Five all-in-one keyboards and touchpads for your HTPC

five all in one keyboards and touchpads for your htpc microsoft keyboard header
Home theater PCs, be they homemade or store-bought, are probably the most powerful and flexible means of enjoying a wide variety of video content in your living room. But for all that power and flexibility, you still occasionally have to deal with the operating system underneath –- and Windows 10 isn’t going to make it any easier. That means either using some kind of remote control software or keeping a keyboard and mouse handy.

So why not combine those two pieces of living room tech into one? Several accessory makers like Logitech and Microsoft now have keyboards with integrated touchpads, more or less like a laptop without the screen, specifically designed for home theater setups. Here are our picks for the best, along with a few non-traditional options for Mac users and those who want as small a remote as possible.

Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 Plus

Logitech is the go-to keyboard brand for many users, so you’ll be happy to know that the company makes one specifically for home theater PCs and other living room hardware. The layout on the Wireless Touch K400 Plus is similar to that of a full desktop keyboard with a full number and function row, and the trackpad includes physical buttons for left and right mouse clicks. Dedicated media keys are limited to volume up, volume down, and mute, though virtual function keys for pause, back, and forward are inset into the F-row.



Logitech claims an operating distance of 33 feet with the included USB adapter, and the keyboard is powered by two AA batteries. The retail price on the K400 Plus is $40, though it’s often sold for less. If you’d like something a little more stylish, the K830 model includes a backlight and can be recharged with a Micro-USB cable, but it’s much more expensive at $100.

Microsoft All-In-One Media Keyboard

Microsoft also has a lot of fans of its well-made keyboards. Its version of the combined keyboard and trackpad is mostly similar to the Logitech offering above, but its trackpad uses recessed left and right mouse keys that might be harder to identify in the dark. The All-In-One Media Keyboard has volume controls plus three customization buttons for media functions, and a dedicated mouse-click button on the left side of the board (to hit with your left thumb).

microsoft 2


The All-In-One Media Keyboard also operates on a wireless USB dongle rated for a 30 foot range, and it runs on two included AAA batteries. While it’s not completely waterproof, the keyboard is designed to withstand minor spills — handy for parents or clumsy TV diners. Microsoft’s keyboard is the only one on this list with a water resistance feature. It costs $40 at retail.

Lenovo ThinkPad Compact Bluetooth Keyboard with Trackpoint

Lenovo’s ThinkPad line of laptops is legendary for its quality keyboards and unique Trackpoint mouse devices, and this Compact Bluetooth Keyboard incorporates both of them into a small case meant primarily for desktop and mobile users. This keyboard really isn’t designed as a home theater accessory, but the integrated Trackpoint (the little red nub in the center) makes it an ideal choice for this purpose. Since it doesn’t have to dedicate space to a full trackpad, it’s also considerably smaller than the Microsoft and Logitech options above. The battery is rechargeable via a MicroUSB cable.



There are a few drawbacks to this design. There are no dedicated media keys — you’ll need to use a function modifier for volume control or pausing. The Bluetooth connection may not be ideal, since you’ll need to supply a Bluetooth USB adapter if your home theater PC doesn’t already have the feature integrated. And at $80 retail, this is the most expensive option with a standard keyboard design. But for those who intend to do a lot of typing on the couch, for example in online games with chat functions, this is an excellent choice.

Twelve South MagicWand (plus Apple Bluetooth Keyboard and Magic Trackpad)

The Mac Mini is a popular alternative to Windows HTPCs. With this add-on accessory you can turn the Apple Bluetooth keyboard you probably already own into a fancy all-in-one. Slide this metal bracket onto the curved end of the keyboard, slide an Apple Magic Trackpad into the other, and voila, you’ve got yourself a media keyboard made for OS X.



The MagicWand is a reasonable $30 from the Apple Store, but that doesn’t include the cost of the keyboard and Magic Trackpad. Those are $70 each, bringing the total cost of this setup to $170 if you don’t have both Apple gadgets. Luckily the rest of the products on this list should work with the Mac Mini if you’re hoping to save some money.

Lenovo Multimedia Remote Keyboard

For the home theater buff who wants something closer to a conventional remote control, Lenovo’s Multimedia Remote Keyboard is the way to go. This gadget crams a full QWERTY keyboard, a tiny trackpad sensor, and left and right mouse buttons into a case about the size of a video game controller. Dedicated media keys make controlling video or audio easy, though you do give up the function row.



Various versions of this gadget have been produced, all of which use a USB adapter and two AA batteries for power. The standard model sells for as little as $20 at the time of writing, but the version with a built-in backlight for the keys is harder to find and currently goes for around $70.

If you want to control your HTPC without adding any extra hardware or spending any more money, check out this guide to PC remote control apps for your smartphone or tablet.


Intel expects Apple to transition Macs to ARM processors in 2020, report says

It has been rumored for some time that Apple could transition away from Intel to ARM processors, but a new report now claims that Intel is aware of the decision and that it could happen in 2020.

Great PC speakers don't need to break the bank. These are our favorites

Not sure which PC speakers work best with your computer? Here are the best computer speakers on the market, whether you're working with a tight budget or looking to rattle your workstation with top-of-the-line audio components.
Home Theater

Here's a handy guide to mirroring your favorite devices to your TV screen

A vast arsenal of devices exists to allow sending anything on your mobile device (or PC) to your TV. Our in-depth guide shows you how to mirror content from your smartphone or tablet to the big screen.

Xbox's app lets you access your console while away from home. Here's how

Microsoft's Xbox allows you to access your profile information and launch media content directly from your mobile device. Check out our quick guide on how to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One.

Here's our take on the best game-streaming services currently out there

You can still get your physical video game discs or cartridges at your local store or download games digitally, but another option is even more convenient: Game streaming. Here are the best game streaming services.

Still miss Windows 7? Here's how to make Windows 10 look more like it

There's no simple way of switching on a Windows 7 mode in Windows 10. Instead, you can install third-party software, manually tweak settings, and edit the registry. We provide instructions for using these tweaks and tools.

The rumors were true. Nvidia’s 1660 Ti GPU, a $280 powerhouse, has arrived

Nvidia has officially launched the GTX 1660 Ti, its next-generation, Turing-based GPU. It promises to deliver all the performance and efficiency for all modern games, but without stepping into the high price range of the RTX series. 

Dodge the biggest laptop-buying mistakes with these handy tips

Buying a new laptop is exciting, but you need to watch your footing. There are a number of pitfalls you need to avoid and we're here to help. Check out these top-10 laptop buying mistakes and how to avoid them.

Confused about RSS? Don't be. Here's what it is and how to use it

What is an RSS feed, anyway? This traditional method of following online news is still plenty useful. Let's take a look at what RSS means, and what advantages it has in today's busy world.

Everything you need to know about routers, modems, combos, and mesh networks

Modem vs. router: what's the difference? We explain their functions so you can better diagnose any issues prior to contacting technical support. We also talk about a few variants you'll see offered by ISPs and retailers.

Metro Exodus update brings DLSS improvements to Nvidia RTX 20-series PCs

Having issues in Metro Exodus? A February 21 update for the title recently delivered enhancements to Nvidia’s deep learning supersampling feature and other fixes for low-specced PCs. 

Limited-time sale knocks $500 off the price of the Razer Blade Pro 17

Looking for an ultra-powerful laptop for yourself or someone else? You're in for some luck. Razer is running a sale on some of its best gaming laptops, cutting down pricing on the Razer Blade 15 and the Razer Blade Pro 17. 
Emerging Tech

Engineer turns his old Apple lle into an wheeled robot, and even gives it a sword

How do you give new life to a 30-year-old computer? Software engineer Mike Kohn found a way by transforming his old Apple IIe into a wheeled robot. Check it out in all its 1980s glory.

Want to play as Iron Man or Waluigi in GTA V? Our favorite mods make it possible

Grand Theft Auto V is best on the PC for many reasons, and modifications may be the most important. You can cause riots, spawn unique cars, and play as a cop with just a few extra files.