Captain Pyke Reviews: Keyscaper "Star Trek" Custom Keyboard & Mouse
LCARS or Library Computer Access/Retrieval System is something that most if not all Trek fans are familiar with. Even if you've never heard the acronym before, you've seen it in action. You know, the computer interfaces with multi-colored pill-shaped buttons that litter nearly every computer and control from "Star Trek: The Next Generation" onward. Even "Enterprise" and the new J.J. Abrams's "Star Trek" had they're own custom controls and user interfaces.
Current technology is slowly catching up with that of Star Trek and the LCARS user interface. For instance, the mobile phones and tablet devices we have now are as close as possible to realizing that future. Though longingly waiting for the next innovation, for the most part, the modern user is stuck behind two pieces of plastic, one with at least 104 keys for data entry and the other with at least two buttons and movement for navigation.
Until the future hits the lowly user, there is a way to at least make the humdrum pieces of plastic more exciting and enjoyable to view. Step-in a company called Keyscaper. With a special (and secret?) printing process, Keyscaper covers both mice & keyboards with your favorite college sports team, Armed Forces emblem, or, more importantly, our favorite sci-fi series.
We were very fortunate to get our hands on both the wired keyboard and wired/wireless mouse for review. First off. let me say that I've had years of experience with printing in the graphic design world. With minimal banding or striping issues, the print quality on both the keyboard & mouse are excellent. Both have a fantastic image of the new "re-imagined" enterprise from Star Trek XI. The keyboard shows the old girl on a star field with red nebula gas and Jupiter partially visible, and the mouse is a front-on image of the Enterprise at warp.
As far as functionality, the keyboard is your standard qwerty keyboard with a few added features like shortcut keys and multimedia control. For us, all of the extra functionality worked straight out of the box. We run Windows 7 and all of the shortcuts keys worked seamlessly with our favorite web browsers, email program, and multimedia applications. The key movement on the board has a nice clicky feel with the added bonus of the printed keys not collecting as much "gunk" as your regular keyboards. We only had the wired USB keyboard so, we can't report on the wireless range and ease of installation, but the USB version was recognized without the need of a custom driver install. Keyscaper does have a wireless version available.
For the mouse, Keyscaper offers a wired/wireless combo that has both a removable (and retractable) USB cable and a neatly hidden USB wireless dongle. The combo is a fantastic idea and if you end up using the wireless option, you get a free retractable mini-USB to USB cable. One thing you have to understand, I have hands the size of Mr. Homn's and only certain mice are comfortable for me. With that said, the Keyscaper mouse is a little small for my catcher's mits, but the sleek size and integrated USB options make it perfect to carry with a laptop or better yet, a netbook. The buttons have a very satisfying feel with a center scrollwheel that could be just a tad bit looser.
In conclusion, the Keyscaper Star Trek XI keyboard & mouse are definitely worth checking out. For everyday use or to add to your Trek collection. If you're like us, and basically buy just about everything Trek related, this would be an excellent way to Trek-up your desktop.
Visit the Keyscaper site here.
Check out the Keyscaper Star Trek XI keyboard & mouse pictures below. Click the images to enlarge.