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The biggest issue is that there’s obviously no key travel, since there aren’t actually any keys. There is a reassuring click, every time a key press is registered to give you some piece of mind when typing.
Although there is definitely a learning curve with the i-Tech, once you get used to it, you can achieve a decent typing rate. Also, it’s worth remembering that this isn’t supposed to be a replacement for a conventional keyboard, instead it’s a pocket size keyboard for devices that don’t have simple text input methods. Anyone who has tried to compose long emails on a PDA or smartphone will know exactly what I’m talking about, and will be able to appreciate the convenience offered by the i-Tech.
Of course the other big advantage with the virtual keyboard is that I can almost guarantee that wherever and whenever you take it out of your bag, people around you will just stop and stare – ideal for showing off in the executive departure lounge.
With dimensions of 90 x 34 x 24mm (LxWxD) and a weight of only 80g, it won’t be too much of a chore to carry the virtual keyboard around with you. There’s even a protective carry case supplied in the box, to make sure that you don’t scratch or bash the i-Tech while you’re transporting it. Also in the box you’ll find a power supply to charge the integrated battery, and a driver CD.
Talking of battery life, the quoted usage time is two hours of continued typing. Strangely, that’s the same quote as the wired version of the virtual keyboard – considering the extra power drain from the Bluetooth transmitter I would expect a difference between the two battery times. In use I found that I got between an hour and a half and an hour and three quarters of continuous use.
There’s no denying that the i-Tech Bluetooth Virtual Keyboard is an incredibly cool product, but as is often the case with cool products, you’re going to have to pay a high price. The review sample was supplied to us by Virtual-Laser-Keyboards.com and although it’s a US based company, it does ship world wide. Taking shipping into account the Bluetooth Virtual Keyboard will set you back £125.44, although it’s worth remembering that you might get stung for VAT by UK customs.
If you can swallow the high price, the Virtual Keyboard is a great gadget to pair up with your smartphone or PDA, but it’s not going to keep you typing all day.
I can’t help but love the i-Tech Bluetooth Virtual Keyboard, and I’m almost tempted to gloss over the high price or limited battery life. Ultimately though, battery life and price are real world issues, and can’t be ignored. But if you’ve got deep pockets, don’t need long battery life and want the coolest input device on the planet, this is the product for you.
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