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AZIO Corporation > 
Item#: N82E16823839011

AZIO Mini Thumb Keyboard w/ Trackball KB178RT Black 63 Normal Keys 8 Function Keys USB RF Wireless Mini Keyboard

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  • 63 Normal Keys
  • 8 Function Keys
  • USB RF Wireless
  • AZIO
  • Black

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  • Overview
  • Specifications
  • Warranty & Returns
  • Reviews

The AZIO KB178RT is in perfect size. The purpose of a keyboard is to input data to the PC. Unfortunately, for most HTPC keyboards, they are either too small to touch-type or too big to thumb-type. The KB178RT is designed to be the perfect sized keyboard for thumb-typing. The built-in trackball, left/right mouse buttons and multimedia hotkeys make controlling your HTPC a breeze. What’s more, the KB178RT comes with rechargeable batteries that can be charged via USB port of your PC. Days with hassle of changing batteries are gone with this wireless mini keyboard.

  • newegg A Controller for your HTPC or Media Device Compact form factor is perfect for two handed control of HTPCs and other multimedia devices like nettops, game consoles, and media players with USB keyboard support.
  • newegg 2.4 GHz wireless RF Technology The AZIO KB178RT offers wireless freedom with a tested effective range of 30ft (10m). Control your multimedia devices from any part of you room.
  • newegg Comfortable Design Scissor keycap architecture makes typing tactile and responsive. Left hand mouse buttons and right hand mouse trackball allows for natural mouse clicks and cursor control.
  • newegg 8 Dedicated Multimedia Keys The AZIO KB178RT features 8 dedicated multimedia keys including Home, Back, Play/Pause, Stop, Forward, Mute, Vol + and Vol -.
  • newegg Rechargeable batteries One of the biggest drawbacks of using a wireless keyboard is replacing the batter every so often, especially if extra batteries are not immediately available. With the KB178RT, this situation can be avoided. Simply connect it to the USB port of your HPC periodically and it will always stay changed and ready for use.

Learn more about Mini Thumb Keyboard w/ Trackball

Warranty, Returns, And Additional Information
  • Warranty
  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 1 year
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 1 year
  • Read full details

Customer Reviews of Mini Thumb Keyboard w/ Trackball

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  • Fred C.
  • 5/19/2013 12:25:31 AM
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week

2 out of 5 eggsUnreliable RF signal/connection

Pros: + Trackball is easy to use and pretty precise
+ Automatically recognized in Windows 7 Home Prem 64 bit
+ Comes with two rechargable 750 mah AAA batteries
+ Can recharge batteries by connecting to USB port
+ Good size for small to average sized hands

Cons: - Range/connectivity is questionable unless you have LOS (line of sight) with receiver
- Even with LOS, a reliable connection is difficult to maintain at 20 ft.
- Keyboard feels somewhat delicate/flimsy
- For price, should have backlighting or at least Glow-in-the-dark keys.

Other Thoughts: Primary reasons for two star rating:
This keyboard is a great little gadget when it connects/works. I found the RF connection unreliable at 20 ft which is how far we sit from our TV so it's a bust for my original need.

The only reason I didn't give it one star is because it does work well when it connects and I can repurpose this for our guest room where the user will be much closer to their HTPC than in our family room setup.

I connected the receiver to my HTPC and WIN7 installed it in a few seconds. When I first started to use it it worked great but I was standing within a few feet of the TV (<5).

As I started to move back I found the trackball movements weren't being picked up reliably. I stopped where I was at (10ish ft) and after turning the keyboard on/off a couple times it seemed to establish a better connection and I sat down on the couch (20 ft).

After a few minutes it again started to have issues picking up the signal again. This time it was keystrokes as I was trying to type something in a search engine. I tried the same trick of turning it on/off a couple times to no avail. So, I tried it at a different angle, nothing. I finally brought the receiver from the back of the HTPC to the front to see if it would help (LOS).

It seemed to do the trick but, as I am writing this review I went to check something on our media server through the HTPC. The connection between the keyboard and its receiver was lost....again. This time It took several on/offs of the keyboard and practically standing next to the HTPC to reconnect. The system was not in stanby, sleep, or hibernate modes, just 'on' and ready to work.

Not going to cut it. Hopefully its 2nd possible assignment is more agreeable with the receiver.

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  • Casey C.
  • 10/17/2012 8:12:57 PM
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month

1 out of 5 eggsAVOID! The trackball is Complete Garbage!

Pros: Absolutely nothing, I would have to give this negative eggs if I could.

Cons: The trackball is made out of a black metal ball bearing and doesn't reflect the optical beam so it doesn't work hardly at all. I'm going to have to find some kind of reflective paint or something and see if I can make it work.

Other Thoughts: Azio usually makes decent products but they really dropped the ball on this one, I'm very disappointed they obviously didn't test his product before releasing it onto the market.

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  • Casey P.
  • 7/14/2012 1:48:12 PM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggsCharging port failed after 3 months

Pros: Small size
Roller ball
Mouse/keyboard all in one

Cons: Poor wireless range
Poor build quality

Other Thoughts: Almost immediately, the wireless range on this thing was noticeable as poor at best. I could not sit on the couch 15 feet from the HTPC and use this reliably while having the small dongle attached at the back of the HTPC. Instead, I had to use a USB extender cable to place the dongle up above the HTPC cabinet where it was basically "line-of-sight." Even then, however, I have to constantly turn it off and back on (via the switch under the keyboard) to "wake it up" while in the middle of use. The real killer, however, is that after about three months, the micro-usb connector broke loose and just came out of the keyboard. The keyboard will still work (at least, as well as it would before), but there is no way to charge the batteries so I am stuck replacing the batteries with standard AAA (which don't last very long). Needless to say, I'll be contacting AZIO regarding their claimed "lifetime warranty" on this.

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  • Brian S.
  • 7/3/2012 7:09:55 PM
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsPretty neat

Pros: +It shouldn't require any extra drivers. I've been able to plug it into anything I want without any configuration and it worked.

+Great range - Easily works up to 25 to 30 feet and possibly farther than that. I don't have a room big enough to find out the distance at stops working well.

+Decent size - Fits comfortably in my hands, though some may find it a little small.

+The keys are just big enough that I can use it flat on a table like a normal keyboard, with some effort.

+The trackball works better than I would have expected it to. Pretty easy to use.

+Rechargeable batteries! It's nice that you can just plug it into a USB port to charge. You can also replace with any AAA batteries you want.

+Comes with its own micro USB cable.

Cons: -Rearranged keys take some getting used to. A few of the keys are in really weird places.

-You have to be a bit careful using your thumbs to type or you may accidentally hit other keys due to the small key size.

-No Windows/Super key.

Other Thoughts: This is a really nice keyboard for when you want something wireless, convenient, and don't need to do a ton of serious typing. Typing isn't exactly hard; it's just less convenient than typing on a full keyboard. Touch typing alone probably isn't going to work without error. I find myself hitting a wrong buttons a lot, but if you watch what you're typing on the screen, it really isn't a big deal.

If you want something small to use with an HTPC, game console, or if you're just lazy like me sometimes and want to lie on a couch with your laptop on the floor and still be able to type and use the mouse, this is a great product. It's great being able to just hold it in your hands rather than having to have somewhere to place a larger wireless keyboard.

One thing to note is that even when you have the keyboard hooked up to your device with the USB cable, you still need to use the wireless receiver.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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Item#: N82E16823839011
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