So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
i-Rocks X-Slim Keyboard
- Comfortable, Small, Great to type on
- No media keys
A comfortable, small keyboard that is great to type on. If you can live without media key functions you’ll be hard pressed to find a better choice than this.
Price$ 69.00 (AUD)
As hard as it is for a keyboard to differentiate itself, i-rocks has tried their best with their Slim Keyboard. Whilst it doesn't have fancy media buttons or a collection of macro keys, it does sport a funky blue backlight which gives it a distinctive look and scissor keys for those who want to bring a notebook feel to their desktop. We did miss the added functionality of our more robust, full-sized keyboards but the i-rocks certainly has a few features that make it a worthwhile purchase.
The more keyboards we use, the more we love scissor keys. The lower, flatter design is much more ergonomic, seems to require less effort to press and is generally more comfortable to use. Whenever we spend time testing a keyboard of this style we find our typing speeds tend to increase and our fingers don't tire as easily. It takes a little getting used to, but once you have you will probably never go back.
This particular model is quite small by keyboard standards. Going from something like the Logitech to the i-rocks really makes you realise how much desk space a regular keyboard occupies. For those with space constraints who want something that is both petite and comfortable, this should be one of your primary choices.
The i-rocks comes painted in white with silver rims, and looks pretty good, if a little iPod-like. The slim design combined with blue backlight and neon LEDs (Caps Lock, Num Lock etc) gives it a very futuristic look that is suitable for many modern PC setups. The backlighting can be switched on and off via a button on the top right and our testing revealed that it does indeed make a big difference in low light situations. If you spend lots of time gaming or just typing in the dark it is a worthwhile addition, however we thought it looked a little tacky in plain daylight.
We experienced no problems with the keyboard's performance. It is a wired model, so we expected everything to type smoothly and it did. There was no key skipping or typing lag like we have experienced on other models. The flat design combined with great key response meant this was one of the best keyboards we have typed on. It is right up there with the Belkin which we lauded so highly a few months back.
Our only complaint is the lack of media keys. On the one hand there is a certain trade-off; if you want a small keyboard you are going to have to sacrifice something, but on the other many people are so used to having that extra functionality at the tips of their fingers that adjusting will be difficult. If you aren't somebody who relies on these keys, you will be hard pressed to find a more comfortable, small and funky looking keyboard; and if you are, well you should probably adjust.
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