Rapoo E9070 keyboard first impressions

Unlike most freelancers I know, I’m in the fortunate position where I can do most of my work from the comfort of my own office. I like the custom built desktop PC I have there, with its high-end multi-monitor setup and excellent set of peripherals. But over the last few months, I’ve started working on location more, and I did my best to assemble the best possible mobile setup I could. A good laptop stand and mouse were easy enough to find, but finding a good keyboard to take with me turned out to be a little more troublesome.

I don’t think I had an unreasonable set of demands.

  1. Compact size (needs to fit in my backpack)
  2. Flat, laptop style keys (personal preference)
  3. Full-size keys for typing comfort
  4. Not ugly
  5. Preferably with a cord

As it turns out, you can no longer buy compact wired keyboards. I don’t mind the wires, and barely ever move my keyboard around on my desk, but manufacturers have moved almost exclusively to wireless. And even then, finding a nice small one isn’t easy. I tried the Trust Curve, but found it to run amok sometimes in Ubuntu. Its cheap plastic would rattle when typing, and I just generally disliked it.

Rapoo?

Enter the Rapoo E9070. I was told in the store that Rapoo was a part of Logitech, but from a few quick web searches, and despite their respective websites looking very similar, I doubt whether that’s actually true. But that does not matter if the product is any good. And in this case I think it is.

Typing

Logic dictates that compact keyboards can not have as many keys as full-size ones, and I feel that Rapoo made some excellent choices here. The E9070 is only slightly wider than the Trust, but features a numeric keypad, arrow keys and function keys. Things like ‘home’ and ‘end’ are available through the Fn key, or directly on the numeric pad if you disable numlock.

The keys of the popular “chiclet” variety, but they’re nice and flat. I found them very comfortable considering this keyboard’s lower-end price range. The surface of the keys is a little slippery, but I managed to get very decent typing speeds, even while getting used to the layout (it differs slightly from my Logitech K750). Keys are truly full size, a little larger even than on the K750.

Esthetics and build quality

This may well be a personal thing, but I think most PC keyboards are damn ugly. They’re either heavily Apple-inspired or have all sort of design cruft. The E9070, in my opinion, is a notable exception. It’s efficient, industrial looks set it apart from the crowd, and the brushed stainless steel back helps make it very rigid. I can forgive Rapoo for renaming the space bar to ‘Rapoo bar’, since there’s no extra space for branding anywhere else.

Obviously, having just bought this, I can’t say anything about its durability. But I hope it turns out to be a sturdy as it looks and feels, because I really like it so far. Recommended.

Roy | July 27, 2012 | English,Gadgets | Comments (16)
Tags: , ,

16 Comments

  1. I also like laptop keys and it looks really nice, I would like to try out sensitivity of the keys, but this is individual preference.

    Comment by Arthur — August 4, 2012 @ 1:52 pm

  2. This keyboard looks nice ;)

    Comment by Dawid — August 26, 2012 @ 2:20 pm

    • It does! And is very comfortable to use, too. I recommend it!

      Comment by Auto — October 26, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

  3. Very interested to read this as I am on the lookout for a new keyboard and have been researching this. The only other requirement that I have been considering is getting a backlit keyboard for easier use on the night, but i’m not sure how much I need this.

    Comment by The Accountant Marketer — September 6, 2012 @ 11:19 am

  4. Hello,
    Looks like a very nice keyboard …
    I prefer to have the QWERTY keyboard. :)

    Comment by Sevgi Karay — September 7, 2012 @ 10:31 am

  5. I have just bought the E9070 key by chance when I went to a computer shop.

    It is OK not too bad, better than most others that I have used
    and price is reasonable.

    The keypad button is ok, it has the “feel” which is most important
    but there is a slight problem, many times it has typed the wrong letters
    and sometime it doesnt show the letter that I have typed.

    Anyone having this problem??
    is it the setting problem??

    I am using window XP

    Comment by sweetcheong — September 11, 2012 @ 12:46 am

    • I’m not having these issues at all, but I’m running Ubuntu 12.04 (64bit).

      Comment by Roy — September 13, 2012 @ 1:30 pm

    • It is already more than a week since I got the E9070 keypad.

      i find OK but still have some glitches.
      I am not sure what causes it.

      Initially after the problem of wrong letterings being typed out, I check it out in the company website: http://www.rapoo.com

      I found out that there is a driver software for this product.
      Most important is the pairing software, once it it paired, it is alright.

      But it did not say pairing must be done when the USB receiver
      & the keypad must be as close as 2 to 6 inches apart. (maybe it was the batteries)

      I did the pairing at about 30 inches apart & failed many times
      until i decided to do it at 2 inches apart & it was paired.

      Next problem, I am not sure it was the battery,
      still having glitches as it did not registered the letter i typed in, so I changed new batteries.

      The problem seem to be gone for now.

      It is suppose to have some kind of sleep mode when you are not using for a long period
      henceforth conserving the batteries power & according to the specs,
      it should have 24 months of usage until next change of batteries.

      I will be happy if it could last for a couples months or up to 6 months.
      Anyway, will see.

      And as for now so far so good, if anymore glitches, will do a pairing again.

      Comment by sweetcheong — September 18, 2012 @ 7:28 pm

      • Please take note that this is by far the best wireless keypad I ever owned.

        In fact I intend to get another one for my bed usage when my laptop is connected to LCD screen.

        Another thing is if you hit a key not accurately, right in the center and touches the next door key slightly, you probably get a wrong typo because it is not elevated like my old keyboard, know what I mean??

        Next, it would be nice if it has back-light for night usage in bed plus a hard casing for traveling’ usage
        so as not to get damaged when packing it. Hope it’s not too much to ask.!!

        Comment by sweetcheong — September 18, 2012 @ 7:53 pm

  6. This keyboard looks really cool and all, but I still hold mechanical keyboards dear to me heart.

    Comment by Neil — November 24, 2012 @ 1:22 pm

  7. So how does this keyboard work under Ubuntu? Any problems?
    I am running Ubuntu 12.04 64bit and considering to buy this keyboard but I don’t know if this gonna be compatible.

    Comment by Majk — January 6, 2013 @ 6:10 pm

    • Works flawlessly, although I have to be careful which USB socket I use. If the laptop is between the keyboard and the receiver dongle, the connection is sometimes lost.

      Comment by Roy — January 18, 2013 @ 3:05 pm

    • under xubuntu 12.04 it seemed to work any days. and now after restart nothing works. :( I Have no idea whats the problem.

      Comment by Uba — June 23, 2013 @ 12:14 pm

  8. Worst product I ever bought. Keeps on stalling and after a while stops working at all.
    First product I ever bought which flew across the room with a day.

    Comment by Nick — June 23, 2013 @ 3:14 pm

  9. This is should be a great keyboard. I just bought it. But I had an issue in the USB connection. Did you had the same issue? Or perhaps it because I’m using Windows 7?

    Comment by Bob — July 2, 2013 @ 7:55 am

    • It should run just fine under Windows 7. It was probably designed with that OS in mind, and the box confirms this. I did find that using a USB port located close to te keyboard helps reception.

      Comment by Roy — August 6, 2013 @ 8:56 am