SIIG JK-WR0412-S1 - Features & Usage Impressions

The SIIG JK-WR0412-S1 is a wireless mini multimedia trackball keyboard. Using 2x AA batteries, it operates in the 2.4 GHz range and has an advertised range of 33 ft. The trackball is on the top right. In truly ergonomic fashion, there is a left click button on the top side of the frame which makes it easy to move the trackball and perform a left click operation simultaneously with a single hand. For the 'typical' living room scenario usage with both hands, there are left and right click buttons on the top left (similar to the IOGEAR keyboard covered in the previous section). However, unlike the IOGEAR keyboard, the scroll wheel is not on the top panel, but on top side of the frame (on the left side, right above the two mouse buttons).

The trackball resolution is set to 800 dpi and is not configurable.  The 2.4 GHz spectrum is pretty crowded, and, in order to prevent interference, the unit is capable of frequency hopping (with operation in 1 of 80 distinct channels). The unit has rubber soles for slip resistance. Unlike the IOGEAR unit, there is no explicit power switch (which is a drawback if you have a toddler active in your living room). However, for power saving purposes, the keyboard enters a sleep state after 8 minutes of inactivity. Only a keypress or mouse button click can bring it out of the sleep state. This is a bit frustrating in living room scenarios, where users tend to move the trackball first. The trackball itself is flimsier than the one on the IOGEAR unit. They main keys are also smaller than the standard size that we encountered on the other units. This might make fast typing difficult for those used to standard keyboards, though that is probably not the primary use case for this keyboard.

In terms of keyboard layout, the Fn key and Ctrl key on the bottom left are switched from the usual, which may result in the user inadvertently mistyping key combinations. Another unfortunate aspect of the keyboard layout is the fact that a numeric keypad is embedded in the main keypad, and it is controlled by the NumLock key. Most computers boot with the NumLock key turned on, resulting in the users typing in numbers instead of the intended letters. In case of passwords, the user might not even realize the mistake. It would be nice to have an indicator on the device for this purpose. That said, PCs usually have a BIOS setting to turn off this feature. The problem turned out to be bad enough for SIIG to issue an addendum [PDF] to the user manual [PDF].

The trackball has a red glow underneath when the unit is in the active state. This provides an easy way to identify whether a keypress or mouse click needs to be made, but might also be disconcerting in a dark room (a frequent HTPC usage scenario). The ergonomics and intuitiveness of the keyboard and the mouse buttons / scroll wheel layout, as well as the larger number of special keys, are the positives for the device.

IOGEAR GKM561R - Features & Usage Impressions SIIG JK-WR0312-S1 - Features & Usage Impressions
POST A COMMENT

74 Comments

View All Comments

  • sxr7171 - Sunday, March 2, 2014 - link

    IMHO this is the best (and cheap): http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/itemdetails/0C51503/4... Reply
  • 457R4LDR34DKN07 - Sunday, March 2, 2014 - link

    Logitech dinovo mini is the best in size with little sacrifice. Too bad it's now discontinued without a serious replacement in sight. Reply
  • hughlle - Sunday, March 2, 2014 - link

    I bought the mini, and yup, its was pretty good, but soon replaced it with the edge. And despite the occasional Bluetooth dropout, (one of mine, a Spanish version does it a lot, my UK version, rarely, odd) I've never looked back. Best keyboard I've owned. I LOVE laptop style keys :-) but I truly wish HP would make a version of their kt1087 with a touchpad. I absolutely adore it for typing and its so small and light and well made :-) Reply
  • pintos - Sunday, March 2, 2014 - link

    I currently use the Dinovo Edge that I bought on sale some years ago for $30. I chose it mainly because it comes with a charging dock. I never have a dead keyboard unless I forget to dock it.

    I wonder if there some good quality wireless keyboard/mouse combos that can be charge over USB. Maybe even have the option to work over USB while charging.
    Reply
  • Gigaplex - Sunday, March 2, 2014 - link

    I also use a Dinovo Edge. It's great. Unfortunately I paid close to $300 for mine... Reply
  • nathanddrews - Wednesday, March 5, 2014 - link

    I've been using K400 keyboards on a few of my HTPCs for over a year after going through a number of ***** keyboards. Still haven't changed the batteries... Logitech just announced this, it's a K400 with Harmony functionality:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/harmony-smart-key...
    Reply
  • Havor - Monday, March 3, 2014 - link

    Yeah i love my Logitech diNovo Mini, i use it the most for my HTPC if i need a keyboard, next to that i have a Logitech diNovo Edge standing on the table next to my couch, for when i need to do a lot of typing.

    Next to that they both work real well, they also look so nice that i dont even have to hide them.

    Something i would do for sure with to days contenders!
    Reply
  • Jon Tseng - Monday, March 3, 2014 - link

    DiNovo mini great also works nicely with PS3

    One annoying thing thought - no Function Keys!!
    Reply
  • rwpritchett - Monday, March 3, 2014 - link

    I have a Dinovo Mini and had nothing but trouble with it with my HTPC. HOWEVER, I discovered this little-known Logitech gem:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008JGU3YA/ref=oh...

    It's the exact same as the Dinovo Mini except it uses standard RF instead of bluetooth and a few button changes. The battery life is incredible, it's still available, AND it's much cheaper than the Dinovo Mini. Anyone considering the Dinovo Mini should consider it.
    Reply
  • ddrum2000 - Sunday, March 2, 2014 - link

    A few years ago I bought and returned the Lenovo unit in favor of the IOGear. For the limited typing I do I couldn't get used to the keyboard. Additionally, I found the wireless signal to be significantly stronger with the IOGear (maybe its the auto frequency hopping). For the Lenovo, I had to put the USB receiver on the front of the HTPC box with disturbed the aesthetic where as the IOGear receiver can be used on a rear USB port with no problem. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now