|A member of the Funky Media Group|
|Review: Arctic Cooling K381 Keyboard|
|Posted by Will Smith|
|Sunday, 12 December 2010 21:57|
Most of my work which involves typing, is now done on my notebook these days. I rarely get to type on separate keyboard, apart from the times when I'm actually testing review samples or benchmarking. So when Arctic Cooling sent us their ultra slim USB keyboard, I was pretty dumbstruck ... I didn't know what to do with it, LOL! Just joking ...
Keyboards are one of those peripherals that usually gets ignored, and often knocked down the pecking order in terms of importance. For gamers however, this is defintiely not true. They tend to think of their keyboards, just as important as their gaming mice .... these two peripherals often go hand in hand. The market for gaming keyboards is very niche and lucrative, but we'll reserve these stories for another day.
Today, we'll be taking a look at the Arctic Cooling K381 ultra slim USB keyboard. It comes with 12 one-touch office function keys, including volume control, full-sized arrow keys, and numeric keypad. Measuring just 12mm at the thinnest point to a maximum of 20mm at the back, it's one of the thinnest keyboards I've seen. What's more, the extremely flat design offers great ergonomics and comfort.
The low-profile layout and key structure of the keyboard allows user to enjoy comfortable typing without strain or fatigue. Other features include the volume up and down key, as well as a sleep/standby button. However, there's just one downer ... there are no programmable buttons, which would have made it even more appealing. But mind you, this keyboard wasn't meant to be a gamnig keyboard anyway, so that's not a problem as such. Let's take a closer look at the specifications and photo gallery.
The keyboard, K381, has an ultra-slim design. This makes it to be very space-efficient. The simplicity design of this keyboard embraces style, quality and functionality. Although the K381 is small and thin, it is embedded with 12 one-touch office function keys, including volume control, full-sized arrow keys, and numeric keypad.
For more information please visit Arctic Cooling's website ...
Verdict and Conclusion
The Arctic K381 is an attractive looking keyboard with some good integrated functions. During my tests, I used it for several hours per day, for 3 days and to prove a point, I decided to use the K381 keyboard to type up this review. And I have to say ... not bad, not bad at all. The keys on the keyboard was responsive and tactile, with the build quality more than adequate ... believe me I've seen a lot worse.
Although the keyboard does look great in white (kind of reminds me of Apple products), it can get dirty real quick. The other things to look out for, is the lack of the "Windows key" on the left handside ... instead, the K381 has a "Arctic Cooling Function" key, which allows you to control a host of office functions, 12 to be exact (from F1 all the way to F12). The lack of programmable buttons is the only down side, as it would cater for gamers too. But having said that, the K381 wasn't meant to be a gaming keyboard, so I'm not too worried about that.
Final words. Costing just USD $25.00, the Arctic K381 keyboard is extremely affordable. All-in-all, I think the K38 is a great replacement to your bog-standard keyboard that usually gets bundled with your system. It looks attractive, feels great type on and offers good ergonomics through its slim design.