Adesso Multimedia Keyboard Review

by Reads (1,139)

by Kevin O’Brien

The Adesso Multimedia Keyboard and Optical Mouse is a keyboard made for demanding users who want both mobility and direct multimedia access at the touch of a finger. This keyboard combines quick access multimedia keys, a full-size keyboard, and an optical trackball in one device that is easy to use on your desk at work or your lap at home. Read on to see how this keyboard compares against your standard cramped notebook keyboard and deserves a place on your desk.

Adesso Multimedia Keyboard and Optical Mouse Specifications:

  • USB or PS/2 connection
  • 800 DPI optical trackball for easy navigation.
  • Quiet tactile keys for smooth typing.
  • Laser printed keycaps for longer wear.
  • Multimedia and Internet Hot Key controls.
  • Light weight and elegant design.

Extra Keys:

Command Hot Keys Multimedia Hot Keys Internet Hot Keys Optical Trackball
Cut Media Player My Computer Left Click
Copy Play/Pause Outlook Express Right Click
Paste Volume Down Internet Explorer Scroll Wheel
Volume Up Stop
Mute Refresh
Previous Track Search
Next Track My Favorites
Stop Close Windows
Forward Key
Backward Key

 

Build and Design

The Adesso Multimedia Keyboard and Optical Mouse feels heavier than what you would expect from a keyboard of this size. Most of the weigh comes from the additional features, which are crammed into such a small amount of space. The left side, and top row, on the keyboard are all direct access buttons, with the right side having the number pad and trackball. At first glance the keyboard appears to have a very busy look to it, but most keys are still in the same location as any other board.


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Build quality average at best, with copious amounts of flex when twisting the keyboard in your hands. Individual keys have quite a bit of play, in all 4 directions, making readable typing sometimes difficult.


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Function keys feel very cramped, and are smaller than those even found on my laptop. The thinnest key on my ThinkPad keyboard is still wider than any of the direction keys or right-hand function keys on the Adesso keyboard.

Comfort

Typing on this keyboard can be difficult at times, with the cramped feeling combined with the wobbling keys. I find that my spell checker and editor are working overtime from the results of my trying to type on this keyboard. The biggest problem I run into is the key tilts enough from a non-direct hit that you hit the key you were aiming for as well as the key right next to it.


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Height adjustment is missing from the bottom of the keyboard, which will be a disappointment for those who type from their desk instead of their lap. Since I am the type of person that flips those adjusters out as a new keyboard comes out of the box, it was a big disappointment not to see them.


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Having a keyboard with an onboard trackball is a very nice feature, since it gives you quick access to the mouse where you don’t need to move your hands off the keyboard to get something done. With the Adesso optical trackball, it is easy to operate with your fingers, but took a while to get used to the left and right keys found on the opposite side of the keyboard.

In Use

Only two problems cropped up with this keyboard, and they were rubber pads falling off and the trackball drifting when not in use.

Like the previous Adesso keyboard that we reviewed, the keyboard rubber traction pads don’t seem to have the best adhesion, and will likely pop off and be lost in no time. I was lucky enough to spot the missing pad on the floor, and return it to its rightful place before it was lost forever.

The trackball liked to drift when not being used, most often when the keyboard was tilted at a downward angle. Sometimes shaking the keyboard helped to alleviate the problem, but it was not a permanent fix.

The multimedia keys on the Adesso keyboard all worked without additional drivers, and were non-customizable. Every function key worked as it should, with the exception of the web favorites key that did not operate correctly while using Firefox.

Conclusion

The Adesso Multimedia Keyboard and Optical Mouse is a keyboard I would probably not recommend for purchase at the going rate of 50-100 dollars. I found typing on my laptop keyboard (any laptop keyboard) to be more enjoyable, and less painful. If the price comes down by over half it wouldn’t be too bad of a choice, but it just has too many problems to want to use on a daily basis.

Pros

  • Has every button or control you would want on a keyboard

Cons

  • No height adjustment feet
  • Rubber pads fall off
  • Trackball has a tendency to make your mouse wander when not in use.

Availability

The Adesso Multimedia Keyboard and Optical Mouse is available from the Adesso website.


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