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Arctic Cooling K381 Keyboard
Written by Scott Harness   
Tuesday, 26 October 2010 00:00

thumbArctic Cooling K381 Multimedia Keyboard

You should never under estimate the benefit of a good keyboard. And if space saving and effeciency is on your list of priorities for keyboard features, the K381 might be just what you are looking for.


Our review today features the first of three products sent to us by . Historically, (as the name would suggest) have dealt primarily with cooling items, but the three items we have are all peripherals.

I'm typing this review on the . have designed the for style and efficient use of space. It has multimedia keys and all the keys are low resistance.

So let's take a closer look shall we?


  • 12 office function keys – one-touch access to different features

  • Keys for volume control and standby

  • Low-profile layout and key structure – perfect for comfortable typing

  • Low resistance switches allow continuous typing without fatigue

  • Sharp and clear pressure point

  • Save space with ultra-slim design


box_box1 box_box1 box_box1

The box for the Arctic Cooling K381 Keyboard is long and slim, much like the keyboard itself. The front shows a perspective image of the keyboard and lists the main features. The rear of the box goes into more detail on those features and also indicates the supported operating systems.


box_box1 box_box1

Opening the box we find the keyboard secured nicely between two foam inserts and stored in a clear plastic bag. Nothing but the keyboard and a single sheet multi-language manual is included; the keyboard requires no drivers for the office functions except those found on Windows Update.



Removing the keyboard from the packaging we can get our first good look at the keys and there layout.



Arctic Cooling wasn't kidding when they said this thing was slim; it's only 12mm high. Will this effect comfort when typing? We shall find out later.



Turning the keyboard over we can see that the board is raised along the entire back edge. There are no retractable feet or anything like that. There are 4 rubber feet which prevent the keyboard from sliding around nicely.



Turning the keyboard back over, we can see a fairly standard key layout at first glance, but there are a few differences. You'll notice along the top edge, the Function keys, much like the keys on a laptop keyboard, double up to provide further functions such as New, Open, Save etc.



Also, along the bottom left we can see that Arctic Cooling have used an AC logo instead of a Windows or Home key; I'm sure there are a few Linux users who would prefer this. Personally, as long as the key functions and I know what it is, I'm not bothered either way.



The middle section is uneventful, except of course for the continuation of the multi-function Function keys. Also of note is that, again like many laptop keyboards, the enter key is only a single line in height to save space.


k_leds k_right1

The right hand side of the keyboard has the indicator LED's for function shift, Caps Lock and Number Lock (yellow, green and green). There is no scroll lock LED. Above the keypad, we find 4 media keys for volume, mute and putting the PC to sleep.

Everything is nicely laid out and the keys are quite large and evenly spaced. Sitting on your desk, the simple design is bound to attract attention.


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