Xenta Smart Touch Keyboard
Finding the best kit for the home office – Xenta Smart Touch Keyboard
What is it?
This is a touchpad and keyboard in one that can be transformed from one to another by the press of a button.
It’s rechargeable, via a USB connection, and operates wirelessly via a 2.4 ghz USB dongle that needs to be permanently plugged into a spare USB port on the device that you want to use it with.
It also needs to be compatible with the software on that machine (for the bulk of this review I was using it on a Windows 8 laptop).
The Xenta Smart Touch Keyboard looks good at first glance, with its rather groovy blue backlit keyboard. Unfortunately beyond that it’s not very well built. It feels a little bit flimsy and although the front is a smooth glass finish (which is covered by a protective plastic coat), the back is a cheap plastic finish; with rather flimsy switches and buttons on one side.
The protective plastic coat on the front of the test model that I was sent was already peeling away from the glass front, and this didn’t appear to be a transit coating, so not a very impressive finish for something that was supposed to be new out of the box.
How easy is it to set up and use? **
Whilst this was relatively easy to set up, there were no instructions provided, nor was I able to download any either from the sellers or manufacturers website. The unit arrived sealed so either, this is a manufacturing problem and they got missed when the unit was factory packed, or quite a serious omission.
It was with some significant trial and error that I had to find out how to get the pad to switch between modes (pressing the button marked “sleep” on the side achieves this). Installation on my windows laptop was simple enough and the unit was recognised by my laptop as a plug and play device via the 2.4ghz USB dongle, and the device worked well.
I do however question whether the device will work as specified by the manufacturer. The description on their website states ‘The ultra-thin Xenta wireless, touchpad keyboard is ideal for use with smartphones and tablets. Bright blue, multi-touch display clearly projects a full size UK layout. It’s easy to use, portable and rechargeable making it the perfect keyboard for travelling.’
I cannot see a way that the Xenta Smart Touch Keyboard can actually be used with a smartphone or a tablet that doesn’t have a USB connection, as there is no Bluetooth or other connectivity (although to be fair I didn’t have any instructions!), which means it won’t work with your Apple device, and possibly many Android devices either.
It doesn’t work with Playstation (as I was able to try that), but might work with other games systems. As I don’t own a Windows phone or tablet, I can’t comment on those, but suspect it might work, however given the description above it is difficult to say. It is also most certainly not a ‘full size UK layout”’.
I can’t see that this will last very long at all. As mentioned above the protective layer was already coming away from the device as supplied in the sealed box, how this will perform over an extended time remains to be seen, but it doesn’t have a great outlook.
Worth the investment? *
I didn’t pay for this Xenta Smart Touch Keyboard as it was offered for test and review, however I think if I had, I would be returning it for a refund. It doesn’t really fit the description on the manufacturer’s website or seem particularly durable.
Overall score ** 2 out of 5
It’s good to have the two devices in one, and it worked well when using my laptop connected to a larger screen for presentations or watching films, as I was able to use it to type and move the mouse pointer around on the one device from the palm of my hand, but I think that it would be of limited use for other purposes.
Buy your own Xenta Smart Touch Keyboard.
With thanks to ebuyer.com for supplying a sample Xenta Smart Touch Keyboard for our reviewer to try.
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