Where do you start to review a wireless keyboard? Does it turn on? Yes. Does it connect flawlessly and easily to your Mac, PC and Linux? Yes. Does it work? Well, duh. And this kinda sums it up for every wireless keyboards out there, but the Penclic K2 Keyboard is something more than your ordinary wireless keyboards.
Developed from the Swedish company Penclic, the K2 delivers fully on the Scandinavian design mantra, simplicity. The keyboard is slick, simple and sexy. Setup was as quick as it gets, pop the batteries in, charge it using the included USB and after a couple of hours later after plugging the micro dongle into your whatever, you are set. No waiting pairing period, no drive installations, nothing, just plug and type.
Typing feels just great. The keys feel like the ones you usually find on a MacBook Pro, a scissor type mechanism with a satisfying click. And the similarity to the MacBook keyboard doesn't stop there. The size is exactly the same of a 15' MacBook keyboard and the same can be said about the keys layout, of course with slight changes on the symbols. Apart from the full QWERTY, the K2 also features special functions for some of the keys such as Volume Up/Down, Mute or a Silence key, Brightness Up/Down along with a full Numpad experience, all of which you can activate by holding the Fn key and press the key with the red or blue texts.
Another cool thing that at first I didn't really notice, well I noticed since it's a red Return key, but what I am trying to say I didn't understood the idea behind it. So I'm typing without looking at the keyboard, as you do, and I'm so fast Ramsey Bolton can't hide inside Winterfell when I stop and notice how my pinky finger naturally pressed the Return or Enter key without looking. It was a "Aha!" moment since I figured it all out, the red colour plus the long shape of the Return key combined with the peripheral vision made it all happen quite unconsciously so I have to tip my hat at the designers for this small but extremely thoughtful design choice.
Speaking of design choices, like the Penclic R3 Mouse I reviewed a couple of weeks ago, for the K2 the guys over at Penclic followed the same ergonomic theory to minimise or eliminate completely the risk of RSI. The K2 has a low profile, like a really low profile with a thickness, if we can call it that, exactly the same as an iPad Mini. So it kinda sits flat on any surface offering a perfect angle for your wrists reducing the overall tiredness. Another thing that I took notice, apart from the wrist thing, was since the angle of your arms resting is quite low, the bone which kinda sticks out in the elbow, the olecranon, didn't hurt at all, something that happens often when I'm typing on the MacBook.
Now how I used the K2 for the past week doesn't make any sense. I mean using a wireless keyboard with a laptop is as counterintuitive as it is plain stupid. Even now that I'm typing the review using the K2 it just feel wrong. However it didn't felt wrong when I was using it to type when the Mac was connected to the TV while I was lying 3 meters away in a cozy couch. That combined with the R3 mouse made for a perfect Netflix watching experience, for the plebs without a Smart TVs out there like myself.
The K2 is great, but it has some minor flaws. For example, there is no CapsLock indicator. Also there is no indicator to show you if the keyboard is on or off. There is a indicator, supposedly to show the battery life or something like that, but it displays nothing. I am also scared about it's build quality. While the keys feel awesome and tactile when pressed, much like the R3 mouse, if the K2 falls it will break into a million pieces, so I'm kinda hesitant to move it or carry it around much. Luckily the rubbery feet keep it from sliding away. And as the final flaw or gripe I have with the K2 is the same one I had with the R3, why in the world does it need a dongle to work? The Mac has only two USB ports and if I decide to use both the mouse and keyboard, there is no port left to charge my iPhone, iPad or use another accessory, so why isn't it a "one dongle two accessories" type deal?
But as I said there are some minor flaws to deal with. They don't really hinder the K2 ability to perform. Typing feels great, it's fast and the clicks are satisfying. Setting up is plug and type and the design choices are fantastic. While I cannot comment on the long-term effects of using the K2 with the whole RSI ordeal, I can say that your fingers, wrists and arms will thank the low profile. As for the price, it is expensive, but if you take in consideration the tons of testimonials out there and my opinion, the K2 might be the perfect wireless keyboard for you. Thanks for reading!
PS: Special shoutout to our amazing friends at MediaPR, thanks for making this happen!