Gigabyte KM7580 is a compact multi-media keyboard and mouse. Its compact size is an ideal device for those who need to carry a keyboard and mouse around. How well does it perform? Let’s find out.
Gigabyte is not often being associated with keyboard and mouse. When mentioning Gigabyte and computer, I am sure everyone would think of motherboard or graphic cards instead of keyboard and mouse. The reality is Gigabyte is a big company and it has a wide variety of computer products ranging from keyboard, mouse, monitors, to cases and laptops.
In the past, we have looked at a few of Gigabyte’s keyboards. Their latest keyboard and mouse combo, the KM7580, is a compact unit designed for mobile users. Two colors are available: black and white. We have received the white version for the review. It seems like with the success of iPod, we are seeing more white color devices on the market.
The KM7580 comes in a fairly small box with plenty of marketing information highlighting the unique features of the keyboard and mouse. Here we can see that the devices connect to your computer through 2.4GHz wireless bandwidth. The back of the box gives you an overview of the different features of the mouse where you can adjust the DPIs and different multi-media buttons on the keyboard.
FEATURES AND SPECIFICATION
Gigabyte packages the keyboard and mouse combo in a standard cardboard box. Plenty of marketing information such as the 2.4 GHz Wireless, water-resistant, and multimedia keys, can be found on front and back of the keyboard. We also get an image of both the black and white version of the keyboard so users can get an idea how it looks like.
Inside the keyboard and the mouse are placed in separate compartments divided with cardboards. It is pretty secure and we do not envision that the keyboard and mouse will be damaged during the shipping with this packaging design.
A quick spec can be found on the back of the box.
17 Hot keys and volume wheel
|Receiver Connector||Mini USB tranceiver|
|Switch life||10 million keystrokes for normal keys, 50 thousand keystrokes for Hot keys|
|Travel distance||Total key travel is 3.0±0.4mm|
Operating force is 58±14g.
|Operating temperature||0oC to 40oC|
Keyboard:463(L)×160(W)×20(H) mm, Mouse:100(L)x60(W)x36.5(H) mm, Receiver:16(L)x8(W)x21(H) mm
CE, FCC, BSMI, NCC
Windows 98/2000/ME/XP (32bit)/Vista
|Packing contents||GIGABYTETM Multimedia Keyboard, GIGABYTETM Optical Mouse, 2.4GHz RF Transceiver, Driver CD, Manual GP® AA Battery *3|
The specification tells us that both keyboard and mouse will work up to 5 meters and both have a low power indicator. The mouse consumes 20mA at 5V and the keyboard consumes 5mA at 5V. The keyboard and the mouse each requires two AA batteries.
2.4GHz Wireless Multimedia Keyboard & Mouse
- Reliable 2.4GHz Wireless connection: 2.4GHz RF technology provides up to 10M effective working distance. Enjoy funs whevever you are.
- Quick Assess 17 Internet and Multimedia Hot Keys : Simply press 17 Hot keys, you can instant asscess to internet, media, and applications easily.
- Smart Power Saving System: Extended batter life, also, Power on/off button on the mouse & power indicator on the display to manage power easily.
- Mini Snap-on Mouse transceiver: Enjoy the tidy desk, remove the clutter cable.
- Ultra-slim Keyboard Design: The stylished and slim design to satisfy your fashion.
The keyboard is pretty compact and is standard 104-key Windows keyboard. Despite its compact size, the keys are full size. However, the keys are shorter than your standard desktop keyboard and resemble a laptop keyboard. Although I cannot confirm this but the keys appear to be dome-switch design.
As you can see, Gigabyte crammed all of the arrow keys on the lower right hand corner of the letter keys. They also place all of the special function keys around the right hand of the letter keys. One of the most unusual placements would be the Insert key where it is located next to the right control. I am not sure how many people are using the key but I do not recall when was the last time I have ever used it. I personally do not like the way the Home and End keys are placed. It just makes more sense to me to have them next to each other instead of them separated far apart.
The top of the keyboard has a row of 15 multimedia keys. The buttons are divided into three groups. The first set of keys is designed for web use. They include forward, backward, close, and My Favorite. The second set of keys is for media playback where it can be used to play, pause, mute, forward to the next track, backward to the previous, and adjust the volumes. The third set of keys is for bringing up some common applications: Search, Home, Mail, and put the computer in Sleep mode. The Home button will open up the default browser’s home page.
Unfortunately because the keyboard does not come with any software, it is impossible to re-assign the buttons for other tasks.
One thing I really appreciate is the larger size Enter and Backspace key. I am so glad that Gigabyte does not reduce their size. However, the same thing cannot be said with the Control and the Alt keys. I use the control key quite often for copying and paste reviews for Bjorn3D and the smaller keys just make them harder to use. As a result, I sometimes will hit the Windows or the Insert key by accident. I have been so accustomed to the Logitech Media keyboard’s larger delete key that I feel the smaller size on the keyboard is a bit hard to use.
If you work with numbers all the time, you would come to appreciate the full size number keypad. Right above them are the battery indicators.
The usual flip out keyboard stand for those who wish to have a bit of an angle with their keyboard. On the back is where you can also see the battery compartment.
Although it’s good that the keyboard does not need any software, it is unfortunate that without the software, you cannot adjust any of the buttons. I did found on Gigabyte’s site there is a software that will provide onscreen LED to the keyboard’s indicators. Surprisingly, the software does not come with the keyboard and it has a very ugly interface. It really does not provide much useful information except shows the cap lock, battery, and the NUM lock on your computer screen.
I love the spill resistant design. I can’t tell you how many times that I spilled something onto my keyboard. It is an unfortunate accident that happens to all of us I am sure. If you happen to spill something onto the keyboard, just let the liquid drain out of the holes on the bottom of the keyboard and let it dry for a few days then you can use it again. Very nice.
Tactile Feedback and Typing Experience
It is probably because of the low-rise of the keys where it made me feels that the keys are not separated far enough. As a result, I tend to hit the wrong button. In addition, the keys are a bit too stiff. Since I use my keyboard daily to post news and write reviews for Bjorn3D, I need a keyboard that has a good tactile response but the stiffness of the keys makes it hard to type it fast enough without making a typo. The stiffness may loosen up after using it for a while.
I tried to type using the keyboard but I feel that I had to hit the keys a bit harder than my older keyboard simply because it does not offer the same tactile response as the older keyboard. If I did not hit the key strong enough, the key may not be registered. This can be related to the fact that this is a wireless keyboard so the signal may not get transmitted to the receiver as opposed to the older keyboard that I was using was corded. However, a good wireless keyboard really should not have this issue even for the fastest typist out there. In addition, occasionally I experienced a delay with the text appearing on the computer screen after I typed characters with the keyboard. This bugs me quite a lot. For a fast typist, this is really going to drive you crazy.
If you are looking for a quiet keyboard, this is definitely not your keyboard. If you are a fast typist, the noise can be a bit annoying. Again, coming from the Logitech media keyboard where it is not the quietest keyboard, the noise of the Gigabyte keyboard is just a tad louder than what I am used to. This maybe related to the stiffness of the keyboard because the stiffness of the keys, I had to hit the keys slightly harder to register them. As a result, it makes a louder noise and takes a bit longer to decompress the key.
I found that the multimedia keys works better with Microsoft Applications. I was able to skip tracks in Windows Media 11 even when the application is not on the foremost window. However, it does not work with iTune if it is not on the foremost window. In order to skip tracks in iTune, you would have to bring the application to the front of all of the opened Windows. This is really annoying.
The mouse has the matching color of the keyboard. Going with the same concept of portability, it is expected that the mouse is small. This is a two button mouse with a scroll wheel design. The surface of the buttons are coated with highly reflective material, making the surface very smooth. The side of the mouse has some rough texture to enhance the grip. However, it is not made with rubber where it would offer a better grip. The scroll wheel only scrolls up and down and no sideway scroll is possible. Right in the middle of the mouse is a battery indicator.
The bottom of the mouse has an on/off switch and a connect button. Like the keyboard, two AA batteries are needed to power the mouse. Gigabyte hides the mini USB receiver on the mouse so you would not lose it. A magnet is inside the receiver’s housing to prevent it from falling out of the mouse. As long as you don’t shake the mouse strongly, the receiver will stay inside the mouse.
As with the keyboard, the mouse does not come with any driver and simply uses Windows own driver. However, it does come with DPI adjustments. Users can adjust between 500 and 1,000 DPIs by simply pressing both the left and right buttons simultaneously. I found that the DPI selection is a tad too limited. Granted, Gigabyte does not market this mouse as a gaming mouse but from time to time, I feel that 500 DPI is a bit too slow and 1000 DPI on desktop use can be somewhat too fast even with 24’’ LCD screen. Also, because it lacks any on screen indicator, it may be hard to tell if the setting actually has been applied (However, it’s not that hard to know if the mouse is faster or slowerJ).
The mouse feels comfortable to use but it can be somewhat small and cramped for a big hand. The scroll button is a bit stiff but I am sure it will loosen up after use. My biggest gripe with the mouse is the impreciseness. I often copy and paste texts for Bjorn3D’s daily news roundup and the impreciseness of the mouse means that selecting a text can be a tricky matter. I often ended up highlighting one extra character or missed one character unless I move the mouse slowly.
It is probably a combination of the shape of the mouse and its size which makes it harder to use with my hand. I have a fairly large size hand and to use the mouse of this size means that I have to curve my fingers rather than having them sit on top of the mouse. I found that it is easier to use the mouse where there is a mouse pad with a wrist rest because that lifts the hands up a tad so the fingers can be sitting on top of the buttons.
Also, I felt a bit of delay with the mouse’s response. It’s quite noticeable when I right click on the mouse and the onscreen menu appears slower than usually. This can be a somewhat annoyance for some people and definitely a big factor for people who is planning to use it for gaming.
I feel that the Gigabyte keyboard and mouse is good enough for people who wish to have a lightweight keyboard and mouse on the go. However, it would not be a good unit for day to day use. The keyboard is definitely not going to satisfy a fast typist with its stiff keys and poor tactile feedback. The mouse is also not going to satisfy with any gamers due to its impreciseness. The fact that there are only two DPI adjustments does not help with the issue. For average users, it can also be too frustrating to use. The size can also be a factor for those with large hands.
The keyboard is marketed as a multimedia keyboard but it only works best with Windows Media player. We tested it with iTune and we had to bring the program to fore front of the opened windows in order to use the skip track feature. This can be something that can be adjusted with a software update; however, the keyboard lacks any software for configuration. Also, without any software, users cannot remap some keys to other tasks.
I could not find any pricing information about the KM7580 but I feel that if it is selling around $20~$30, it maybe okay to buy it but if it is selling at higher price than that, I feel that there are other better alternatives.
|OUR VERDICT: Gigabyte KM7880 Keyboard and Mouse Combo|
|Summary: The Gigabyte KM7580 is probably only good for those who need a keyboard and mouse on the go. It’s poor tactile feedback and slow response make us hard to recommend it for day to day use for a desktop user.|