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Koribo "Vivar" Wireless Keyboard

Koribo is a company that believes computers should be fun in all settings and to this end have a range of wireless components designed with style and extended functionality in mind. Today we are looking at the Koribo Vivar, a wireless keyboard with a 10m range that has a built in trackball..

 

According to Koribo:

"Vivar is a premium wireless, streamlined, media-control, full-featured keyboard with an optical trackball and dedicated media and internet keys. Vivar is provided with NiMH rechargeable batteries that can be charged, while installed in the keyboard, using a supplied USB cable. This great keyboard has a working range of over 10m/30ft., even through walls, which enables to place the computer in a different room than the TV. The keyboard is very easy to operate on your lap or even while handheld. Effortless typing allows you to breeze through your emails, browse your favorite web pages and control your media applications. Vivar is coated with a thin layer of rubber for a high-end finish and is also provided with non-skid rubber pads for desktop typing. For those seeking a single wireless control board with optical trackball mouse, Vivar is the best option!"

 

Manufacturer's specifications are as folows:

Working range
10 meter effective working range including transmission through walls - 15m / 50ft in open space.
Batteries
Requires 2 x AA batteries.
The keyboard is provided with NiMH rechargeable batteries.
Batteries can be charged, while located in the keyboard using a supplied USB cable.
Sleep feature extends battery life.
Low battery light indicator.
Multimedia Keys and Internet Shortcut Keys
Pre-Track, Next Track, Stop, Play/Pause, Mute, Volume Down, Volume Up and a special switch-to-gaming key, Pre-Page, Next-Page, WWW, E-Mail, My Computer.
Mouse
Optical Trackball: 25mm,  1000 DPI
OS supported
Supports Windows 2000 and later. Other operating systems may be supported as long as they comply with HID (Human Interface Device).
Linux (except for Windows hot keys).
Technology
2.4 GHz radio frequency, 8 Channels with 16 bits, 65536 IDs per channel.
10,000,000 cycles per key with less than 10msec bounce time.

 

The multi-touch functions will be familiar to those with the same features on their laptops and notebooks..

 

The Vivar comes in nice retail packaging. This is important for shoppers in a big store to know exactly what they will get and to increase chances of impulse purchases. Internet shoppers tend to know exactly what they want so would be happy with OEM packaging. The Vivar comes in a rather large box and gives the initial impression that something formidable is inside.

 

On the back we can see the salient features of the product. Of particular appeal to shoppers will be the 10m range, the inclusion of rechargeable batteries (a welcome addition since one of the biggest complaints we have heard about wireless desktops is that batteries run out quickly - after only a week with some Microsoft products) and the fact that no drivers are required. The drivers issue is a big one for some users (us included) who are fed up with having to install huge drivers that make umpteen changes to the registry just to make use of the full functionality of a wireless product. Here we get that straight out of the box.

 

The Vivar is firmly held in place with a moulded plastic insert to avoid damage during transit and the batteries are estimated to last 3 months under normal use before requiring recharging.

 

The Vivar looks quite stylish with its rounded edges and non-slip surface. The trackball is 1000dpi and as responsive as a good quality mouse. It takes a bit of practice to use the trackball as well as a mouse, and its easier to use both hands to click and drag etc (there are mouse buttons above the trackball just over the edge for one handed use). but it is quite natural and if space is limited then a separate mouse may not be convenient. A scroll wheel is cleverly hidden on the side of the keyboard just to the left of the mouse keys. Typing is effortless as would be expected on a premium keyboard and the full depth keys provide good tactile feedback.

The moulding on the back is rubbery and will not slip on any smooth surface and is also contoured for resting on a persons lap (for those people with very crowded desks including some journalists we know). This is quite useful as many who try balancing a keyboard on their laps will know what a precarious act that is - much better for a product like the Vivar to provide considerably more stability..

The battery compartment cover is sturdy and comes on and off with no problems unlike some others that are in danger of breaking the catch every time it's removed. Inisde is a handy compartment for storing the USB receiver, something we would like to see all manufacturers adopt as one of the perils of storing and/or transporting a wireless keyboard is the potential for losing the small receiver which can be hard to find again.

 

So how does the Vivar perform?

Installation is easy with no extra software required or provided. All the functionality is detected when the USB receiver is inserted for the first time. Whether on a desk or on a lap, the platform is stable and can be moved out of the way when not required to utilise desk space for other things.

The Vivar is aimed more at power users than, for example, the Koribo Leira and this shows in the bold design and sturdy construction. In use the trackball is flawless and buttons are situated in locations that are intuitive and hint at a mature design process. Most impressively, every function can be accessed without the need for additional software and this will appeal to home users not wanting their system modified unnecessarily and at work where IT policy may forbid the unauthorised installation of software by users.

If your local distributor doesn't stock the Vivar then the Koribo website offers alternative options.

 

 

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