Desktop users have reason to be happy as they can now use Windows 8 gestures with their keyboards. Japanese firm Elecon has developed a wireless keyboard which has a numpad supporting Windows 8 gestures turning the touch sensitive numpad to a gesture-friendly area at the touch of a button.
The keyboard is designed along the lines of Windows 8 notebooks, with a set of chiclet-style keys. The paging block is modified to give a more compact look. The keyboard has a keypitch (the distance between the centers of each key) of 19 mm thus keeping the size of the QWERTY area intact.
The numpad supports around 13 gestures in total, including swiping and pinching. Swiping with two or three fingers leftwards, rightwards, downwards and upwards opens up different menus. Pinch zooming is also supported by the keyboard. These touch and gesture friendly features of the keyboard makes it ideal for using along with a home theatre system and for those who wish to be couch potatoes. The various gestures available are shown in the official product page. The gestures are very similar to those available in Windows notebooks sporting touchpads.
As an additional feature, the screen mouse pointer can also be controlled by the numpad, in case wireless mouse is not available in hand. Even the normal start menu is missing. The keyboard is connected to the PC via a 2.4 GHz wireless connection with a range of 33 feet in the absence of a magnetic surface. The keyboard is powered by two AA or AAA batteries having four months life. The keyboard dimensions are 369x124 x24 mm with a weight of 455 grams.
However, the flipside is that the keyboard uses a wireless receiver which has to be plugged into the USB port instead of Bluetooth. This is all the more inconvenient since some Windows 8 units such as laptops and tablets lack full size USB ports. This full-sized, space-saving keypad which has a dual function for its dedicated number pad is scheduled to reach the Japanese markets by next month for $107 (approx Rs 5,880) according to VR-Zone though speculations are rife regarding it reaching the North American markets.