Best wireless mini keyboard for an HTPC... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 03-13-2013, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
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So I am in the market for some kind of handheld keyboard touchpad/trackball whatever thing for my HTPC

Anyone familiar with the FE01-GR?

http://www.favientertainment.com/product-p/fe01-gr.htm

Is there something better that isn't prohibitively expensive?
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post #2 of 29 Old 03-13-2013, 11:13 AM
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Trust me; I bought one that looks just like it....... JUNK!

I really like the Logitech K400, under $40 bucks. Not to big, not to small, can take some abuse and if you spill a beer into it, your not going to cry.rolleyes.gif
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post #3 of 29 Old 03-13-2013, 12:23 PM
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I have been using the Rii N7 Mini for a couple of years now without a problem.

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post #4 of 29 Old 03-13-2013, 08:35 PM
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I'm not familiar with that. A lot people like the Rii given it's price.

I personally use the Logitec DiNovo Mini. It's not perfect. I like it's form and function. It's not something I would use to write emails or do much OS tweaks. It's good for navigating in the OS, enter web addresses, navigating thins like Media Center, Plex, and so forth. The only issues I have with mine, the D key doesn't allows register. When the battery gets low, maintaining a blue connection becomes spotty; it'll be fine and then drop with no notice. Really sucks when typing because the last key pressed stays pressed, and you have to close and open the lid to stop it. It's also not cheap. I've been using mine for over two years. Some goods things, blue tooth. Has a PS3 setting for blue tooth. Comes with a USB dongle for blue tooth in case your PC dodn't have blue tooth. If not needed, it's stores in the battery compartment.
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post #5 of 29 Old 03-14-2013, 11:00 AM
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Lenovo 5902. By far the best mini keyboard/touchpad remote I've ever used. Easy to hold in one hand and has backlighting. I tried the DiNovo Mini but never really warmed up to it. The keys are just too small for my fat fingers. I like the Lenovo becuase it's an RF remote, which allows you to use it to access the PC's BIOS without needing a separate keyboard (Bluetooth devices won't work until Windows loads the drivers at startup). It also has a scroll bar that you can rub your thumb along to scroll up or down in a displayed window. The only downside is that it doesn't have any function keys. It usually goes on sale for about $35, which is about one-third to one-half the cost of the DiNovo Mini, IIRC. They also have a non-backlit model that just went on sale a couple of days ago for only $21 with free shipping from Lenovo.
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post #6 of 29 Old 03-14-2013, 11:13 AM
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How's the feel of the keys? Do you operate it with your thumbs? Is the dot in the center the optical finger tracking device?

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post #7 of 29 Old 03-14-2013, 11:40 AM
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I believe there was already a large thread on this.
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post #8 of 29 Old 03-14-2013, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

How's the feel of the keys? Do you operate it with your thumbs? Is the dot in the center the optical finger tracking device?
There are raised bumps on the F and J keys just like a standard QWERTY keyboard as well as the down arrow for orientation by feel. The keys are pretty large compared to the DiNovo Mini and much larger than a smartphone so they're pretty easy to type with. The trackpad is in the center of the handle just below the keyboard and is easy to control with your thumb. The row of keys across the very top control transport functions and work well with Media Center. However, I still prefer the feel of a standard remote for that purpose, but YMMV. There are special function keys that work while holding down the Fn key that allow additional standard keys to be piggybacked onto standard letter keys. There's even a macro key for Ctrl+Alt+Del. There's also a Windows key and one for accessing the internet. There are two large bars just below the keyboard that are part of the bezel that act as left and right mouse buttons. There's a switch on the back for turning on the remote and a setting for turning the backlighting on or off. In the center position, the remote remains unlit until you press a key to conserve the battery. The remote remains lit until you stop pressing keys for a few seconds and then it goes off automatically. The RF dongle is stored in the handle between the batteries and uses a pair of standard AA's.
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I believe there was already a large thread on this.
In fact, there have been multiple threads on this topic.
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post #9 of 29 Old 03-14-2013, 01:24 PM
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Thanks. I might get one of those when the echo supports a keyboard and I need another.

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post #10 of 29 Old 03-14-2013, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZxRO View Post

So I am in the market for some kind of handheld keyboard touchpad/trackball whatever thing for my HTPC

Anyone familiar with the FE01-GR?

http://www.favientertainment.com/product-p/fe01-gr.htm

Is there something better that isn't prohibitively expensive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by billdacat View Post

Trust me; I bought one that looks just like it....... JUNK!

I really like the Logitech K400, under $40 bucks. Not to big, not to small, can take some abuse and if you spill a beer into it, your not going to cry.rolleyes.gif

I concur. I have a similar model. While it works, the touchpad is way too small and it keeps recording my movement as clicks. I have Lenovo N5902 and I like it a lot more.
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post #11 of 29 Old 03-19-2013, 11:28 AM
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Any suggestions for my Logitech K400. I have all my equpiment in a media closet behind where I sit. I can only get my K400 to work if i have the keyboard upright. If I set the keyboard in my lap, it is unresponsive.
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post #12 of 29 Old 03-19-2013, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke Broadway View Post

Any suggestions for my Logitech K400. I have all my equpiment in a media closet behind where I sit. I can only get my K400 to work if i have the keyboard upright. If I set the keyboard in my lap, it is unresponsive.
Get a USB extension cable and move the dongle out from behind as many things as possible. The fewer things the signal has to pass through, the better. Because of the tiny receiver and the very low power used by the keyboard, the signal is pretty weak.
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post #13 of 29 Old 03-19-2013, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
I have all my equpiment in a media closet behind where I sit.
USB extension and move the receiver?
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post #14 of 29 Old 03-19-2013, 12:07 PM
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I have three of these FAVI keyboards, one for each HTPC, and they are very useful for those occasions when you need to get to the desktop, restart software, change sound settings etc... and I also use it in the MyMovies interface to get to a movie title quickly. I use Harmony 1100s as the main remotes, though. The FAVIs were about $17 each on amazon, and I agree about the dongle... I have one HTPC that is connected to an AV receiver in the basement and it runs a display on a floor above, so I use a USB extension cable from monoprice that runs up into the wall above the equipment room, and the dongle is attached in the wall, with access through an outlet plate.
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post #15 of 29 Old 03-19-2013, 12:19 PM
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Would I be able to just buy 2 USB splitters and attach those to my Powered USB cable I ran in the walls for my Kinect?
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post #16 of 29 Old 03-19-2013, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke Broadway View Post

Would I be able to just buy 2 USB splitters and attach those to my Powered USB cable I ran in the walls for my Kinect?
I don't think that will work.
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post #17 of 29 Old 03-19-2013, 02:29 PM
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I do have extra cat 5 cable run from my viewing wall to my media cabinet. I guess I could do usb via cat5
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post #18 of 29 Old 03-19-2013, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke Broadway View Post

I do have extra cat 5 cable run from my viewing wall to my media cabinet. I guess I could do usb via cat5
If it's a fairly short run, you could just terminate the cat5 with USB ends (I would use only one conductor in each pair). Otherwise you may want to buy a pair of extenders. I would try the simplest solution of simply relocating the receiver with a short extension first. If my receiver is blocked by my TV, I get about 6' range, but if I move it from behind the TV, I get over 20'.
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post #19 of 29 Old 03-19-2013, 02:53 PM
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It would be a good 30-40 feet run of cat5. The media closet is located behind me under my stairwell. The computer is located behind me about 8-10 feet from where I usually sit. I could do a short extension so the receiver is near the front of the rack.
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post #20 of 29 Old 03-19-2013, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke Broadway View Post

It would be a good 30-40 feet run of cat5. The media closet is located behind me under my stairwell. The computer is located behind me about 8-10 feet from where I usually sit. I could do a short extension so the receiver is near the front of the rack.
Does it have a front USB port? Try that first.
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post #21 of 29 Old 03-19-2013, 03:28 PM
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Yes, but I would have to open front access panel. It is a nmediapc 5000b case. I can try that and see if response is better. then I will have a good idea if placing it near the front of the cabinet will help. I am guessing I almost need line of site so will have to place something near my IR repeater receiver.
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post #22 of 29 Old 03-19-2013, 08:50 PM
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Keyboard works as it should when plugged into a front usb. Have to figure out away to cleanly put it in front. Or figure if I can use a spliter to share the usb cable I ran inwall
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post #23 of 29 Old 03-20-2013, 05:54 AM
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Just bought this on a sale:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Lenovo+-+N9502+Wireless+Multimedia+Remote/3613276.p;jsessionid=F65F1BB2B102927CC55A110435F8B488.bbolsp-app01-173?id=1218420237525&skuId=3613276&st=lenovo n5902&cp=1&lp=1

IR is a bit weak, necessitating putting the receiver outside my AV cabinet, but flawless otherwise.
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post #24 of 29 Old 03-20-2013, 06:27 AM
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Another vote for the Logitech K400. I've used all the mini keyboards, the dinovo mini, the riitek, the n9502. There's nothing as good as having a real full keybaord with touchpad. and the k400 is light enough and compact enough for me. also good range and battery life

Gear list: Main setup - Kef Q900, Svs sb12-nsd subwoofer, onkyo 609 receiver, epson 8350 projector, elitescreens sable 92" screen, mac mini htpc
bedroom setup: PSB Image B5, maverick tubemagic a1 amplifier, hifimediy sabre9023 dac, ZMF Fostex T50RP modded headphones
preordered gear: Light Harmonic Geek Pulse X dac and headphone amp
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post #25 of 29 Old 03-20-2013, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncarty97 View Post

Just bought this on a sale:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Lenovo+-+N9502+Wireless+Multimedia+Remote/3613276.p;jsessionid=F65F1BB2B102927CC55A110435F8B488.bbolsp-app01-173?id=1218420237525&skuId=3613276&st=lenovo n5902&cp=1&lp=1

IR is a bit weak, necessitating putting the receiver outside my AV cabinet, but flawless otherwise.

The link is clearly a misspelled Lenovo N5902. There is no IR. It is communicated over proprietary RF protocol. But I agree, Lenovo should do better to combat interference. I have both N5901 and N5902 and I don't see much improvements. A short USB extension cable will solve this. They should have included it for free.
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post #26 of 29 Old 03-20-2013, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelation View Post

The link is clearly a misspelled Lenovo N5902. There is no IR. It is communicated over proprietary RF protocol. But I agree, Lenovo should do better to combat interference. I have both N5901 and N5902 and I don't see much improvements. A short USB extension cable will solve this. They should have included it for free.

yeah, meant rf. agree they should have included it, but I have so many extras from old equipment, no biggie.
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post #27 of 29 Old 03-22-2013, 06:18 AM
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I tried a lot of HTPC keyboards, the RII, the DiNovo mini, the Lenovo and some off-brands. Of all, I liked the Logitech K400 the most, but recently added a Logitech K700 bought on eBay.
The K700 is not a PC keyboard however, it is designed for GoogleTV.

However, with the help of an AutoHotkey script, missing keys are remapped and the K700 can do everything.
The K700 has a slightly smaller touchpad, but got media keys.
The K700 is smaller and thinner and I like it more as a couch keyboard than the K400.

References on the AutoHotkey script there http://www.autohotkey.com/board/topic/74343-google-tv-revue-keyboard-k700-script-full-funtional-keypres/

Cheers !
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post #28 of 29 Old 03-22-2013, 01:14 PM
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Nice.. I'll take a look at that for sure!

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post #29 of 29 Old 03-23-2013, 03:45 PM
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FYI I use a Logitech K400 connected to my basement HTPC using a monoprice USB over Cat5e extender set and it works flawlessly. The only problem is the dongle is a bit big hanging off the wall but in my case its hidden by furniture.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=103&cp_id=10303&cs_id=1030313&p_id=6042&seq=1&format=2
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