After seeing a few accessories from Rapoo recently, I'm beginning to take more notice of the company. A few weeks ago we looked at the company's colorful T120P Wireless Touch Mouse, and this week we have a really nice-looking wireless keyboard from the company. While the Rapoo E9070 Wireless Ultra-Slim Keyboard isn't specifically designed for use with the Mac, it's definitely a device that should be on the radar for anyone seeking a new keyboard.
Price: US$39.99 (available for as low as $32.35 through online retailers)
Dimensions: 4.3" x 13.35" x 0.22" (10.92 cm x 33.9 cm x .56 cm)
Weight: 10.9 oz (.31 kg) without batteries
Requires: 2 AAA batteries
Battery life: 24 months
Wireless frequency: 2.4 GHz (not Bluetooth)
Colors: Black or White
The first thing that really jumps out at you when you see this keyboard for the first time is just how big the keys are. This is the perfect keyboard for someone with big hands who is stymied by small keys. It's a full QWERTY keyboard that's designed a bit more for Windows users (yes, it has one of those obnoxious Windows "Start" buttons in place of the Command key), with a full row of 12 function keys and a compact numeric keypad as well.
Function keys are used for a number of common media control functions as well as Home, End, Page Up and Page Down. There are even the old favorites Print Sc/SysRq and Pause/Break keys if you happen to be using this keyboard with a terminal emulator. Ahhh, that brings back memories.
The keyboard doesn't use Bluetooth for some odd reason, which was the same thing we found with the Wireless Touch Mouse. Instead, it uses a small USB dongle as a receiver and while it operates on the same 2.4 GHz band as Bluetooth, it's not using Bluetooth protocols. For portability, the dongle can be tucked away in a tiny area near the batteries in the "bump" on the bottom of the keyboard that serves to put the keyboard at a comfortable angle.
That bump contains two AAA batteries that will allegedly power the keyboard for 24 months. There's a power on/off switch on the bottom of the keyboard, so if you're good about turning it off in between keyboarding sessions perhaps you'll be able to make it last even longer.
For a keyboard that isn't specifically made for use with a Mac, I found that the Rapoo E9070 worked pretty well. However, depending on which key I was pressing, some of them had a different sound and a slightly different feel. I loved the ability to have a full numeric keypad on the keyboard, although I don't do a lot of spreadsheet work that would require full-time access to one.
Since I have fairly small hands, I found that having the keys very close together caused me issues while typing. I actually prefer a keyboard with a bit more spacing between the keys; your mileage may vary. As I mentioned before, I think that people with big fingers or hands are going to love this keyboard since the keys are just huge compared with what I'm used to.
The Windows key did work well as a Command key replacement, although it's in the wrong location for those who are used to Apple-centric keyboards.
While it's not made for a Mac, the Rapoo E9070 Wireless Ultra-Slim Keyboard is a good-looking alternative with a full numeric keypad. Long battery life, a bargain price and a thin design are all pluses, while the large key size and close spacing of those keys might make typing difficult for those with small hands. Big hands? No problem.
Rating: 3 stars out of 4 stars possible