Zippy EL-610 Review

The EL-610 is Zippy's trendy blue glow-in-the-dark keyboard that seems to be all the rage.
The EL-610 is Zippy's trendy blue glow-in-the-dark keyboard that seems to be all the rage.
The EL-610 is Zippy's trendy blue glow-in-the-dark keyboard that seems to be all the rage.

Highs

  • Good quality
  • cool blue glow

Lows

  • Too small to be a practical everyday keyboard

DT Editors' Rating

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Summary

This board would do well with people who have small hands, perhaps women and children.  Another possible area for use of this keyboard is for LAN parties and gaming.  If the user does not intend to use the full board for prolonged typing, but rather the select keys that enable functions and powers within a game, this board would be ideal.  It’s ability to light up would allow the user to immerse himself/herself in the game with the lights out and the keyboard lit up so he/she can see what they are doing.

Introduction

One of the latest keyboards to come from Zippy is a keyboard that has been spotted all over the internet.  The EL-610 is Zippy’s trendy blue “glow-in-the-dark” keyboard that seems to be all the rage.  What could be better than a low-profile desktop keyboard that resembles a laptop and has the added benefit of glowing in a darkened room while one is either working or gaming?  Well, the reality is that while the board sports a stunning appearance and will definitely attract comments, it is simply too small for the average user to use comfortably on an everyday basis and lacks hot keys to simplify the users experience.  This is definitely a case where bigger is better.

Features

The chassis is a classy metallic silver and the keys are a kind of opaque-white translucent plastic, similar to the material found in cordless phone buttons and VCR remotes that also glow in the dark from a luminescent light source beneath. The keyboard comes complete with little peg legs on the front leading edge to provide a slight tilt to the board.  While this creates a slightly better typing position on most keyboards, it only accentuates the compactness of the keyboard. A comfortable keyboard needs to be of a size where the user can comfortably manipulate the keys.  This board would be great if it were 33% larger, comparable to the size of the Viewsonic Viewmate or the Zippy WK-711.

Use and testing

The EL-610 is about a third smaller than the average keyboard.  This reduction in size makes typing very awkward.  Another example of the change in size is consider the normal keyboard will have 104 or more keys, while this one has 88.  Even the keys have been reduced in size by about a third.  The length off the keystroke is comfortable and there is a good level of tactile feedback.  The keys are simply too close together and mistyping is too common of an occurrence.  Also, it should be noted that although it is neat to have a keyboard light up in the dark, the blue glow can become tiresome, especially on the user’s eyes, if he/she looks at the board too much in the dark.

There were some difficulties getting the keyboard to initially work on my computer.  If the keyboard is swapped out and the EL-610 plugged in midstream without restarting, the computer locked up. After several attempts, the keyboard was plugged in before the computer was turned on and operated flawlessly.

Conclusion

Yet, this board is not without its saving graces. This board would do well with people who have small hands, perhaps women and children.  Another possible area for use of this keyboard is for LAN parties and gaming.  If the user does not intend to use the full board for prolonged typing, but rather the select keys that enable functions and powers within a game, this board would be ideal.  It’s ability to light up would allow the user to immerse himself/herself in the game with the lights out and the keyboard lit up so he/she can see what they are doing.