Saturday, 9 April 2016

Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 Plus


Logitech Keyboard, PC to TV entertainment, Wireless keyboard for TV

We have been watching movies from the PC using the TV screen for years now, and although we have a wireless PC keyboard, we have to use both my full size keyboard and the mouse on the coffee table to control, which is quite bothersome especially when you just want to lean back on the sofa and relax while watching a movie (or hide behind the cushion and not reach out for the mouse!). So we've been looking for a wireless keyboard purely for PC-to-TV entertainment purpose for a while now. Something that's small, light weight and comes with a laptop-like touch pad in place of a mouse, just like what my brother has, will be perfect.

It was a pure chance that we were offered a Logitech keyboard to review recently. The PR was very lovely and I was given the option between the Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480, which is a wireless desk keyboard for computer, tablet and smartphone (you place your tablet or smartphone in a slot on the keyboard to use the keyboard with them), or the Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 Plus. I think the functions for both is brilliant, but since we use the PC-to-TV entertainment more, we decided to go for the K400 Plus.


Logitech Keyboard, PC to TV entertainment, Wireless keyboard for TV

Logitech Keyboard, PC to TV entertainment, Wireless keyboard for TV
Size compared to an 11" laptop
The Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 Plus (RRP £34.99) measures W14" x H5.5", is 1" thick and weighs 390g (including 2 AA batteries that have an 18th battery life). It comes with a USB unifying receiver (wireless range is up to 10 metres) and user documentation. The touch pad on the right measures W2" x H3", and functions the same as the touch pad on a laptop (making it much easier to get used to). It also have volume control keys on top of the touch pad so you can easily adjust the volume without having to play with the sound system separately.


Logitech Keyboard, PC to TV entertainment, Wireless keyboard for TV
My small to medium size hand look so big next to the smaller than standard size keyboard!
Bottom: Remove the tap to connect the batteries
Logitech Keyboard, PC to TV entertainment, Wireless keyboard for TV
Top left: K400 Plus is really thin       Top Right: A really handy left mouse button on top left corner of keyboard
Bottom Left: Power button at the top right edge             Bottom right: Batteries included 
We really like it that the K400 Plus is fairly small and very light weight. You can just keep it on your lap without feeling bothered by it. The familiar touch pad makes it so much easier to control the cursor than using a seperate mouse, which doesn't work on the sofa most of the time. On top of that, it also has a separate left mouse button on the top left of the keyboard, so that you can easily left click while your right hand is scrolling around, instead of using one of your right hand finger to awkwardly press and hold the left mouse button on the touch pad while scrolling with the rest of the fingers. Initially I thought it will be hard to get used to as we are so used to controlling the mouse with just one hand, but it's much easier than you think.

The keyboard also has a power button on the top, which to us is very useful to prevent buttons being accidentally pushed during a tense movie scene.


Logitech Keyboard, PC to TV entertainment, Wireless keyboard for TV
Online manual for specific function use
The K400 Plus doesn't come with detailed instructions on how to use the keyboard, so you'd use it like any keyboard. But there are a lot more functions worth checking out from their online manual, for example, using 2 fingers on the touch pad to scroll up and down a browser.

For the purpose of the review, we've tried plugging in the Logitech K400 Plus into our Smart TV, just to see how much it can do (although it wasn't the main selling point), and the PC for using it with the PC-to-TV entertainment.


Logitech K400 Plus with Samsung Smart TV:

Logitech Keyboard, PC to TV entertainment, Wireless keyboard for TV

Logitech Keyboard, PC to TV entertainment, Wireless keyboard for TV
Cursor appears on the screen while watching freeview
Logitech Keyboard, PC to TV entertainment, Wireless keyboard for TV
Left: access to the Smart TV hub and TV menu (change brightness and contrast, etc)
Right: Samsung Smart TV Hub
Logitech Keyboard, PC to TV entertainment, Wireless keyboard for TV
Using the K400 Plus with Internet Explorer in the Smart TV Hub
As soon as we plugged in the receiver into the TV USB port, it immediately recognises the K400 Plus, although mentioned that it might not work with some apps. As the keyboard's main function is to make it more pleasant to use it with our PC-to-TV entertainment, so that we can sit back and relax and use the keyboard to adjust the settings occasionally while watching a movie, anything else it can do with the Smart TV is a bonus.

So we were quite amused to see the keyboard cursor working on the freeview screen, and we can even browse the Internet through the Smart Hub, typing the words instead of using arrows on the virtual keyboard.

It doesn't really work with other apps, but it's really super handy, especially the Internet browsing.


Logitech K400 Plus with PC (and TV Screen):


Logitech Keyboard, PC to TV entertainment, Wireless keyboard for TV
Left: K400 Plus pluged into the TV, and on PC screen
Right: K400 Plus plugged into the PC and using TV screen as monitor
We then tried to access the PC while the keyboard is still plugged into the TV. It didn't really work although you can see both PC mouse and K400 Plus cursors on the screen. 

But when it's plugged into the PC, it worked like a charm. We sat back in the sofa with this compact, thin and light weight keyboard on us, and easily access the folder and picked a movie for the kids to watch. No more bulky keyboard plus mouse for this!


Overall we are very happy with Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 Plus. Unless they make one that can work with the Smart TV fully as well, I don't see the need for it to get any better. It does exactly what we need it to do and the size and weight is perfect as well. And you can be up to 10 metres away too, which makes it great for using it in a board meeting as well, for example.

Bonus:

The Logitech unifying receiver can work with up to 6 Logitech unifying products. Meaning that if you have a Logitech standard keyboard and mouse for your PC, the receiver will happily work with the K400 Plus as well, so you won't have the problem I did.

My standard size keyboard and mouse is from a different brand (I wasn't the one buying!), so the unifying receiver won't allow me to make a smooth switch between the keyboards. We then wondered whether there is another way to swap the keyboards smoothly without physically swapping the receivers.

We decided to try plugging both keyboards into the same PC and see if that will work. It's something we've never tried before, so, like a scientist discovering something new, we were really excited to find that it does! And they aren't interfering with each other either, meaning that I can keep the K400 Plus plugged in while working as usual. The power button has proven to be super handy again in this situation as I wouldn't want one of my cheeky monkey to "accidentally" delete my blog post!

If you don't want to waste another USB port however, having all keyboards and mouse from Logitech will definitely help. We used to have Logitech's keyboard and mouse years ago and they were brilliant, until the keyboard gave up on us. It would be a bit wasteful if I just go ahead with a new Logitech keyboard and mouse now, so I'll add that to our Next to Buy list. But yes, we are definitely impressed with their products, even Abby loves her Logitech Play mouse (a small mouse with colourful patterns).