An excellent keyboard and touchpad combination to plug into your living room PC
Keyboard shape: Standard, Number pad: No, Connection: Wireless, Mouse type: Touchpad, Resolution: N/A, Buttons: No, Connection: Wireless, Warranty: One-year RTB
Tiny PCs such as the Intel NUC make ideal Home Theatre PCs to sit under your TV, yet there are comparatively few keyboards designed to be used from the sofa. Logitech is one of the few companies making living room-friendly models, and the TK820 is the best of the bunch.
Combining a QWERTY keyboard with an all-in-one touchpad where you’d normally find the numeric keypad, the TK820 has everything you might need for web browsing, typing or generally navigating your PC from a sofa, including function keys that default to useful shortcuts for controlling multimedia playback.
The low-profile keys aren’t quite full-size, but are still comfortably large enough to use without feeling cramped – a real problem with other sofa-friendly keyboard combos we’ve used in the past. The keys themselves have an impressive amount of travel and are springy enough that we were happy to type at this keyboard on a desk rather than switch to a more traditional model. Unlike the K830 the TK820 is raised slightly off the desk, which makes for easier typing, but shortcut keys such as home, end, page up and page down aren’t marked; we had to guess they were mapped to FN/arrow key combinations.
The touchpad is one of the few multi-gesture pads we’ve used on Windows that actually works as intended; usually only Apple is able to get gestures right, but Logitech has done an excellent job with its bundled software. It also works natively with Windows 8 gestures, but certain motions like clicking and dragging with a single finger may take some getting used to. It’s an all-in-one design so you can press the whole pad to click, and you can also right-click with the bottom-right of the pad or by clicking with two fingers.
The TK820 is powered by four AA batteries, which Logitech claims should last for up to six months. An indicator light lets you know when it’s time to change the batteries, although we were able to keep typing for several days after the light came on before our batteries eventually gave out. Because there’s no cumbersome pairing process as you’d get on a Bluetooth keyboard, you can turn the TK820 off completely to save power when watching a film, then flick it back on when you need to use your PC.
According to Logitech, the TK820 has a 10m wireless range, but we frequently experienced dropouts at only a few metres when the dongle was plugged into the back of our HTPC. Moving the dongle to the HTPC’s front USB ports helped extend the range, so if your TV PC is hidden in a cabinet you may need to move the dongle closer to where you’ll be sitting, using an extension cable, for example.
For a home theatre PC, the TK820 is the best keyboard we’ve seen. The built-in touchpad is large and easy to use, and the keyboard is good enough to use even at your desk. If you want a backlit keyboard and rechargeable batteries, you could consider Logitech’s K830, but we think the TK820 is a better HTPC keyboard overall.
|Battery||4x AA (shared with touchpad)|
|Mouse battery||4x AA (shared with keyboard)|
|Price including VAT||£79.99|