Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Logitech Revue is Dead, But Long Live its Keyboard

For those of us who figured out early on that the best use of a Media Center PC is to hook it up to your big screen TV, we have faced one nagging problem:  A good Media Center Keyboard.   I and my children have broken and/or worn out more Media Center keyboards than remotes, and we use the remotes more often.  Oddly enough, the death of the Logitech Revue has in a way saved my Windows Media Center PC experience.

Computers connected your big screen TV re-invented what your large HDTV is used for. When the Logitech Revue arrived powered by Android, everyone in the tech-world had high hopes for Google TV.   I was no different. I was excited to see Android powering the next media center TV.  What we got however,  was a letdown to say the least. The version of Android that came with the Logitech Revue was crippled and did not even include the much loved Android Market. Not to mention the price. At about $300 for everything, it was too expensive and too limited.   Although Google TV is still alive( and the Revue has been updated to Android 3.1) , production of the Revue is not.  The upshot: the keyboard The Revue has the best multimedia keyboard to date and it can still be purchased at Amazon for about $45.  It is not a native Windows keyboard so there is no right click button and the driver support is sketchy on Windows.
The K400 looks very similar to the Revue keyboard.

There is hope!  Enter the K400.  Logitech released the K400 after the demise of Revue and every batch sells out on Amazon. It also costs about $40.  It has native Right Click,  supports Windows, has F-keys, an off switch to save battery and a brilliant touch-pad.  It does not have the awesome arrow keys or the full screen button, but it does add a left click button in the upper left hand corner.  Is it perfect? No. It is however better and simpler than anything else out there. At just $40 for the keyboard and Logitech driver support you really can't go wrong.  I'll have a long-term review later to see if it survives my kids.   Two wishes:  A built-in universal remote Harmony style, and back-lit keys.  Does this mean the revival of the Media Center?  With Windows 8 on the horizon we will have to see.


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