The Penclic Mini C2 keyboard and Nicetouch trackpad give you all the control you need in a laptop and bring it away from the screen, allowing you to sit more naturally and relieve the strain of being hunched over. Responsive and easy to use they are a great way of making your portable computer as comfortable to use as a desktop.
If you use a laptop a lot it’s likely it won’t be long until you start to feel the strain of having to be hunched over the small keyboard at an unnatural angle. Avoiding this and potentially something more serious such as repetitive strain injury (RSI) can be as easy as using a dedicated keyboard and mouse or separate trackpad.
The Mini C2 keyboard and Nicetouch trackpad aim to help my minimising the movement you need to make with your wrist, keeping all the keys and buttons together in a compact area, while also allowing you to keep the screen further away and prevent hunching.
Setup is easy, just a case of plugging it in via USB and it is either ready to go or you will have to follow a couple of on-screen instructions. For example, when setting up on a Mac once you have plugged in you will have to press the left shift key and it will be ready to use.
The keyboard is of good quality with enough travel on the keys (the distance they depress into the board) and a clear sound to ensure you know when a key is pressed. The size of the keys is pretty standard for a laptop keyboard so will feel familiar enough and aside from the lack of number pad you have access to all the keys you need. Incidentally there are numbers keys along the top as well as a number pad setup accessible with the Function key.
Like other Penclic products it has a little quirk of colour, namely in the unit we reviewed in the form of a blue enter key. As well as adding a bit of branding to the keyboard it is also meant to allow the enter button to stand out and ensure you hit it when you need to.
The build quality is very good and while it may not be as compact and slim as Penclic’s Bluetooth KB3 keyboard, it still shouldn’t have any trouble fitting in most laptop bags despite the bulky top. This raised end allows the keyboard to house USB ports to let you plug in other peripherals you might need and is a very welcome feature. Underneath are two kickstands for slightly raising the keyboard if you find that more comfortable when typing.
The trackpad fits exactly the same design ethos and using the USB connector in the keyboard you can place them together exactly like on the face of a laptop. This means you barely have to move if you need to switch between typing and moving the mouse, as well as the base of the trackpad providing a wrist rest while you use the keyboard.
The Trackpad itself includes the touch panel, 4 buttons and a scroll wheel. You can do two finger scrolling on the pad itself but the wheel provides a different option if you want more delicate control.
We found the pad responds well and if you are a big fan of trackpads you won’t be disappointed. Personally I’m still more of a mouse man, but I had no trouble navigating using the pad and found the scroll wheel a neat addition.
Costing £45 each for the keyboard and trackpad it doesn’t come cheap but the level of quality is impressive and you will be hard pressed to find something similar for less. If you’re willing to spend a fair bit more we would recommend looking at the wireless KB3, but if you’re happy to plug in via USB the C2 is good option.
Penclic has once again made a fantastic quality mini keyboard that is easy to pack away in a bag and use on the go. It’s not cheap but is of high quality for the price and an excellent choice for converting a laptop into a more permanent style workstation. The Nicetouch is also a great trackpad and a neat addition when used with the keyboard, giving you all the controls at your fingertips without the strain of using a laptop.