I mentoned a month or two back that I liked the look of this keyboard as I wanted something wireless. My mum took note and I was pleasantly surprised to get one for my birthday today so I thought I would share my thoughts.
The box is typical microsoft - simple but informative. The Keyboard comes in a nice felt-type bag which is a nice touch and is useful for transporting it as I'm sure some people will want to use this keyboard with a laptop. Two AAA batteries are included too and although this is standard, it was nice to get duracels rather than some of the other rubbish you get with cheaper brands sometimes.
The Board and Layout
The board itself is fairly small due to the omission of the number pad and a few other functions. It's very reminiscent of a laptop keyboard actually, except that the key response is much better - you know when you've pressed a key and there is absolutely no flex in the board. No real rattle either, which is nice as my old clacky keyboard gave me a headache after a while to be honest. The response on the keys is good, without being outstanding and it's getting increasingly comfortable to type on. I will say that it takes a while to get used to, a good few hours of solid typing as th unique shape of the board is different to traditional keyboards and it does make a different. That said, I'm just about used to having to stretch my little finger slightly further to hit the enter key for instance and it's now a breeze to use. There are no arrow keys - merely a single button which tilts each way. It works surprisingly well and I personally don't use that function much, although I may now as my main use for this keyboard will be for use from a distance - I want to be able to type things in from my bed rather than having to get up all the time. It's certainly not too cramped to type on, and the incluson of a full size enter key is great, delete key is also still there although it is top right. Media keys all work well. Another nice feature is that there is no installation or anything required. You simply plug in the nano-receiver and it works instantly. No driver CD is even included.
The receiver is really tiny and the wireless range is good, from 5 meters away it works flawlessly.
The money shot showing why this keyboard has the name 'Arc'
The receiver fits neatly and magnetically into a small compartment on the underside of the board.
The plastic into which the keys are embedded is piano black so is a bit of a fingerprint magnet and only really looks good in press photos in my opinion. That said it's one of many piano black items I have bought so there must be something about it that I subconsciously like.
I feel I can comfortably type on this board, and at my full speed which is nice. I really got it as a kind of media keyboard but I think it will be in use at all times except gaming.
The main problem is that the arrow key and the delete key are clicky rather than having a bit of give like the other keys and this is going to take more getting used to than the other differences on this keyboard. But as a media board you can't really fault it for £25, it's compact but very usable to type on, it works very well wirelessly and it looks nice.
My rating is therefore a solid 7/10.