Microsoft Wireless Media Centre Keyboard
- Media Centre functions at the touch of a button, cool design, responsive keys
- Poor mouse replacement, wireless technology sometimes a problem
For anyone with a media centre, this keyboard may be the solution you’ve been looking for. Whilst it may not be perfect, we’ve yet to see a better option for lounge room computing.
Price$ 199.95 (AUD)
Home theatres have slowly made the evolution from grey, ugly, boxy devices to sleek funky home entertainment units. Thus, they need equally funky control systems to keep things looking good. Enter the Windows Media Centre keyboard. Microsoft has designed a keyboard that goes hand in hand with their Media Centre operating system, offering all the functionality necessary to navigate the new OS, in a small and stylish design.
We were impressed with the size of the unit. It crams an awful lot of buttons into a relatively small, ergonomic design that won't look totally out of place in the average lounge room. The keyboard sports a regular QWERTY key layout, and kicks up at either side in a mass of controls for every conceivable media function. On the left are the playback controls, play, pause, stop etc, along with channel change, volume and mute. The right hand side is equipped with a number of shortcuts to the important functions of Windows MCE, such as the EPG and Recorded TV, as well as offering a directional pad and start button for navigation. Above the QWERTY keys are more shortcuts, along with a sleep key and a small thumbstick with mouse buttons for navigation without a conventional mouse. However we felt this feature was poorly implemented, and struggled to use it with any sense of accuracy, despite having practice using notebook mouse replacements in the past.
Thankfully the keyboard itself suffered no such problems. The keys felt well mounted and were comfortable to type on, although they were much shallower than the keys present on a regular keyboard, and those who have never used a laptop keyboard before may struggle with this change at first. The shortcut keys made navigation a breeze, enabling us to go from one sub-menu to any other, without necessitating a full menu search.
Unfortunately, however hard the keyboard tried to impress us, we occasionally met resistance from its wireless technology, seemingly willing it to fail. The MCE keyboard utilises infra-red wireless technology, which claims operation from a range of up to a 30 feet. We tested this, and true to its word, the keyboard worked from quite a long distance. It did however require near perfect line of sight, and we were plagued by drop outs every few minutes, which left us hammering keys in frustration. This was not the case all the time; more often than not the keyboard transmitted perfectly, but sometimes we'd find ourselves going to pause at a crucial moment and missing things entirely; a small blemish on an otherwise fantastic device.
For most people, the Media Centre keyboard will be a must-have device for their home theatre PC. The only situation where it may not be useful is if you already have a comprehensive remote control, but even then some basic typing functions are unavoidable. If you own a media centre PC, you owe it to yourself to at least check this out.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG G6 Plus: Full, in-depth review
- 2 First Look: Nikon D850
- 3 OnePlus 5: Full, in-depth review
- 4 Nokia 8: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
Latest News Articles
- Traditional Aussie PC market defies global downward trend again
- Logitech say new mouse features the best optical sensor ever designed for wireless gaming
- Razer unveil new Basilisk mouse built for FPS gaming
- HyperX Unveil Heavy-Duty Gaming Keyboard
- NVIDIA Supercharges Rendering Performance with AI
PCW Evaluation Team
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
- Huawei Y5 (2017) Review
- First Look: The Evil Within 2
- LG G6 Plus: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - Online PokerNSW
- FTTM1 DeveloperOther
- CCWeb DeveloperACT
- FTTM1 DeveloperOther
- FTFront end developer/designerNSW
- FTPlanner - Network Planning and Strategy (Telco Environment)Other
- FTWireless Solution Architect - 6mth ContractOther
- FTIT Sales ManagerVIC
- CCTeam Assistant/Executive Assistant - TelcoVIC
- FTEnterprise Software/Product Sales ManagerVIC
- FTTechnical Digital Producer | 6 Month ContractOther
- CCBusiness Project ManagerNSW
- TPOragnisational Change ManagerNSW
- FTDelivery ManagerVIC
- CCDesktop Support Engineer - Hunter ValleyNSW
- CCSenior Systems EngineerVIC
- CCSenior Marketing SpecialistVIC
- FTDigital Acquisition Campaign ManagerNSW
- CCProgram Manager - TelcoVIC
- CCSite Acquisition CoordinatorNSW
- FTFront End UI Web DeveloperOther
- CCTraining Co-OrdinatorNSW
- CCMultiple Hadoop Developers SydneyNSW
- FTService Level ManagerSA
- FTBusiness Analyst - InsuranceOther