Scan the aisles of your local electrical store and you’ll see that even today, in a world rapidly embracing touchscreen devices, there are still a lot of keyboards on the market. You’ll find plenty of manufacturers vying for space on your desktop and, with devices like the Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 Plus, in your living room.
As home theater PCs and media streamers have popped up in family rooms and lounges around the world, we’ve quickly discovered that the traditional remote control needs help to manage the more complex user interfaces of modern online services. Sure, the old clicker still has a place, but with greater use of text input – for search requests, account credentials and more, there is a growing need for compact keyboards near the big screen. Even then, most keyboards don’t cut it without a mouse or other pointing device, and that is where a combination keyboard/mouse comes in.
Logitech has been heavily involved in the peripherals market for years now and I have personally used many of their earlier keyboards – combination media keyboards in particular. I started with a Logitech DiNovo Edge, which I still use to this day in my study, and I’ve also loved the DiNovo Mini and the Bluetooth Illuminated K810. Right now I am using the Illuminated Living-Room HTPC Keyboard K830 (check out our review) as my lounge keyboard of choice. They have all been great keyboards and they’ve never let me down. So I was delighted to get the opportunity to check out the new Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 Plus. This model supersedes the K400 which was released way back in the third quarter of 2011.
There have been a few tweaks to the newer model and some of those changes can be seen in the comparison table below:
As you can see, all of the features of the older model are included in the K400 Plus (with the exception of keyboard encryption), but along the way some extra bits have been added too, whilst keeping the price consistent.
The K400 Plus keyboard now has lower profile and quieter keys, a larger, more customizable touch-pad, and the ability to be used with Android, Windows RT and Chrome OS as well as Windows 7, 8 and the upcoming Windows 10. While Apple’s OS X isn’t mentioned in the compatibility list, I did find the keyboard works with a Mac Mini, but the obvious omission of Apple shortcut keys does make using the keyboard with OS X a little awkward. I did also try to use the K400 Plus on a 2012 Samsung Smart TV, but had no luck using it in the Smart Hub area. Logitech is throwing its net wide in terms of device support, but you may find the odd gap.
If you’re a seasoned media enthusiast, you may have spotted some omissions from the feature list. Unlike more expensive keyboards you’ll find out there, the keys aren’t back-lit, there’s no rechargeable battery or multiple device control. But if you need a good quality, mid-range keyboard to control your digital media from your sofa, the K400 Plus looks like it’s going to do the job well. With an RRP of £34.99, it’s priced to offer great value without the bells and whistles found on more premium devices – it’s a media keyboard for the masses.
The K400 Plus runs off 2 AA batteries (included) and Logitech boasts a battery life for the keyboard of 18 months, which is a huge improvement of 8 months over the original model. All of my previous keyboards have been rechargeable and I can honestly say that I have forgotten to charge them all on more than a few occasions, so the 18 month battery lifespan is definitely a plus point.