Bytecc Zippy EL Keyboard

Aron Schatz
April 6, 2003
What do you get when you put together lights and a slim keyboard? Something really screwed up and sloppy. Thankfully, Bytecc has their EL lighted keyboards that take the guess work out of keyboard light mods!

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I have seen many keyboard mods when I have been websurfing, but the only ones that really sparked my interest is the lighted ones. There are many different ways to do this, but the most common I have seen is to use EL wire. <A HREF="">Bytecc</A> changes all that. You just plug it in and you're all set! It is small and compact as well and looks amazing.


<center>Box Top Box Bottom</center>

Yeah, I included the front and back shots of the box. Boxes that are clear are always the best, they allow you to see exactly what you're getting. I remember one time I picked up something that came with two things inside, thanks to a clear package Wink. Anyway, moving on.


<center>Keyboard Top Keyboard Bottom</center>

Like I say, it is what's on the inside that counts, and here it is no different. There is only one single part, the keyboard. No instructions or anything. I mean, it isn't hard to just plug it into the USB port and go, but you do have that one person that won't have a clue what to do.

Like I stated earlier, the keyboard is USB, and has a 1.5 meter cable (that's around 5 feet). The cable color matches the nice silver color of the keyboard. Since I hate USB for keyboards and mice, I tried a USB to PS/2 adapter (which unfortunately wasn't included), and it worked fine.

The keyboard itself has translucent, nearly opaque, white keys with black text for the lettering. The keys themselves are very responsive, and do not make a loud clicking noise usually associated with larger keyboards. The space bar does make a louder noise, as most keyboards do. The enter (return) key is nice and large, a feature which is overlooked on my other keyboards (doh!). The button placement on the keyboard takes a bit of time getting used to, but once you do, it is alright. I had to hunt for the delete key, it is after the F12 key.

<center>Top LEDs Top Buttons</center>

On top of the keyboard are three buttons and three status LEDs. The buttons are on the right side of the Zippy logo and are (left to right): Lights On/Off, Sleep, Power. The LEDs are pretty normal, the Num Lock, Caps Lock, and Scroll Lock. The LEDs are all green.


<center>Soda Size Elite Comparison Gyration Comparison</center>

Here we have some comparisons for you to look at. As you can see, this keyboard even dwarfs the gyration cordless keyboard. That it pretty darn small. The keyboard measures a scant 11 inches across. This thing is perfect in the kitchen, or on the go (Think about giving presentations with it). You can see the largeness of the <a href="/articles.php?id=59">Logitech Elite Keyboard</a> as compared to this. Yeah, I downed that soda right after taking that shot.
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Yes, a keyboard of this size takes some getting used to, but once you do, it should be fine. If you have large fingers, I would recommend staying away from this. The keyboard size is slightly smaller than my laptop keyboard. And that means the keys themselves are smaller as well. Watch out for numlock, when I was typing, I couldn't figure out why it was typing numbers when I was hitting 'I', damn numlock! The other problem was that if I used the elevated legs, the keyboard wouldn't really stay still, the feet weren't touching enough for it to keep still, a minor annoyance, but one nonetheless.


<center>Normal Light Dark Lighted Keys</center>

The keyboard really shines in full lighting and darkness. This is really a dream if you have poor lighting, again, presenters should get one of these. The light given off is a blue color, and is very easy on the eyes. The light is placed behind the keys and is then filtered through. It gives the keyboard a very nice effect that won't blind you. And if you don't need the light, just turn the feature off. My Dad really liked the look of the keyboard, as did my Mom.


With a keyboard this small, you can use it in a number of places that a normal size keyboard would not fit. Presenters would love this keyboard for its lighted keys, and it would look great in the kitchen (although a wireless one would rock!). The lighted keys really make the unit shine, and if you need a small wired keyboard, look no further. It is around $55, at Frys or Microcenter. If you don't have one of them around you, <a href="">Coolerexpress</a> should have them soon. I'd like to thank <A HREF="">Steven at Bytecc</A> for making this review possible.


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