Speedlink has been around for a couple of decades and is especially known for affordable computer peripherals. The portfolio is broad and ranges from RGB-lit gaming equipment to speakers, headphones, webcams and more. What you should think about if you sit at the computer a lot is ergonomics. With the Speedlink Piavo Ergonomics Deskset, consisting of a keyboard and mouse, we now have a set to test here. I have to admit that I’ve seen ergonomically optimized ones before, but have never tested them myself for any length of time. As an editor who sits at the computer a lot, writes and works on large monitors, it is quite interesting to test and analyze the wireless Piavo Ergonomic Deskset from Speedlink.
Speedlink Piavo: Specifications
|Range||up to 10 m|
|Radio technology||1.4 Ghz|
|Mouse||5 buttons + dpi switch|
|Optical sensor||With adjustable resolution: 800 / 1200 / 1600 dpi|
|Mouse dimensions||120 × 76 × 72 mm (L × W × H)|
|Weight mouse||112 g|
|Keyboard||Full size keypad with 12 multifunction keys|
|Keyboard dimensions||453 × 212 × 30 mm (W × D × H)|
|Weight keyboard||363 g|
|Price||€ 34.99 *|
Speedlink Piavo: Packaging and scope of delivery
The packaging of the Speedlink Piavo ergonomic deskset is kept compact and quite simple. A cardboard box holds both the mouse and the keyboard, which are each in a plastic bag. A printed manual is found underneath the keyboard. On the bottom of the box, on which the keyboard is elevated, are batteries – one AA battery for the mouse and two AA batteries for the keyboard. Last but not least, the wireless set requires a corresponding USB wireless receiver. In order not to lose it, it is placed directly in the battery compartment of the mouse and is easy to remove.
Workmanship of the keyboard
The workmanship of the Speedlink Piavo wireless ergonomic deskset is rather basic. The keyboard is completely made of plastic, which is also known from budget keyboards. This material does not convey a premium feel now, but the ergonomic shape makes up for a large part of that. The palms rest comfortably on the extended, hard underside. When pressing a bit harder, you can observe how the whole keyboard yields – but without creaking noises.
The keys seem to be of higher quality than the material of the keyboard’s case. These sit quite firmly, hardly wobble, have a decent travel and sound rather dark and not very obtrusive. The typing feel is good and the keys release securely. There are a few glossy accents around the on-off switch and above the number pad, but these quickly accentuate fingerprints and dust in contrast to the keyboard’s otherwise matte surface. On the underside of the Speedlink Piavo Ergonomic Deskset keyboard are a couple of rubber pads to keep it from slipping. A nice bonus is that the hinged feet for angling the keyboard also have rubber pads. These feet can only be adjusted one level (open / closed), but this will be sufficient for most users. The battery compartment is easy to open – maybe even a bit too easy. It doesn’t give a particularly high-quality impression and isn’t fixed to the case, but is a flap that is removed.
Workmanship the mouse
The mouse of the Speedlink Piavo Egonomie desk set appears to be of a higher quality in terms of materials. It is built exclusively for right-hand use, as most other non-symmetrical mice are as well. The surface feels supple, almost soft. The keys have the expected pressure point. You have to press the function keys in the thumb area specifically; they don’t trigger too quickly so you don’t accidentally activate them. They are also clearly raised and can thus be clearly felt. The scroll wheel is rubberized for a decent grip and has clearly noticeable indentations. At the same time, it is easy to turn and locks securely into place every step of the way. The mouse’s battery cover sits much tighter than the keyboard’s, which makes sense for a mouse that’s on the move. The material edges aren’t quite evenly finished, but practically nothing can be felt of it. There is no illumination on either of the two parts.
Setting up the Speedlink Piavo Ergonomic Deskset is simple: unpack and insert the batteries, remove the USB receiver from the mouse’s battery compartment, and plug it into the computer. Then all you have to do is turn the switches between the keyboard’s spacebars and on the bottom of the mouse to “On” and everything works. No additional software is needed and the one receiver is enough for both input devices. For the longest possible battery life, it is recommended to turn the switches to “Off” when not using the mouse and keyboard.
The mouse of the Speedlink Piavo Ergonomics Deskset needs some time to get used to.
Due to the different posture position of the hand, you initially feel like you lose a bit of precision. But this is typical for any unfamiliar operation or posture. The index finger and middle finger rest on the two main keys, and there are separate indentations for the ring finger and little finger underneath. The thumb rests comfortably opposite. I don’t have the biggest hands, but when I hold the mouse so that the heel of my hand rests on the back, my little finger is just above and rubs on the table or mouse pad. If I purposefully place the little finger a bit higher, the ring finger rests a bit, which favors sweating of the fingers, especially in higher room temperatures. Alternatively, I can place the thumb further forward, but then the mouse looks twisted. The posture that I personally find most comfortable is a slightly bent little finger.
None of this is really a problem, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the Speedlink Piavo Ergonomic Deskset to people with really big hands. Small to medium sized hands can definitely benefit from the ergonomic shape, as the “upright” orientation of the mouse is less strenuous on the wrist in the long run than a regular, flat mouse.
You get used to the keyboard of the Speedlink Piavo Ergonomics Deskset very quickly. Since the keyboard has a quasi-normal layout and it is only slightly curved and has a split spacebar, there is not much need to get used to it. The only thing that is added, the curvature of the keyboard. This means you don’t have to put as much pressure on your wrists. The hands also rest more evenly here, and I feel that the weight of my arms is less concentrated on the pads of my thumbs and better distributed over the full width of my hand than with regular keyboards. The switch from a regular keyboard went almost perfectly.
The only thing that struck me a bit negatively is the lack of spacing between the F-keys. Usually these are arranged in blocks of four with fine spacing, but on the keyboard from the Speedlink Piavo Ergonomic Deskset they are lined up without any gaps. I use the F keys fairly frequently, whether as Alt + F4 to close the active window, F5 in the browser to refresh the web page, or in Total Commander F5 to copy or F6 to move. The usual gap between F4 and F5 makes it easy to quickly key without looking. That’s not really possible here.
Usability in everyday work
In addition to the usual two buttons, the mouse has two more that can be used in the browser, for example, to scroll back and forward again. Then the typical button in the scroll wheel, which activates the scroll function in the browser or in Word documents. Another dedicated button switches between three sampling rates: 800 / 1200 / 1600 dpi. The higher the sampling rate, the further the mouse moves with the same hand movement. 1200 dpi is quite reasonable for everyday use. 1600 dpi are comfortable when working with large, high-resolution monitors and don’t want to reach to maneuver the mouse pointer across the screen. 800 dpi is optimal for precise work where you don’t want the mouse pointer to move too far, for example when working in Photoshop with pixel accuracy or when marking text precisely. Or simply when using not too high resolution screens.
The F-keys of the keyboard of the Speedlink Piavo Ergonomics Deskset are assigned with additional functions that can be activated via the FN key. This works the same way as the function keys of laptops. For example, you can directly control the volume, send the computer into standby mode or open the calculator. Two function keys are directly accessible without pressing the FN key – Search and opening Explorer. However, the Search key opens the Windows search function in most cases and not the program-specific one.
If you don’t use the mouse and keyboard for a while, they go into standby mode, even if you haven’t set the switches to “Off”. With the mouse, it is then not enough to move it, but it is reactivated by pressing any key. With the keyboard, you only press keys anyway, so it is hardly noticeable – except for the fact that the info LEDs in the upper right turn off.
Feedback from other people in the room is also that the typing noise is relatively pleasant, as the keys do not crunch when only fingers are placed on them. The keys do not clack when typing, but sound rather muffled. Unless you are alone in the room, this is quite relevant. However, the space bar keys are a bit louder than the letters.
There is no cable for charging batteries – the standard batteries have to be changed when the inserted ones are empty.
Usability in Gaming
Gaming is not the primary target application for the Speedlink Piavo Ergonomic Deskset – it’s designed for everyday work in particular. Still, it’s not entirely ruled out, of course.
I conducted my test in three different games: Final Fantasy XV, Starcraft II and Mud Runner. In the former, the in-game camera is controlled with the mouse and the character is typically controlled with the WASD keys – similar to most shooters. In the second game, much of the control is via the mouse, but you’re also constantly pressing shortcuts. The last game was chosen as one I had never played before. It is controlled with both the keyboard and the mouse. With this, I wanted to see if the unfamiliar input devices would somehow hinder me in addition to the unfamiliar controls.
Succinctly, I have to say that in all cases I was so engrossed in the game quite quickly that I didn’t feel that the Speedlink Piavo Ergonomic Deskset had any negative impact. The first few minutes were unfamiliar and I had to adjust the DPI to get the expected camera or map movement speed. Thanks to the dedicated button, switching was no problem.
Yes, even without the Speedlink Piavo Ergonomics Deskset being made for it, you can definitely do casual gaming with it. I could not determine noticeable latencies – the transmission via 2.4Ghz radio used here tends to be advantageous compared to Bluetooth.
Speedlink Piavo review: conclusion
The wireless Speedlink Piavo Ergonomic Deskset is definitely a solid package for office work. It takes some time to get used to it – especially with the mouse. However, you then have a decent system without annoying cables and with a healthy hand position. The workmanship does not correspond to the premium segment, but that is hardly to be expected in this price range. The keys of the devices are very decent. Except for a few details, like the missing spacing between the F keys.