Image: RapooThis week, Rapoo provided Tom's Hardware with a sample of the E6700, a Bluetooth keyboard with a built-in touch pad. If you're not familiar with the company, Rapoo's portfolio of products includes a huge number of peripherals for computers and mobile devices. The company also provides gaming peripherals like the V900 laser gaming mouse and the V700 mechanical gaming keyboard.
The new Rapoo E6700 keyboard is listed within the company's mobile products. Although it will work with a Bluetooth-enabled desktop or laptop, the overall design shouts mobility; it's incredibly light, super thin and small enough to carry around without it becoming a burden. Unfortunately, the device doesn't come with a protective sleeve, so there's a good chance it can get scraped while it's being moved from place to place.
So how small is it? The device is a mere 0.125 inches thick at the front and 0.375 inches at the back. It measures 13 inches across, making it an easily portable peripheral. The touch pad (aka Smart Touch Area), positioned to the right of the keyboard, measures 3 inches across and just over 3.5 inches high. That includes the two left-click/right-click buttons on the bottom.
Rapoo's keyboard consists of scissor keys that are spaced 0.125 inches apart. The default key measures just 0.50 inches squared, whereas the spacebar measures 2.875 inches by 0.5 inches. These are made from white plastic, while the keyboard's bottom and perimeter is made from yellow aluminum. Rapoo also provides the keyboard in white/blue, white/red, white/white and black/black.
Turn the keyboard over, and you will see four rubber pads in each of the corners to keep the device from shifting on a surface. There's also the power button, the Bluetooth pairing button, and two LEDs -- one for the Bluetooth connection and one for the low battery alert. On the very back is a microUSB port for juicing up the rechargeable lithium battery. It's all pretty straightforward.
Image: RapooThe Smart Touch Area comes with support for eight different gestures. Naturally, to move the mouse cursor on the screen, you use a single finger. However, touch the pad with two fingers and you've performed a click; three fingers performs the middle click. Switching applications requires a swipe in from the left, opening the Charms requires a swipe in from the right, and opening applications requires a swipe from the top.
But that's not all. To scroll vertically on the screen, move two fingers up or down on the touchpad. For a horizontal scroll, merely move two fingers left and right on the pad. To return to the Start Screen, swipe up using three fingers. Returning to the desktop requires three fingers to swipe down, and to move forward or backward in media, simply swipe left and right using three fingers. Users can also minimize and maximize windows using three fingers and pinch to zoom by using two fingers.
As you can see from the gestures, the keyboard is ideal for Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. The device is also easy to pair: in Windows 8.1, simply open up the Charms bar, hit "Settings," "Change PC Settings," "PC and Devices," and then "Bluetooth." Turn on Bluetooth if it's not already, then press the Bluetooth button on the keyboard.
While you can use this keyboard in a desktop setting, it's really meant for Bluetooth-enabled devices like tablets and smartphones. The device is also meant for Windows 8.1, providing keyboard shortcuts to the browser, the Charms bar, Search, volume control and whatnot. However, you can use this device on Android and iOS devices.
Image: RapooI really like this keyboard, and prefer it over my Microsoft Wedge Mobile Keyboard, which made its debut alongside Windows 8 back in October 2012. The Wedge doesn't have any spacing between keys, and it also doesn't come packed with a touchpad. But what it does have is a cool cover that can be used to hold up a tablet. This is the Rapoo device's only fault: a cover or sleeve is not provided.
If you're looking for a keyboard for the living room or to take on trips, Rapoo's solution is a great pick. Amazon has the different colors listed here with a starting price of $39.74.
UPDATE: This article was edited to show a new starting price.