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BenQ x730 Wireless Desktop Companion Pro
By Zachary Chan
Category : Input Devices
Published by Vijay Anand on Monday, 31st January, 2005
Rating : 4 out of 5 stars  

Tap Tappity Tap

The x730 keyboard is a slim beauty at 0.57 inches with a chic black and silver motif. The keyboard actually comes in two pieces, the keyboard proper and a removable plastic cradle. If you've figured it out already, the keyboard can be used on its own, but the cradle offers a few extra positioning options and acts as a palm rest too. Once fitted, you can select three different angles to best suit your needs. While there is no notch above the third position, you can actually move the keyboard further without detaching it from the cradle. This may give you a better tilt angle if the basic three positions are not satisfactory. Bear in mind that most keyboards only offer a simple flip designed clip to prop up the keyboard at an angle.

Remove the cradle for an even slimmer keyboard. Notice the concave keyboard.

Three levels of adjustable angles.

The keyboard itself has many unique features built in. Some of them are good, some are not so. We begin with a feature lauded by BenQ for the x730. Sporting the patented X-Structure key technology, it plays the most important role in the keyboard's diet regiment. X-Structure is a key technology consisting of mini scissor-like bars that support all four corners of each key instead of the normal plunger design in the middle. Not only does it promote better key stability, it also dampens keystroke noise without loosing the tactile feel that most people prefer. Just in case you are wondering how slim is a 0.57-inch keboard is, most other keyboards have keys alone that are as thick as the x730's entire profile.

Another feature that sticks out like a sore thumb are the large printed keys. This is no ordinary keyboard with just a fancy design, BenQ has actually put effort into making it user friendly as well. Commonly used key combinations shared by most applications like 'Select All' (CTRL+A), 'Save' (CTRL+S) or 'Copy' (CTRL+C) are marked onto the keys themselves. F1-F12 keys have dual functionality as well, which is controlled through a special key called the F-Lock (BenQ's Q-Type driver has to be installed first for this function to work). For instance, F5 is widely known as the 'Refresh' key used in Internet browsers to reload a web page. One click of the F-Lock, and the F5 key functions as 'Open File' instead. These functions are in addition to the already numerous hot-keys and media keys available. Like some of the latest desktop sets, the X730 keyboard has a built in clickable scroll wheel on the left corner. With the Q-Type drivers installed, all the hot-keys and scroll wheel functions are programmable.

"Son, how do I save this document again?", "It's on the keyboard mom!".

Dual function Function keys.

F-Lock button to alternate keys with dual functions.

More hot-keys on the right for a total of 13. Guess which key will take you to BenQ's website?

Media keys that work well with a variety of software players.

Rubberized scroll wheel on the keyboard. A press of a button alternates between vertical and horizontal scrolling.

Although it is a full sized keyboard, the x730 has a concave design, which makes the outer keys angle towards the center in a slight curve. Apparently, it was enough to make us fumble around like a new born babe. The awkward keys causes too many typos when we were trying to master the keyboard. Once we got used to the key spacing though, they x730 keyboard was a joy to use. If BenQ had better spaced out the keys vertically, the learning curve might have been reduced.

Stylish keyboard with slick curves.

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