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Testing the Zippy EL-610
Try as I might, I couldn't come up with a way to express the Zippy EL-610's performance with a graph. Not even one of Damage's fancy 3D Cachemem graphs would suffice.

So, how did I test the Zippy EL-610? I used it. Well, I tried to. I don't exactly have small hands, and my short, stubby fingers made fast typing on the Zippy EL-610 a little frustrating. The Zippy EL-610's slightly smaller key size and short keystroke length made it difficult to hit only one key at a time consistently, and having my fingers close enough together to rest on the home row wasn't all that comfortable, either.

But remember, I have big hands. While my fingers don't agree with the Zippy EL-610's small key size, my girlfriend's fingers have no problem with the keyboard.


No overlap for her (right), but enough to make typing annoying for me (left)

Is it possible for those of us with larger hands to type comfortably with the Zippy EL-610? Sure, one just has to be extra careful and hit all the keys dead on. Personally, I'm not overly careful when hammering away at a keyboard, so full-sized keyboard layouts accommodate me much better than the Zippy EL-610.

As far as tactile feedback goes, the Zippy EL-610's keys feel a lot like those on typical notebook keyboards. The Zippy EL-610's keystroke length is relatively short compared to full-size desktop keyboards, but the keys have plenty of positive feedback and don't feel mushy or light.

If I could use the Zippy EL-610, I would, if only for the glow. Quite often, I'm working in the dark late at night; having an idea which keys are where would be helpful. It's not even that I hunt-and-peck, but when I take my fingers off a keyboard in the dark, they never seem to be able to find their way back to the home row on their own.

Of course, we can't forget that the Zippy EL-610's nifty glowing effect also makes the keyboard a stylish accessory for modded PCs filled with all manner of flashing lights, tubes, and glow-in-the-dark paint. I may not be cool enough to have a tricked out PC filled with neat-looking lights, but there are enough blue cold cathode kits out there to complement the Zippy EL-610.

Conclusions
The Zippy EL-610 is a thin, light, and slick-looking USB keyboard that lights up in the dark. Really, little more needs to be said.


The Zippy EL-610: perfect for small form factors... and hands

What I'd really love to see is the same technology that makes the Zippy EL-610 light up used in full size keyboards with full numpads. For that, I'd replace my current keyboard in an instant. Heck, I'd even like to see laptops use the luminescent technology, since I'm far more often typing away in the dark on my laptop than I am at my desktop.

In the end, the Zippy EL-610 is a pretty sweet little keyboard for those with smaller hands. Already, my girlfriend is eyeing it. If only I could get her to take advantage of its portability with a trek to the occasional LAN party. TR

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