"This Best Selling Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 with Built-In Multi-Touch Touchpad (920-003070) Tends to SELL OUT VERY FAST! If this is a MUST HAVE product, be sure to Order Now to avoid disappointment!"
The Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 has a 10-meter (33 feet) wireless range and a large, built-in multi-touch touchpad for total control when connecting your laptop to your TV.
The Logitech K400 is clearly designed with this setup in mind, giving you full control of a computer in a couch-friendly form factor. Surprisingly, it seems to be one of the few such input devices with a (near) full-size keyboard instead of a tiny thumb-sized one. Obviously, that means it’s much larger than a conventional remote control, but it’s also much more usable. It looked like exactly what I wanted, and at a reasonable price, too.
The K400 features a fairly attractive, clean design (aside from the odd “random lines” artwork on the trackpad). It’s much lighter than I expected, which is nice, but it’s also not incredibly sturdy. The build quality is fair for the price, I’d say, but doesn’t seem likely to withstand a lot of abuse.
As long as you don’t plan on writing a novel on your TV, the slightly-smaller-than-full-size keys are pretty usable. They aren’t backlit, though, which would be especially useful in a dark living room. On a semi-related note, the Caps Lock key doesn’t light up, either … but you don’t use that key anyway, right?
One very handy feature is the additional left-click button in the upper left corner, which lets you operate the trackpad with both hands or thumbs. It’s a lot easier to click or drag with your left hand as you move the cursor with your right hand this way. The trackpad also conveniently offers Mac-style two-finger scrolling.
Other nice touches include an on/off switch, and a slot behind the battery door to stow the teeny tiny USB receiver dongle. It also ships with factory-installed AA batteries, which is always appreciated.
If you’re looking for a decent keyboard for a home theater PC, this one seems hard to beat — especially for the price!
About Mac compatibility
The keyboard claims to support Windows only, but I suspected this wasn’t the full story. Sure enough, when I plugged it into a Mac, the keyboard and trackpad worked automatically — complete with two-finger scrolling — on both Snow Leopard and Lion. Even the volume buttons are functional (but not the semi-pointless “home” button, it seems).
OS X identifies the trackpad as a mouse, so that’s the preference pane where you can configure the sensitivity of the tracking and scrolling gestures. The latter really needs to be dialed down to work well, in my experience. Also, you may want to remap the Windows (Command) and Alt (Option) modifier keys for a more Mac-like layout.
The only catch? I can’t figure out how to disable tap-to-click on the trackpad. (I’m hoping a software hack will make this possible, and that it’s not hard-wired into the device itself.) Unfortunately, Logitech’s Control Center software doesn’t recognize the device, either.
If you can live with that, the keyboard otherwise works just fine with a Mac, despite the official word from Logitech.
- Overall, I’m giving this 4 stars because it worked with Ubuntu 10.4, right out of the box. I simply plugged in the dongle and was good to go. It’s light, small, the keys are responsive, and the single- and two-finger touchpad functionality (scrolling, etc.) works perfectly.
- Because it’s light, the body of the keyboard feels just a little flimsy, but not in a “this is going to fall to pieces in two days” kind of way. I prefer the lighter design, to be honest.
- Some of the keys are smaller, so you might find yourself making some errors until you get used to the layout. It’s nothing to scream about, though. For a “couch keyboard”, I think the key sensitivity is perfect, and I didn’t find myself constantly having to watch my typing.
- This might seem like a weird point, but I love the fact that this keyboard can stand on its top edge. I can slide this on a shelf with other items, and it won’t slam down if those items are removed or jostled.
Here’s the Linux issue:
- Though this functions “out of the box”, advanced functions aren’t available. Unlike my trackball wireless keyboard, there’s no way to change the speed/sensitivity of the touchpad. I like a speedy pointer, and it took me a while to get used to having a slower pointer. Advanced drivers–allowing sensitivity adjustments–are available for Windows users, but I found nothing for Linux on Logitech’s website, and Logitech did not respond when I tried contacting them about Linux drivers. There’s an open source applet available which allows users to change the sensitivity of their mouse from 400cpi to 800cpi, but nothing official. It would be nice to allow users to search “Logitech” or “k400″ in the Ubuntu Software Center and install a supported package allowing for advanced functions. One could probably use NDISwrapper, too, but I’m only looking at supported options in this review.
Regardless of the driver issue, I would definitely recommend this keyboard for HTPC use, whether you’re running Windows or Linux.
The keyboard is almost full size with nice keys. Very tactile with great feedback. The touchpad is quiet large and responsive. The keyboard is bluetooth and comes with its own USB dongle (and batteries!). I plugged the dongle in the back of the TV and it immediately recognized the keyboard. What a difference….typing and navigating on the TV now is a breeze! I walked into an adjacent room to test the range and even at around 25 feet or so…no problems.
I’m happy with it.
UPDATE (7/19/2012): The keyboard is not bluetooth. It does come with it’s own dongle, and you must use it. You will not be able to pair the keyboard with another bluetooth device. It will only communicate with the USB dongle included.
three things i would like to see added to this keyboard would be a right click button on the upper left next to the left click button, a vertical scroll wheel, and backlit with a toggle switch or button.
one thing that bothered me at first is that i couldnt turn off the tap-to-click but once i updated the setpoint software a whole new menu opened up for the k400.
-turn off tap-to-click
-adjust pointer acceleration
-enable smart move, and pointer trails
-set F key commands
-disable caps lock, windows start key, scroll lock and insert keys.
-view battery level
-on screen status indicator for low battery, vol changes, lock keys on/off.
i upgraded to the k400 from an rii mini wireless keyboard because the touchpad started to jitter and i got tired of its crappy range.
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.
While samsung smart TV doesn’t allow for navigating built-in YouTube with this keyboard, I found another alternative way…bookmark Youtube.com to the samsung’s browser and you can then use this keyboard for open end browsing.
Also, tried it with my computer and found this keyboard impressive enough. The only thing is that since it may be specifically designed for its light weight and sleek size, it may be best to use for entertainment electronics rather than a work computer. It doesn’t have the standing feet and will need to be sit straight on the desk for use with a computer.
Other than that, an excellent product and highly recommend to anyone, specifically smart TV users or TVs with internet access.
I hope that the keyboard is able to withstand the wear of carrying it with me while I travel. I will update the review if it craps out on me. Perhaps I need to find some sort of case solution to transport the keyboard.
In addition, I’d like to say that in Android (3.0+) it is easy to remap the keys. So for example I made the special volume controls at the top into an Android back button, home button, and menu button, which is very convenient. Also, by default, the windows key was functioning as the Android “Search” key, which is convenient for keyboard shortcuts. Furthermore, this allowed me to get around the right shift key issue, that some have complained about. I mapped what used to be the up arrow key to right shift, and the former right shift to up arrow, which significantly reduces the number of mistakes caused by that particular problem — I never accidentally move up a line anymore.
Finally, I’d like to point out how to fix an issue (on ANY operating system) that some may have encountered. The touch pad is very sensitive to tapping, so it often sends a mouse click when you are simply trying to move the cursor, which is quite annoying and unnecessary since we have the physical mouse buttons. To disable this, it is NOT necessary to get any special software. One must only hold the function key and click the left mouse button. This disables the tap-to-click feature.
Summary: Great wireless keyboard/mouse solution with a few minor flaws in the ergonomics of the keyboard will make most buyers of this product very happy and satisfied with their purchase.
-Tiny “nano” USB receiver lets you “set it and forget it”. (it’s also a “Logitech Unifying” receiver, meaning it can be used with multiple devices. See Logitech’s website for more info)
-Long range (30+ feet) with snappy response and no lag.
-TouchPad allows you to not have to worry about finding a surface for a mouse, allowing this product to be used in a variety of positions.
-Extremely simple to set up. On my Windows 7 machine, I plugged in the “nano” USB receiver and within 30 seconds I had almost full functionality. By installing the simple extra Logitech driver/software, I gained complete functionality and control over all aspects including dedicated buttons for volume up, volume down, mute, and “homepage” web browser button.
-Simple but sleek aesthetics match most systems, making it fit right in with your other electronic equipment.
-Two finger scrolling makes both vertical and horizontal navigation easy. Other advanced features can be turned on if desired.
Since this is a lightweight and compact system, some sacrifices had to be made to fit everything in a reasonably-sized device:
-The following keys are a bit too small which can be annoying and/or hard to get used to: Right-shift, Enter, and Backspace.
-The following keys do not have dedicated keys but rather share keys with other functions and must be accessed by pressing the “function” key: Page Up, Page Down, Home, End.
Anyone with a laptop is used to a TouchPad mouse and keyboard interface. However, many times the fact that the screen of the laptop is attached to the keyboard/mouse leads to one of two problems: either your screen is positioned comfortably and your keyboard/mouse is not, or vice versa (your keyboard is positioned comfortably but your screen is not).
This product solves the problem perfectly. The “nano” USB receiver is so small that you can plug it into your laptop’s USB port (or any computer) and then never have to think about it again. The receiver is also a “Logitech Unifying” receiver which can be used with multiple devices. As of this writing, you can link up to six different wireless devices to one receiver.
Another use for this product is for a media center or any system that is connected to a large HD TV screen as a monitor (for example using the HDMI out port on your computer). Once set up, this device gives you full control of all the functions of a keyboard and mouse, and can also act as a “remote control” for your home theater or media center. As I mentioned above, they tried to keep the overall size down but in doing so they had to make a few sacrifices in terms of key size. There are a few keys that are a bit small and can be frustrating at first, but with all the good things this product has going for it, I am able to overlook those minor annoyances and overall this is a solid piece of equipment that is very versatile, it gets the job done, and it doesn’t look half bad either. For those who have been searching for a solution like this, I highly recommend it. I’d like to give it a 4.5 out of 5 star rating, but since I can’t I’m giving it a 5 star because the pros heavily outweigh the cons and this product stands unmatched by any would-be competitors in its class.
Feel free to ask me any questions you might have about this product and I will be happy to answer you. Again, I have no vested interest in this product, I’m just very satisfied with it and I want to share my experience.