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  • sxr7171 - Sunday, March 02, 2014 - link

    IMHO this is the best (and cheap): Reply
  • 457R4LDR34DKN07 - Sunday, March 02, 2014 - link

    Logitech dinovo mini is the best in size with little sacrifice. Too bad it's now discontinued without a serious replacement in sight. Reply
  • hughlle - Sunday, March 02, 2014 - link

    I bought the mini, and yup, its was pretty good, but soon replaced it with the edge. And despite the occasional Bluetooth dropout, (one of mine, a Spanish version does it a lot, my UK version, rarely, odd) I've never looked back. Best keyboard I've owned. I LOVE laptop style keys :-) but I truly wish HP would make a version of their kt1087 with a touchpad. I absolutely adore it for typing and its so small and light and well made :-) Reply
  • pintos - Sunday, March 02, 2014 - link

    I currently use the Dinovo Edge that I bought on sale some years ago for $30. I chose it mainly because it comes with a charging dock. I never have a dead keyboard unless I forget to dock it.

    I wonder if there some good quality wireless keyboard/mouse combos that can be charge over USB. Maybe even have the option to work over USB while charging.
  • Gigaplex - Sunday, March 02, 2014 - link

    I also use a Dinovo Edge. It's great. Unfortunately I paid close to $300 for mine... Reply
  • nathanddrews - Wednesday, March 05, 2014 - link

    I've been using K400 keyboards on a few of my HTPCs for over a year after going through a number of ***** keyboards. Still haven't changed the batteries... Logitech just announced this, it's a K400 with Harmony functionality:
  • Havor - Monday, March 03, 2014 - link

    Yeah i love my Logitech diNovo Mini, i use it the most for my HTPC if i need a keyboard, next to that i have a Logitech diNovo Edge standing on the table next to my couch, for when i need to do a lot of typing.

    Next to that they both work real well, they also look so nice that i dont even have to hide them.

    Something i would do for sure with to days contenders!
  • Jon Tseng - Monday, March 03, 2014 - link

    DiNovo mini great also works nicely with PS3

    One annoying thing thought - no Function Keys!!
  • rwpritchett - Monday, March 03, 2014 - link

    I have a Dinovo Mini and had nothing but trouble with it with my HTPC. HOWEVER, I discovered this little-known Logitech gem:

    It's the exact same as the Dinovo Mini except it uses standard RF instead of bluetooth and a few button changes. The battery life is incredible, it's still available, AND it's much cheaper than the Dinovo Mini. Anyone considering the Dinovo Mini should consider it.
  • ddrum2000 - Sunday, March 02, 2014 - link

    A few years ago I bought and returned the Lenovo unit in favor of the IOGear. For the limited typing I do I couldn't get used to the keyboard. Additionally, I found the wireless signal to be significantly stronger with the IOGear (maybe its the auto frequency hopping). For the Lenovo, I had to put the USB receiver on the front of the HTPC box with disturbed the aesthetic where as the IOGear receiver can be used on a rear USB port with no problem. Reply
  • pintos - Sunday, March 02, 2014 - link

    A thumb based HTPC keyboard/mouse article would be great! Reply
  • cjb110 - Monday, March 03, 2014 - link

    Just about to post the same:) If your more navigating, with occasional keyboard usage, then its far smaller. Reply
  • podspi - Monday, March 03, 2014 - link

    Yep. Been using one for years and it is just about perfect. Reply
  • peterfares - Monday, March 03, 2014 - link

    I have one of those, it kind of sucks. It's awkward to use. Reply
  • SirGCal - Monday, March 03, 2014 - link

    I have three of these. One word of caution, do not put the dongle in a USB3 powered port... cooked one (fire). Works great in USB2 though. Love it otherwise. Reply
  • zephxiii - Tuesday, March 04, 2014 - link

    I like to use that Lenovo remote AND a regular wireless keyboard and mouse. The best of both worlds. Reply
  • cnccnc - Sunday, March 02, 2014 - link

    Not sure if this is a big enough niche, but how about pointing devices for Windows 8.x-based HTPCs? I had to add Start8 and ModernMix to Win8 to make it usable as a desktop PC, but I think Modern/Metro works great as an HTPC interface.

    I'd like to see the various wireless touch mice, trackpads, a regular scroll wheel mouse, etc. reviewed in an HTPC context. I use Logitech K810 (which is outstanding) and a Logitech T620 mouse, which is meh.

    You might also add the Logitech TK820 to this comparison.
  • burras - Sunday, March 02, 2014 - link

    Unified remote ( is a very decent option, especially if used with a tablet. An IOS version is promised soon. Reply
  • SanLouBlues - Tuesday, March 04, 2014 - link

    Unified remote is pretty awesome even with just the free version. The pulse eight CEC adapter plus Unified Remote for the situations where you need qwerty or mouse input (pretty much just software updates) is the ideal solution for me. Reply
  • RollingCamel - Sunday, March 02, 2014 - link

    Unified Remote?
  • kolepard - Sunday, March 02, 2014 - link

    The section on the Logitech appears to be missing at the moment. Reply
  • kolepard - Sunday, March 02, 2014 - link

    Ah, nevermind, I see now. Reply
  • sepffuzzball - Sunday, March 02, 2014 - link

    I still use my Logitech Dinovo Edge for my HTPC...still haven't found one that looks better! Bit expensive at $100 when I bought it (on sale I believe too) though... Reply
  • xraycat - Sunday, March 02, 2014 - link

    This is the latest HTPC keyboard/mouse/remote device I'm using:
    I've got the Lenovo Remote Keyboard v2 and used to have v1. This Feilan device is great as it can switch between PC (RF) and TV (IR). The only downside is it can't switch between multiple IR devices, I just program the buttons to operate my TV and cable box simultaneously.
  • willis936 - Sunday, March 02, 2014 - link

    After reading through this I realized how cheap it would be to be able to control my desktop from my TV in the next room. I have an HDMI extender going to it and it works great but having to use a dinky android tablet for remote desktop or get up to change/set stuff up is annoying. $30 to be able to just turn on my tv and use my computer from my couch? Yep. Reply
  • Don Tonino - Sunday, March 02, 2014 - link

    I'm not sure if it is still on sale, but for the last 3 or 4 years I've been quite happy with the Enermax Aurora Micro ( The aluminium face place adds to the weight, but it has a really neat finish and feeling IMHO. Reply
  • kgh00007 - Sunday, March 02, 2014 - link

    What about this Logitech k820 all in one, totally awesome and multi touch touchpad supports windows 8 gestures!
  • Vincent - Sunday, March 02, 2014 - link

    I have the IOGEAR and am unimpressed with its build quality. The left mouse button sticks and the trackball does not consistently respond. I have two Logitech K400s and they are way better. Reply
  • ganeshts - Sunday, March 02, 2014 - link

    The trackball issue - I have seen that on almost all trackball based units I have used - FWIW, the trackball quality, feel and responsiveness was better on the IOGEAR compared to the SIIG.

    Now, the K400 is a touchpad unit -- So, it wouldn't be fair to compare the trackball vs. touchpad build quality. In addition, the K400s are almost half the weight of the other units. For many people, it appears a little flimsy.. Having a toddler around in the living room, I have been worried about the health of the K400 when it gets into her hands :)

    It is all a subjective experience -- Personally, I prefer the touchpad to the trackball keyboards, but different people have different requirements / preferences.
  • casteve - Monday, March 03, 2014 - link

    I have the K400. On the plus side, it's cheap and Logitech's paired wifi transceivers work great. On the minus side, the touchpad response is horrible/erratic. If they put in a decent quality touchpad and added a backlight to the keyboard (HTPC lives in a dark room, eh?) it would go from mediocre to great. Reply
  • username609 - Tuesday, March 04, 2014 - link

    I had the IOGEAR keyboard for a couple years. The biggest problem was the mechanical trackball attracting and retaining dirt. The keyboard had to be disassembled every so often and the inner wheels cleaned in order to keep it functioning. I finally replaced the board with a K400 when the keys began to delaminate.

    One definite advantage to the IOGEAR: all of the Media Center buttons work out of the box. There's a lot of functionality that has to be programmed into the K400 in order to get it to the same level of user-friendliness.
  • zyk - Sunday, March 02, 2014 - link

    The fact that you have to use keyboard combinations or SetPoint software to access F1-F12 keys keeps me away from most of Logitech's new portable keyboards. I would imagine this is a determining factor for many users and functionality caveats like this ought to be in the comparison chart. Reply
  • Kobaljov - Sunday, March 02, 2014 - link

    Another interesting smaller option can be the Sony Android TV's remote controller with full qwerty keyboard, but unfortunately it had compatibility issues on other OSes
  • Penti - Monday, March 03, 2014 - link

    Do Motorola/Arris still sell their RF-based qwerty remote/keyboard (NYXboard) any more? Pulse-eight discontinued theirs/it. To bad as I have yet to see a replacement.

    Lot's of smaller options around though.
  • andy o - Sunday, March 02, 2014 - link

    I'm using the Rapoo Blade E9180P, after using the Logitech K400 (first edition) frustratingly for years. I'm happy overall. It operates on 5GHz, and has the same kind of "nano" USB dongle that Logitech has. Only gripes: can't triple-click, and the mouse acceleration is not very customizable (basically only the Windows on/off option).

    Pros: can actually DO gestures, even middle click with 3 fingers and pinch to zoom, not like the Logitech K400 which its first edition was multitouch but for some reason Logitech never enabled any other gesture than two finger scroll. Also, full size keys, not reduced like the K400, and shorter but just a bit longer.
  • inkz - Sunday, March 02, 2014 - link

    Ganesh, thank you for the keyboard reviews.
    Would you please identify any idiosyncrasies in the HTPC keyboards reviewed, such as behaviour when falling out of range, battery drain, sync issues, BIOS usage. Some examples I have experienced:
    Old keyboard that looked like Grandtec KEY-3000 - would drain rechargeable batteries monthly, following each battery change - required resync
    SIIG JK-WR0412-S1 clone - whenever the link dropped, the last key press would become stickyyyyyyyy
    MC-7126 from dx - trackball would intermittently drop out, receiver fails on exiting S3 mode
    Logitech K400 - trackpad fails when a damp finger is used (overly sensitive to water droplets)
    Rapoo E2700 - trackpad sensitivity set ridiculously low (problematic when you connect multiple keyboards without keyboard profile support), and trackpad cannot wake from sleep

    One or two of them also didn't work in BIOS, don't remember which.

    I look forward to more HTPC keyboard/trackball reviews & other readers' recommendations. I still haven't found a perfect keyboard (the SIIG JK-WR0412-S1 clone I had would come close, except for the poor behaviour during dropouttttttts).
  • alphaod - Sunday, March 02, 2014 - link

    I use the Logitech KT820.

    It's got good tactile feedback and the trackpad is buttonless. It also looks sleaker than the K400. The only issue is on OS X (connected to my Mac mini), it doesn't support multitouch gestures like three finger swipe and whatnot.

    And it's pricier at $80, but I think it's worth it.
  • meacupla - Sunday, March 02, 2014 - link

    It's not in the same price range at all, if purpose bought, but it would be nice to see the alternatives.
    Wii-mote, PS3 BD remote, nexus 7 or a spare smartphone which have support in remote controlling windows, XBMC remote, powerdvd remote, etc.
  • cjs150 - Monday, March 03, 2014 - link

    Maplin used to do a combined keyboard and trackball that was the size of an Xbox controller. The build quality was a bit dubious, it tends to take a while to wake up but for sofa surfing it is ideal. From memory the cost was about £15 or $22.

    If someone could remake but with better build quality that would be an absolute winner - typing was easy on it as long as it was limited to web addresses, short emails and similar
  • nos024 - Monday, March 03, 2014 - link

    I'm using my tablet + PowerDVD 13 Ultra and it works great. Reply
  • owan - Monday, March 03, 2014 - link

    I own a k400r. I wouldn't touch any of the rest of these garbage kb's with a 10 foot pole. Its the smallest (total footprint), lightest, and cheapest, while still having a good layout and integrated touch pad. The only knock on it (in this article) was that its not good for the occasional extended typing session? Who uses their HTPC for even an occasional extended typing session? And even then, why is it a concern when you can just move over a decent full size keyboard? Reply
  • andymcca - Monday, March 03, 2014 - link

    I love my IOGear GKM681R. I believe I bought it for $25
    Similarly priced to the lenovo link above, my batteries last months (>a year?) with auto on/off, it has different mouse buttons for holding it in different positions. It has a track ball, which I find much more ergonomic than touch pads or those awful laptop pencil erasers.
  • rickon66 - Monday, March 03, 2014 - link

    The K400 is often on sale for $19.99. Reply
  • donebu - Monday, March 03, 2014 - link

    I'm just using a cheap usb keyboard for my Windows 8.1 HTPC. I'm trying to decide between these keyboards and would like to see them reviewed:

    Logitech Wireless All-In-One Keyboard TK820 with Built-In Touchpad

    Rapoo Blade E9180P 5GHz Wireless Compact Ultra-slim Keyboard w/Touchpad
  • zlandar - Monday, March 03, 2014 - link

    I would test and verify the range of each unit.

    What a manufacturer advertises and what is reality are not the same thing.
  • Death666Angel - Monday, March 03, 2014 - link

    What would be the point? The only information you can take away from it is that it has a range of x in the reviewers quarters. There is no way to translate that information to your own home. Reply
  • kchilaka - Monday, March 03, 2014 - link

    I use a logitech K400 myself and it works fine except for the position of the shift key and lack of dedicated home and end keys. Two keyboards for extended HTPC I would like to see reviewed are the Logitech TK820 and the Rapo E9180P which has 5GHZ support.. Reply
  • drainplugofideas - Monday, March 03, 2014 - link

    I've used the Logitech K400 for a couple years and I LOVE it. I had fooled around with other products such as a usb media center remote control, but the keyboard is by far the most useful part. I briefly thought about buying a smaller, thumb controlled keyboard, but I'm glad I did not because the typing experience on a full sized(ish) keyboard is far superior. I

    In the future, I'd pay more money for a model that had a backlight, better keys, and it would be amazing to include support for a smart hub (something logitech already makes) so it could turn on my TV and switch the input.
  • peterfares - Monday, March 03, 2014 - link

    I really like my Logitech TK820 for my HTPC. To make it perfect it would be backlit and the trackpad drivers would be a little better. As it is I have to disable most of the gestures because they don't work right but they're not really necessary anyways. Reply
  • CSMR - Monday, March 03, 2014 - link

    What do keyboards have to do with HTPCs?
    What HTPC interface makes use of a keyboard?
  • rygaroo - Monday, March 03, 2014 - link

    So I keep my HTPC in my bedroom closet (the wall behind my TV) and run an HDMI cable through a wall plate, and my current wireless keyboard cuts out if I'm too far away from the TV. Are there any keyboard/mouse combos that would get me better signal for my particular setup? Reply
  • wlossw - Monday, March 03, 2014 - link

    Too bad there's no option with MAC keyboard layout... oh wait... apple keyboard + magic trackpad + 12 south magic wand. done. Reply
  • Spazzy - Monday, March 03, 2014 - link

    My current favorite;

    The track pad on this unit is simply stellar. It even mimics standard laptop functionality like tap to click. Lets be honest, you use the mouse functions far more often then you use the keyboard on a media center. Which is a good thing as the keyboard, while perfectly functional, is not the easiest to type on. This is mostly due to size, but also due to the odd placement of non numerical/alphabetic keys. You have to use the function key to get to any of those symbols.

    This unit works great for one handed operation of the mouse and allows quick word searches without having to drag out a full sized keyboard. It contains a rechargeable battery that typically last me two weeks between charges. It does have a side mounted on/off switch, but I rarely use it.

    If they added a scroll wheel, another row of keys (so they could put non alpha keys in their normal place), and included a keyboard back light, this would be the perfect media center keyboard. As it is, it is pretty close!
  • acme64 - Monday, March 03, 2014 - link

    I wish i could find that original Boxee remote. If I can get that working on windows i'd be set. Reply
  • Rhoshambo - Monday, March 03, 2014 - link

    Am I the only one who cares about the keyboard being backlight? I used mine in a HTPC environment with a theatre projector and blackout blinds, and for me the killer app is being able to see the keys in the dark. Reply
  • KITH - Monday, March 03, 2014 - link

    I personally have the lenovo mini remote and the SIIG JK-WR0312-S1
    For any typing the lenovo is a joke but the SIIG has excellent feedback on the keys and is a very sturdy build.
  • RemoteControlAxe - Monday, March 03, 2014 - link

    Or there's the dark horse option: Unified remote!
    Basically, you run a server application on your Windows PC and an app on your Android/Windows phone, and it turns your phone into a trackpad with your phone keyboard collapsible. I've used it for a while to great success with my PC in the living room. Also, it's free (yes there's a paid version of the app, but I don't need it). There are also some fancy media player specific remotes in it if you're into that, but I've generally found the default trackpad to be the way to go.
  • Aikouka - Tuesday, March 04, 2014 - link

    I used a similar solution to that called HippoRemote ( It worked by installing a branded VLC server on my PC, and I was able to connect to it using the app (free or paid). The secondary benefit of installing a VLC server for it? I had a VLC server to connect to. =P Although, now I just use Splashtop for remote administrating. Reply
  • Offperception - Tuesday, March 04, 2014 - link

    Weird, I have a K400 and it does have the distance stuttering problem. This article at least tells me why this is happening. And just as I read this article this morning, Logitech added a new variant of the K400, paired with its Harmony tech.

    Since it's not clear when this will be in Europe, as it appears very US oriented (it's not even on the Dutch Logitech site), how soon will this be reviewed here, I wonder?
  • fourpobs - Tuesday, March 04, 2014 - link

    I bought an IOGEAR GKM561R 4-5 years ago (this is not a new device) to control my HTPC from the couch. At the time there were fewer options but it worked for me and I quickly adjusted to the 2-handed mousing.

    About a year a go wine got spilled all over it and it quit working except for a few keys. I took a long hard look around for a replacement thinking "there must be something better for my needs by now" and had a budget of <$150. I like something I can actually type on and that is durable and slick looking. I am not cheap but I really didn't find anything I thought would be better in that price range. In the end, I ended up buying another one and am content.
  • Aikouka - Tuesday, March 04, 2014 - link

    I use a Logitech MediaBoard Pro, which was originally designed for the PS3. It has a trackpad, physical on-off switch, and the best aspect for me is that it uses Bluetooth for connectivity. I use it on my NUC, which means I don't take up one of the valuable two rear USB ports on some wireless dongle. The only downside is that the keyboard lacks a Windows key since it was originally designed for the PS3. Reply
  • jensend - Tuesday, March 04, 2014 - link

    Why aren't there any Bluetooth Low Energy/ Bluetooth Smart keyboards? Somebody showed a paper-thin one last year as a tech demo, but that's it.

    I'd imagine that lower energy use would be worth going for in a keyboard. The connection latency is low enough you can leave it idling in an unconnected state when not typing and still get good responsiveness for the first keystroke. Bluetooth Smart may be 2.4GHz but its frequency hopping is much smarter than most non-standard RF peripherals. Gigabyte's BRIX systems come with BT4 built in, while it's cheap and easy to install it in the NUC, and not so hard to put it in any HTPC system.
  • Imaginer - Tuesday, March 04, 2014 - link

    As much as the keyboards with built in trackballs are nice in having one periphery device (instead of two with a cordless keyboard and trackball), the ball on the built in all in one keyboards are small.

    Small so that there is still A LOT of work in manipulating the pointer on HTPCs. You can forget about gaming with it, since your thumb would be doing more work to position the ball (even accounting for speed settings).

    The smallness of the ball, is to account for the compactness of the device. Great, if you occasionally point.

    The trackpads, are more of a compact design in a three dimensional space (still space taking in the 2D plane). Basically, your TV and HTPC interfaced like a laptop.

    I will say this as an HTPC user. The keyboard is great for searching for text entry. The HTPC CAN be great for a work environment (properly matching your seating distance, your TV viewing size aperture, and the TV's resolution and scaling of elements with all of the factors in balance). It is possibly my preferred method (keyboard in lap, my trackball to the side) with no harsh edges or even levitating my arms for a desk.

    A Logitech K800 and a M570 is my setup. both arms and hands naturally rested and not gripping (like the built in trackballs on the right side on some of those keyboards) for prolonged input of pointing or typing. The downside, is that there are two devices to account for. Most of the time however, the M570 sees more use on an HTPC setup so it can be paired down to one device (especially with the virtual on screen keyboards of Windows 7 and 8 OS areas, more so with 8).
  • sergekarramazov - Wednesday, March 05, 2014 - link

    it seems that nobody heard about the new logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard. I saw many references about the k400 (that i personaly owned) but nothing about this Harmony keyboard. It's much more expensive than the k400 but with all the functions of an harmony remote : Reply
  • widescreen - Wednesday, March 05, 2014 - link

    I've been using the K400 for a while on an old HTPC using XBMCbuntu and it worked great. Now I just switched to a NUC i3 haswell running Openelec and the range is terrible. Like 3 ft max. In openelec or in the bios, same thing. Plugged it into my laptop running Win7 and range was fine.
    Haven't tried in windows on the NUC yet to check if it's software or hardware related.
  • rahnold - Wednesday, March 05, 2014 - link

    Apple Wireless Keyboard + Apple Magic Trackpad + Twelve South MagicWand? Reply
  • mrdanno - Friday, March 07, 2014 - link

    GREAT article! I've been trying to replace my Dinovo Edge forever...left click died ages ago, right click a year after that...but it's still a slick, rechargeable, backlit wireless keyboard & touchpad combo. I cannot believe Logitech has nothing that replaces it properly...

    I'd like something to do plenty of typing, gaming too...just a full-sized keyboard, that can be backlit, and has some form of touchpad/trackball/etc... I can use a wireless mouse for gaming, as I do now, so the touchpad just needs to be for casual use. Basically I'd like a new Dinovo Edge for less than a king's ransom, why is that so hard to find??
  • JaLooNz - Friday, March 07, 2014 - link

    Why not review the Thinkpad Trackpoint Bluetooth keyboard? Seriously I feel that trackpoint is better than any touchpad. Reply
  • mikato - Friday, March 07, 2014 - link

    Personally I love my Logitech K400. I got it for $15 refurb on newegg. It is just what the doctor ordered for couch-HTPC-surfing. I bought it even though we already have a really nice K800 keyboard and G-series gaming mouse for gaming wirelessly and it was a great purchase. Reply
  • coolhund - Monday, March 10, 2014 - link

    Tried several of those, incl. the diNovo mini. All were very unreliable or far too huge and the diNovo even had some keys not getting recognized after a while amongst other glitches.

    Then I bought 2 Riitek ones: & and never looked back. They have been working for over 3 years now.
  • Dug - Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - link

    Really need to look at Logitech Harmony Keyboard. Far more functionality than any of these other stop gap solutions. Reply
  • Stilicho - Thursday, March 20, 2014 - link

    IMHO these keyboards may function well but they look terrible. If I wanted to use it in a HTPC set up, I would definitely want it to look more stylish (more like apple design, agree or not, but Apple understood this part very well). Reply
  • mixsta - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    Logitech TK 820 - great keys layout + gynormous trackpad @ $70 - nuff said!
  • rainmakerxiii - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    Adesso Wireless Mini Keyboard with Trackball (WKB-3000U) Reply

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