Media Players, News, Reviews, Windows

Hands On: IOGEAR GKM561R 2.4GHz Multimedia Keyboard with Laser Trackball and Scroll Wheel

GKM561R_21

Features and Specifications

Features

  • Ultra-slim ergonomic wireless 2.4GHz keyboard with built in laser trackball,left / right buttons and scroll wheel features.
  • 2.4Ghz technology offers greater range up to 33 feet away from your computer
  • Built-in laser trackball with 400, 800, and 1200 dpi selections
  • Built-in left and right mouse buttons with built-in scroll wheel
  • 19 hotkeys for multimedia functions
  • Slip Resistant design on both sides with rubber grip
  • 78 channels for Keyboard with unique ID to avoid interference (automatically switches)
  • ON/OFF switch for battery saving
  • The perfect solution for Digital Living Rooms or PC to TV
  • Warranty: 3-YEAR

Specifications

  • Radio Frequency:  2.4GHz
  • Connectors: USB RF Receiver
  • Power Switch: ON/OFF
  • Operating Range: Up to 10m (33ft)
  • Operating System Support: Windows XP, Vista 32/64, 7 (32-bit / 64-bit*; Mac** OS X or later; *Media Center hotkeys are only supported with the operating systems that have Microsoft Windows Media Center.  **Multimedia keys not supported.
  • Resolution: 400/800/1200 DPI Trackball Resolution
  • Battery Type: 2 x AA Alkaline Battery
  • Number of Channel: 8
  • Channels: 78
  • Housing: Plastic
  • Unit Dimensions: 14.125in. W x 6.5in. H x 1.5in. D

Using the GKM561R combination keyboard/mouse

To make use of the IOGEAR combo keyboard/mouse, simply plug the receiver into an available USB port on your computer, turn the computer on, and use it as you would any other multimedia keyboard and mouse.

No drivers and no setup required.  Yes, it really is that simple.

In my HTPC, I plugged the receiver into a USB port on the back, sat down about 12 feet away and started to check out usability.  Typing data on the keyboard seemed to work quite well, unless my leg (or our dog) got between keyboard and the receiver.  RF seems to have a problem with living flesh!

Next, I moved myself down the hall to where I was about 20+ feet away, and it seemed to work quite well again.  I fired up notepad and typed in the complete keyboard character set from 12 feet away and from 3 feet away.  I could find no dropped keystrokes, as long as my dog would stay out of the way!

As I wanted this device for use with my HTPC, it should be noted that the following highlighted keys

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work quite well with opening Windows Media Center, going directly to various WMC areas, and for controlling various functions.  With this device, one really does not need a WMC remote.

IOGEAR has incorporated a series of DPI setting for the trackball.  You have the choice of 400, 800, or 1200 DPI.

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I am the kind of guy who normally has my mouse set at or near the highest scroll settings, but I found the GKM561R worked quite nicely for at the 400 DPI setting.  Placing my thumb on the trackball and moving the ball as far to the right as possible (without lifting my thumb) would take the cursor almost all the across my TV screen.

Speaking of the trackball, where are the mouse controls?  The following picture indicates where these controls are placed

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while the following picture illustrated how one holds the keyboard when using the mouse controls.

GKM561R_21

It feels quite natural to hold and use the keyboard this way, and I am the kind of person who normally does not like trackballs.

On the back of the keyboard is an on/off button as well as a reset button.

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Hello. I’m from the heartland of the U.S. Lots of corn and beans, although Iowa is a lot more than just farmland. It also has a few computer enthusiasts (no, not me!). I’ve been around PCs since I got my 1st PC XT aloooong time ago. WGS is one of the first sites I found centered around WHS. And the best. Every once in awhile, I do get away from the KB and enjoy time with and my wife and our 4 kids. And I do have a day job.
  • jody

    do you use a GSM cell phone ? Does it interfere with the remote ?

    • Jim_Clark

      I would have no clue if my phone is GSM. As the KB works in the 2.4GHz range, I would think it more possible to interfer with a wireless router. Or a wireless landline. which should not be a problem with the channels possibilities. At least I have not noticed any problems. Not yet anyway! 🙂

  • Ron

    Added plus, these things work with the X-Box and the PS3. I love these things. i have three of em laying around the house. Only thing I hate is that the trackball can be a little too loose. Sometimes I have to place a little pressure on it to get the mouse moving.

  • Akin Koksal

    I have the same kyeboard for almost 8 months now… Absolutely happy with the performance…

    Only area that may need some improvement is the way track-ball held in place… It is little flumsy compared to other tracking balls I've used before…

  • john3347

    I have HUGE problems getting PCI, USB, Wireless, Wired, and whatever else there is to work with KVM switches. I have about 6 KVM switches and half again that many keyboard/trackball combinations (due to my arthritis, I can't effectively use a mouse). All of which sit unused collecting dust because one will not work with the other. Do you know if this device will remain fully functional if connected through a 4 device KVM switch? One ABSOLUTE must have is to be able to program the center button (or some keyboard key) to perform a double click with a SINGLE keystroke. The ergonomic nightmare called Logitech Trackman Wheel is the only current device that I know of that can be programmed as I must have one programmed for efficient operation and it will not fully function with any KVM switch that I know of. I would gladly pay the $40 for this keyboard if it will function in my set-up.

    • Jim_Clark

      Sorry, I do not have a KVM switch to check it out on. If I may suggest, you could contact IOGEAR and ask them. I will be seeing them this week at CES, but I doubt the people I will be meeting with would be answer this question.

  • Clint_68

    Yeah….uhh….I lost the directions and forgot how to, but could you please remind me how to link the keyboard with the USB receiver. Had to replace the batteries and I am stuck. But I do love this keyboard.

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