# Saturday, 19 May 2007

I was trying to find a good wireless keyboard with a built in mouse/track point/thingamajig so I could control my Media Center PC from across the room. The first thing that came into mind was the Microsoft Wireless Entertainment Desktop 7000 but 2 things stopped me, one was the fact that it was no where to be found here and 2nd was that it's BLOODY expensive.. heck.. it costs almost RM800 for a damn keyboard!!!

No way I'm paying that much for a keyboard, so I continued looking and I stumbled across the Logitech diNovo Edge keyboard.. but that wasn't any much better since it costs RM739!!! Oh god!!!

As I was walking out of the Section 14 Digital IT Mall, I Just happened acrossed the FTEC shop and there on the display I saw a multimedia keyboard that seem to have all my requirements. It was the Genius Luxmate 810 Media Cruiser.

And it only costs... RM260, which is relatively cheap compared to all the others I've seen so I thought what the heck and I bought it. (There's no link to the product webpage, cause the Genius website (www.geniusnet.com) doesn't even LIST the keyboard as a product! Either that or their site is so badly designed that I can't find it!)

Quick product review, well.. it's a 2.4Ghz wireless keyboard, once you plug it into Windows you can see that it's your typical USB HID Class device so no drivers needed at all and none are provided anyway.

The are 3 areas to the keyboard, the center main keys area, and 2 side wings, they are connected via a piece of transparent plastic. I just worry that the plastic might turn out to be the weak link and if you put undue stress on it ie. grab it the wrong way. It might snap.

The right wing has the mouse nipple on the top, what can I say about it? Well.. it works.. but don't expect to be playing C&C3 with this thing unless you practice on it for a while cause it's a bit hard to get pinpoint movements on it. Below the nipple is a scrollwheel/mousewheel which is flanked by 2 buttons with a left/right arrow on it. I'm gonna guess those are HORIZANTAL scroll buttons. Clicking the scroll wheel in acts as the ENTER key instead of the middle mouse button to conincide with the OK button of a normal Windows Media Center remote.. The rest of the keys on the right wing are basically shortcut buttons for Windows Media Center access. Speaking of Media Center, if you click on the picture for a large version of it, you'll see that there's a green button at the bottom. That's essentially the Media Center button which Media Center users press to access the UI, the fact that it DOESN'T have the Windows logo on it, means that the creators decided not to pay the licensing fee for it. :P

The left wing holds the left and right click buttons on the top, followed by the power button, and a light on/off toggle switch. What light? See that cool blue glow that's coming out of the corner of the keyboard? THAT light, I have no idea why they put it there, cause in that position and orientation it doesn't light up the keys at all so it's definetly not there to illuminate your keyboard so you can type in a dark AV room, it's just there to help you locate the keyboard. The rest of the wing has the usual playback controls, ie.. play/pause, next track, prev track, etc. etc.

The wireless range on the box says.. 10 meters, I'm able to control my PC from anywhere in my AV room so it's good enough for me.

Other than the fact that the Green Button doesn't put the Xbox 360 into Media Center mode, plugging the USB dongle into the 360's USB port allows the keyboard to be used on the 360 perfectly.

In conclusion, if you have a nice cool Windows Media Center PC hooked up to your TV, and you're looking for a cheap integrated mouse wireless keyboard solution the Genius Luxmate 810 Media Cruiser could just be the thing you're looking for! At the very least it doesn't cost an arm and a leg!! :P


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