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Eclipse Wireless Litetouch review: Eclipse Wireless Litetouch

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When the Smart Technology software is properly installed, users have the ability to customize the MyEclipse LCD mode, assigning programs to different hot keys and button icons. The software interface is clean and simplistic, encouraging the user to drag and drop programs and Web sites to the various buttons represented onscreen. Overall, it was a cinch to use.

We were pleased with the overall performance of the physical keys on the keyboard, but we quickly became disappointed with how the touch LCD behaved. Before we explain the problems, we should note that these issues occurred both on the PCs without the software and on those with it.

Almost right away we noticed a serious lag when switching between LCD modes. Three mode buttons rest along the top and had to be pressed twice, even three times occasionally to get the screen to switch. A small audible click can be heard when registering a successful touch, and we used this as a clear indicator of the keyboard's responsiveness.

Not only during mode-switching did the touch screen fail us. Numerous instances of locking up and extended periods of unresponsiveness was common, which really dampened the overall experience.

As if that wasn't enough, we also occasionally had to deal with phantom repeating of characters, physical and nonphysical keys alike. Also, the location of the bottom-left touch key was accidentally pressed a lot, which, in our case, was the mute button for music. We really wish there were options in place to move around some of these touch-button locations.

There is a virtual slider that can control volume or keyboard brightness; it felt jittery and mostly unresponsive as well.

As far as the physical keys were concerned, we enjoyed their soothing soft, quiet performance. Typing on these backlit keys in the dark was also a delight, and the ability to change the board's brightness was a nice touch.

The mouse controls below the touch screen performed surprisingly well, with the trackball providing more accuracy than we thought the small BB-size pellet was capable of. The left and right click buttons also had no issues during our testing. Over time, we found ourselves using them instead, when reaching for the mouse felt unnecessary.

We recommend turning the power (button shown here) off when not in use.

A rechargeable battery inside the Litetouch nets around 20 hours of use, so you'll have to keep the AC adapter close by.

It's going to be tough to give the $130 Eclipse Wireless Litetouch keyboard a recommendation simply because of the laundry list of issues with the product's LCD touch screen. Though we suppose these kinks can be worked out with a firmware update, we found the version sold as-is to border on the line of unacceptability. We haven't seen many attempts at touch LCD screens on a keyboard, so we can't really recommend another product in its place, either. You're probably better off picking one out from our best-rated keyboard list.

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