I can type at a prodigious rate and a full size keyboard is almost mandatory. But sometimes there is no place for one of these, like in the lounge room controlling your media server. This is where a wireless mini keyboard / trackpad can come in handy. With thanks to Brando, DigitalReviews gets to take the Lofree MT-200 2.4GHz Wireless Keyboard Touchpad for a review.
The Lofree MT-200 is about the size of a phablet but much lighter. The unit is in a slight wedge shape, providing a slight ergonomic benefit when using the touch panel. The gloss black finish is interrupted only by a small strip of silver trim at the bottom. It makes the MT-200 look like a slide out keyboard in a way, except the keyboard is on the main part, and it is not a slide out. The small silver strip is slightly lowered from the main touch pad and seems to serve no purpose, except to catch crumbs from time to time. However, the power and keyboard / mouse mode indicators are positioned there.
On the surface of the touch pad is discreet grey and blue markings for a QWERTY keyboard. You can swap between keyboard and mouse mode via a button on the top left of the touchpad.
The unit is shipped with a clear overlay showing the finger operations that are available. Unfortunately for most, the instructions are written in Chinese. On the bright side, the basic operation of the MT-200 is straightforward. On power up, the unit defaults to mouse pad mode which is confirmed by a blue LED. Keyboard mode is accessible by pressing the mode switch button once and the LED will turn green. There is absolutely no chance of missing the keyboard mode because every keypress is confirmed by a wickedly strong vibrate feedback.
The Lofree supports a number of mouse gestures, including full support for Windows 8 touch navigation. The others as translated from the Chinese manual:
* Single finger swiping – mouse move
* Single finger tap – left mouse button
* Three fingers tap – right mouse button
* Two fingers slide up/down – page scroll wheel
* Spread two fingers apart – zoom (think iOS gesture)
* Two fingers left slide – page up
* Two fingers right slide – page down
* Single finger slide down from top of touchpad – Open Windows 8 Touch Menu
* Single finger slide from left edge – Switch current window
* Single finger slide from right edge – Pop Windows 8 right of the menu
* Single finger from top of touch pad to bottom – Close current application
I used the MT-200 with my Windows 7 and 8 notebooks, being able to run product demonstrations and presentations without any issues. Windows was able to detect the USB receiver and install the appropriate driver. Additionally, it worked perfectly with my A.C. Ryan Veolo2 (Android Media Hub).
There are a few gripes that needs to be listed, some are more annoying than others though I don’t think any of them are deal breakers as it is not used as a full time.
There is a few seconds delay when swapping between keyboard and mouse. It will do it, it just takes a few seconds.
The keypress vibration is on steroids. You can hear it loud and clear as much as you can feel it.
There is no means of storing the USB receiver with the touchpad, try not to lose it.
My instructions are Chinese language only, lucky for me I can figure out enough from it to get a head start.
No backlighting on the keyboard.
2 Functions: Touchpad Mode and Keyboard Mode whenever you like
Full support for Windows 8 touch navigation
2.4GHz Wireless connection, range up to 10 meters
Built-in rechargeable battery
Super Slim, portable and easy to carry
Compatible with Window 8 / 7 / Vista / XP
Dimension: 140 x 89 x 11mm (approx.)
1 X MT-200 Keyboard/Touchpad
1 X Nano USB Receiver
1 X USB Cable
1 X Manual (Chinese)
For all its faults, the MT-200 is quite a decent piece of kit. It is compact, fitting easily into my average sized hand; light weight and the charge holds for a few hours of usage at a minimum. It takes a little while to get used to the quirks but it is more than functional. The design fits easily into my home theater system and small enough to be put away with the remote controls.
The Lofree MT-200 2.4 GHz Wireless Touch Panel is available from Brando <Lofree MT-200 2.4 GHz Wireless Touch Panel> for USD$25. Cheap and cheerful, get it for the silly season.