Creative Labs ProdiKeys PC-MIDI
- Fun to play with,Looks funky
- Piano not retractable, Piano keys not sensitive enough, Uncomfortable to use.
The piano component isn’t the best quality and since its not retractable it makes the keyboard component uncomfortable and awkward to use.
Price$ 79.95 (AUD)
Buy now (Selling at 33 stores)
Way back in the heyday, when the Commodore 64 (C64) was the latest fad, an accessory was released that when placed over the C64 keyboard turned it into a piano. This was mind blowing at the time and we were envious of anyone who had the luck to own one. So naturally, to abate the raging storm of jealousy that still rages to this day, we jumped for joy when the Creative ProdiKeys keyboard arrived at our offices.
In theory, a keyboard with a built-in piano sounds like an excellent idea - an invention only eclipsed by the discovery of electricity. Unfortunately, the reality is an uncomfortable and monstrously large keyboard with an unresponsive piano and a package of fairly generic bundled software.
The ProdiKeys is a huge unit and will take up a large portion of desktop space. The Piano section of the keyboard is at the front and covered by a hard plastic removable cover. This cover sits at an angle that defies all the laws of ergonomics and makes regular typing rather uncomfortable and irritating. The first thing we tried to do was push the piano portion inside the keyboard as we assumed it was retractable but we were sorely mistaken as this a permanent fixture Unfortunately, as well as being the most prominent feature of this keyboard, the piano is also the most awkward.
We found the piano to be rather unresponsive and it required almost violent force in order to achieve results. The unit is meant to simulate a real piano to allow you to press lightly when needed, but it overcompensates to the extent that even pressing hard sounds too weak. You need to almost smash your fingers into the keys in order to get a loud note and after only a few notes your fingers are too sore to bother.
The keyboard installation is rather simple though, with drivers and the included bundle software. This software includes a piano tutorial program called EasyNotes, a sound effects mixing program called FunMix and a piano keyboard called Mini Keyboard. EasyNotes is a good introduction into using the keyboard and has some nifty tutorials whereas Mini Keyboard is a simple keyboard with various MIDI instrument sets available for music creation. FunMix is a very simple mixing program where sample bass, drum, percussion, vocal and sound effects are allocated to the keys of the piano which can then be mixed and recorded. It isn't a terribly complicated program and doesn't make any quality "music" but it's a load of fun to fiddle with. You can also output your creations into WAV format but the file sizes are excessive since the audio is uncompressed.
We can't completely understand to whom this keyboard is targetted. Musicians wouldn't use a keyboard like this to make music as the audio quality wouldn't be as good as using a Roland or similar piano. We also feel that it isn't suitable for anyone that does a lot of typing, as it is just too uncomfortable for this purpose. Perhaps this could be the perfect keyboard for kids, as it has that fun and funky element and children won't be hampered by its uncomfortable design.
Latest News Articles
- Dating app Wyldfire tries to avoid creeps by letting women take the lead
- Tor Project working to fix weakness that can unmask users
- Hands on with Xiaomi's Mi 4, a high-end handset, with an iPhone look
- Teradata acquires assets of Hadapt, Revelytix for big data
- Verizon revenue rises steadily, driven by wireless service growth
Most Popular Articles
- 1 What does an NBN connection look like in a new home?
- 2 Buying guide: Ovens, cooktops and freestanding cookers (upright ranges)
- 3 The most disturbing YouTube videos of all time
- 4 Tethering tutorial: How to use your iPhone as a modem
- 5 Microsoft WPC 2014: Cloud message resonating with Microsoft partners
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.