Product Review: Arctic Wireless Mini Keyboard with Multi-Touch Pad K481

Arctic is breaking out the big wireless guns with a smaller keyboard that includes a multi-touch pad for use as a mouse with touch gestures, a great laptop or home theatre PC peripheral.

Ease of Use, Performance: 21/25
Look & Feel: 22/25
Features 22/25
How much I enjoy 22/25
Total: 87/100

The Arctic K481 Wireless Mini Keyboard includes a multi-touch pad for use with your cursor and with gestures, the usual mouse buttons and a full set of keyboard keys. The Arctic K481 is a wireless mini keyboard that uses a 2.4 GHz dongle to connect to your computer and includes the dongle and batteries along with a manual for setup and use.

The Arctic K481 keyboard is a smaller keyboard designed for use with a laptop or for use as a secondary keyboard which makes it handy around a living room for use with a home theatre PC. The keyboard is 11 inches wide and 4 1/4 inches tall with a little over a half inch in height so the keyboard is small with keys about half inch by half inch or smaller.

This smaller size means typing is not going to be the fast usual routine of larger keyboards and can often be a hunt and peck affair but it is compact. The smaller keys of this mini keyboard work well for shorter use like searching the internet while watching a movie and the usual password inputs and other keyboard use to get a system running.

The instructions are a bit light with only basic instructions for connecting the dongle, putting batteries in and the on/off switch. The instructions do include the full list of gestures the multi-touch pad is capable of; cursor movement, left middle and right click, drag, vertical scroll and left double click.

The multi-touch pad is a very handy feature in a smaller keyboard and the keyboard at 11 by four and a quarter inches makes the perfect take along keyboard for a laptop. It also makes a great second PC keyboard like I have in my office for use as an easy to store and quick to whip out keyboard.

I also used the keyboard for a month or so in my living room with my home theatre PC which is the perfect use for this type of keyboard with the multi-touch pad. Ever since my cat dumped a vase of flowers and water spilled into my Logitech keyboard with its mouse pad I have been missing the handy keyboard with touchpad from that company.

Now I can have a simple single use solution for the quick entering of website information or simply inputting my password when turning on my HTPC in my living room. The Arctic K481 keyboard makes a great laptop keyboard for use with a laptop on the go.

I have a chrome laptop and the Arctic K481 works very well with it for both a keyboard and for the mouse/multi-touch pad so you can use it with a variety of laptops. The Arctic keyboard also worked well with a couple of Hewlett Packard laptops I use for my testing that my sons own as well.

I have had no problems with the keyboard even though it does have smaller keys to make it a more compact keyboard which does take a little getting used to. Another quirk of the keyboard that takes a little getting used to is the numlock when you first turn on a computer the keyboard is attached to.

When you first turn on a computer or laptop the numbers lock is on and if you want to type and use letters you need to turn off the number lock feature using the keyboard button. A blue LED in the upper right corner of the keyboard indicates the status of the numbers lock with the number pad keys that are also the U, I,O,J,K,L and M keys on the keyboard when the numlock is on.

When using the keyboard and wanting to use the INS, Delete and other editing keys the blue function key is used just like the numlock key. The keyboard is a full keyboard with the usual keys of one but you may have to use the numlock or function keys to use these lesser used keys.

The keyboard is handy to use as a take along with your laptop or an extra keyboard for use with an HTPC where you don’t do a lot of typing but still need to use it occasionally.

The Arctic K481 mini keyboard is available from the Arctic website for about $40 and can also be found at a few other websites, you can use the Where to Buy link at Arctic to find other dealers. I highly recommend the Arctic K481 Wireless Mini Keyboard with Multi-Touch Pad for a spare keyboard for use with a laptop or with an home theatre computer.

Arctic K481 Website

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