Logitech K400R Review: For Couch Surfers

I bought the Logitech K400R keyboard from Amazon – a bit of an impulse buy really, in order to make up the Free Shipping requirements for US$125. Here’s my quick thoughts on the keyboard. The Logitech K400R keyboard combines both the keyboard and mouse functions into one here, and is primarily designed for use as a home theatre PC, multimedia box or smart tv companion.

Nutshell Summary

  • Easy and comfortable typing on quiet keys
  • Integrated multi-touch trackpad
  • Irritating function key setup
  • Well suited for Home theater environment
  • Works with Windows, Linux, ChromeOS and Android

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It’s a lot like using a laptop. slightly smaller than a full sized keyboard, with 4 additional function buttons on the top left, with dual function F1-F12 buttons that is primarily designed for a Windows 8 PC with a multimedia focus. On the right side, you have a touchpad, with decent sized left / right click buttons. The design and layout is basic with light blue accents on some of the keys and some random artistic lines on the trackpad. I didn’t like the trackpad. I thought it could have been larger to make full use of the space on the left. It is good that it support multi touch, so gestures such as two finger scroll, pinch to zoom etc all works. It is not Bluetooth, which would have been easier to pair it with mobile devices. Instead, it uses the standard 2.4GHz band.

Logitech has an excellent track record with keyboards. The K400R also comes with useful features such as a promised 1 year battery life, 10m extended range and a unifying Logitech receiver. Typing on the keyboard itself is pretty nice, and has generally good tactile response. There’s not much travel on the keys, and they are pretty silent, so no clickety clackety like a mechanical keyboard. I personally appreciate the more silent keys especially for use in the living room. On to the negatives, there are no adjustable legs though, so you can’t adjust the angle of the keyboard. The function buttons are also customised such that they are the Windows shortcuts and in order to use the F1-F12 keys, you need to hold down the FN key. Other combinations work directly though, such as Alt+F4. In Windows – the keyboard works great. The trackpad was responsive. However, I tested in in ChromeOS and I found the trackpad to be less responsive – could be a driver issue, but in ChromeOS not much settings were available. The additional buttons were also not working.

The Logitech K400R can prove very handy for a home-theatre PC or a smart TV. Would it suffice for office / typing purposes? If you can live with a laptop keyboard layout, I found this to be pretty OK for typing. It is also extremely portable as everything is integrated into a single unit. I have had good experiences with Logitech keyboard and this K400R seems to follow closely on the trend with a well built quality keyboard. It often goes on discount over at Amazon, which makes it a better buy on the US retailer as compared to local Singapore pricing (around S$65). I got it at US$19.99 over the Black Friday weekend.

Sean

Sean is a tech geek and star wars fan. He loves playing with new gadgets, writing little code snippets in Python, JS, and dabbling with Android programming from time to time, while keeping a lookout for the next biggest happening in the world of tech!

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