Slowly and surely I’ve been finding more reasons to not watch cable programming. Price, of course, is the primary factor, but now that I’ve been spending more time looking, I can find content I want online.
Yes, I’m quite behind when it comes to cable-cutting, but I’m making progress! My setup is simple, nothing fancy. Just a laptop, HDMI cable, Jabra Solemate Max speaker, and our 52″ Samsung flat-panel TV. The only thing missing was a convenient way to control the laptop from a distance.
After some poking around, I decided to give the FAVI Wireless Keyboard a shot. The price was right and it has what I need, no more and no less.
The FAVI Wireless Keyboard gives the functionality of a full keyboard in a shrunk-down size. It’s slightly longer than most large smartphones, but narrower, and about as thick as one with a protective case on. It holds comfortably like a remote control, which is especially so when using the laser.
Although lightweight, the keyboard is pretty sturdy for what it is. I wouldn’t sit on it or hide it under something heavy, but it holds up against and resists mighty finger mashing.
There’s no loose parts or rattling. All of the square keys have a nice click feel to it. The rectangular ones – not so much.
The longer keys click on both sides when pressed. It’s slightly annoying at first, but thankfully the FAVI Wireless Keyboard doesn’t double-up on those keystrokes. These “extra click” keys are: escape, back, enter, control, spacebar, and the keys for the mouse buttons.
I particularly appreciate the dedicated page-up/-down buttons on the underside, right next to the buttons for the laser pointer.
The laser pointer itself is.. a laser pointer. The beam is wider than the typical pet-toy laser pointer that one might get for a keychain. The dot is good and visible, especially if the target is six or more feet away. It’s too bad that there is no toggle to keep the beam continuously on.
The FAVI Wireless Keyboard comes with a USB Bluetooth receiver to use with any PC or laptop that doesn’t already have Bluetooth wireless. The receiver tucks away neatly in space provided next to the battery, under the back cover. The charging port is Mini USB instead of Micro (Nomad ChargeKey of no use here).
Use & Connectivity
Typing is all by sight (at least for me), especially since the mouse touchpad on the right shifts where the keyboard center is. With all things being equal, larger hands are likely to have less button accuracy. The chiclet-style keys aren’t that noisy, except maybe the larger ones.
I find that the FAVI Wireless Keyboard is actually not too bad for phablet or tablet use.
It’s fine for taking notes, browsing, or other casual activities, especially when I want a stand to hold the screen instead of my hands. Although it’s possible to create long, written content with the FAVI Wireless Keyboard, I don’t prefer it. Using my Swype+Dragon app (or any similar slide-to-type app) is faster and more efficient for me.
I treat this device like I do a remote, particularly for online video streaming on a big screen. With the laptop hooked to the flat-panel TV via HDMI, I can control everything I need from a distance while relaxing on the bed. The same utility applies to those who have a HTPC (home theater PC) setup too. The FAVI Wireless Keyboard provides navigation and functionality that fits in the palm, yet some patience is required.
Pairing is a piece of cake. Holding down the Bluetooth button on the keyboard until the blue LED flashes puts the keyboard into pairing mode. Detected, connected, done. I’ve paired it with my smartphone and laptop (separately) without any issues. Once the FAVI Wireless Keyboard is on and active, it takes only about 6 seconds for it to auto-connect to its paired device.
The keyboard enters sleep mode after a certain period of inactive time. Sometimes it wakes up in a few seconds. More than sometimes, it does not. Flipping the switch off then on again is faster than waiting for it to wake up.
The Bluetooth signal strength has been good for me. I’ve used the FAVI Wireless Keyboard up to 18 feet away without the connection breaking up at all. Typing and all of the button functions are solid, and I’ve yet to experience any skipped or inaccurate keys. There is no lag when it comes to keystrokes. The mouse touchpad also works, but that’s a completely different matter of its own.
The mouse touchpad features a good tactile feel to it. It has moderate acceleration, so one quick swipe across the pad moves the cursor halfway across any screen, be it smartphone or laptop. While the mouse touchpad works, the accuracy/sensitivity takes a severe hit with distance beyond a couple feet.
The cursor motion combines and alternates between being jerky and sluggish. It’s not so bad while using it with my Galaxy Note 2, since I’m within a foot of the device.
But when I use the FAVI Wireless Keyboard with my Windows 8 or Windows XP computers, I’m sitting from a distance. The mouse touchpad is useable, sure, but it’s irritating when I’m trying to zero in on links or form boxes. It’s like the mouse function is drunk.
But considering that the FAVI Wireless Keyboard mouse touchpad is only approximately a square-inch in size, it gets the job done. This keyboard is backlit, making it very useful in the dark. It’s as bright as my Logitech K810 keyboard too. The light within the FAVI Wireless Keyboard shines through the key markings as well as in between the spaces around each key.
I do like how the FAVI Wireless Keyboard has the mouse buttons operated by the left thumb. It seems strange at first and may take some people time to adjust, but I absolutely prefer it. It’s likely due of my years experience with FPS (first person shooter) console games, where my thumbs work in concert with each other.
The Bluetooth receiver doesn’t let me connect my desktop to anything other than the FAVI keyboard (booo).
If you ever owned a Blackberry or other smartphone with a physical keyboard, you’ll feel right at home with the FAVI Wireless keyboard. It works well and is useful in a pinch, especially when size and weight of one’s gadgets come at a premium.
There are a number of apps on the market which are able to transform a smartphone into a wireless remote laptop/PC control. I have used and played with a number of these with a varying degree of convenience and success. The benefit of the FAVI keyboard over an app is that nothing else is needed except the wireless connection. There’s no app to take up valuable space on a mobile device, and no program running, waiting in the background on a PC.
The FAVI Wireless Keyboard isn’t going to work for everyone. Even though it’s labeled as a presentation tool, I would not want to use this in an academic or professional environment. Ever. With that being said, I believe it takes the right kind of need to make the best use of this gadget. For me, it marries the functionality of a wireless keyboard and mouse in the form of a compact remote control for a HTPC.
HTPC remote. Carefree keyboard to type on while lounging. The price is almost right for the kind of utility that comes with the FAVI Wireless Keyboard. It’s just too bad it doesn’t have better Bluetooth power. But it does also has a laser pointer, which is kind of like a cherry on top. A laser cherry.