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BYTECC EL-610 USB Keyboard

Introduction

Ever wanted to work in the dark? Enjoy typing with the lights dimmed or off altogether? BYTECC’s new product, the EL-610 “powered” keyboard may just be for you. The powered means “lit” in this case…

This is a USB mini-keyboard, similar to laptop keyboards. As I prefer to work on a full size standard unit, many spend countless hours popping keys on laptops. As you can surmise by the pic, this keyboard also sports a “lit” mode, whereas the user can push a button and a soothing blue glow emanates from all keys.

Factory Specifications
BYTECC EL-610
  • Compatibility: USB interface
  • Fully compatible with Windows Me/2000/XP
  • Scissors type structure and tactile feedback
  • Electron luminescence design
  • Price: $59.95

BYTECC

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9/10 Rating

In Use Tests

Some keyboards are meant for typing and some have a poor user interface, whether due to poor key feel, improper spacing or tilt angle, etc. The EL-610 does reasonably well, especially with such a picky user as yours truly. I'm one of those nutty typists that test drives my keyboard and mouse in order to find the most correct, easiest to use input device. While the BYTECC product doesn’t meet my high end typing standards, I did find that it operates much better than the typical notebook keyboard, which is actually saying quite a mouthful.

USB keyboards aren’t 100% compatible with every box that possesses a USB connector. In particular, I tested this model with positively ancient boxes from the 440LX (Pentium II vintage) to the (almost) latest i845P (Pentium 4 vintage) motherboards and found nearly perfect compatibility. The one exception was the oldest 440LX motherboard. Nothing I could do would allow the keyboard to function in USB legacy (read: DOS) mode. After windows was installed, the user could switch from an AT or PS/2 keyboard to the EL-610, but not before. The issue related to the lack of legacy support lies with the older 440LX chipset, not the keyboard itself.

Images

Near 21" Monitor
Lights Out!
Blue Glow

Final Words

At $59, the EL-610 is pricy but has features and functionality that is uncommon. Users with colored, flashy cases could make this keyboard an integral part of such a rig if blue is the color to get. Generally speaking, if all you require is an extra or external keyboard for a laptop or a small, portable service keyboard, the EL-610 fits the bill. Recommended.

William Yaple
05/25/03





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