The Mad Catz-owned Eclipse brand of computer accessories has just released a new touch LCD keyboard called Litetouch, aimed at the user who wants an elegant and stylized typing experience while also being able to customize various options.
The Litetouch model keyboard is available in two versions, wireless and wired, and we recently got our hands on the former. The main attraction of the Litetouch has to be its customizable LCD touch screen; though we were intrigued by its addition, in practice it doesn't replace a conventional number keypad.
The Wireless Litetouch keyboard has a minimalist design, making very good use of a small amount of space. The rectangular frame is outlined in a gray plastic, and the immediate area surrounding the keys is composed of a shiny black and harder material. Flanking the bottom is a rubberized black wrist guard, which we found to be comfortable and solid at preventing slippage.
The LCD touch screen itself houses a gorgeous display, with crisp, clear, and bright characters accenting the design. There's no give to the screen, so it's just like tapping on a solid iPad or iPhone screen.
The biggest attraction of the Litetouch keyboard is without a doubt its touch LCD screen that can rotate between three different settings. There's a media screen for controlling music and managing shortcuts, a traditional number pad, and then a "MyEclipse" mode that lets you customize various buttons and actions. We'll review the performance of these features in the section below.
The Litetouch also has mouse control, complete with a small trackball and left and right click buttons flanking it on either side. The keyboard is also completely backlit, which, depending on preference, can be turned on or off.
Aside from the touch LCD screen, there are no other vanity buttons here.
Setting up our Litetouch keyboard was a mixed bag. We had absolutely no issues connecting the tiny 2.4GHz USB dongle to our PC and getting instant results. However, installing the software that's needed to manage the touch LCD screen was a completely different story.
Not only one, but two different PCs could not properly install the Smart Technology profile editor software that runs in tandem with the keyboard. When we finally were able to get the software installed, we could not run the appropriate application; it would just crash upon loading up. We yielded the same results on another PC in our office until the third computer we came across was finally able to run the software.
We should note that attempts to recover a more recent version of the software were unsuccessful because of issues with the company's site; the last attempt was just minutes before we handed in this review.
Fortunately, the keyboard still worked with the two PCs that didn't install the software, so we weren't left with a useless accessory. That said, the MyEclipse mode on the LCD touch screen did not work.