We get a lot of Bluetooth keyboards to test here at the TUAW Labs, but very few of those come with a built-in trackpad. Today I'm looking at the Rapoo E6700 Bluetooth Touch Keyboard (available on Amazon for about US$65), a very compact all-in-one keyboard/trackpad combo.
Dimensions: 13 x 4 x 0.6 inches (332 x 101 x 15 mm)
Weight: 9 oz. (255 grams)
Materials: Plastic and aluminum
The first thing you'll notice about this keyboard is that it is small; almost too small, in my honest opinion. The keys are quite small and close together, and the trackpad is about half the area of Apple's Magic Trackpad. Anyone who is pressed for desktop space might find this keyboard attractive.
It's a nice looking keyboard - most of the standard keys are in their accustomed locations, but it's pretty obvious that Mac users weren't the target audience for this keyboard since it replaces the customary Function - Control - Option - Command keys with Control - Function - Windows - Alt. Yes, it's primarily targeted at Windows 8 users, who usually don't read TUAW. There's also a row of function (F1 - F12) keys that are in unfamiliar locations.
A power switch and "connect" button are located on the bottom of the keyboard, and there's a micro-USB port used to recharge the unit.
I was going to write this post using the Rapoo E6700, and between my fingers tripping on the closely-spaced keys and the trackpad not working the way I'm used to, I gave up and went back to my Apple Wireless Keyboard. Now small is this keyboard/trackpad combo? Well, the entire unit is only about an inch and a half wider than the Apple Wireless Keyboard. Oddly enough, Logitech's very compact Keys-To-Go Bluetooth keyboard (roughly the same price as the E6700) is about the same width as the keyboard portion of the E6700, and I find it very easy to type on thanks to wider keys.
Not all of the function keys work with the Mac. For example, there are volume control keys that work just fine, but other keys don't produce the desired results - for example, something that looks like a brightness key has seems to type an asterisk instead.
I admire Rapoo's design sensibility; some of their other products this year have been quite impressive. But this keyboard is just too small for real work, and I was never quite sure what a tap or click on the trackpad was going to accomplish.
It did pair easily, and my Mac understood that there was both a keyboard and trackpad attached via Bluetooth. But I am so used to the way that all of Apple's trackpads work - the Magic Trackpad and those on the MacBooks - that the E6700's trackpad was basically unusable for me. Sure, I read the user manual, but the idea of using a completely different set of gestures than I'm used to did not make me happy.
Rapoo has been coming out with some very nice products like the E9070 Wireless Ultra-Slim Keyboard and the T120P Wireless Touch Mouse, but the E6700 is a real mess. With keys too small and close together for easy typing, special keys that are unusable on Macs, and a trackpad that just doesn't have the same feel or gesture set as those on Apple products, I'd recommend that Mac owners stay away from it.
Rating: 1 star out of 4 stars possible