Getting me away from my favourite NMB workhorse was the hardest part of this review. The Gigabyte GK-KM7600 clearly embraced a very different concept from my utilitarian keyboard-of-choice. Predisposed with an odd dislike for the Gigabyte KM7600 “2.4GHz Wireless Deluxe Combo,” I set about unplugging my regular keyboard and mouse from my work PC to make way for the it. USB “Nano Receiver” already in place, I booted up my work PC hoping to find fault with the Gigabyte KM7600 wireless keyboard/mouse combination.
Using the GK-KM7600 Wireless Keyboard
Being an incessant tweaker means frequent visits to the mainboard BIOS pages. This is something that a lot of “2.4GHz” wireless keyboards stumble over. Many are driver dependent, becoming effectively nonfunctional once the system is out of the OS. I was half expecting the Gigabyte to fail in this test, but pressing “F2” in rapid succesion while booting up with the Gigabyte KM7600 brought me into the BIOS pages of my Intel DX38BT mainboard. Not bad.
Before you declare this a useless test, imagine a situation where you’ve just built a brand new Home Theatre PC (HTPC) in a new (read: geek-junk free) house. You have a wireless keyboard/mouse on hand, ready to do some Web surfing over a chilled lemonade after a day’s work on the furniture. Armed with the latest copy of Windows, you drop the installation disc into the ROM drive only to discover that the boot sequence has been messed up. The splash screen tells you to hit <DEL> to enter BIOS Setup, but after hitting real hard (and multiple times) at the wireless keyboard’s Delete key with those sore fingers of yours, you’re still told to “Insert boot disk and press any key!” What frustration!
Now assuming that you were lucky enough to get past that part, will Windows recognise your input device? Fortunately, the Gigabyte GM7600 gets it right, yet again. The first time I booted into Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit with the USB “Nano Receiver” plugged in, the OS automatically installed drivers for the Internet and Multimedia hotkeys (including the rotary volume encoder).
Still, there was a voice in my head telling me that something had to go wrong with the Gigabyte KM7600. Launching Notepad, I typed in the all-time favourite pangram half hoping that the Gigabyte KM7600 would prove my nagging intuition right.
How absolutely terrifying! It looked as though the GK-KM7600 had gotten a mind of its own and was adding letters to my typing. More likely, however, was that the GK-KM7600 had a debounce issue on its keyswitches. Nothing that a short trip to the Registry Editor can’t fix.
With the BounceTime value reduced, my brown foxes and lazy dogs went back to their normal, behaving selves. In fact, all the text you’ve seen in this review so far (see page 5 to understand why the rest of this review was done on a different keyboard) were typed on the GK-KM7600 wireless keyboard. I still prefer my rattling NMB for the busy atmosphere it creates, but the Gigabyte GM7600 is clearly aimed at a very different (home entertainment & HTPC) market.
I’ve also found the tilt angle of GK-KM7600 a little too benign (nothing a couple of laptop-propping balls can’t fix) for my liking. Then again, the GK-KM7600 is more likely to find itself on its user’s lap most of the time, rather than on a hard worktop.
Trying out the GM-KM7600 Wireless Mouse
There isn’t much to complain about the GM-KM7600 wireless mouse, except that I’d have preferred it to be a little more massive. I discovered (while editing the pictures for this article) that the slower (800DPI) setting offered better subjective tracking.
Before I forget, the rubberised grips located along the sides of the GM-KM7600 are absolutely lovely!
The Gigabyte KM7600 is advertised as having 10m of “Working Distance.” How true was that? We just had to check it out.
Moving the GK-KM7600 wireless keyboard and GM-KM7600 wireless mouse into the next room, we were able to achieve appoximately 8m – 9m of workable range. In a situation where there exists a clear Line of Sight between the input devices and their receiver, we expect the rated 10m working range to be consistently achievable.
If you’re intent on something with significantly more range, look elsewhere. Just don’t forget to standby some spare batteries while you’re at it.