By Chris Scott Barr

There was a time not all that long ago where Mad Catz was a brand associated with cheap gaming accessories that no one really cared all that much about. After the acquisition of Saitek, the company really turned things around. I had the pleasure of checking out their latest line of products, each one a quality piece of hardware. In fact, the first one I’m going to show you isn’t even related to gaming.

We’ve seen a number of solutions for controlling your living room PC and Mad Catz has their own. Under the Eclipse brand, the new litetouch keyboard is a sleek peripheral that wouldn’t look bad at all sitting on your coffee table. It’s a little smaller than your average desktop keyboard, thanks to the F-keys being dropped down and the arrow keys (and a few others) being brought in to the left of where they’d normally sit. If it’s going to be sitting out, smaller is generally better.

Where you’d normally find the number pad is instead a small LCD screen. When turned on, you’ll see one of three different sets of virtual buttons displayed on the screen. You have ‘number pad mode,’ ‘media mode’ and ‘MyEclipse mode.’ The number pad is pretty self-explanatory, as is the media mode. The MyEclipse mode has 12 keys with pre-defined icons which can be programmed to open an application, or up to three individual websites. There are also an extra 5 keys that can be programmed to do virtually anything else.


Also found on the litetouch keyboard is a trackball and left/right mouse buttons. After all, what good would a living room keyboard be without the ability to control your mouse pointer? The litetouch keyboard will be available this Spring in both wired and wireless varieties. Look for them at $99 and $129 respectively.

[ Eclipse ]