Review: Microsoft’s All-in-One Media Keyboard lets you sit back, relax, and do more
Microsoft recently unveiled the All-In-One Media Keyboard, a new keyboard from the devices and services giant. The keyboard features a full-set of keys, along with an integrated multi-touch trackpad that works well with gestures in Windows 8.1. We’re going to take you hands-on with this device, to see if it is worth the $40 price tag.
“The All-in-One Media Keyboard is the perfect device for your living room or home office. It has a full-size keyset and an integrated multi-touch trackpad – type, swipe, drag, zoom, and click with ease. It has customizable media hotkeys that put the web and your favorite music, photos, and movies at your fingertips. The keyboard also has a durable design, so there’s no need to sweat the bumps, drops, or spills of everyday life. The All-in-One Media Keyboard is all you need for comfortable typing and effortless navigation,” Microsoft explains.
The keyboard is a lot smaller than I figured it would be, but then again I am accustomed to a larger keyboard such as the Sculpt Comfort. At a mere 14.4″ x 5.20″ in size and weighing next to nothing, the keyboard can be held in one hand with ease. The keyboard takes 2xAAA batteries and comes with a small USB transceiver. The power button is located at the right side of the keyboard and when you turn it on, a green indicator light will be visible on the right side of the Microsoft logo. The device is being marketed as a keyboard that is spill-resistant and durable, perfect for use on the sofa.
The All-In-One Media keyboard wouldn’t be complete without customizable media hotkeys, which allow you one-touch access to your content. These keys are located at the top-right of the device, just above the trackpad. I left it at it’s default configuration, but you can change it to launch whatever you like. There is no PrtScn, ScrLk, End, or Calculator buttons, nor is there a dedicated number pad.
The keyboard’s volume controls are located on the left side of the device, allowing your left hand to easily manipulate the volume. Again, perfect for sitting on the sofa and watching your media.
The trackpad is about as big as a typical laptop trackpad and it dominates the right side of the keyboard. The trackpad features multi-touch gestures support, which means you can swipe, scroll, and zoom using two fingers while on Windows 8.1. Best of all, the trackpad is very responsive to touch.
We didn’t dare to test the spill-resistant feature of the keyboard, but the device is being marketed as having the ability to survive being sat on and occasionally dropped to the ground. The keyboard is also able to withstand accidental spills.
You can also freely roam around your house with the keyboard in hand, at least up to 30 feet with a reliable wireless connection. This keyboard is perfect for your Windows 8.1 computer (tablet or PC), as well as select USB HID compliant Smart TVs and gaming consoles. In fact, it works flawlessly with a Surface device.
You can snag this keyboard from a Microsoft Store for $39.95. This keyboard is fantastic if you want something light-weight, spill-resistant, durable, and feature-full. Don’t expect to type out a memo on this keyboard, but it is a great option to use while on the sofa. Highly recommended.
Further reading: Microsoft, Windows 8.1