47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Almost perfect but missing key media-specific features,
This review is from: Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 with Built-In Multi-Touch Touchpad (Personal Computers)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Program (What's this?)I will be writing this review using my new keyboard!
I have used remote keyboards over the years mostly for media center use, using the PC on a flat-panel television from 10' away. My favorite media center keyboard for the past year or so has been the IOGear GKM561R. Both my media PCs use this keyboard and so do the media PCs I've built for others.
The Logitech keyboard works very well as remote keyboard. It is very well built with a nice matte finish that won't attract fingerprints like the IOGear. It has a nice rounded design, black on the top and white underneath to give it some style. It's about the same width but narrower and lighter than the IOGear. The USB dongle that comes with the keyboard is tiny so I would have no problem installing it on the front of the PC since it can hardly be seen. It installs easily, right out of the box, with no additional software needed. Windows 7 recognized it right away and I was up and running in seconds. Logitech offers additional software than can be downloaded to fine tune the behavior of the trackpad but it's not needed to get running.
The trackpad is nice though it's taking getting used to when I have been using a trackball for so long. With the trackball, I can grip the keyboard for using a mouse on the sides and use my thumbs. With the trackpad, it's really necessary to sit the keyboard in my lap. I tried using the pad with my thumb (there is a left mouse button on the left of the keyboad in addition to those below the pad) but it's much more responsive to fingers. One nice feature about the trackpad over the trackball is that tapping the pad is like a click so it's not necessary to use the mouse buttons for left mouse clicks. The downside is that brushing the trackpad often lands my cursor in the middle of where I've been typing so I've accidentally wiped out what I've typed here a couple of times now with an errant pinky finger. I really like the two-finger scrolling feature. It's quickly become my favorite feature of this keyboard. You can move the mouse, click and scroll all in one place. That's been excellent for surfing webpages.
Logitech advertises this as a keyboard you can use when your laptop is hooked up to your TV -- so basically as a media center PC. Unfortunately, the Logitech keyboard lacks any media-specific controls for use with Windows Media Center or other media center applications. For instance, there's no "Green Button" to start WMC, no shortcuts like "Live TV", "Movies", etc. There are also no media playback controls like stop, play, pause, FF, REW, etc. that would be useful for watching movies and TV shows. All these controls have to be done through the mouse. The only media control buttons present are mute, volume up and volume down. I would guess this is because the keyboard is not meant to be Windows-specific yet it has a Windows start key so I am not sure. The IOGear on the other hand, has a set of buttons for media controls above the right side of the keyboard and there would have been room for them there on the Logitech keyboard as well. WMC shortcuts on the IOGear are accomplished via function keys. This all means not always having to find the media center remote or use the mouse which comes in very handy.
There is also no low-battery light so it remains to see what happens when the battery gets low how it will behave to let me know it's time to change them. I will update the review with how long the batteries last since that is a very important thing for remote keyboards. I find the batteries in the IOGear last a very long time -- I might change them once per year. I am hoping it will be the same for the Logitech.
Overall, this is a very nice keyboard. It perfectly sized, very sharp looking, high quality and very responsive. It's been very easy to type this review using the keyboard, some of it from another room without missing a keystroke. My only disappointment is the lack of media controls which if they were there would make this my new favorite media keyboard. Again, giving how it's advertised I expected these. Here's hoping for a media center version soon!
Update 1 (25-Sep-2011)
I've only had this keyboard for a few days and the trackpad is no longer working. The keys and the mouse buttons work but the trackpad isn't responding. I tried moving the USB dongle to a different port forcing a driver reinstall but to no avail. Of course, in a cleaning frenzy on Friday I threw away the box. I'll have to see if I can RMA. I really like this keyboard so I hope I can get it replaced.
Update 2 (25-Sep-2011)
Changing the batteries seems to have done the trick. Hopefully the batteries that came with it were low to begin. Good news is the trackpad is working again.
Tracked by 3 customers
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 26, 2011 12:45:39 AM PDT
Big Sexy says:
Great review! I have a question.Would you recommend this over the IOGear you talk about? I would be using mostly for surfing the web. I read reviews about the IOGear's trackball is not very good. Which do you like better, Trackball or Touchpad? Which would you recommend overall? Thank you.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2011 2:12:07 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 26, 2011 2:12:56 PM PDT
Thanks for the feedback.
I still like the IOGear better but I'll admit it might be because I am so used to the trackball. I also find that I use the media keys (FF, REW, stop, etc.) when I can't find my remote. With the IOGear, I can hold the keyboard in my hands, not on my lap, and use the trackball with my right thumb and click the mouse buttons with my left. I can stand up and use it which I find myself doing quite a bit for some reason. With the Logitech's trackpad, you have to use your fingers which means you have to either try to hold it with just your left hand or put it in your lap. Either keyboard requires your lap for typing.
I haven't had any problems with the trackpad on four different IOGears I used (two are mine, two were purchased for people I built HTPCs for). I did have one sticky left mouse button -- I had to RMA that keyboard -- but that wasn't any issue and I feel that could happen with anything.
So, I guess it depends on how you want to use it and which features you need. Sorry that's not very definitive :).
Posted on Jan 24, 2012 7:17:21 AM PST
I'm a fan of the IOGear design too, but the build quality leaves a lot to be desired. My IOGear thing is slowly falling apart after just 20 months. How has battery life been on the Logitech since you added a fresh set of batteries? Their desktop wireless products have exception battery life. I'm wondering if this HTPC style keyboard does too. Thanks!
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2012 1:22:35 PM PST
I've had to change the batteries twice since I've gotten it. That seems to get it working again. I've gone back to using the IOGears for my HTPCs. I've been pretty lucky with them -- just the one RMA and one had the little rubber strips on the ends fall off.
Posted on Mar 12, 2013 1:36:59 PM PDT
Joshua C. Reebel says:
With the USB dongle, will this keyboard work with the PS3?
Posted on Jul 21, 2013 6:59:52 AM PDT
Media controls are mostly software specific and likely to be useless to most people anyway. And WMC is not widely used so there is no good reason to add WMC specific controls to a mainstream keyboard.
I'm actually glad they didn't include all that useless clutter. None of the media keyboards I bough in the past worked for me. Even the volume control doesn't work if you use SPDIF audio output. So the less clutter, the better.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2013 1:24:24 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 21, 2013 1:25:41 PM PST
For those wondering why the emphasis on "missing media-specific keys": when this first came out it "media keyboard" was part of the advertising. I see it doesn't now so it might seem strange to mention it but that's why I comment on it in my review.
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