Windows 8 is loaded with support for numerous gestures. These gestures are mostly aimed at tablets and touchscreens, but they work pretty well on notebook touchpads. We've started seeing desktop keyboards incorporate Win8-friendly touchpads, as well. The first one popped up in Japan with a premium price tag. Now, a more affordable example is headed for North American shores. Say hello to Genius' SlimSar T8020, which is selling for only $37.
The SlimStar has a notebook-style chiclet array backed by scissor switches. Instead of a traditional numpad, it offers a large touch surface with three modes. The touchpad can be configured to control mouse movement, activate OS gestures, or act as a numpad. I'm a little surprised to see the mouse-tracking and gesture modes separated, but that arrangement makes sense if you want to combine gesture support with a traditional mouse.
With a relatively slim body and a weight of only 0.6 lbs, the SlimStar looks like an especially interesting candidate for home-theater PCs. The keyboard offers 2.4GHz RF wireless connectivity and comes with a tiny USB dongle for the host system. Secondary media functions abound, and power is provided by a couple of AAA batteries.
I spend far too much time punching numbers into Excel to want to give up the mechanical numpad on my desktop, but I still find the SlimStar's hybrid design appealing. Maybe I need to pick up one of Logitech's standalone gesture pads.
|Samsung's 28'' display serves up single-tile 4K at 60Hz for $800||23|
|GlobalFoundries licenses Samsung process tech, grants AMD access to FinFETs||25|
|MSI shows next-gen Intel motherboards||21|
|Micro-bots are spooky cool, could be used in manufacturing||16|
|Nvidia GeForce 337.61 beta hotfix display driver released||10|
|AMD earnings previewed||27|
|Ars Technica reviews Windows Phone 8.1||51|
|Wait, we're giving away $1500 in PC hardware?||8|
|Steam usage patterns reveal shameful number of unplayed games||62|