Being the part of computing generation in the 90’s I feel fortunate that I could witness PC growth, its excellence its quirks and those unforgettable things like stacks of floppy disks, manual configuration of drivers in Linux, the internet in CLI times and playing games on the first generation of Nvidia Cards.
That decade saw PC components exponentially growing in computing power and features, it was an unstoppable train of never-ending computing excellence. Though all of that became the source of unbridled excitement a single white keyboard was attesting to everything, a single point of interaction for all that immersive content computing brought in our lives.
2000’s and the onslaught of all things black
Like every mighty empire that had fallen came demise of white keyboards their nemesis being the polar shade. I think the time also coincided with 2K aftermath, PC industry was changing gears and the part offerings were now available in rich colours of grey and or bluish grey tints on white and eventually black.
Any self-respecting system assembler invited, challenged and enticed his customers to try the bold new colour. Once it caught on assemblers conscious of bounding sales charged a levy for the luxury of black. So black was now the colour of choice and the in thing in the grey markets of Nehru Place of Delhi, KR Market of Bangalore to Capri Trade center of Dehradun
Why change when you don’t need to?
My first keyboard from back in 97 only showed its age cosmetically not the reason I needed to change it but fashion demands change, so keeping up with times I acquired my first black keyboard and kept the old one safely packed. Now fashion is ever-changing it also means setting trends as I have grown in love with all things retro lately I decided to get a white keyboard back on my workspace.
India specific web-stores have very limited options a bit surprising since it’s a renewed age of everything white including white phones. They have simply vanished well… almost. The name ‘LiveTech White Chocolate Keyboard’ was the only one in the search results for stocked store items with are few ‘not available’ listings from Rapoo which looked great and they adorned the price for it as well.
Flipkart has started to shaft their user-base by higher prices plus more shipping charges if you don’t buy it high enough, so I choose to go with snapdeal. This being my first buy with them, it was already saving me 100 on a Rs. 575 keyboard. Update: Duh! it’s now priced even lower at 460.
First impressions of LiveTech white keyboard
I got the keyboard in a couple of days. Packing was very basic paper box, opening it up revealed a white slate of plastic, in fact white, would be an understatement here. This is clearly whiter than mac keyboard and that puts it in the category of RIN white, but I can’t complain as I was the one looking for it.
Build: The board is well-built with nice textured plastic. The structural stability itself is fine no squeaks though it does have a tendency to flex but not while placed on the table surface which is fine at this price range.
Design: The design is a bit tacky, but that is not because of the shape and size or hardware design, rather the text markings on the function keys and the awful job of a logo adorning in black completely throw the aesthetics into a tizzy. That is a shame really since the basic keyboard shape is quite good.
Function: This keyboard belongs to that new breed of keyboards that ape chic-lit keyboards on laptops. That can be a good and a bad thing, good because if design executed saves a lot of table space and if not then you have to live with your purchase.
LiveTech Keyboard sits exactly in the middle. It is a full 130 keyboard as with regular desktop keyboards at the same time its compact due to laptop-sized keys the design also gives a hint of inspiration from apple design lingo, similarity just ends there as you will see.
The good things
- The key travel is quite good.
- Looks good mostly.
- If you are a smooth typist you will get along fine, not if you are a heavy hitter.
- The direction keys are crammed in too, but they are quite small.
So Can I recommend it? I think after reviewing it for a few weeks I can if you are in the market for a keyboard which is small sleek and of a tad bit better than average in function yes you can but if you are looking for a buttery keyboard experience like on Lenovo Ideapads or even the hardcore mechanical keyboards fan just give this a skip.
It is fine enough for usual typing and the fact that it has Numpad keys which I can’t live without in a workspace keyboard as Blender3d loves keyboard shortcuts. So it passes that need I am not ecstatic but happy enough.
UPDATE: 1 Feb 2014
Over a month of use and I have a few important updates to share.
It’s been a mixed bag of use, the keys are generally good, but they do have a tendency of naught registering clicks and it is compounded on the space bar. I am particularly annoyed by the space-bar issue, I have to pay attention to the space-bar key press less make the words jumbled quite so often. It’s difficult to let go of your habit of soft key presses. Little annoyed for that.
I have noticed a slight flex in the middle of keyboard that make keyboard like form an arc upwards near space bar key. That part is bent upwards a by as much as 5 millimeters. I think that is a manufacturing issue it’s a bit bad for space bar presses as they feel unnatural compared to rest of the keys.