For home theaters, I’m a big fan of those keyboard with built-in trackballs peddled by various Asiatic crap gadget purveyors. I have a Trust KB-2950, and I love it: it’s not good for lengthy amounts of typing, and the trackball control is hardly precise enough to do anything besides do the more basic mouse tasks with, but it’s cheap, small and it allows me to control my television computer while supine on the couch with a minimum of fuss.
I like this Sanwa keyboard a lot less. On the surface, it’s similar to the Trust keyboard I have, except it has a trackpad instead of a trackball. That seems, superficially, like an improvement over the Trust’s spinning ball bearing, but having the trackpad on the right side of the keyboard with the two buttons underneath isn’t a strong ergonomic solution for a keyboard that’s meant to be used on the lap. Using the mouse on the Trust makes more sense, even though it’s less precise: you hold the whole keyboard in your hands like a game controller, with the trackball as a joystick and the mouse buttons mounted in the shoulders.
Worse, this Sanwa doesn’t seem to have Media Center keys. And the price — almost $130 — is a hell of a lot more than the twenty five euros I spent for my Trust.
So nice try, Sanwa. But I still look forward to other companies trying this same concept. The Trust isn’t exactly a great or irreplaceable gadget: it’s just good enough in an ocean of incompetent designs.