Interacting with HTPCs: IOGEAR and SIIG Options Reviewedby Ganesh T S on March 2, 2014 1:00 PM EST
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|
|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|
|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.