The Logitech K830 is a backlit keyboard and touchpad combo in the latest media device meant for the living room. The K830 is intended to make it convenient to control a computer that is across the room connected to your TV. Perhaps you have a laptop that you connect to the TV for a larger display or even a dedicated HTPC (home theater PC).
The keyboard is well packaged with three stickers holding the back of the box to the front. Once the stickers are removed, you can lift up the front of the box to see a tissue paper-wrapped keyboard and the other components held in place.
Inside of the box, you receive the keyboard, accompanying manuals, a USB Unifying receiver, and a USB extension cable. The keyboard has a range of 33 feet and the receiver is designed to easily work with other Logitech products.
The keyboard is rechargeable and also includes a USB to micro-USB cable for charging. The user manual lists that a three hour charge would provide 2 hours of use for 10 days with the backlight on or one year with the backlight off. The keyboard’s backlight is controlled automatically by a light sensor above the touchpad. You can override this control using the F1 key to cycle between Off, Low, and High.
The keyboard has your typical keyboard layout and the keys don’t feel cramped. The Function keys at the top row have a lot of convenient controls like search or play/pause. On the top-right corner is a physical sliding power switch for the keyboard. The layout includes arrow keys and the touchpad takes the place of the numpad. Above the touchpad are buttons to control the volume. You can mute, decrease, or increase the volume at the push of a button.
The keys are not my favorite. They are flat and a bit clacky, although their easy-to-push nature may be a complement to the imperfect environment they will operate in. A keyboard resting on a lap or couch arm hardly provides the most stable setup for a keyboard. Assuming you are not writing papers with this keyboard but use it to search for media, enter account credentials, or the occasional browsing, I don’t think the keys will be a problem.
The K830 is better than grabbing just any wireless keyboard because it includes the built-in touchpad. The default sensitivity was good and it was convenient to have the touchpad instead of a separate mouse in a land where there are already too many remote controls. On the top-left of the keyboard, where your left hand could naturally be resting, there is a left-click button. You could be moving the mouse via the touchpad with your right and click with your left. Alternatively, you can tap the touchpad or use the left and right click buttons immediately below the touchpad.
The only downside to the touchpad is its limited gesture support. Windows 8 and tablets have expanded the user interface to include swiping, pinching, scrolling, and more. Unfortunately, the touchpad is limited to scrolling. One finger on the touchpad will move the cursor while two fingers will scroll. It’s convenient to at least have scrolling but disappointed to not have the other capabilities.
Using the Logitech Options software, available from the Logitech K830 Support page, you can adjust the touchpad sensitivity, scrolling, or disable tapping the touchpad to click.
I used the keyboard on a Windows 8.1 ultrabook and the Amazon Fire TV. Navigation on the Windows 8.1 computer was completely as you would expect with the only limit being the gestures. The range was great to be sitting opposite of the TV and experiencing no issues. Having the keyboard also meant not having to run up to the computer and click something to continue watching the next video.
Navigating on the Amazon Fire TV was simple and the compatibility was better than expected. While Amazon brags about limiting the need to type with their Voice Search, there are still plenty of times to use the keyboard. The arrow keys allowed you to browse around and the keyboard made it more convenient to enter a user name and password when signing into Netflix or searching. The touchpad on the Fire TV gave a small circle to indicate where your cursor was but didn’t seem to allow interacting at all.
- Rechargeable, long use per charge
- Convenient function keys
- Compatible with variety of devices
- Clacky keyboard
- Limited touchpad gesture support
The Logitech Illuminated Living-Room Keyboard K830 is very convenient if you have a computer in the living room. The keyboard could help you get more use out of your laptop and could be a better investment than a set top box like the Roku, Apple TV, or Fire TV. It is available now for an MSRP of $99.99.
A test unit of the Logitech K830 keyboard was provided to 404 Tech Support for review. It did not bias the review.