Keyboard offers quick response, switch choices in compact package, but few macro keys
The market for gaming keyboards is getting crowded, starting off with some fairly simple keyboards and diverging into the land of modular configurations and piecemeal construction. But what about gamers that just want a plain mechanical keyboard that handles the daily grind with ease, only to spring to life in gaming situations? Would what a relatively unknown brand - Tesoro Tizona -- calls a "tenkeyless" keyboard be something that users should consider, or would they be better off looking for something a little more complex? Find out in our review.
T-Mobile announces availability of Samsung Galaxy Avant for $9 per month
T-Mobile has announced its release of the new Samsung Galaxy Avant, available starting today. Promoted as part of its Uncarrier lineup, the Samsung Galaxy Avant features a quad-core 1.2 GHz processor, 1.5GB RAM, and a 4.5-inch qHD screen. The phone connects to T-Mobile's 4G LTE network, and is priced at $220, or $0 down and $9 a month for 24 months. The Simple Choice plan includes no traditional contract, no overages, no device financing fees, global roaming and the company's Music Freedom service.
Disney's Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse released for OS X July 24
Feral Interactive today announced the upcoming release of its fairytale platforming game Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse, a reworking of the SEGA Genesis and Mega Drive original. Players navigate the 3D game as Mickey, with the goal of rescuing Minnie Mouse from the evil witch Mizrabel. Players will run, jump, swing and swim through whimsical levels such as a haunted forest, and solve puzzles along the way.
Amid layoffs Microsoft announces closure of original content wing of Xbox
On top of the 18,000 layoffs and shifting company structure, Microsoft will be closing the Xbox Entertainment Studios in the coming months. The studio was launched to add Microsoft to the original content race on the Internet, with shows based on some hit Xbox franchises such as Halo. Xbox head Phil Spencer issued an internal memo thanking the team for their work, as well as what to expect. Microsoft issued a statement to Joystiq confirming that existing projects would carry on.
Smartwatch app from Fleksy uses onscreen keyboard, predictive text
Fleksy, a creator of third-party keyboards for Android and iOS, has released an SMS messaging app for the Samsung Gear 2. Fleksy Messenger allows owners of the Tizen smartwatch to send text messages directly from the watch itself, complete with a miniaturized onscreen keyboard for entering text, without requiring the user to use their smartphone.
Magnet-based keyboard could be used to make notebooks thinner
A keyboard manufacturer has demonstrated a new type of keyboard at Computex that could result in thinner notebooks in the future. The Darfon maglev keyboard uses magnets to keep the keys raised and in position, instead of a membrane, scissor switches or other mechanical means, with the producer also claiming it to have a longer product life.
Belkin announces availability of QODE Thin Type keyboard case
Belkin has introduced a new keyboard case for the iPad Air, intended to provide a laptop-like experience. The Qode Thin Type is approximately 12 ounces in weight, and features comfortably-spaced, responsive keys, Bluetooth connectivity and functions as a screen cover when not in use. Secure-hold magnets attach the keyboard case to the iPad, and is compatible with both landscape and portrait viewing. Its rechargeable battery can run for 79 hours of average active use. Available in silver, the Qode Thin Type for iPad Air is priced at $100 and is available for purchase online.
Infrared proximity sensor array detects fingers in Microsoft keyboard prototype
Microsoft Research has demonstrated a prototype keyboard that can be used to recognize gestures. The Type-Hover-Swipe keyboard is able to detect fingers and entire hands hovering just above the keys, allowing users to perform various maneuvers typically used on a touchscreen or a tablet but without having to make their hands travel far from the home position.
Microsoft unveils All-in-One Media Keyboard for living room use
Microsoft has launched its All-in-One Media Keyboard. Designed for use in the living room, the peripheral offers a full-size spill-resistant QWERTY keyboard, and connects to a device using a USB wireless transceiver. On the right-hand side is a multi-touch trackpad that supports gestures, and a row of three buttons above which can be customized for quick access to specific apps. Shipping tomorrow, the All-in-One Media Keyboard is priced at $40.
Corsair's Vengeance K70 mechanical gaming keyboard new keyswitch colors
Gaming hardware developer, Corsair, has announced that its Vengeance K70 mechanical gaming keyboard, originally available in black aluminum with red backlit keys, is now available in new keyswitch color options. Now offered in Cherry MX Blue and Brown keyswitches in addition to the original Cherry MX Reds, the refreshed K70 features an anodized black aluminum chassis and red backlighting.
Logitech launches K830 illuminated keyboard in US, Europe
Logitech has introduced the K830 Illuminated Living-Room Keyboard. The wireless, rechargeable keyboard has a range of up to 33 feet from its 2.4GHz USB adapter, and an integrated trackpad for mouse controls. The backlit keys, along with the multimedia keys, automatically dim and brighten based on the amount of available light, with the backlight switching off after five seconds of inactivity. Logitech is shipping the K830 in the US and Europe this month for $100.
Moshi's Versa case features Bluetooth keyboard with sliding storage slot
Accessory maker Moshi yesterday launched its VersaKeyboard case for iPad Air, featuring an origami-style folding stand that includes a Bluetooth keyboard. The keyboard component to the case can be easily hidden away when not in use, due to its 'sliding' keyboard storage feature built into the back. Aimed to provide a versatile keyboard without adding bulk or a need for additional storage, the VersaKeyboard is 0.6-inches thick while being nearly full size -- about 80 percent of the size of a standard keyboard.
Typo Keyboard allegedly infringes design
BlackBerry has reportedly filed a lawsuit against Ryan Seacrest's startup Typo Products, calling foul over the company's physical-keyboard accessory for iPhones. The Waterloo-based company claims the Typo accessory infringes an existing patent related to the iconic keyboard design that has adorned most BlackBerry models throughout the past five years.
Dedicated media keys, backlighting in small-scale keyboard
Mad Catz has announced a new mobile keyboard in its line of GameSmart gaming peripherals. The Strike M takes the design of earlier keyboards in the range, scales it down to a device with a tablet-sized footprint, and introduces Bluetooth connectivity so it can be used with various smartphones, tablets, or micro consoles such as the company's own Mojo.
Surface 2 set to gain rechargeable Power Cover, extend battery life
The Microsoft Surface 2 will feature a TypeCover variant with a built-in rechargeable battery designed to extend the life of the unit when on the go. Dubbed the Power Cover, by Neowin, it will be compatible with the Surface 2 (running Windows RT 8.1) and the Surface Pro 2. It is also expected to be backwards compatible with the current Surface Pro, but not the current Surface RT.
Win one of two Satechi Bluetooth wireless smart keypads
Ever since Apple first brought their Bluetooth wireless keyboard to the market, fans and newcomers alike have cursed the design for its lack of numeric keypad. Oh sure, it's still possible to get the classic wired keyboard from Apple with a numeric keypad, but who wants to be shackled to their desk with a wire these days? Finally there is a wireless solution, the Satechi Bluetooth wireless smart keypad, which is the perfect compliment to Apple's Bluetooth keyboard. MacNN has two of these to give away to our readers.
New keyboards and mice intended to improve comfort at work
Microsoft has announced its release of two new desktop accessory sets: the Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop and the Sculpt Comfort Desktop. Intended for comfort and productivity with long-term use, both products are optimized for Windows 8. The Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop consists of a split keyboard design, which helps to position the forearms in a relaxed pose, and have the palms cushioned. The ergonomic mouse assists with a neutral wrist position and minimizes carpal tunnel pressure. The Sculpt Comfort Desktop has a detachable palm rest on a contoured keyboard, and a Windows touch tab featured on the mouse, specifically for Windows 8 navigation. The Sculpt Comfort Desktop and Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop are available for $80 and $130 respectively.
Airbender Mini includes Bluetooth keyboard
New Trent, a California-based designer of mobile accessories, released its Airbender Mini, a rugged case for the iPad Mini yesterday. Complete with an integrated screen protector, aluminum arm, and built-in Bluetooth keyboard, users can effectively use their iPad mini for watching movies, FaceTime chatting, gaming or checking e-mails while still protecting it. The Airbender Mini's body is hardshell, composed of polycarbonate thermoplastic. At 0.4 inches, the inset Bluetooth keyboard attaches via the durable aluminum arm, allowing the case to rotate 360 degrees for landscape or portrait viewing angles. The Airbender Mini is available for $40.
Three different covers, all with Bluetooth keyboards
Accessory and security manufacturer Kensington has unveiled its first keyboard covers for the iPad mini, ranging from an ultra-thin folio case to a hard-shell style case and a model specifically designed for the touch-typist that features a removable keyboard. All three new models feature magnetic covers to wake the iPad mini when opened, and put it to sleep when closed. Each offers a different style of protection, hoping to provide the perfect fit for users on the go through a variety of keyboard types and cover materials.
F.R.E.Q.4D to provide 'actual physical sensation' to game audio
Mad Catz revealed four gaming headsets and a new keyboard at E3, alongside its earlier Project M.O.J.O. game console announcement. The Tritton Kunai Universal headset is designed for both consoles and PCs, the F.R.E.Q.4D, Tritton Pro+, and Tritton Kunai are meant just for computers, and the S.T.R.I.K.E 3 keyboard offers the feel of mechanical keys, and backlighting.
Google puts stock Android keyboard on Google Play
Google has added its own keyboard to Google Play. The downloadable Google Keyboard will allow users of Android 4.0 and above to use the same keyboard as used in stock Android, replacing ones used in manufacturer-supplied Android user interfaces. Gesture typing, error correction, word prediction, and voice typing has made the transition, along with dictionaries for 26 languages and accompanying keyboard layouts, according to the Android Google+ page.
Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio for iPad takes cues from Surface
Logitech has introduced its new FabricSkin Keyboard Folio for the Apple iPad. The new device is compatible with the iPad 2 as well as third and fourth generation iPads. The device takes some design cues from the Microsoft Surface TouchCover, by integrating a super low profile keyboard into the cover of Folio.
Tablet design includes kickstand, Surface-style keyboard
A patent application by Nokia shows the company not only thought about creating a tablet, but also incorporating a keyboard into the cover. The application, titled "Apparatus Cover with Keyboard," was filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office in October 2011, long before Microsoft revealed its Surface tablets, complete with the Touch Cover.
Microsoft receives Touch Cover patent, patent for magnetic latch
Microsoft has won patents for the ornamental design of its Touch Cover for the Surface hybrid as well as for the cover’s magnetic latching mechanism. The patent for the ornamental design of the Touch Cover is very similar to Apple’s controversial ornamental design patents invoked in lawsuits most notably against Samsung. However, the patent for the magnetic latching mechanism is for its functional design.
Logitech intros two new integrated Keyboard Folios for iPad, iPad min
Logitech has taken the wraps off its new Keyboard Folio for iPad and Keyboard Folio for iPad mini. The new products are the latest in Logitech’s popular line of keyboard accessories for Apple’s iPads. According to Logitech, the new Folios offer an additional layer of protection over its Ultrathin Keyboard Covers.
Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad mini set to ship February
Logitech has revealed its Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for the iPad mini. Although designed for the smaller iPad mini, Logitech says that it the keyboard uses full size keys. The cover keeps its weight down, but retains protective strength by utilizing an aluminum panel on its rear.
Key lighting synchronizes with game, companion mouse
Gaming peripherals manufacturer Roccat has started shipping its ISKU FX gaming keyboard. All keys on the keyboard are backlit, with 16.8 million hues of colored light to choose from, as well as automatic color-changing to match the action while playing a game, for example flashing red when attacked by an enemy. Online tank-based wargame World of Tanks has been announced as compatible with the lighting system, which keeps both the keyboard and Roccat's line of lit mice in sync with the game's visuals.
Microsoft details the art of making a smartphone soft keyboard work
Microsoft has published a blog explaining the enhancements it has made to the soft keyboard in Windows Phone 8. Among the improvements over the keyboard in Windows Phone 7, Microsoft has introduced a feature it calls Word Flow that it has designed to reflect how people talk to each other. To get the auto-correct and predictive text function working with 94 percent accuracy out of the box, it says it reviewed over 2.5 billlion words from which it picked the 600,000 most common.
Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K760 works with Mac, iPad, iPhone
The Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K760is the most recent in a line of Logitech keyboards that can be powered by any light source. It is aimed squarely at Apple users and does not offer support for Windows- or Android-based systems. MacNN has been using one for the past week and we have been impressed by the functionality it offers.
Includes 21 function keys, modular design
Mad Catz has revealed a new multi-section keyboard in its gaming peripheral line. The Strike 5 Professional Gaming Keyboard closely resembles the Strike 7 keyboard, with a similar collection of separate modules combined into one package. The control module loses the TFT LCD touchscreen of the Strike 7 in favor of an OLED display, which allows for control over macros and out-of-game functions, while also monitoring in-game events.
New keyswitches required two years of research
Matias has put what it claims to be the world's quietest mechanical keyboard on sale. The Quiet Pro Keyboard is an update to the company's previously well-received Tactile Pro, but thanks to two years of research, is now far quieter than before. It is suggested that the Quiet Pro manages to keep its volume down to regular non-mechanical keyboard levels thanks to a new keyswitch.
Customizable macro keys, gesture controls added
Razer, following on from the BlackWidow, is bringing out a new gaming keyboard with a touchscreen. The DeathStalker Ultimate uses the same customizable LCD trackpad and buttons as found on its Switchblade handheld PC concept and notebook computer Blade, as well as including tri-color backlit chicket keys, anti-ghosting for up to 10 simultaneous key presses, and a braided fiber cable among other features.
Microsoft reveals Wedge Mobile Keyboard and Mouse
Microsoft has of its Wedge Mobile Keyboard and Mouse in readiness for users looking to get productive with the expected rush of Windows 8 tablets due late October. The keyboard comes enclosed in a cover, that when opened, forms a stand for a tablet. Joining the keyboard is Microsoft's smallest mouse yet, designed to take up the bare minimum of storage space when on the go.
Ambidextrous gaming mouse uses dual-sensor tracking system
Razer is adding to its already extensive gaming peripheral line, introducing a new mouse and several keyboards. The Ouroboros is a fully customizable, ambidextrous wireless mouse designed to accommodate most hand sizes, while the rebooted BlackWidow 2013 gaming-focused keyboard series adds a new offering and two improved models, including a version with backlit keys.
Logitech unveils Solar Keyboard Folio
Logitech applied its expertise in developing solar power to computer peripherals to the iPad. Its new Solar Keyboard Folio both gives a new iPad or iPad 2 full protection as well as powering its built-in keyboard by light. The new peripheral is capable of using either indoor or outdoor light to charge.
Logitech launches iPad Ultrathin Keyboard Cover
Logitech has taken the wraps off its new Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for the new iPad and the iPad 2. The device is touted as an all-in-one solution that offers an ultrathin screen protector and built-in keyboard. The cover utilises aluminium in its construction to help keep weight down and includes a stand to hold the iPad at a suitable angle for typing over a Bluetooth connection.
Features USB port, charging, tactile keyboard
A new notebook case for the iPad 2 has been announced from a distributor in Japan, offering a tactile, MacBook Pro-like "chiclet" keyboard and styling to resemble a netbook. The unit allows both the keyboard and the iPad to be charged using an optional multi-headed connector and includes a standard USB port. The combination case, which is also offered via Amazon Japan, is made of silicone rather than metal for lighter weight.
Multitouch system driven by open-source software
Product Design has introduced a glass keyboard and matching glass trackpad that are currently seeking development funding as a Kickstarter project. Both peripherals are built using tempered glass panes attached to solid metal bases, sensing touch input on the glass surface without the need for moving parts. Users can choose from tactile sounds and lights, while the companion software will be open source for custom configuration.
Adds tactile keyboard via Bluetooth to iPhone
Nuu and its distribution partner Noetic have launched the Nuu MiniKey for iPhone 4 in North America, a few months after unveiling it in Europe. The case adds a slide-out physical keyboard to the iPhone via a Bluetooth connection, leaving all functions and connectors unblocked. Unlike most other similar cases, the MiniKey works with the iPhone's own antennas, uses keyboard backlighting and automatically goes to sleep when the iPhone enters standby mode.
Flat panel keybord begins shipping in May
Japanese manufacturer Minebea has announced that its "COOL LEAF" keyboard will be in Japanese retail outlets starting May 13th. The keyboard features a mirror-like flat smooth surface panel design. The smooth surface makes it well suited for areas requiring extreme cleanliness and dust resistance such as medical treatment and food processing environments. Its illumination makes it ideal for low ambient light situations such as home theaters.
Keyboard integrates touchscreen across top ridge
Microsoft engineers have demonstrated a new keyboard concept geared for desktop computers. The Adaptive Keyboard integrates a touchscreen LCD above the top row of keys. The additional display presents information such as shortcut icons or document previews, while the key characters can also change to reflect different functions based on the active software.
Software already under development
Startup Swype has announced that it is currently developing a version of its input software for the iPhone. The company hopes to license its keyboard technology to Apple, although the proposition has yet to be formally introduced to the iPhone maker.
Keyboard allows for tactile typing, blind typing
4iThumbs has launched its self-named 4iThumbs Tactile Keyboard for iPhone. The accessory is a clear, tactile typing aid applied to the iPhone’s touch screen. The design is claimed to allow faster and more accurate typing and blind typing, as ridges help replicate dedicated keyboards by providing tactile feedback to fingers.
Download available for 2009 aluminum keyboard
Apple on Monday released a Leopard software update for its latest aluminum Wireless Keyboard released this year. The update provides support for the keyboard's special features including the function keys for display brightness, Dashboard, Spaces, iTunes playback control and speaker volume.
Optimo, EcoFan, EcoFanPro
Macally has announced a new line of wireless input accessories and eco-friendly bamboo stands for all laptops, the BTkey, BTmouse2, Optimo, MGlide, EcoFan and EcoFanPro. BTkey is a white wireless keyboard for the Mac, which connects using Bluetooth 2.0 technology, and comes complete with low profile scissor keys to help with pressure on the finger tips. The BTmouse2 is a Bluetooth wireless laser mouse, featuring three programmable buttons, a scroll wheel, and an 800/1600 dpi precision sensor laser.
GizFever new mini keyboard
GizFever has released a new keyboard, the USB Smallest Mini Keyboard II. The item includes new features not offered in its sister model, such as a backlight and wireless capabilities which enable the keyboard to operate up to 10 meters away. The new model also features a power-conservation mode activated when the keyboard remains inactive for a period of time. Additionally, there is a Lock ID button that enables users to password-protect the keyboard.
Roland at NAMM
Roland has introduced a wide variety of digital music products at the NAMM show. For keyboard players, the company displayed several devices including an upright grand, two digital pianos, a few entry-level products and a 320-watt stereo amplifier. The TD-4S offers drummers a compact package with new sounds, while the DT-HD1 software teaches basic drum patterns and technique. A new 80-watt guitar amp and bass processor have also been unveiled, along with new synthesizers, an expansion board and a system update for the V-Synth GT.
FL: Verbatim TuneBoard
Many people use whatever keyboard happens to come with their computer. Apple’s standard keyboard may be acceptable, for instance, but you may want a more versatile keyboard -- say, one that lets you play and control your favorite songs through built-in speakers. An example of this comes from Verbatim, and is dubbed the TuneBoard.
VirtualKeyboard 3.6 ($20) is an on-screen keyboard that offers point-and-click typing. The software works with all standard Mac applications allowing users to use the virtual keyboard in any of the same situations where a hardware keyboard would be used. The update has added a new "Dash" button to the toolbar which opens the Mac Dashboard and a reduced version of VirtualKeyboard for typing within widgets. The update also adds the ability to display the on-screen keyboard with 3D keys and to choose the spacing between the keys. [Download - 5.8MB]
KeyRight has introduced a keyboard that is designed to improve typing skills, the Look & Learn. The keys on the QWERTY keyboard have been color-coded to differentiate eight different "finger zones." Each color represents the keys that are used by a particular finger. For example, the set of red keys to the far left are colored red, which gives the user a visual reference for the proper keys for the left-hand pinky finger.