All-in-One Media Keyboard offers navigation from the couch
April 18, 2014 by Nancy Owano
(Phys.org) —Microsoft this week announced its All-in-One Media Keyboard. This is a peripheral that is targeted for users who want a comfortable, useful keyboard to use whether sitting on the living room couch or in the home-office chair. Brandon LeBlanc, writing on the Windows Experience blog said, "People love to show off their photos and videos to friends and family and a common way to do this is by connecting a device like a laptop or tablet to a TV... we're announcing the All-in-One Media Keyboard that makes it super easy to access and navigate all that content from the comfort of your couch." The new device has a QWERTY keyboard with multitouch trackpad for controlling smart TVs and tablets via swipe, drag, zoom, and click. It has media hotkeys for the web and music, photos, and movies. Microsoft promoted the durability of the keyboard, in making a video showing how the keyboard can stand up to splashes and bumps.
As for PC compatibility the keyboard works with Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows RT 8.1, Windows RT 8, and Windows 7. For Apple users, it is compatible with OSX 10.7-10.9 and, for Android users, 4.03, 4.12, and 4.2.
The keyboard is priced at $39.95. Writing in TechRadar, Kevin Lee commented on its appeal. With its combination of QWERTY keyboard and multitouch trackpad, "the All-in-One Media Keyboard is a peripheral perfect for couch potatoes. With it, users can control smart TVs and set-top boxes by clicking and typing from afar."
The Microsoft peripheral features wireless connectivity (USB), capable of fully wireless connection of up to 30 feet. The device, said Lee, connects via radio frequency signals set to an included USB dongle that users can plug into a their smart TV or media streaming box.
Trying out the keyboard, Chris Davies of SlashGear said there were plenty of considerate features including the placement of mouse buttons where you can easily navigate and select while holding the device in both hands.
LeBlanc blogged that "Last week, I was able to try the All-in-One Media Keyboard out. I connected my Surface Pro 2 to my TV upstairs, plugged in the USB transceiver, and the keyboard worked flawlessly as I sat on my couch going through photos I had taken with my Lumia 1020 from Build in OneDrive."
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