seven extra keys and built-in brightness keys. Long term, while the ThinkPad is not as nice, at least it doesn't break.

    I've bought another keyboard and I'm gonna review it when it arrives. It's a no-brand Chinese keyboard so I don't expect much, but life is full of surprises...
     
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  4. Kumabjorn

    Kumabjorn ***** is back Senior Member

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    The need for them being jointed is for portability, right?

    Then there is a Chinese maker, sold under brand names like iClever, I think the model name is BK20, it is a tri-fold with the right section being a trackpad (and some keys I believe). Personally I don't need the trackpad, but their build quality is excellent, very sturdy.
     
  5. ATIVQ

    ATIVQ V⅁O⅄ Senior Member

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    Saw that on Amazon, looks too small, and the lack of separate digit keys and function keys will drive me crazy.
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Kumabjorn

    Kumabjorn ***** is back Senior Member

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    Worse, I believe it is the only portable solution available right now.
     
  7. Worzyl

    Worzyl Pen Pal - Newbie

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  8. ATIVQ

    ATIVQ V⅁O⅄ Senior Member

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    Gotta have a touchpad or a touchpoint, otherwise it's an extra device to carry. Still waiting for my no-brand to arrive.
     
  9. Worzyl

    Worzyl Pen Pal - Newbie

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  10. ATIVQ

    ATIVQ V⅁O⅄ Senior Member

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    Artek HB216 Bluetooth Keyboard For Surface Go review:
    [​IMG]
    Underneath: ThinkPad Bluetooth Keyboard with Trackpoint. On top: Artek HB216 Bluetooth Keyboard For Surface Go. Right edges are aligned.

    This keyboard was sold as a no-brand, the box says Artek but the manual points to BOW.cn, which doesn't even list the model on its products page. Apparently they came out with a bigger model but I couldn't find where to buy it.

    Appearance and key tactility:
    • Small (larger model should be available... somewhere)
    • Keys are very clicky
    • Keys are approximately two thirds the size of the ThinkPad KB
      • Half-height up and down arrow keys
      • No separate PgUp, PgDn, Insert, Home, End keys
      • No key between right Alt and Ctrl
      • Fn is between left Ctrl and Win key
    • Volume, brightness, and media Fn keys with properly-working Fn-lock
    Materials:
    • Flimsy plastic, synthetic "fabric" cover on the back. The fabric in particular is a stain magnet and got a stain on it immediately after I took the keyboard out of the box.
    Touchpad:
    • Supports all Windows gestures, works very well
    • Is not disabled automatically while typing - awful!
    • Need to press Fn-space to enable/disable
    • Thankfully accidental clicks are avoided fairly well by turning sensitivity to "low" in thw Windows touchpad settings, but the cursor still moves around.
    Power and connectivity:
    • Bluetooth pairing only, no wired connection, no dongle
    • So far, no reception issues
    While the keys are fairly small, and the materials are flimsy and prone to getting stained, and the touchpad does not automatically turn off while typing, I find the keyboard entirely adequate. If I could find the larger model I'd buy it instead. I definitely prefer the Corsair K83 for all its faults, but I will not buy a keyboard that falls apart after six months.

    This will have to do while I mull over buying an Apple Magic Keyboard 2 and Magic Touchpad and a tray for the two.
     
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