MSI intros wireless HTPC keyboard combo with accelerometer-driven mouse

By on February 23, 2010, 5:04 PM
MSI has introduced an interesting home theater-oriented remote, dubbed the Air Keyboard. The device is designed to be held in both hands, and the compact QWERTY keyboard is controlled with a user's thumbs. The MSI Air Keyboard is wireless, and it has an internal accelerometer that lets you direct a computer's cursor. While you navigate with in-air motions, left and right-clicks can be made with two shoulder buttons. It's almost like an Xbox controller meets the Wiimote.

The device carries a total of 80 keys, including numerous media-specific buttons, has a range of about 50 meters (164 feet), connects to virtually any Windows system with a USB dongle, and is powered by two AA batteries. It measures 14.2 x 8.8 x 3.3 inches, and weighs around 200 grams (less than half a pound). The MSI Air Keyboard is available in Germany for 79 (about $108), and it's expected to reach other markets in the coming months.

User Comments: 7

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Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Expensive and awkward to control, that's brilliant.

Guest said:

It's not awkward to use in the least - have you even used it?!

tengeta tengeta said:

Might finally get that damn keyboard off my coffee table. I just wish the Xbox 360 controllers chat pad would do it, Microsoft would sell tons off that alone.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

You mean to tell me that moving the mouse cursor with an over-sized wii remote isn't awkward?

Guest said:

It's the size of an iPhone. If moving that small around is awkward, then the longer Wii remote must be down right excruciating.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Try moving a mouse cursor accurately with just the accelerometer in a wii remote. You'll find that up, down, left and right work very well. You'll also find that going a direction other than just up, down, left and right is quite difficult to do accurately. It's pretty much like trying to go diagonal on a etch a sketch, you can do it but it's awkward.

Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

It's the size of an iPhone. If moving that small around is awkward, then the longer Wii remote must be down right excruciating.

I haven't held the device in-hand, but based on your comments, I assume you have? The linked source says the MSI Air is 14.2 x 8.8 x 3.3 inches -- much larger than the iPhone 3GS sitting on my desk (about 4.5 x 2.4 x 0.48 inches).

I'm not calling you out, just trying to confirm the Air's dimensions. Based on this picture, it certainly seems larger than an iPhone. Frankly, I don't see how all of the keys and two AA batteries would even fit on an iPhone-sized device.

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