Best HTPC keyboard for sofa use: with trackpad or similar - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 81 Old 05-05-2011, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
eieio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: NYC
Posts: 781
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Dear All:

I'm going to permanently hook up a laptop to my media rack and connect its HDMI output to my receiver, and in turn, use my projector and screen as a monitor from time to time. As such, I'll need a keyboard with a built-in navigation trackpad (or similar) so it's a neat, all-in-one keyboard/navigation device. Less to fuss with on a sofa.

I already have a Microsoft Wireless Entertainment Keyboard 7000, but I find it's so-called navigation "pad" (which is uber tiny) to be not very responsive and difficult to move precisely.

I'm looking to get the best keyboard with a navigation pad/trackball/other tool all together on one device so I can surf the web from my sofa, or watch some videos from online streaming, or reply to an occasional email during the evening.

May I ask for the best suggestions?

Thanks much in advance.
eieio is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 81 Old 05-05-2011, 12:21 PM
AVS Special Member
 
bryansj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 6,270
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Liked: 172
They all pretty much suck in one way or another. Just keep what you have and add a remote. Might as well get a nice universal remote with the money you save on another keyboard and mouse.

bryansj is offline  
post #3 of 81 Old 05-05-2011, 12:24 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Zon2020's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 2,716
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 28
I certainly haven't tried many of the available choices, but I like this one quite a lot, enough that I plan to buy another one to go with my new planned HTPC build.

It's the IOGEAR GKM561R Black 2.4GHz Wireless HTPC Multimedia Keyboard with Laser Trackball and Scroll Wheel

http://www.iogear.com/product/GKM561R/
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16823176018

It's compact, light, and using your thumbs for the track ball on the right side and the mouse buttons and scroll wheel on the left side is quite convenient and easy without trying to balance anything. Unlike trying to use a touchpad with one hand while holding the keyboard with the other, you can use the trackball, scroll wheel and buttons while still holding the keyboard with both hands.

There probably are other better ones, but I happen to like mine.
Zon2020 is offline  
post #4 of 81 Old 05-05-2011, 12:57 PM
Member
 
Tizi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 142
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

I certainly haven't tried many of the available choices, but I like this one quite a lot, enough that I plan to buy another one to go with my new planned HTPC build.

It's the IOGEAR GKM561R Black 2.4GHz Wireless HTPC Multimedia Keyboard with Laser Trackball and Scroll Wheel

http://www.iogear.com/product/GKM561R/
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16823176018

It's compact, light, and using your thumbs for the track ball on the right side and the mouse buttons and scroll wheel on the left side is quite convenient and easy without trying to balance anything. Unlike trying to use a touchpad with one hand while holding the keyboard with the other, you can use the trackball, scroll wheel and buttons while still holding the keyboard with both hands.

There probably are other better ones, but I happen to like mine.

+1 I love ours so much, bought 2. Got them from the egg for 39.99 shipped.
Tizi is offline  
post #5 of 81 Old 05-05-2011, 01:00 PM
Advanced Member
 
jbcain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 868
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 63
nothing but good things to say about the dinovo mini
jbcain is offline  
post #6 of 81 Old 05-05-2011, 01:03 PM
Member
 
nastyboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 118
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10


Enermax KB008W Aurora Micro Wireless Black Aluminum Brushed Keyboard 2.4GHZ Laser Trackball. I really love this, matches my theatre components.

http://www.enermax.co.uk/produkte/pe...cro-wirel.html
nastyboy is offline  
post #7 of 81 Old 05-05-2011, 01:10 PM
Advanced Member
 
lovemyram4x4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 962
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbcain View Post
nothing but good things to say about the dinovo mini
If I didn't have to pull the battery out almost every time I want to use it I'd say the same. I read that only the older ones had this problem so I got a new one and it does the same thing. Once it's actually working it's great, good compact size-not too small or too big, great battery life, good range.

lovemyram4x4 is online now  
post #8 of 81 Old 05-05-2011, 01:16 PM
Advanced Member
 
jbcain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 868
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 63
never had that problem with mine. i had some weird driver issues but after uninstalling and reinstalling a few times, no problems since.
jbcain is offline  
post #9 of 81 Old 05-05-2011, 02:06 PM
Advanced Member
 
brianley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: NC
Posts: 966
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Dinovo Edge here - great battery life, good range. I primarily use a harmony remote, but very satisfied with the Edge for when I need a keyboard / mouse.
Cetrian likes this.
brianley is offline  
post #10 of 81 Old 05-05-2011, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
eieio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: NYC
Posts: 781
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thanks all for your suggestions so far.

I read somewhere that folks have problems with the Logitech diNovo Mini, but far fewer problems with the diNovo (bigger one of the two diNovo keyboards). in general, i've had excellent experience with both Logitech's products as well as their customer service should something go wrong, but as both of these diNovo keyboards have been out since 2008/2009, it's been quite a while so i thought that maybe they are rather dated/old tech? i.e. no Bluetooth 3, etc.

that said, i don't have any experience with the Iogear brand. how well constructed are they? does the trackball have a way to be partially taken apart for cleaning? they frequently get gunky and malfunction if not cleaned. look forward to hearing more about this one, and hopefully/possibly, some other recommendations!

btw, it is worthy to note that my laptop is less of an HTPC but more a laptop that "lives" on the media rack and merely functions as a convenience tool for me to be able to occasionally browse on my sofa/projection screen, and view some videos via online streaming. i don't have any downloaded videos so i will not have a video library to play from.

Thx again.

PS: already in the process of getting an improved universal remote as an upgrade to my current universal remote.
eieio is offline  
post #11 of 81 Old 05-05-2011, 02:23 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Zon2020's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 2,716
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by eieio View Post

that said, i don't have any experience with the Iogear brand. how well constructed are they?
Iogear is a well established and solid brand. They've been around at least 10 years or so, and make all sorts of peripherals. I think they are based in Caifornia but are part of a Taiwan based company. I've used their KVM switches, USB hubs, and other things and consider them a "name" brand. You see their stuff in all the computer and office supply stores. I think I ordered my keyboard from Amazon.

I haven't really had the need and haven't checked yet how to clean the trackball. But the keyboard is solid. When I first got it, I was disappointed because the trackball seemed rough in its movement, but it was only a day or two before it smoothed out and now works great. It takes a little bit of getting used to the movement of the small trackball (much smaller than, for example, the standard Logitech desktop trackball device) but I find it easy to use.
Zon2020 is offline  
post #12 of 81 Old 05-05-2011, 02:44 PM
Member
 
nadafinga's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 127
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I use this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Shield-SILVER-.../dp/B0034QJHTC

It works great, has some basic media center keys for Stop, FF, RW, and play/pause... and is the only keyboard I've ever seen with a "Dishwasher Safe" sticker on the box...

PSN: Nada_BDK
nadafinga is offline  
post #13 of 81 Old 05-05-2011, 03:00 PM
Senior Member
 
GatoEnFuego's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 275
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I'm a fan of the Rii Mini 2.4ghz. It's the size of a normal remote control and works really well from <10 feet. If you have a big room, you may have issues, certainly not the 30 meters they advertise...
GatoEnFuego is offline  
post #14 of 81 Old 05-05-2011, 03:51 PM
Senior Member
 
rock_bottom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 430
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 14
Has anybody tried the Zoomtel ZDTV 9005 keyboard? It only has one review at Amazon, as opposed to over three hundred for the IOgear unit, but the reviewer liked it a lot.
rock_bottom is offline  
post #15 of 81 Old 05-05-2011, 04:17 PM
Member
 
96redformula's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 161
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I have a logitech Harmony remote, but for keyboard/mouse I use a Logitech S510 combo and it works great.

The mouse will pick up off the microfiber couch just fine, so I use the couch cushion as a mousepad, it works perfectly.
96redformula is offline  
post #16 of 81 Old 05-05-2011, 04:17 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
assassin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 12,948
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Liked: 239
No votes for the Lenovo RF?

At $27 it gets the job done pretty inexpensively for a RF remote/trackball/keyboard.
assassin is online now  
post #17 of 81 Old 05-05-2011, 04:48 PM
Advanced Member
 
MoNkLorD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Spring Valley, NY - NY,NY - Allentown PA
Posts: 526
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianley View Post
Dinovo Edge here - great battery life, good range. I primarily use a harmony remote, but very satisfied with the Edge for when I need a keyboard / mouse.
I second this vote.

Dinovo Edge and 1100 Harmony for all else.
MoNkLorD is offline  
post #18 of 81 Old 05-05-2011, 09:33 PM
Senior Member
 
thefever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Beaumont, Texas
Posts: 221
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoNkLorD View Post

I second this vote.

Dinovo Edge and 1100 Harmony for all else.

Third this vote. The Dinovo is great... plus it's bluetooth, so the range is decent. I couldn't afford the Dinovo, but know quite a few people that have it and love it.

Instead of going with the Dinovo, I went with the Logitech PS3 Mediaboard Pro. I had a bluetooth dongle laying around, and it synced up perfectly on Windows 7. It has a mouse pad built in, and the keyboard is fairly solid. Plus at 60 bucks, you really can't beat the functionality.
thefever is offline  
post #19 of 81 Old 05-06-2011, 07:57 AM
Member
 
anekin007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 54
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I been using the Adesso wkb-3200ub.

http://www.amazon.com/2-4GHZ-Multime...4692562&sr=8-2

It's very easy to use keyboard nearly full size, media keys and numpad. I really like the location of all of the buttons and even my GF was able to pick it up and know how to use it right away. I tried those mini keyboards and they don't work for me. I'm so use to a full size that it really slows down my typing. Works out of the box like a wired keyboard would. I want to try out the dinovo edge but the price is so high.
anekin007 is offline  
post #20 of 81 Old 05-06-2011, 08:12 AM
Member
 
mungee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: So Cal
Posts: 139
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Unless you plan to type up a doctoral dissertation on your HTPC, you will not be doing much "typing".

You will be doing a LOT of pointing and clicking. For me its almost 98% pointing and clicking and 2% typing. So if you get a KB+mouse combo you are cradling the weight of the KB 100% of the time but using it only 2% of the time.

I know this, because I have a separate mouse (Gyration) and KB (also Gyration) and I rarely reach for the KB (its got a lot of dust on it).

So think about your specific needs and then invest in the right product.
mungee is offline  
post #21 of 81 Old 05-06-2011, 09:01 AM
Advanced Member
 
lovemyram4x4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 962
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by mungee View Post

Unless you plan to type up a doctoral dissertation on your HTPC, you will not be doing much "typing".

You will be doing a LOT of pointing and clicking. For me its almost 98% pointing and clicking and 2% typing. So if you get a KB+mouse combo you are cradling the weight of the KB 100% of the time but using it only 2% of the time.

I know this, because I have a separate mouse (Gyration) and KB (also Gyration) and I rarely reach for the KB (its got a lot of dust on it).

So think about your specific needs and then invest in the right product.

I think I'm more the opposite, there's actually absolutely no need for a mouse during normal use and keyboard is just used for searching for titles. About the only time I need the mouse is for the desktop side for maintenance, updates, etc. I have been having to pick it up quite often now because SA tends to get stuck at 100% while scanning so I have to kill the scans when this happens, besides hitting the windows/start key is all mouse.

lovemyram4x4 is online now  
post #22 of 81 Old 05-06-2011, 09:05 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Zon2020's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 2,716
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

No votes for the Lenovo RF?

At $27 it gets the job done pretty inexpensively for a RF remote/trackball/keyboard.

Is that the one shaped like a paddle?

Does that work pretty well? It looks pretty interesting. Basically, I like having a keyboard rather than a remote because I like to be able to type in searches and URLs. I'm not using it to type anything longer than a line. That Lenovo looks like the keyboard is functional enough for what I need, yet it's small and handy. How well does the trackball work?

Thanks.

Can you tell me where you found it for $27? I think it's more like $40 on Amazon and $60 at Newegg, if I'm looking at the same thing to which you are referring.
Zon2020 is offline  
post #23 of 81 Old 05-06-2011, 09:58 AM
AVS Special Member
 
bryansj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 6,270
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Liked: 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovemyram4x4 View Post

I think I'm more the opposite, there's actually absolutely no need for a mouse during normal use and keyboard is just used for searching for titles. About the only time I need the mouse is for the desktop side for maintenance, updates, etc. I have been having to pick it up quite often now because SA tends to get stuck at 100% while scanning so I have to kill the scans when this happens, besides hitting the windows/start key is all mouse.

I have pretty much zero need for either a mouse or keyboard. I use my remote when accessing media center. Anything else I use a remote desktop connection from my laptop. Surfing the internet... laptop.

bryansj is offline  
post #24 of 81 Old 05-06-2011, 01:00 PM
Member
 
nkt38238's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 50
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Lenovo Wireless Keyboard N5901 + Logitech MX Air.
nkt38238 is offline  
post #25 of 81 Old 05-06-2011, 01:15 PM
Member
 
hawkfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

No votes for the Lenovo RF?

At $27 it gets the job done pretty inexpensively for a RF remote/trackball/keyboard.

I have the Lenovo and I think it's great. Nice range and quick response. I just wish it was backlit.
hawkfan is offline  
post #26 of 81 Old 05-06-2011, 08:29 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
eieio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: NYC
Posts: 781
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thx again for all the valuable posts/advice.

I ordered the Iogear 581. Reasons include:

- extra mouse buttons on the front left and front right (can't see from the top)

- mouse buttons also on the left top surface as redundant buttons

- ergonomically thought out for "on the lap" use due to its curved under side (double curves for legs)

- claimed 33 feet range, probably more like 15-foot range

- optical trackball

- Iogear seem to produce these types of keyboards as a specialty of theirs or at least a sub-specialty, so this "space" or this market means something to them

- possible to flip a switch and dedicated one of the several redundant mouse left click bottons to be "double left click"

- NiMH

Cons: likely limited range; fugly shape (oval = weird)
eieio is offline  
post #27 of 81 Old 05-06-2011, 08:58 PM
Member
 
davemathews68's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 95
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I was thinking the same as the initial post... wireless keyboard with mouse/trackball but I want to add another criteria, backlighting.
If the iogear was lighted it would be perfect.
Is the Logitech diNovo the best out there? I like it but $$
davemathews68 is offline  
post #28 of 81 Old 05-06-2011, 09:02 PM
Senior Member
 
scorrpio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 405
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 15
Late I guess, but I got a diNovo mini, right in front of me this very moment, works like a clock. I also have the diNovo Bluetooth suite: keyboard, media pad, mouse for times when I need more extensive typing/mousing on the HTPC. All of them use same bluetooth USB dongle.

One thing I noticed: when dongle was plugged into back of the PC, connection was horrid, nothing worked right. Then, I used a USB extension cable to elevate the dongle and affixed it to the side of the entertainment center. Now everything works with no issues.
scorrpio is offline  
post #29 of 81 Old 05-06-2011, 11:18 PM
Member
 
Araltd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 99
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 10
There is NOTHING better than a DiNovo Mini keyboard for a media center pc (HTPC). I'm a firm believer in saving money when you can, but this LINKS you to your media center - and its worth every single penny........ PERIOD.

And that big circle on the right side is either a touch sensitive track pad or a 5 way arrow key circle. either switched or momentary by holding function.


Mitsu WD82738 DLP TV
Media Center PC HDMI@1080p
Moto 6412-III HD-DVR
Yam RXA3000 & Atlantic Tech speakers
Araltd is offline  
post #30 of 81 Old 05-06-2011, 11:26 PM
AVS Special Member
 
joeydrunk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: WA state
Posts: 1,752
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Araltd View Post

There is NOTHING better than a DiNovo Mini keyboard for a media center pc (HTPC). I'm a firm believer in saving money when you can, but this LINKS you to your media center - and its worth every single penny........ PERIOD.

And that big circle on the right side is either a touch sensitive track pad or a 5 way arrow key circle. either switched or momentary by holding function.

I agree, the mini dinovo is the sh*t. It's very well made, looks cool, rechargeable, precise mousepad, etc. I've been really amazed when I've read a few posts on here saying people thought they were crappy. I think that there are some duds that have been made.

Pioneer Kuro...your time is up...mwahahhahhha
joeydrunk is offline  
Reply Home Theater Computers

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off