Elecom’s Wired Mini USB Pantograph Keyboard makes a pleasant journey companion to your Mac, though it’s a bit heavy.
Elecom is a reasonably in style model in Japan and is thought for its high quality. Dozens of high electronics shops, akin to Bic Digital camera, and others throughout Tokyo carry Elecom’s merchandise.
As with most issues Japanese, the keyboard retains with Japan’s aesthetic beliefs of smallness and understated magnificence.
It’s a small transportable keyboard barely bigger than Apple’s personal present mannequin wi-fi aluminum Bluetooth keyboard. It makes use of a wired USB 2 connection, however the lack of USB 3 should not be an issue for the reason that quantity of information utilized by keyboards is tiny.
The rear of the keyboard has six giant rubber toes, and a barely raised space on the high with a weight inside to supply the keyboard with each a slope and just a little heft. Together with holding it from sliding round in your desk, the inner inert weight additionally offers the keys a extra stable really feel when typing.
The added weight, nonetheless, does make it barely heavy for journey – weighing in at just below a pound versus 9 ounces for Apple’s wi-fi compact keyboard.
The keyboard’s non-detachable USB cable is roughly 4 and a half toes in size and makes use of a normal USB-A connector.
The underside spherical edges have a novel form and curve to them, someway making the keyboard simpler to select up than most pc keyboards. It is a curve that’s simply sufficient to slide your hand underneath, however hardly noticeable while you take a look at it.
Keys and Pantographs
General the system has a stable really feel – with high quality plastics all through, and particular key mechanisms known as Pantographs. These gadgets have been initially used to hint small photos by hand to create bigger copies on paper, and had two inverted movable “V”-shaped sides linked within the middle with two spherical joints.
Pantographs slide open and closed vertically, and their use as key switches is ingenious as they offer the keys a easy however stable click on.
Key faces embody each English and customary Hiragana characters for English and Japanese use. Using a language key lets you swap between both of the languages.
There are additionally just a few particular-use keys for computer systems discovered solely in Japan.
Though the TK-FCP096WH is not a full-sized keyboard and thus lacks devoted PC keys and a numeric keypad, Elecom has considered an answer anyway: Web page keys are positioned on the arrow keys, and are accessible utilizing the operate key.
Likewise, most different PC and Mac operate keys are discovered on different keys through using the operate key:
- Eject and Mac media keys are discovered throughout the highest on the Esc, quantity, and Delete keys accessed through the operate key.
- PC Scan Lock, Print Display screen, and Insert keys are discovered on F12, Delete, and Backspace keys, respectively, additionally accessed through the operate key.
- There are each bodily Mac and PC (Backspace) Delete keys.
- There are Mac Command and Possibility keys on the bodily Home windows and Alt keys.
- There are two bodily management keys on both facet of the spacebar.
These key combos imply you get practically the complete vary of each Mac and PC/Home windows keys on a compact keyboard for each platforms. The one main key lacking is Apple’s Touch ID key discovered on Apple keyboards.
There may be additionally a tiny inexperienced Caps Lock LED on the high proper nook which lights when the Caps Lock key’s engaged.
The TK-FCP096WH is available in each white and black, though the black model is extraordinarily troublesome to search out each on-line and in retail outlets in Japan itself.
General Elecom has created a superb, high quality keyboard, with easy, clear design and nice keys – however you’ll really feel the little additional weight in the event you carry it in your journey bag. It isn’t grossly heavy, however the additional weight is noticeable.
Contemplating the low price – lower than half of Apple’s Bluetooth keyboard – it makes a pleasant addition to your journey package.
- Small, with high quality supplies.
- Modern design.
- Lengthy USB cable.
- Customized keys for each Mac and Home windows.
- Low price.
- A bit heavy for journey.
- No numeric keypad.
Ranking: 4 out of 5
The place to purchase
You should purchase the TK-FCP096WH on Amazon US and different western websites, though the system is imported from Japan so extra transport might or might not apply.
You may also discover it at a number of giant Japanese electronics outlets on-line, akin to Bic Camera, if you’ll find one which ships to different international locations.
Elecom additionally makes small transportable drives, mice, Ethernet switches, and different small computing gadgets.