Gone are the days when your entertainment options were limited to purchasing and renting movies on DVDs. Thanks to modern technology, these have largely been replaced with streaming and downloading media via the internet. It’s for this reason that smart TVs are now found in most living rooms nowadays.
Although these devices allow users to access their digital content quite easily, one might be forgiven for thinking that their designers simply neglected the need to provide comparable remote controls. So while you might have the latest smart TV, the included remote control will be anything but. You’ll however be delighted to know that this hasn’t gone unnoticed; there are plenty of options you could use to upgrade your entertainment setup, the most practical of which are wireless keyboards. Which begs the question, how do you choose the top rated wireless keyboard for Samsung Smart TV?
Logitech K830 Illuminated Living Room Keyword
The idea behind this keyboard is rather simple; to provide a comprehensive media control platform that works in casual situations. It’s designed as a small-form factor keyboard that uses a standard QWERTY layout, albeit one with low profile keys and devoid of a dedicated number pad. Instead, it comes with a bunch of multimedia keys to provide extra functionality. With these, you can open the music player, launch a browser and control audio playback as well.
On the topmost part of the frame are 3 features that form part of the K830’s highlights. These include a left-click button, the on-off switch and a micro-USB port. Other key elements include:
- Backlit keys: These allow you to use the K830 in dark to mid-lit environments. You also have the option to switch between 2 levels of brightness using the F1 key.
- USB unifying receiver: Despite its small size, this allows you to use the K830 from a range of up to 10 meters.
- Configurable: Downloading the keyboards companion program will give you the freedom to change the function key shortcuts and scrolling features.
On paper, this looks like something anyone would want in their living room. The price might seem a little too high ($100 for a keyboard/mouse combo), but the Logitech K830 Keyboard should more than make up for this thanks to its convenient features. It’s also worth mentioning that you might need some time to learn how to type properly with it, but this shouldn’t be much of a problem.
Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400
Thanks to the compact layout which leaves little space between keys, it’s safe to say that the Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 won’t win much favor with productivity nerds and typists. However, you’d be missing the point by a mile if you judged it solely from this perspective. Although it’s large enough to be used for normal productivity tasks, the Logitech K400 was actually designed as a multimedia tool, and a good one for that matter.
This is easily confirmed by the handy features packed into the living-room friendly size of this device, such as:
- A trackpad with left- and right-click buttons, plus more to raise/lower/mute volume. -Function keys: Located at the top of the device is a row dedicated for function keys, which are raised to provide a point of reference for users.
- A wireless USB receiver to allow easy connection with compatible devices. This can be tucked into the K400’s battery compartment when not in use.
- An extender to increase its useful range whenever necessary.
Going by its performance, the K400 is perfectly suited for anyone who wants to simplify their multimedia experience. However, the same can’t be said of it’s build quality; this device makes use of rubber domes to support keys, which creates a spongy sensation whenever you’re typing. Still, the Logitech K400 is a highly-versatile device that could replace just about every input you normally use with your TV remote.
Riitek Rii I8 Bluetooth Keyboard
One of the first things people notice about the Rii i8 Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard is how different it is from regular remote controls. Despite its small size, the company has somehow managed to squeeze in a high number of functions without sacrificing ergonomics. More surprising is how they’ve kept the i8 lightweight without making it feel cheap, which is perhaps the reason why it’s such a popular choice in households around the world.
Other highlights that could make a difference in your entertainment experience include:
- Trackpad: This would make it easier to navigate your media player, but the manufacturer has also included left- and right-click buttons as an alternative/complement, depending on one’s preferences.
- USB interface adapter: This acts as the bridge between your Smart TV and the keyboard itself, allowing you to navigate the former from a distance.
- Inbuilt battery: This hold enough juice to provide a satisfactory battery life, and won’t require more than a couple of hours to charge fully.
- Curved, rubberized sides to allow a comfortable grip, and backlit keys to enhance convenience.
What about its downsides? Some users have complained that the range isn’t good enough, but a standard USB extension cable will easily take care of this. You might also find the shutoff feature to be a nuisance, but this only kicks in after 30 seconds of inactivity. These two aside, you’ll want to consider the Rii i8 for the great functionality it provides without being too expensive.
Logitech Easy‑Switch K811 Wireless Bluetooth Smart TV Keyboard
This is hands-down the best option for those who spend lots of time watching TV. Designed with convenience in mind, the Logitech K811 Wireless Keyboard allows you to connect up to 3 devices and switch instantly between them. So if you have considered buying keyboards for all your devices but are put off by the sheer complexity of the resulting setup, this will take care of your needs without giving you any headaches.
Not to mention that it’s still a great keyboard to type on. No, really — the layout provides a full-sized keyboard with large, well-spaced keys, each of which has a concave shape to enhance comfort and refinement. And there’s a whole lot more to like about the Logitech K811 Wireless, including:
- Backlit keys: Besides making it possible to use the keyboard in the dark, there’s also an auto-adjusting feature to maintain a comfortable illumination level.
- In-built battery: This can be charged using a regular USB cable, even while you’re typing.
- Multi-platform: The keyboard comes in two versions, which means you’ll find one built for your preferred PC platform.
Admittedly, the Logitech K811’s price could be what keeps you from buying one, especially if you only want a simple upgrade for your TV remote. On the other hand, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a cheaper alternative that offers the same kind of functionality. Rather than buy separate keyboards for all your devices, why not just opt for this and keep your sanity?
iClever® Mini 2.4GHz Wireless Entertainment QWERTY Keyboard
Truth be told, it’s easy to think of the iClever® Mini 2.4GHz Wireless Entertainment QWERTY Keyboard to be filled with as many bells-and-whistles as its mouthful name suggests. This assumption would however vanish quickly from your mind upon taking a closer look. Though compact, this device houses a 69-key QWERTY keyboard just like its name suggests, plus a set of multimedia hotkeys and a highly-sensitive touchpad for more convenience.
Other noteworthy highlights include:
- A wireless USB receiver that utilizes 2.4 GHz benchmark. Besides your TV, you can also use this to operate your computer or any other HID-compatible device.
- A layout that allows fast typing without missing keys or typing in extra characters.
- A rechargeable 800mAh battery for the power source, plus power management features (auto sleep and wake-up) to maximize its standby time.
- A 30-day money-back guarantee, which is further backed by a one-year warranty.
As for the drawbacks, quite a number of users have complained that the iClever Mini starts behaving strangely when used for too long. That aside, this is one of the best deals you’ll come across. For less than $30, you get a fully-functional wireless keyboard that will allow you make the most of your entertainment setup.
What to Look for When Choosing the Best Smart TV Keyboard
Depending on the kind of experience you’re aiming at by investing in a keyboard, there are several considerations you need to keep in mind:
- Keys: Although most keyboards utilize the QWERTY layout, some come with extra keys to improve performance and productivity. Also keep in mind that not all keyboards will come with the 10-key numerical keypad. Some products also come with programmable keys which would allow you set specific commands.
- Connectivity: How the keyboard interacts with your TV and other devices also matters. Most products rely on radio frequency (RF) technology, which allow the use of encryption standards to prevent keystroke recording. You’ll also come across keyboards designed to connect via Bluetooth, which tend to be more compact compared to the former.
- Battery: The wireless nature of smart TV keyboards means they require batteries to keep them powered though extended periods of use. A keyboard that uses alkaline batteries will have a longer standby time than one using lithium ion batteries, but the former will cost you more in replacements. Combine this with the fact that lithium batteries can be recharged, it becomes clear why they’re so popular.
- Range: The average wireless keyboard will have a range of up to 30 feet, but a device relying on 2.4GHz technology will extend this to 82 feet.
Remote controls were originally designed to make life easier, but this isn’t the case anymore thanks to the fact that they haven’t evolved in tandem with other devices. All it takes to confirm this is a couple of minutes trying to type or search for content using the average remote. Still, you can save yourself such headaches by investing in a light wireless keyboard and, better yet, one that’s designed with your preferences in mind. Whether you want a keyboard that connects to multiple devices or just one with a few features and decent battery life, you should be able to find a worthwhile option in this list. Just remember to shop from the right dealer and only invest in genuine products.