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Long Range Wireless Mouse and Keyboard


joem
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I stream my movies onto a computer in my family room from my WHS. I would like a recommendation for a wireless mouse and keyboard combo with good range from at least 18 feet. Thanks.

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Emprex 9039ARF Wireless MCE Keyboard with Trackball.

 

I have been using this one for a couple of weeks. It gets mixed reviews, but here are my comments:-

 

Good:-

  1. "Green Button" instantly wakes up my HTPC, and power button sends to sleep.
  2. Media Center controls work well, especially the back button.
  3. Unlike some reviewers, I like the track ball and mouse buttons on opposite sides of the keyboard as it allows you to operate easily on your lap.
  4. I run it at @ 4m (13 ft) but I think it will work further. (must admit I have used a front USB port for the receiver on my HTPC, but it seemed ok in the back)

 

Not so Good:-

 

  1. The track ball can be a bit tempremental, but I think you get what you pay for here. (I find this is offset by the general ergonomics)
  2. The keyboard layout differs slightly, but this is mainly due to keeping the unit compact
  3. There are no LED's for caps lock etc. (Not a problem for me as it is only used for occasional text input within Media Center, ie single letter input to jump through a movie or album list etc.)

Overall I find it OK, but it is low cost. The way I looked at it when I purchased was that it's not a lot of money to waste if it's no good, but it's a bargain if it works OK. So far I am really pleased with it and will keep it.

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I have the Microsoft Entertainment Desktop 7000. Depending on how much you use the HTPC in your living room as a full PC, it will either be absolutely perfect for you or be way overkill. The keyboard and mouse have a great feel to them, and its fairly comfortable using the keyboard touchpad and typing mid-air. There are newer versions available (8000), but J&R has this one at a really good price right now. And, on top of everything else, you get bluetooth capability added to your PC.

 

http://www.jr.com/microsoft/pe/MSI_69Z00001_hy_RB/

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I was using a full size keyboard and mouse for a while, but the kids kept putting them someplace.. or they would throw them around. I finally went with a Lenovo keyboard/trackpad that is about the size of a large remote. So.... I ended up having an extra full size keyboard and mouse (which was used by spouse when hers died). Just saying think about whether you need or want full size.

 

http://www.engadget.com/2009/12/28/lenovos-wireless-multimedia-remote-with-keyboard-sneaks-our-for/

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was fighting with Lenovo for over a week trying to get a defective replacement for a new one I bought from them so I definitely can't recommend them. I tried the Logitech Wave set since I was using one on another PC, but it dropped out around 5-6 feet. I just picked up the MS comfort 5000 set at Costco for $59.99 and it works at 12 feet. I haven't tried any further but it works well.

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I stream my movies onto a computer in my family room from my WHS. I would like a recommendation for a wireless mouse and keyboard combo with good range from at least 18 feet. Thanks.

Since BlueTooth won't get you the range you need, here are a couple of ideas:

 

1)The Lenovo Trackball/Keyboard that someone mentioned above (theirs was broken). I have 2 of these (came with my Lenovo Q150 Nettop HTPCs) and they are fine for what it is. If you can imagine using a blackberry as a keyboard/mouse, it's basically like that.

 

2)The ZDTV (http://zdtv.zoom.com/faq). I don't have personal experience with this, but came across it the other day and thought it looked interesting---in part because of the advertised 66-foot range.

 

Good Luck!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Silly Question here, but unless you have a monster TV, at 18 feet you are probably going to be too far from the screen to see what you are doing. Do you really need to go 18 feet? For my part, I've been using Logitech's DiNovo mini. It's a little bigger than a remote but combines keyboard and mouse into a nice neat package. It has a handy switch that changes from regular keyboard to dedicated Windows Media Center mode. The keyboard also lights up, which is nice. It is Bluetooth, but is a class 2 device which means a range up to 10 meters or a little over 30 feet, so it might just do what you want, even at 18 feet.

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I agree, why can't you use Bluetooth at that distance. 30 may not be stable but 18 should work fine. I certainly would try it and I would use that small Logitech keyboard (diNovo) for an HTPC application. It is expensive but easy to fold up and toss on the table for the times when you need it. I very rarely use a keyboard anymore on my HTPC and mainly use a Harmony remote which works perfectly with an HTPC application. When I do need some maintenance, I pull one out of the closet.

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I was using a full size keyboard and mouse for a while, but the kids kept putting them someplace.. or they would throw them around. I finally went with a Lenovo keyboard/trackpad that is about the size of a large remote. So.... I ended up having an extra full size keyboard and mouse (which was used by spouse when hers died). Just saying think about whether you need or want full size.

 

http://www.engadget....sneaks-our-for/

 

I really LIKE that remote! I may have to try that for my test HTPC. Thanks for the info

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I really LIKE that remote! I may have to try that for my test HTPC. Thanks for the info

 

I have a couple of those, they came w/ my Lenovo Q150s. The points that I would highlight as worth mentioning (you can decide whether they are pros or cons):

*Propietary RF rather than bluetooth

*Keyboard experience is "BlackBerry-like"

*Trackball is pretty easy to use--not quite "natural" for me, but manageable

*Nice touch to add a single key for "CTRL-ALT-DEL", plus a few media-related keys

*Uses batteries rather than a charger.

 

As I type this, I've suddenly become embarassed to mention how many input devices I have for my Media Center PCs. Here are a few highlights:

Logitech DiNovo:

*As stated, an excellent device. If I were forced just to have a single wireless mouse/keyboard combo, this would be my choice for a HTPC (based on the fact that you've said that it's for your test box...otherwise, I find very little need to have a keyboard for my HTPCs on a regular basis)

*Rechargeable

*Lighted

*Built-in "dust" cover (for those who might like to mix food/beverage with their media)

 

Logitech MX Air Mouse (http://www.logitech.com/en-us/mice-pointers/mice/devices/3443):

*If I could choose 1 thing to control Media Center with for viewing (as opposed to a test box or controlling your receiver, TV, etc.) it would be this

*Can work as an air or conventional mouse (no Wife-acceptance-issues)--interchangeably on the fly. set it on the table, it knows it's a regular mouse, pick it up--it's in air mode.

*Using it in the air is fairly intuitive...I find adapting to this easier than adapting to a trackball.

*Rechargeable

 

Microsoft Media Center Wireless Optical Desktop (http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/mouseandkeyboard/ProductDetails.aspx?pid=058):

*I mention this because I have this (keyboard) tucked away, but handy when I need to iron out issues. To be frank, if you're going to need to do a lot of tinkering on your test HTPC, I feel there's no substitute for a full-sized keyboard. The mini keyboards are not really meant to do a lot of rapid google searches, password-entering, etc... I find myself getting frustrated and pull out this bad boy.

 

Logitech Harmony Remotes (I have the 880 series http://www.logitech.com/en-us/440/372):

*These are my real workhorses and have the highest Wife-acceptance factor in my house

*1 button to power-on/off all A/V required to use Media Center

*Can customize buttons on the display to reflect the way you and your family use media center

*Can set up different "activities" based on how different users use the same equipment (ex. "Dad TV", "Mom TV", "Jr. TV")

*Since Media Center is designed for remote-control input, you can enter small amounts of text fairly easily via on-screen keyboard and arrowing to the letters you want

*with proper setup ("Windows Media Center SE" in the Harmony software) many windows commands can be mapped to keys (ex. "ALT-F4", "CTRL-ALT-DEL", "Maximize", etc.)

*Rechargeable & lighted

*Best ergonomics of the bunch

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