I used Kodi to turn my old laptop into a media server attached to my television. It’s a really nice setup, and well worth it. It doesn’t require a new top-of-the-line system, either; this eBay search should show some systems that will work well enough in the $50-$150 range, and you can use Linux as an operating system (or just use Kodibuntu) if you’d rather. Some other guides are here, here, here, and here; that last has a guide for building your own PC as well.
Which isn’t really the point; it’s just the setup for what I want to review: The Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 Plus ( Logitech | Amazon | Best Buy | Staples).
One of the few frustrations I had with the PC-as-Media-Center was simply trying to work the keyboard and mouse. While many interfaces were optimized for one, other tasks were simply easier for the other. And using a mouse on the arm of a couch is both difficult and makes you look like a fool. Add to that the mouse pointer showing up onscreen every time the table it was on got nudged, and I was ready for this product when it went on sale.
This keyboard solves those problems simply and easily. The touchpad is responsive, the form factor is small enough that it’s not in the way and sits comfortably on the edge of an end table, and since there’s no “real” mouse, I can easily move the pointer where I need it to go, when I need it.
It is probably not the best keyboard for any kind of extended typing work (like I’m doing right now), especially if your hands are large. But perhaps you’ll have better luck with that if you like smaller keyboards. Regardless, it’s not so small that I can’t type on it; I’d just rather use my large ergonomic one.
But for the purpose of being the keyboard/mouse to control an old PC running my television? It’s dang near perfect.
Note: I do run linux, and so some of the fancier touchpad options don’t work at all, or don’t work as well. Of course, I’m the kind of guy who often disables those options, so I barely noticed and haven’t looked to see if there’s a way to enable them.