iPazzPort

Peripherals

Testing

Test Rig

Due to not having an HTPC of my own, I made use of my standard desktop PC but incorporated media testing to emulate HTPC usage.

Processor
Intel Core 2 Duo Q9450 @ 3.2GHZ
Motherboard
Asus P5QL Pro
RAM
Super Talent 6400 4GB @ 1200MHZ
Graphics Card
Sapphire 5770 1GB
HDD
Mach Xtreme 100GB SSD
OS
Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Displays
Dell 2408, NEC 24WMGX

Methodology

To test a wireless mobile keyboard and mouse combo simply involves using it for a prolonged period of time during different activities. Web browsing, gaming, media viewing and more. Each of these activities were tested in terms of ease of use and functionality.

Results

General Desktop Transition

While the touchpad on the iPazzPort is pretty smooth to use, it struggles with not being sensitive enough. Traversing two 24" screens at 1900×1200 takes a long ass time.

It’s not too bad on the single screen, but two becomes rediculous.

NB. It does take a little longer than necessary as I’m trying to hold the camera and use the pad with my thumb which isn’t the right digit to use; hence the up and down motion of the pointer.

During this test I did find out that you can utilise the iPazzport upto 5 metres away without any problems. You can go a little further than this, but after that it does tend to stutter and beyond 6m or so it stops registering altogether.

Web Browsing

The web browsing experience was pretty good with the iPazzPort. It scrolls up and down easily and is accurate when clicking on smaller links. The handy ctrl button on the QWERTY layout allowed me to easily increase the size of pictures and text if I found them hard to make out and typing web addresses was relatively simple.

One key I did miss however was a backspace. There’s a delete key, but if you hit one character too many in a URL, you have to jump back a couple spaces before hitting delete. This essentially involves pressing: SF (for second function), M a couple of times to move back in the address, turn off SF, then hit delete a few times.

Sometimes the keys are a little hard to press, and some of the casing feels a little cheap, but ultimately it performed this task pretty well.

Media Viewing

Utilising the iPazzPort for move watching at a distance is pretty great. The backlit keys make it easy to read them in the dark, and its so much nicer utilising a wireless keyboard from the comfort of my chair instead of moving to my table top.

The fact that the third function of some of the keys allows for you to use a few different function keys, but also some basic media buttons is excellent. Available are pause/play and skip as well as volume up and down.

Gaming

Now obviously touchpads arn’t the best thing for use with first person shooters or real time strategy titles; anything that requires pace is not exactly augmented by this type of cursor control. However, turn based strategy or point and click adventure games are more up its street. So booting up DosBox, I opened up Conquest of the New World.

Due to the game window of this older title not being of a very high resolution, the iPazzPort didn’t have much trouble being substituted for a standard mouse. However, over longer periods I think there’s still a bit too much movement due to the low sensitivity of the pad, so while gaming is certainly possible with the iPazzPort I’d say you’d be better using it for puzzle titles or the like.

Cost

While prices vary, the average price seems to around £35 for the iPazzPort. For its ease of use and functionality I’d say it’s worth the money, but it doesn’t feel like it’s worth that much.

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Last modified: February 15, 2011

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