This is how a living room keyboard should look like. Phantom Lapboard Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo represents the latest design of home theater computer keyboards.
While the original Phantom Lapboard was already released on June 23 in 2008, the current model which is designed to work with Internet TV, gaming and media centers was released in 2010. In this article, I will consolidate the user feedback to give you a better understanding on what people really say about this keyboard.
Designed for the living room
The Phantom Lapboard looks very stylish and has a nice solid response. The package comes together with a laser mouse with a scroll wheel and 1200 dpi resolution.
Mouse for the couch
The swiveling plate of the Phantom Lapboard is a unique idea to enable using a traditional mouse on a couch.
The problem with many other keyboards is that you need to use the mouse on couch’s surface which often hinders the responsiveness of the mouse.
An alternative way is to use a keyboard with an integrated mouse, but this is not a suitable approach e.g. for gaming.
Mediocre wireless range
Many users report that there are some problems with the the range of this unit. These users say that it has only a functional range of about 5-10 feet although the specification promises longer range.
However, this can be due to the fact that the wireless receiver requires a line-of-sight and if you connect the USB dongle behind the computer, it will easily decrease the range.
Indeed, many other reviews confirm that the promised 30 feet range can be achieved in optimal conditions.
A good tip to overcome the wireless range issues is to get a small USB hub and place it under the TV. Then attach the Phantom USB receiver dongle to the USB hub under the TV.
Great for gaming
If you often play games with your HTPC, you’ll soon find out that normal HTPC keyboards with the integrated mouse are not really ideal for gaming. The keyboard/mouse combo allows you to comfortable sit on any chair or couch when gaming.
This is a huge advantage as you do not need to lean forward as you would normally do at your desk. Some people even say that leaning backwards will improve your gaming experience as your back is in more relaxed position.
All in all, Phantom Lapboard is a great choice as the HTPC keyboard, especially if you do gaming with your home theater PC. Some users report range issues which can be easily overcome by placing the USB receiver dongle close to your TV with e.g. an USB extension cable.
|- Awesome design and ergonomics
– Great for couch computing and gaming
– Very responsive
|- High price
– Battery life could be better
– Some users have reported range issues