Function keys and installing
On the upper side we find 11 function buttons, covering most widely used multimedia options. Six buttons are located on the left side of the RF eye, five more on the right hand side.
On the left we have the key to connect the keyboard to the USB dongle. Number two activates Windows media player on my test bed. But it's in fact the Media Center "green button". Then the normal volume control buttons: Mute on/off, volume down and up. Last function key on the far right is the play/pause key.
More keys to explore: Stop button, previous/next track. One function key to open your favourite email program and last but not least the important W key. I hoped it was the “bring me Whisky Now" key, sadly my spouse didn't react to my ferocious inputs. Kidding aside it launches your browser of course.
But a HTPC remote controller would be nothing without mouse support. Vidabox located the two mouse buttons on the left side.
The laser trackball is on the far right hand side. It's rated at a non shabby 2000 dpi, which is more than adequate for daily usage. At first this seems awkward to locate the trackball so far away from the mouse buttons. But once you have the keyboard in your hands, it feels quite natural to operate. This thanks to the ergonomic layout of the keyboard.
Only thing missing, when browsing the net or your files is a scroll wheel, including one would really make this keyboard stand out even more from the crowd.Installation
Well there's really not much to do with keyboards these days. Put in the three AA batteries, plug in the USB dongle and press the tiny white button on it. Then sync the signal by pressing the Sync key (hot key nr 1) on the keyboard. For those that did not understand my text, maybe the picture below is clearer:
Three alkaline batteries are included ( non rechargeable), the red ribbon makes removing the batteries easy.
In fact my sample worked directly without pressing one button. I just plugged in the RF USB dongle in a free USB slot and the pc directly found the keyboard. Changed the keyboard layout to Qwerty (as we Belgians stick to the French AZERTY standard) and we were good to go.
The RF ( Radio frequency : longer range performing than IR aka Infrared Receiver, plus no longer line of sight operations required ) USB dongle. Notice the tiny white connect button.