SunbeamTech LED Keyboard and Mouse

Written by Patrick Ng    Sunday, 10 July 2005 11:00
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Logitech has been the leading manufacturer of keyboards and mice for quite some time, producing top of the line hardware for extreme gamers. Although Logitech's keyboards and mice might have all the options and functions that gamers want, they don't have the mods some desire. Some users have taken apart their mouse just to add a few LED's or change the color, voiding the warranty in the process. Fear not, as SunbeamTech has moved into producing modded keyboards and mice for your pleasure. SunbeamTech has been improving the quality and functionality of their products, yet remaining appealing. I personally feel that performance should have top priority. You can brag about the number of lights in your entire system, but how well it works should be a top priority too. With that said, what does SunbeamTech have in store for us with their LED keyboard and mouse?

 

 


 

 

LED Mouse and Keyboard

SunbeamTech LED Mouse:

The mouse comes in regular packaging like most other mice sold at a store. I first noticed the mouse used a USB connection, but does not include a PS/2 adapter. This could pose a problem for those who lack extra USB ports. There are no manuals or drivers for this mouse; Plug it in and it works! The total length of the wire is about four feet. The size of this mouse should be noted; It is extremely small and will be quite uncomfortable for people with bigger hands. During my two days of gaming with this mouse, I needed to stretch my hands out quite often. When it is plugged into the computer, the mouse will illuminate. The scroll wheel will illuminate as well. The mouse is rated at 800dpi, which is equivalent to Logitech's MX700. While playing Guild Wars and Unreal Tournament 2004, the mouse performed exceptionally well. It did not skip, nor did I realize any difference with my cordless MX700 mouse.

SunbeamTech LED Keyboard:

The packaging for the keyboard was minimal, with a manual and drivers CD included. In the manual, there are very few steps on how to install the keyboard; It's plug and play and there are descriptions for every hot key. The drivers CD is included for multimedia/office/navigation key functionality.  The keyboard design is similar to Logitech's line of keyboards, in that it has a left-sided scroll wheel and navigation buttons. Towards the top of the keyboard are the internet navigation keys, multimedia keys, and power keys. There are alternate function keys that can be activated by the bigger round button on the top left hand corner of the keyboard. Note that the backspace key is a small square and not of the bigger size. The keyboard's height cannot be adjusted, as the foot stands are not foldable. The keyboard angles up and might not provide the best comfort for the user. To illuminate the keyboard, the scroll lock key must be pressed and turned on. This is not an ideal button, as some people have a use for their scroll keys. Lastly, there are two buttons, the toggle application and close application buttons, below the arrow keys.

When the keyboard is illuminated, it's difficult to see the keys if there is another light source shining down on it. For testing, I used the keyboard for two days while playing games, chatting, word processing, and graphical work. This keyboard is completely silent and has no feel to it when you press a button, so I found it especially difficult to move when playing Unreal Tournament 2004. In terms of typing, the keyboard served it's purpose well. During this period, my hands felt a bit tired, since the angle was a bit uncomfortable for me. The toggle application and close application keys were sometimes in the way during the middle of my work. I accidentally hit them a few times during my gaming.

 

 


Conclusion and Thoughts

SunbeamTech tried to incorporate attractiveness and performance into a keyboard and mouse, but there were a few problems. The small mouse size is uncomfortable for users with big hands, as they constantly try to find a way to grasp the mouse. The inability to adjust the height for the keyboard, as well as the poor placement of the toggle application/close application keys, gave me an uncomfortable time while I was gaming and typing. Another bad idea was the use of the scroll key to illuminate the keyboard. I often find myself using the page up/down keys to scroll through a page or document, but if I wanted the keyboard to be illuminated, that would mean sacrificing those keys. If the keyboard and mouse brought me comfort and provided better key placements on the keyboard, I'd recommend this product without any hesitation. Try harder next time, SunbeamTech!

Pros:

  • Illumination when plugged into the computer
  • Many multimedia/office/internet navigation hot keys
  • No skipping or noticeable difference between mice

Cons:

  • Lack of height adjustment
  • Mouse size is too small
  • Poor placement of keys on keyboard
  • Cords could be too short for some users (approx. 4 feet in length)

We would like to thank Sunbeam Technology for providing us the sample.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to hit us up in the forums. You can also check out more of our latest reviews on the front page.

 

 

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