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Xebec Tech iTouchpad Diamond review: Xebec Tech iTouchpad Diamond

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The Good Wired and wireless abilities;. Charges via USB;. Built-in trackpad.

The Bad Arched design not for everyone;. Some keys on the small side;. Plain appearance.

The Bottom Line The Xebec Tech iTouchpad Diamond keyboard is aimed at users seeking a reliable keyboard for home or portable use. While the few tricks it has up its sleeve makes up for its plain appearance, its cramped keys and arched design could render the typing experience too awkward for some. It can currently be bought for around £35.

6.5 Overall

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Sounding like one of those luxury gadget customisations that cost more than the devices themselves, the Xebec Tech iTouchpad Diamond keyboard's name conjures images of glittery, magpie-attracting surfaces and Apple-esque design flourishes.

Keyboard meets Commodore 64

The actual product is a more modest affair, with the only hint of Apple influence found in the fact that its reflective plastic shell attracts fingerprints like bees attract honey badgers. It bears a closer resemblance to a laptop keyboard that's been merged with a Commodore 64 -- a Marmite look that, for better or worse, sets it apart from other keyboards on offer.

We found that its shape did present a few irks. While typing, your wrists are permanently resting on the keyboard's curved lower edge, which isn't an issue if it's resting on your lap, but can make for an uncomfortable typing experience after long periods when it's sat on a hard surface. Whether or not it will be the 'arch'-itect (geddit?) of its own downfall will depend on your preference for hard wrist supports.

Pencil-sized fingers only

Xebec Tech's attempt at squeezing in all of the buttons that you would usually find on a full-size keyboard has resulted in some vital keys being frustratingly small. Unless you possess digits the width of pencils, you'll find yourself repeatedly mashing the keys to the left and right of the space and enter keys. The worst offender is the diminutive backspace key -- something you'll want to rip out after typing up a long document.

The keys themselves possess relatively short travel similar to that of a laptop keyboard and are fairly responsive, though typing at fast speed resulted in the occasional key press not being detected if our touch became too light.

Above the keyboard are three LEDs -- the left indicates when the keyboard is pairing, the middle when battery is low and the right when it's recharging. Flipping the keyboard over reveals a small pocket to store the wireless receiver and a button to pair the keyboard to other devices.

Image description
You'll need precise pinkies to hit certain keys every time

Juicing-up joy

What the keyboard lacks in pure typing prowess it goes some way to making up in pure, full-fat convenience.

It comes with a discrete USB wireless receiver that could quite easily end up in your dog's stomach if you don't keep an eye on it. Installing the keyboard was painless, with it being detected within moments of inserting the receiver on both Windows 7 and OS X Lion. As it's designed for Windows, our MacBook Air didn't know what type of keyboard it was, but it worked a charm after we told it to adpot a European layout. Don't expect any Lion gestures to work on the track pad either -- not that it would be big enough to execute them with any finesse.

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