We're usually wary of trackballs. We know there are people out there who like them, but for general-purpose cursor-moving, we'll take a mouse every time. But thanks to Vidabox's Premium Wireless Keyboard with Optical Trackball ($62.99 at the time of this review), we may have to give trackballs more credit. As it happens, it's one of the best ways we've found for driving your computer from your couch. The idea of putting a keyboard in the living room is still less than appealing, but it's a necessary evil for home-theater PC owners. And if we had to choose between a living room mouse, a keyboard with a touch pad, or the Vidabox board, the latter is the easiest, most intuitive input device we've used.
Because of its small size, the Vidabox keyboard is best kept in the living room. Its RF wireless signal is strong enough to use from a distance of 30 feet or so. The included AA batteries are nonrechargeable, and Vidabox suggests a battery life of two months. You'll probably want to keep a spare set around. The keyboard keys are the same size as those of a standard desktop keyboard, but because it's only about 12.75 inches wide, the keys are placed very close together, making prolonged typing cramped. We wouldn't use it for gaming or word processing, but for couch-based uses (typing passwords, Web addresses, IM's, or brief e-mails) it's fine.