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TrekMovie Guide To Trekking Your PC March 16, 2010

by Kayla Iacovino , Filed under: Merchandise,Review,Science/Technology,Star Trek (2009 film),TOS , trackback

Over the past few months many new Trek-related products have come out for your home computer. You can now get a Trek webcam, USB communicator, Trek mouse, Trek keyboard and even Trek desktop themes. Read on for reviews of each and let TrekMovie show you how to Trek your computer!

 

Trek your computer
In this article, we showcase and review the Star Trek keyboards and mice from Keyscraper, the Star Trek USB communicator and USB Enterprise webcam from Dream Cheeky, and Star Trek themes for Windows from The Skins Factory. Each item is scored on a five star rating below.


The ultimate Trek workstation
(note: PADDs are fanmade and not part of review)

Keyscraper Keyboard and Mouse
Keyscraper is a printing company that sells all kinds of customized keyboard designs. Their newest line features designs the new Star Trek movie, and boy are they beautiful. You can choose from two designs, both featuring the new Enterprise in all her glory. And, they work great, too. The keyboards at top quality and have a very nice feel when typing. And, even though the design covers the entire keyboard, keys and all, it’s not distracting. Keyboards come in wired and wireless versions. The mice are fantastic. They are small and compact, so they will travel well, and they’re all wireless. The mice have large-area buttons, scroll wheels, and feel comfortable in the hand. All of the keyscraper products are of great quality. The only thing that might deter you is the price. The keyboards sell for $54.99 each and the mice sell for $39.99 each. It may be a bit steep, but you definitely get what you pay for. Plus, a snazzy Star Trek design to boot! Keyscraper products work on both Mac and PC.

Rating: ★★★★
Overall: Great product, high quality, great design, but a bit pricey.
Compatibility: PC and Mac
Price: Keyboard: $54.99; Mouse: $39.99
Where to buy: Keyscraper.com



Keyscraper Star Trek keyboards and mice

Star Trek TOS USB Communicator
Dream Cheeky has created the one and only Star Trek TOS exact replica USB communicator. This is one really fun toy. Not only does it look and feel like the real thing, it even makes the chirp noise when you open it! It’s also equipped with 21 authentic sound effects that play on both ends of the line, built in mic and speaker, and mute button. This communicator is ideal for Skype, iChat, or any other service that requires an external mic. Sound quality is great, and the product is sturdy and well made. The gold mesh screen is made of real metal, not plastic. The downside to this baby is the non-wirelessness (It comes with a built-in 6′-long USB cord). The effect would work so much better if you didn’t have a big black cord hanging out of the thing. Nonetheless, it’s a fantastic buy, and it won’t set you back too much cash. ThinkGeek.com sells the USB communicator for only $34.99. Works on both Mac and PC.

Rating: ★★★★★
Overall: Great product, high quality, authentic look and feel, not too pricey!
Compatibility: PC and Mac
Price: $34.99
Where to buy: ThinkGeek.com


USB Communicator

TOS USB Enterprise Webcam
Dream Cheeky, the creators of the TOS USB Communicator, have also come out with a stylish Enterprise webcam. It’s sure a nice addition to your desk, but as far as functionality goes, it doesn’t quite make the grade. Although the Dream Cheeky communicator is very good quality, the webcam just isn’t. For one thing, the design is bizarre, as it is made to be mounted via a com-badge shaped sticky pad, to the side of your monitor. Personally, I don’t want to stick something onto a monitor I paid a couple hundred bucks for. Alternatively, you can coil up the bendable metal gooseneck mount and make a little stand for it, but this really works best if on a laptop, not a desktop. The camera itself resides in the deflector dish of the enterprise, which is a cute touch, but because of its placement, the saucer of the ship obstructs part of the camera view! Also, in the webcam I got at least, the camera is twisted at an angle of about 45° to the body of the ship, so I have to twist the ship to appear upright in the video. Red indicator LEDs sit on the front of each nacelle. But, they light up whenever the camera is plugged into your computer rather than only when the camera is in use. What’s more is that there is no built-in microphone. If you don’t have one, that is one more thing you would have to buy, and buying a separate mic can cause lag issues between the video and sound. Overall, I am not too impressed with this product. But, if nothing else, it makes a pretty addition to my desk.

Rating:
Overall: Looks nice, made of sturdy plastic, but poor construction, no microphone, unusual stand.
Compatibility: PC and Mac
Price: $22.99
Where to buy: ThinkGeek.com

Windows Hyperdesk Themes
Hyperdesk, a product of The Skins Factory, is a multi-platform design program that enables its user to change the look and feel of their Windows XP, Vista, and now Windows 7 operating systems. They have recently released Hyperdesk themes for Star Trek, both of which are designed after The Original Series. The Star Trek TOS theme allows the user to choose between Command, Engineering, or Science styles and enables you to change between the three. The pack includes several desktop wallpapers with scenes of the newly rendered Enterprise, a redesigned taskbar and start bar, redesigned buttons and scroll bars, new desktop and folder icons, and a Windows Media Player 11 themed widget and remote.The Star Trek: Terran Empire theme pack comes with the same features, only based on the TOS episode, “Mirror, Mirror” and features the symbol for the Terran Empire (Earth with a sword through it) as the WMP widget. All of the wallpapers are really beautiful and high quality, and the look of buttons and the taskbar really do make you feel like you’re using a Star Trek computer. Both designs are compatible with Windows XP and Vista (both 32 and 64 bit), and the TOS design is additionally compatible with Windows 7. The cost is $9.95 for XP and $14.95 for Vista or 7.

Rating: ★★★★
Overall: Looks beautiful, great icon and wallpaper design. Not super pricey, and you get a lot of customization options.
Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, and 7
Price: $9.95 for XP; $14.95 for Vista or 7
Where to buy: Hyperdesk.com (TOS: XP | Vista | Win 7 | PlayStation) (Terran Empire: XPVista)




New themes from Hyperdesk

Trek Mousepads – coming soon
Although the desktop setup above shows a Star Trek mousepad, that is something picked up years back as there is currently no licensed Trek mousepads available. However, CBS informs us they have recently signed up a new licensee for Star Trek mousepads, so look for an update soon.  

 

 

Comments

1. Skippy2k - March 16, 2010

Cool, I’m still waiting on the bluetooth communicator talked about before but some awesome stuff there.

2. captainedd - March 16, 2010

Went to the website – they don’t offer a Star Trek theme for Windows 7 :( Anyways, it looks cool!

3. Jeff - March 16, 2010

Actually we do offer a Star Trek theme for Windows 7: http://www.hyperdesk.com/windows7_details.php?p=7

4. Tholianhata - March 16, 2010

Don’t really go for skins and such that feature conspicuous Trek branding and random bits of Treknology, like vanity shots of the Enterprise. Would much prefer an interface that looks like one might have in the TOS era. Something simple that uses the old-school Trek iconography in a relatively discreet way. Hopefully this stuff will lead to something along those lines further down the road.

5. Capt. Roykirk - March 16, 2010

Those keyboard keyscrapers are pretty neat, do they come in any other designs besides the JJprise?

I want just a LCARS based operating system. That’d be cool. I like the Enterprise Webcam too.

6. Unlimitedbacon - March 16, 2010

I don’t know if anyone has a Nokia Internet Tablet but the interface has the perfect layout for LCARS style themes. https://synthesize.us/Maemo_themes/LCARS_complete

7. Tanner Waterbury - March 16, 2010

I have the ultimate Trek setup: A 22 inch touchscreen. Now all I need is an LCARS theme that can have full interactivity and I am all set.

8. Crewman Darnell - March 17, 2010

5 & 6

Yes, an LCARS interface would be awesome!! Anyone listening??

9. Jeyl - March 17, 2010

A Keyboard with the NuEnterprise decorated onto it? Not a bad idea since if I ever get into a fleeting rage and bash my keyboard, that piece of ‘hot rod’ monstrosity will take a beating.

Oh, the USB communicator is great! Got one for Christmas.

10. gracliper - March 17, 2010

I was using this LCARS interface while using Windows XP. It worked. Of course with some bugs but I also have a 22 inch touchscreen and it was really nice!

http://www.lcarsx32.com/lcars.php

Now I’m using Windows 7 and haven’t downloaded it to try and see if it works.

Hope you find useful.

11. thebiggfrogg - March 17, 2010

Stuff looks cool, except for the keyboard. Man, that is ugly. Looks like a Barbie themed one you might see for small girls. Communicator looks really cool. The web cam looks cool too, but sounds like it ain’t too functional. Desktop theme looks cool, but as a Mac guy it isn’t really for me (too bad my 9 year old adopted son is a HUGE TOS fan. Would be ubercool to trick out his user account with a Trek theme). But that keyboard will make your PC PU.

12. thebiggfrogg - March 17, 2010

The ultimate Trek workstation.

BONUS! Keeps those stinky girls away. ; )

13. Darkwing - March 17, 2010

I never liked the LCARS look. And it’s cool to see hyperdesk is now offering the trek theme for more than just XP

14. Jane - March 17, 2010

talk about obssession. ha.

15. CarlG - March 17, 2010

These look a lot better than the last Trek-themed keyboard I remember — it was some kind of cheesy red and blue monstrosity that come with a shuttlecraft-shaped holder for your diskettes (hey kids! remember diskettes?). Blech. :)

16. captainedd - March 17, 2010

Jeff, thank you for the link. This is awesome!

17. Simon - March 17, 2010

I would buy a HyperDesk late-TNG era (Enterprise-E) in a heartbeat.

TOS is nice but too old school, at least on a state of the art Win7 PC (after all, my monitor is bigger and thinner than the screens they used on TOS!). It’s like a “Batman” theme using the Adam West suitt & props vs. the Nolan version.

18. Jorg Sacul - March 17, 2010

are you kidding me? I’d kill for a plastic-signed desk setup where everything said “Bat-Monitor” and “Bat-Mouse” and “Bat-WebCam”!

19. Wheeli - March 17, 2010

I like the Communicator, It would be better Design if the USB Cable came out the top instead of the bottom. This would make it more natual to hold and speak into.

20. DS9 IN PRIME TIME - March 17, 2010

I like the key board but not sure that the webcam is all that cool.

21. nx01 - March 17, 2010

Does any one have any good links for Star Trek Wallpaper. I would love to have that one in the picturce that is a good one.

22. Jeff - March 17, 2010

Directed at #17. I’d beg to differ these don’t look modern. I mean it wasn’t like we built these themes in the 1960’s :-)

I have a large display so the images will be large but here are shots of the The Original Series Windows 7 themes. All 3 come in the 1 theme…

Engineering Edition: http://www.theskinsfactory.com/tsf-clients/Hyperdesk_Windows_7___part_6C_by_skinsfactory.jpg

Command Edition: http://www.theskinsfactory.com/tsf-clients/Hyperdesk_Windows_7___part_6A_by_skinsfactory.jpg

Sciences Edition: http://www.theskinsfactory.com/tsf-clients/Hyperdesk_Windows_7___part_6B_by_skinsfactory.jpg

The iTunes/Windows Media Player remote has transporter FX and sound FX from the original series. The actual Hyperdesk application has bridge sounds when you launch it courtesy of CBS Studios, Inc.

23. I am not Herbert - March 17, 2010

Hi Kayla, nice article!

Can you give us a link to your sweet TOS wallpaper?

When is the bluetooth version of the communicator coming?

What brand is that little Enterprise refit model?

Thanks! =)

24. Simon - March 17, 2010

#22 – Well, they’d be right at home on a 1960’s PC :-)

But as you can see from the new film, they modernized the interfaces and props quite a bit. Compare a TNG PADD to an iPad and then look at that thick TOS clipboard thingy.

This may get me kicked out of the TOS fan club but I also found the series sound fx annoying. They were super high pitched to compensate for the tinny TV speakers of the time. The TOS films and the new one toned them down quite a bit and modernized them well.

25. Randy H. - March 17, 2010

#24 – The nice thing about the TOS PADD was that it was angled and had a magnetic stylus. It could be fine today, and fine a couple of hundred years from now. It is a design and interface choice once you have the ability to create it thinner – not “better” or “modern”. As an example, the Trek XI phaser is actually a little bit more massive than the original series phaser, and doesn’t have a Phaser I option. Does that make it a more primitive design?

26. CarlG - March 17, 2010

@24: I have to agree with you — I liked some of the TOS sound effects (the bridge “radar ping” still makes me feel good inside), but I can’t imagine working an 8-hour shift on the TOS bridge without going nuts from the constant beeping and blooping.
Give me a nice, sedate TNG bridge to work in. :)

27. jonboc - March 17, 2010

Uniform bleeps and bloops, ala TNG, are as dull as they are impractical . There is a reason the numbers on a touch tone phone each have their own unique sound. It’s all about functionality and Sulu knows…by just a simple audible cue, that when he intended to turn left, he wasn’t firing phasers instead.

28. I am not Herbert - March 17, 2010

OK that little Enterprise refit model is made by Hot Wheels;
I guess there’s a whole line of ‘em out now…

I just ordered a TOS Enterprise made by Futura off of eBay… ;-)

29. LoyalStarTrekFan - March 17, 2010

To those who say this theme doesn’t look modern are completely wrong, IMO. They look more advanced than the XP, Vista and 7 standard interface looks. I would also point out that the new movie looked flashy, not functional. ENT, TNG, DS9, VOY, and in some ways TOS, looked functional, ST09 didn’t, again IMO. Further, there are several high-tech looking themes available for download at Hyperdesk, not just Star Trek.

I am currently using the Engineering version mainly because I’m a huge fan of the Security officer characters in Star Trek (with Worf and Tuvok being my favorites) and security was red in TOS (as we all know). It really does look great. Excellent work Hyperdesk!

Now, with all that said, I’m a huge TNG-era fan and would love to see a theme based off of TNG. Hyperdesk, do you have any updates on the subject, i.e are you planning to do one, and if so, do you have an estimate as to its release? Also, are there any plans to do any Star Trek alien themes, such as Klingons, Romulans, etc.? Again, thanks for all the great work you’ve done.

30. LoyalStarTrekFan - March 17, 2010

One of the dumbest designs of the new movie is the new phaser. No one would ever design a weapon where the barrel points toward the user. Ever. It’s called gun safety 101. The barrel never points toward the user, for any reason, at any time. All the other phaser designs in Star Trek, the good, bad and ugly (ugly being the TNG Dustbuster (seasons 1-2) and TMP & TWOK phaser) were more realistic than the POS in the new movie. Settings would be changed by a flip of a switch, a push of a button, etc. with the barrel always, always, pointing away from the user. Anyway, just thought I’d share my thoughts on the new phaser design from reboot-Trek since it was touched upon by another forum participant.

31. LoyalStarTrekFan - March 17, 2010

Now, back to the topic at hand.

I’m not sure I like the Trek keyboard and mouse. It seems too distracting and hard to read the keys from the pictures. However, that is just based on the pictures provided on the website. I know the review says that it’s not distracting it just seems to me that, again based on the pictures provided, that it could be.

Still, it’s nice to see more and more Star Trek available to customize our lives with. Thanks TrekMovie for the reviews and information. Excellent work, as always.

32. Kevin - March 17, 2010

A TOS theme is cool… but I’d really be happier if looked more… well… TOS. A screen layout that looks like TOS but also functional would be awesome. Combine that with a screen saver that looked like a TOS monitor… now we’re talking gold. Of course, I could be wrong… but if people want TOS communicators, phasers and uniforms that look like they’re straight out of TOS, I would imagine they’d want a TOS console too.

I’d love a TNG era theme that looked like an LCARS layout as well. Sure I’ve got a great screensaver for that too… but I’m sure other stuff is possible there.

33. Jeff - March 17, 2010

@ 29: We’re thinking about the next theme. Since we did a bunch of icons and some wallpapers for Star Trek XI for PlayStation (available on the US PlayStation Store) we may run with that.

34. NCC-75010 - March 17, 2010

@loyalstartrekfan…..How old are you? And you have WAY too much time on your hands….Long winded, boring banter!

35. Jeff - March 17, 2010

Here’s a couple of YouTube videos in HD that show the Terran Empire theme in action. I believe that version is the XP version. We have it also for Vista but not Windows 7. The TOS theme is available for all 3 versions of Windows.

Terran Empire: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsv2ocld2J8

The Animated iTunes/Windows Media Player Remote: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lFgYK6LnSA

36. I am not Herbert - March 17, 2010

30. LoyalStarTrekFan: “One of the dumbest designs of the new movie is the new phaser.”

FULL AGREEMENT

37. doubting_thomas - March 17, 2010

i’ve always wanted a full LCARS operating system skin.

38. jonboc - March 17, 2010

btw, the TOS themes for the PS3 are awesome…using it right now.

39. LoyalStarTrekFan - March 17, 2010

34, old enough not to answer. You may be correct that I should have proofread my post more thoroughly. However, insults are never welcome. The last time people made insults just to make fun of people I was in Middle School. Congratulations, that put’s you on the same level as an 8th grader. So, how old are you? I hope my point’s been made. If not, well, then it’s your problem, isn’t it?

40. LoyalStarTrekFan - March 17, 2010

Wow, I admit my previous post was a little bit of an overreaction. I had a bad day, however, that is no excuse for improper behavior. Therefore, I will apologize to #34 for my insult directed towards him/her.

So, please just read the first line and ignore the rest of post 39.

41. Do You Wanna Dance - March 18, 2010

Though someone already made the TOS communicator: http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2009/11/star_trek_bluetooth_communicator.html, you’d think by now someone would have developed a bona-fide TNG lapel using Bluetooth technology and a speakerphone. Just tap the lapel to answer, tap to hang up and talk freely. I’d even go so far as to incorporate a flat, magnetic battery or additional components to wear on the inside of the shirt with conductive technology. C’mon, someone make this already!

42. ryanhuyton - March 18, 2010

#41

It’s a good bet someone is already developing a device similar to the combadge worn during the TNG era. It might be another few years before we see it in the open market, but its going to happen. It’s the natural progression of technoogy to make things easier and more convenient to use. Just like with the evolution of computers led to the iPad.

43. lt1701e - March 20, 2010

I have already made a starfleet combadge blutooth. i use it all the time. you have to hold for a second for voice comand. but just tap to answer and hang up. also has caller id so it tells you who is calling.

44. SChaos1701 - March 21, 2010

30

It’s FICTION!

45. Cldstrife - May 17, 2010

#43 how did you make a bluetooth comm badge? Would love to use one,

46. Stephanie - January 10, 2011

43 is this something you made for personal use, or are you marketing it? I’d be interested in buying.

47. Loise Ingebretsen - June 13, 2011

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