Comparisons & Concluding Remarks

The pros and cons of each of the keyboards being considered today have already been outlined. In order to make comparisons easier, we have drawn up the table below comparing the features and specifications of each unit. I usually prefer to include hard benchmark numbers while presenting reviews, but evaluating input devices is more of a subjective exercise. Hence, the various keyboards are given some subjective scores for certain metrics.

HTPC Keyboards - Specifications & Features
Aspect Logitech K400 IOGEAR GKM561R SIIG JK-WR0412-S1 SIIG JK-WR0312-S1
Device Type Keyboard + Touchpad / 2-button Keyboard + Trackball / 2-button + Scroll wheel Keyboard + Trackball / 2-button + Scroll wheel Keyboard + Touchpad / 2-button
Dimensions 13.94" x 5.35" x 0.94" 14.125" x 6.5" x 1.5" 13.6" x 6.3" x 1.8" 12.125" x 8.75" x 0.625"
Weight 0.79 lbs / 360 g 1.26 lbs / 572 g 1.2 lbs / 544 g 1.4 lbs / 646 g
Power Source 2x AA 2x AA 2x AA 2x AAA
Communication RF 2.4 GHz / USB Receiver RF 2.4 GHz / 78 channels (auto channel hopping) RF 2.4 GHz / 80 channels (no explicit channel hopping) RF 2.4 GHz / 80 channels (no explicit channel hopping)
Power Saver Explicit On / Off Switch Explicit On / Off Switch Auto Sleep Auto Sleep
Extra (Multimedia) Keys 4 8 14 8
USB Receiver Storage Compartment Yes No No Yes
Backlight No No No No
Keyboard Layout 8 / 10 6 / 10 5 / 10 6 / 10
Ergonomics 6 / 10 7 / 10 7 / 10 7 / 10
Build Quality 7 / 10 9 / 10 7 / 10 7 / 10
MSRP (USD) $39.99 $49.95 $59.99 $69.99
Warranty 3 Years 3 Years 3 Years 3 Years

As evident from the table above, it is difficult to declare one particular unit as the best HTPC interfacing option out there. All of the presented units could do with an upgrade to operation in the 5 GHz band. The IOGEAR GKM561R could really do with a better keyboard layout and proportionately sized keys. It also needs a left click button on the top frame near the trackball. The SIIG JK-WR0412-S1 and JK-WR0312-S1 need to both improve upon the keyboard layout (particularly the location of the Ctrl and Fn keys). Automatic channel hopping could also help with range issues. The trackball version (JK-WR0412-S1) needs standard sized keys and a trackball of better quality. The touchpad version (JK-WR0312-S1) needs quieter mouse buttons as well as a larger touchpad area. The units missing an explicit on/off button would do well to integrate one.

Moving forward, we are looking to reviewing more options in this particular niche. If there is any particular model that you would like us to review, please sound off in the comments.

 

SIIG JK-WR0312-S1 - Features & Usage Impressions
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  • sxr7171 - Sunday, March 02, 2014 - link

    IMHO this is the best (and cheap): http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/itemdetails/0C51503/4... 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.
    Reply
  • 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:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/harmony-smart-key...
    Reply
  • 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!
    Reply
  • Jon Tseng - Monday, March 03, 2014 - link

    DiNovo mini great also works nicely with PS3

    One annoying thing thought - no Function Keys!!
    Reply
  • 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:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008JGU3YA/ref=oh...

    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.
    Reply
  • 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

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