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ive been doing some research on wireless keyboards and mice in anticipation of building my HTPC in the next month or so. it seems that most of them have problems when they are moved more than 10 feet away from the reciever. i need something that is gonna work solid at least 15" or 20" away. the only solution i have seen that im pretty sure will work at that distance is the microsoft bluetooth combo. anyone have any suggestions?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by NatGun
ive been doing some research on wireless keyboards and mice in anticipation of building my HTPC in the next month or so. it seems that most of them have problems when they are moved more than 10 feet away from the reciever. i need something that is gonna work solid at least 15" or 20" away. the only solution i have seen that im pretty sure will work at that distance is the microsoft bluetooth combo. anyone have any suggestions?
I have the Logitech Elite MX Duo and they work great. I have no problems with them, however, I did notice (and it is kinda evident) that direction after a certain range is more important. Meaning, I work a good 10' away (even with my back turned to the receiver) ... but if I walk even farther, it works fine as long as I'm pointing towards the receiver. For my setup, it's kind of funny because the PC is on the side, but if you're PC is in the front, then you should get the same results as BT.


But if distance is that important, BT is the way to go. Use the right tool for the right job.


$0.02,

-- Navid
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by NatGun
...work solid at least 15" or 20" away...
Any of the keyboards and mice should be able to work from 15 - 20 inches away. ;) I use the Gyration keyboard and mouse combo and it works pretty good from 15' but it is expensive. I think Office Depot was having a clearance deal on them though, maybe $40.
 

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Gyration mouse and keyboard are popular choices - the mouse sits in a recharger and the keyboard uses AAA batteries, with very little drain. You can also operate the mouse without a solid surface because it uses internal gyros to sense your hand movement, which makes it a good candidate for sitting on a sofa and working from there.


Al
 

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What is the typical range on your Airboard?
 

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Also for reliable long distance is the Interlink Versapoint RF. It has a built in mouse pad. I have it, and the Gyration set. The Gyration set is what I use everyday because the mouse is the BEST, but when I'm watching a movie and want both right there and I'm not moving the mouse around alot, I use the Versapoint. I've used both in another room too, they worked fine through the wall from about 18'.
 

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I agree with gn2...the best, but priciest, option is the Versapoint RF with the Gyration. The Versapoint is basically perfect as a wireless keyboard: light, stiff, ergonomic, punch-through-walls RF strength, and long battery life.
 

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I just returned a Gyration Ultra (the 30ft version) because it did not work reliably beyond about 6-8 feet, and got a Versapoint RF. So far, it seems to work very well (I use it from about 15' away from the receiver) - the keyboard response is quick and accurate, and the "mouse" tracks very well.
 

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I have the MS Bluetooth combo, and it works great. However, there are a couple of drawbacks. With Bluethooth, you don't have access to the keyboard and mouse until you get to into WinXP. Therefore, you need to connected a standard keyboard to install the OS and mouse, alter BIOS settings, or use safemode.


The keyboard is a standard full-sized desktop/office keyboard, which is a little big to keep on the coffee table. Also, a set of two rechargeable AA batteries only lasts me about 3-4 weeks. The keyboard batteries last much longer.


The Gyration combo has several advantages. First, the keyboard is compact, which is nice for a HTPC. Also, it is about $50 cheaper than the MS BT combo. The mouse comes with a charger, and the mouse works in the air or on a surface.


The range of both products is similar.


I choose the MS BT combo because I have gotten used to a 5-button mouse, and it's hard to go back.


-Dave
 

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Another vote for the Airboard. For $30 you can't beat it, the Pronto learns all the commands including multiple keystrokes, batteries last forever, and works like a champ at 12 feet away. Plus, it's small, black and looks pretty good on the coffee table! :cool:
 

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Apple released a new wireless bluetooth keyboard today for $69 along with a mouse for the same price.


It will likely replace my Versapoint that seems to always have problems with the battery compartment.


The keyboard is full size and lacks features of the versapoint like a trackpad and mouse buttons that I assume could be assigned via utility to fxn keys. It does have an On/Off switch and a low power mode w/33ft distance. 4AAs.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Karnis
Another vote for the Airboard. For $30 you can't beat it, the Pronto learns all the commands including multiple keystrokes, batteries last forever, and works like a champ at 12 feet away. Plus, it's small, black and looks pretty good on the coffee table! :cool:
I am with Karnis on this. In addition I have been using a Gyration mouse with great success.... and decent range...

_____

Axel
 

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Well, Microsoft just came out with their Wireless Desktop Elite. And boy to I have to tell you, it is the best (in my opinion). I have tried several models already:


Gyration Ultra Suite

IBM Wireless Navigator Pro

Microsoft Bluetooth


... and none have satisfied me until now. And the Microsoft Elite blows the Logitech MX Duo in the water. Check out the website at:

microsoft.com/hardware/mouseandkeyboard/productdetails.aspx?pid=016


Ok, you get the most keys of any wireless out there. There are many innovations including a HORIZONTAL scrolling function built-in to both the mouse itself AND the keyboard, and this functions well and is also customizable. Everything is right were you need it, the "Media Center" is directly in the middle.


And the most innovative feature I've seen yet is the "Favorites" hot keys. You can have 5 Favorites programmed into the keyboard (#'s 1-5). Simply press "Show Favorites" (this is directly below "My Favorites") and the software will come up with a menu and you just enter anything you want in there, be it a web address or otherwise. Then simply hit your "hot key" and you're off and running.


Microsoft also built a simulated leather pad BUILT-IN to the keyboard, a nice feature that makes using the keyboard VERY comfortable. Lastly, the keyboard construction is of very high quality, unlike many of Microsoft's previous-generation products.


The mouse works well, and is very comfortable as well with new indentations for your fingers. Being this is wireless, expect some lag when the mouse has not been used for about a minute or so. This is UNLIKE the lag of the previous-generation Wireless Intellimouse where it was slow to respond to initial movements even after being used just seconds before. And this new mouse is also UNLIKE the lag that you may experience with even the Microsoft Bluetooth, because the Bluetooth will go into a bit of a sleep mode, and then you will have to wait a couple seconds for the light to blink and respond, at which time it plays "catch-up" so it attempts not to lose any of your data or movements. That being said, expect the latest generation mouse (the Wireless Intellimouse 2.0) to give excellent performance, especially for wireless technology.


As far as reception goes, Microsoft claims 6 feet range, but don't expect it to go beyond that. For those with the typical HTPC setup, I would recommend locating your receiver relatively close to the keyboard/mouse, even if that means moving it to a nearby wall. This was such the case in my situation.


I would HIGHLY recommend this keyboard and mouse suite to ANYONE who is going the HTPC route or anyone who wants a high quality mouse and keyboard that offers mobility. Go for it!!! You can get it for around $99.99!
 

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Problem is my PC is located in another room about 20-25 ft away through a concrete wall.


BTW how are these wireless devices for 1st person shooter gaming (UT 2003 & Half Life)??
 

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I have the Airboard (IR) and the Gyration (RF) connected to my HTPC both at the same time.


The Airboard connects via PS/2 ports, and the Gyration keyboard/mouse is USB. I can confirm they work together.


I find I migrate to the Gyration KB/MOUSE more than the Airboard.


I use the Airboard IR receiver on the PC however, with my IR remote. This is something that the Gyration or any other RF keyboard can never offer. I have a Home Theatre Master 500 remote that I have learned commands from the Airboard keyboard.


The Gyration mobile version is a very nice compact keyboard. The mouse is way better than the pointer built in the Airboard.


So for keyboard use, I recommend Gyration Mobile.


For handheld remote control use, the Airboard's IR receiver. For $29 you can't beat it.


Andy
 

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ptshpboy23, I take it you liked the new Microsoft wireless desktop better than the Bluetooth desktop? I was leaning for the Bluetooth combo because I read a good review of the mouse in a gaming website, and because of the longer (30 ft.) range of the Bluetooth technology. Seeing how my couch is 12 ft-14 ft. away from the server, I figured I needed the Bluetooth desktop, but I might be willing to compromise if the new wireless desktop is better for gaming.
 

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I have always read that the Logitech MX700 is by far the best wireless mouse available. I have no personal experience with this device though.
 

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I have used the $20+ wireless ir keyboards like the airboard (killed one with a glass of wine and another just quit for no reason) and they worked good for an IR keyboard as long as there was reasonable line of sight to the ir receiver. I got awsome range from them (30' +) but line of sight was a slight problem (tv straight, AV gear off to the right). I did program some buttons into my Pronto and that was cool. HOWEVER, they come with a little rubber thumb 'mouse' that is next to useless. Trying to browse a music archive from the couch with that thing would drive me mad. And it made the wife super crazy.


Right now I'm using a Logitech cordless freedom optical duo, was 70 bucks 9+ months ago but been replaced with the mx series I think. You can get these combo's under 50 bucks nowadays. Huge keyboard, great for typing but butt ugly on the coffee table. Good media buttons on the keyboard. Range stinks... 10' on the keyboard and 6' at best with the cordless optical mouse. I was pissed about the range.


I spent 8 bucks on 2 10' ps/2 extension cords and ran them through my wire conduit, plugged the rf receiver in and put it on top of my HDTV. With the extension cables moving the receiver unit closer to the middle of the room (and higher up, being on top of my tv) I get much, much, better range. I can now get 15'+ easy on the keyboard and 10'-ish on the mouse which helps a lot. Now it works all over the coffee table instead of just in the top left hand corner. This is now a usable solution if you want to type or web browse, and can even play games well with the cordless optical mouse. HOWEVER, eye candy it ain't unless you're a geek. Every non computer person to step foot in my house sees that on the coffee table and says 'WTF is THAT?'


If keyboard function isn't as important, I've heard great things about the range on the ATI remotes, and you can buy them seperately for like 30 or so... they're usb and supposedly get 15'+ range. How they work with non ATI applications I have no idea however.


So if you don't care about a real mouse then go airboard. Otherwise....
 
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