If you have a HTPC, you might know it’s quite frustrating to have full sized keyboard laying on your lap / couch while watching a movie. Arctic Cooling has sent us their newest mini-sized wireless keyboard called K481 which might be the answer for your needs.
About Arctic Cooling:
Check their webpages at www.arctic.ac for information about the company and their products.
Specifications & Features:
|Dimensions (Packaging)||298 L x 148 W x 23 H mm|
|Dimensions (Product)||280 L x 112 W x 17 H mm|
|Product Net Weight||280 g|
|Connectivity||USB Mini Receiver|
|Battery||AAA x 2|
|Compatibility||Windows 7 / Vista / XP / NT / ME / 2000
Mac OS X
|Operation Distance||10 m|
|Touch Pad Sensitivity||800 dpi|
|Limited Warranty||2 years|
|UPC||CZ : 0872767004504
DE : 0872767004498
UK : 0872767004474
US : 0872767004481
|Gross Weight||0.6 kg|
On the front side of the package you can see a picture of the keyboard and the reciever along with the main features which are printed on it. K481 wireless works on 2.4GHz frequency and the range should be up t0 10metres. The touch pad is multitouch capable and K481 uses some kind power saving mechanisms to improve the battery time. Arctic cooling advertises K481 to be Windows 2000 / ME / XP / Vista / 7 / Mac OS X compatible, but as K481 shows as a generic HID-device to the operating system, I don’t see a reason why K481 shouldn’t work with any USB-keyboard capable operating system. I can also confirm K481 to be Linux compatible.
The general layout of K481 is pretty straight forward. Most of the keys are where you expect them to be although due to size limitations some keys like page up / down, insert, home, end, and delete are located behind FN-button. Keypad is accessed via numlock button which can be toggled on/off. The reciever is nowhere the size of Logitech Unified recievers, but considering the most likely environment the K481 is used, I don’t see a big problem with a slighly larger reciever.
The size (or lack of it) of the keyboard is easier to see in a picture than with words. As you can see, the K481 is about the size of the letter section of a normal keyboard. The picture clearly shows that the keys are very small too. The sample unit we got is based on UK layout, but K481 is also available in CZ, DE and US layouts.
Buttons in K481 are sized 13x10mm each with very minimal space between them. This is smaller than with average keyboards and about the same size as the ones with my Asus EEE PC 900. Typing, when you get used to the keyboard, is easy but the keys might be a bit too small for some users. Also, some buttons as function keys, tab, some special character keys and enter are way smaller than in any normal sized keyboard. Small keyboard sizes come with its drawbacks, but considering the fact that K481 is designed for HTPC use, I know some sacrifices had to be made.
On right side of the keyboard there is a multitouch capable touchpad sized around 50x40mm. It is a bit smaller than in traditional 15″ laptop and like the keyboard itself it is around the size of the one found in most mini laptops. The touchpad has two buttons attached to it.
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