Logitech has unveiled a new keyboard, but it’s not just any keyboard. It’s the Harmony Smart Keyboard and it’s essentially a remote control, keyboard and a trackpad built into one device. It works with all sorts of living room entertainment devices, including the Xbox One, PS4, Apple TV, Roku, an HTPC and select smart TVs.
Priced at $150 and aiming for a release at some point this month, the Harmony Smart Keyboard comes with Logitech’s Harmony Hub, which allows A/V devices to be controlled by the keyboard or other Harmony remotes, as well as smartphones, but the Smart Keyboard can also transmit commands through infrared like any traditional remote control can.
What’s perhaps even a better new feature is the ability to setup the keyboard remote using Logitech’s smartphone app, bypassing the web interface that’s rather clunky to begin with.
While keyboards aren’t quite the norm as a living room TV accessory, they’ve slowly been gaining some steam, and before Google TV bit the dust, every model came with a keyboard for controlling the device. Plus, the HTPC is becoming a growing phenomenon and keyboards are pretty much a must for controlling them. In fact, the Harmony Smart Keyboard looks practically identical to the company’s K400 keyboard, which I personally use for my HTPC out in the living room.
Obviously, the Harmony Smart Keyboard won’t appeal to traditional TV users who merely just surf channels, so it’s mostly a device for the those who like to stream content using a set-top box of some kind, where a keyboard and a trackpad would come in handy for easier navigation, and it’s certainly a welcomed accessory for Xbox users, where using the on-screen keyboard is sort of a pain in the rear-end using the Xbox controller; the Harmony Smart Keyboard makes this much easier.
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