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Anovoca
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HTPC Keyboards (Bluetooth)

Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:48 am

So, It is looking as though my K400 is finally biting the dust. Im not sure if the signal strength is starting to fail (it is only 1 year old) or if there is too much interference on the 2.4ghz band now that new neighbors moved in upstairs. I have reason to believe it is the later due to the fact that my logitech gaming mouse on a different PC had to have the 2.4 receiver moved from the back of the pc to the front just to work properly, around the same time my K400 started to have issues.

So, now i am in the market for a new keyboard/mouse/trackpad combo item for my HTPC and looking for one that has bluetooth capability but I am finding this is limiting my options and has shifted me into a far more expensive market than I cared to get into. If I wanted to stick to Logitech K series than the logical choice would be a K830 which would cost me $75 ($50 more than my K400). That seems like a bit of an excessive price to pay for a small membrane keyboard. At the same time, that looks like the cheapest option for full(ish) sized keyboards. The next best option the Razer Turrent $150.

Any of you gerbils have personal experience with either of these products or possibly a better solution? And, If you have used these, would you consider them worth the cost?

https://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Illumin ... 8079839011

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6823114066
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Anovoca
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Re: HTPC Keyboards (Bluetooth)

Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:51 am

Checking Newegg I see they have the K830 listed for $50 refurbed. This looks like a clear winner in my book unless someone can tell me that the Turret is far and away the best option and I won't regret the extra $100 price.
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ChicagoDave
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Re: HTPC Keyboards (Bluetooth)

Mon Aug 01, 2016 2:22 pm

Not clear if you need an actual mouse or not, but I use this for my HTPC.

https://www.iogear.com/product/GKM681R

I dunno what's up with Amazon's current pricing, but I've bought two of them from there for ~$40 USD. Many other retailers have them for right around that price.

Has left and right mouse buttons on the left, along with a scroll wheel, and the trackball is on the right. Curious to see what others are using...
 
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Re: HTPC Keyboards (Bluetooth)

Mon Aug 01, 2016 2:55 pm

If you want a laggy, slow experience, bluetooth is fine.

Me, I've sworn off bluetooth input devices. Lag up of to 50ms is no good for cursor control and if you're even a half-decent touch typist it can be bad enough to affect even basic text entry. I have used plenty both at work and at home, including an MX2 that is dual-RF just like the Razer you linked. The difference between bluetooth and 2.4G RF dongle is night and day!

Bluetooth is just a laggy mess. It's laggy AF for audio, it's laggy AF for input. AVOID AVOID AVOID.
Seriously, unless you're literally using your K400 for one-finger typing and media controls, your best option is to fix the interference problem by moving the USB receivers closer to your sofa.

I run 5m USB extension cables out of the back of the HTPC along with the surround sound speaker wires for the rear-left speaker. My Arc Keyboard and MX2 mouse connect to a USB dongle on the floor under the sofa I sit on. The the best way to avoid RF interference is to have the receiver and the device close.
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localhostrulez
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Re: HTPC Keyboards (Bluetooth)

Mon Aug 01, 2016 3:32 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:
Bluetooth is just a laggy mess. It's laggy AF for audio, it's laggy AF for input. AVOID AVOID AVOID.
Seriously, unless you're literally using your K400 for one-finger typing and media controls, your best option is to fix the interference problem by moving the USB receivers closer to your sofa.

You haven't been indoctrinated enough - you need that savior, Bluetooth, to save you from the 3.5mm jack! It's too bulky and outdated, even though it works fine! (Ugh, come on Apple, knock it off... :roll: You too, Motorola, copying it now...)

But yes, I would get a good USB extension cord for the RF adapter, possibly powered. Keep in mind that passive maxes out at 5m per the spec, and I've seen issues from running bus-powered HDDs off a bunch of chained cords even less distance than that. Those Logitech adapters are tiny nowadays, so maybe toss the cable under the carpet somewhere and have it end under the couch. I'm in an office where everyone has a Logitech RF keyboard/mouse, and it all works fine, curiously enough. Bluetooth always seems to be a pain, maybe a little more so on Windows than other things. I don't use it on anything...
 
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Re: HTPC Keyboards (Bluetooth)

Mon Aug 01, 2016 4:28 pm

I've got the K830 and LOVE it. I had the Logitech diNovo for about 3 years until some of the keys just wouldn't register without smashing them.

The K830 has been great. I got it June 27th and have not recharged it yet. The only slight gripe I have is that scrolling is hit-or miss sometimes, but it's good a good feel to it, is just the right weight, and - most importantly - is wife approved!
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ludi
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Re: HTPC Keyboards (Bluetooth)

Mon Aug 01, 2016 4:46 pm

Anovoca wrote:
or if there is too much interference on the 2.4ghz band now that new neighbors moved in upstairs. I have reason to believe it is the later due to the fact that my logitech gaming mouse on a different PC had to have the 2.4 receiver moved from the back of the pc to the front just to work properly, around the same time my K400 started to have issues.


Have you tried scanning the local 2.4GHz space using something like WiFi Analyzer or GMon? Might give you a clue as to where the interference is actually coming from, and whether it is remediable. If the neighbors are using an overpowered AP or cell booster, there might be steps available to calm things down, starting from a neighborly chit-chat and escalating to complaints with the provider and/or regulatory agencies.
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Anovoca
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Re: HTPC Keyboards (Bluetooth)

Tue Aug 02, 2016 8:46 am

ChicagoDave wrote:
Not clear if you need an actual mouse or not, but I use this for my HTPC.

https://www.iogear.com/product/GKM681R

I dunno what's up with Amazon's current pricing, but I've bought two of them from there for ~$40 USD. Many other retailers have them for right around that price.

Has left and right mouse buttons on the left, along with a scroll wheel, and the trackball is on the right. Curious to see what others are using...


Mouse/trackpad was not a need but a preference.

Chrispy_ wrote:
If you want a laggy, slow experience, bluetooth is fine.

Me, I've sworn off bluetooth input devices. Lag up of to 50ms is no good for cursor control and if you're even a half-decent touch typist it can be bad enough to affect even basic text entry. I have used plenty both at work and at home, including an MX2 that is dual-RF just like the Razer you linked. The difference between bluetooth and 2.4G RF dongle is night and day!

Bluetooth is just a laggy mess. It's laggy AF for audio, it's laggy AF for input. AVOID AVOID AVOID.
Seriously, unless you're literally using your K400 for one-finger typing and media controls, your best option is to fix the interference problem by moving the USB receivers closer to your sofa.

I run 5m USB extension cables out of the back of the HTPC along with the surround sound speaker wires for the rear-left speaker. My Arc Keyboard and MX2 mouse connect to a USB dongle on the floor under the sofa I sit on. The the best way to avoid RF interference is to have the receiver and the device close.


The keyboard is mostly for Plex control, general windows navigation for maintenance, and web-browsing. I have a few usb extension cables on hand that I bust out if I want to seriously game on the machine, in which case I steal the mouse from my other PC. Otherwise I like the smaller profile of these smaller keyboards since it allows the PC to have a smaller presence in the room and I can store them in the remote control basket when not in use.

mac_h8r1 wrote:
I've got the K830 and LOVE it. I had the Logitech diNovo for about 3 years until some of the keys just wouldn't register without smashing them.

The K830 has been great. I got it June 27th and have not recharged it yet. The only slight gripe I have is that scrolling is hit-or miss sometimes, but it's good a good feel to it, is just the right weight, and - most importantly - is wife approved!


Great, thanks for the feedback.

ludi wrote:
Anovoca wrote:
or if there is too much interference on the 2.4ghz band now that new neighbors moved in upstairs. I have reason to believe it is the later due to the fact that my logitech gaming mouse on a different PC had to have the 2.4 receiver moved from the back of the pc to the front just to work properly, around the same time my K400 started to have issues.


Have you tried scanning the local 2.4GHz space using something like WiFi Analyzer or GMon? Might give you a clue as to where the interference is actually coming from, and whether it is remediable. If the neighbors are using an overpowered AP or cell booster, there might be steps available to calm things down, starting from a neighborly chit-chat and escalating to complaints with the provider and/or regulatory agencies.


I don't have any such devices and I have someone looking for a keyboard for his own living room like my K400. The plan is to just move to a bluetooth or dual option device and sell him the old keyboard. In the end it should only cost me $20 out of pocket to upgrade to the k830 and I will be gaining usb recharge and backlighting (should help for late night movie binges).
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ludi
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Re: HTPC Keyboards (Bluetooth)

Tue Aug 02, 2016 11:25 am

WiFi Analyzer and GMon are both free smartphone apps. Even if you go with the keyboard upgrade, it might be useful to know if the neighbors are doing something that's going to cause other problems in the future.
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ChicagoDave
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Re: HTPC Keyboards (Bluetooth)

Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:13 pm

So not sure how I got the wrong URL, but this is the IO Gear keyboard I have.

https://www.amazon.com/Multimedia-Keybo ... B002H0BOBA

And.....unfortunately it appears to be sold out/discontinued :/ No experience with the one I linked in the earlier post. Mine's on its last legs so apparently I'm in the market for a new model of keyboard as well.

One thing I will say, I highly recommend finding a keyboard with a scroll wheel for an HTPC if you plan to surf the web with it. I use Page Up/Down occasionally when looking at very dense data line by line, but the vast majority of the time I'm using the scroll wheel. It's especially a PITA when you need to use the function key to activate them. It doesn't look like the K830 has a scroll wheel from the pictures I see and requires function to use page up/down.
 
Anovoca
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Re: HTPC Keyboards (Bluetooth)

Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:49 pm

ChicagoDave wrote:

One thing I will say, I highly recommend finding a keyboard with a scroll wheel for an HTPC if you plan to surf the web with it. I use Page Up/Down occasionally when looking at very dense data line by line, but the vast majority of the time I'm using the scroll wheel. It's especially a PITA when you need to use the function key to activate them. It doesn't look like the K830 has a scroll wheel from the pictures I see and requires function to use page up/down.


Honestly I have never had much issue with using two finger swiping with trackpads/touchscreens. It might not be AS nice as a scroll wheel but it is a passable substitute. And when working on a 4k 60" screen, there isn't much need to scroll anywho.
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Anovoca
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Re: HTPC Keyboards (Bluetooth)

Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:11 am

Followup.

Just got the K830 in the mail and it is N-I-C-E in comparison to the K400. The quality of look and feel is way higher. Instead of black and white plastic that felt fairly flimsy in the hands, this is made of a thicker and sturdier matte black plastic with brushed aluminum accents. The buttons also feel like a nice step up and resembles touch and spacing of a lenovo ultrabook. I am just testing it out here at work for the moment, so no real home theater control or light couch gaming to put it through its paces, but so far I think it was well worth the price to upgrade. :D
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ludi
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Re: HTPC Keyboards (Bluetooth)

Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:47 am

Anovoca wrote:
Followup.

Just got the K830 in the mail and it is N-I-C-E in comparison to the K400. The quality of look and feel is way higher. Instead of black and white plastic that felt fairly flimsy in the hands, this is made of a thicker and sturdier matte black plastic with brushed aluminum accents. The buttons also feel like a nice step up and resembles touch and spacing of a lenovo ultrabook. I am just testing it out here at work for the moment, so no real home theater control or light couch gaming to put it through its paces, but so far I think it was well worth the price to upgrade. :D

Good to know. I've been using a K400 on our HTPC but it frustrates me with the tight button layout and poor key feel.
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Re: HTPC Keyboards (Bluetooth)

Wed Aug 03, 2016 1:06 pm

Hmmm, my MS Arc keyboard is nice and high-quality but it must be 5+ years old now. I will give the K830 a look as you have piqued my interest.
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Anovoca
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Re: HTPC Keyboards (Bluetooth)

Wed Aug 03, 2016 1:09 pm

I will post some pics with some measurments as soon as I am off the work network and have access to photobucket.
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mac_h8r1
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Re: HTPC Keyboards (Bluetooth)

Wed Aug 03, 2016 3:26 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:
Hmmm, my MS Arc keyboard is nice and high-quality but it must be 5+ years old now. I will give the K830 a look as you have piqued my interest.

It's really a good device, particularly since it has the trackpad, so you don't clutter the area with devices. Also, it's a minor thing, but at the top left along the side, it has a button which is an additional left-click button. It's REALLY convenient when you're laying back and holding the device "controller style" and operating the trackpad with your thumb. Makes drag/drop operations easy instead of awkward finger twisting.
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Anovoca
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Re: HTPC Keyboards (Bluetooth)

Wed Aug 03, 2016 8:17 pm

Pics with measurments.
http://s275.photobucket.com/user/anovoca/library/k830

Thoughts:
3 stage led settings is nice and the auto off after not touching a key for so many seconds is a great addition. Failed in that the fn icons are not backlit. I would find more use seeing these keys in the dark while watching tv than f1-f12.

Key presses are more stiff than the k400 and so are the right and left cursor buttons. This is an improvment when the keyboard sits on a surface and a deprovment when it is on your lap.

Arrow keys are smaller which im not a fan of.
Provided dongle does not double as bluetooth adapter. Keyboard requires additional purchase to work as bluetooth on a PC.
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