HTPC Keyboard and Mouse Options – Logitech K400 Plus Review

When I built my HTPC many years ago, there weren’t a lot of budget keyboard options so I just picked up the Logitech Cordless Navigator Duo.  This served me well for many years since I used rechargeable Eneloop batteries and the keyboard was barely used.  The mouse worked well on the carpet or couch.  What was annoying was that moving the mouse would wake up my sleeping PC (though I could’ve disable this in Windows).

For small amounts of typing, I generally use Window’s built in On Screen Keyboard under the Accessibility tools with my mouse.  I’ve stickied this program to the taskbar.  I’ve also experimented with the Unified Remote app which lets you use your tablet or smartphone as a keyboard/trackpad combo.  It was simpler just going back to the mouse.

With the recent Boxing Day sale, I decided to upgrade my keyboard for the Logitech K400 plus for $25 on sale.  This compact keyboard features an integrated trackpad.  Other features include a USB unifying receiver dongle (instead of a big bulky receiver) with a storage location inside the keyboard’s battery compartment (clip in the cover itself) and an on/off switch.  Cons include bunched up arrow keys and the PC sleep button requires holding down the FN key.  Range was not an issue even with the dongle plugged into the back of the PC.

Since I have become too familiar with using the mouse and with the unifying receiver dongle supporting multiple devices, I picked up a compatible Logitech M317 mouse on ebay for about $3 USD.  The newer cordless mouse technology only needs 1 AA battery and has an on/off switch on the bottom.  Pairing the mouse with the receiver was as simple as downloading a small app from Logitech and turning the mouse off and on.  There are no problems having both the trackpad on the K400 keyboard and mouse both enabled.


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