Set-top boxes and game consoles geared toward watching television have come a long way in terms of form and function. But when it comes time to search for a show or enter a password with a remote control, all of that technological progress feels negated.
Logitech’s upcoming Harmony Smart Keyboard aims to solve that problem by combining a QWERTY keyboard with the company’s proven universal remote control line. The board, coated in a rubber anti-slip material, features a touchpad that supports Windows 8 gestures as well as Harmony-specific gestures.
It can be paired with up to eight devices at a time from a library of more than 225,000 home entertainment devices from more than 5,000 brands. All of the major players are included – Apple TV, Xbox, PlayStation, Roku – so compatibility shouldn’t be an issue.
The Smart Keyboard ships with the Harmony Hub which acts as a middleman, translating the signals from the keyboard into commands that home entertainment equipment understand. Setup takes place through a smartphone app instead of on the web as required by previous Harmony remotes.
One would obviously need to weigh the pros and the cons when considering the board. On the positive side, entering text with a keyboard is worlds faster than doing so with a traditional remote control. On the flip side, however, is the fact that you’re replacing a small and easy-to-handle remote with a full-size keyboard.
The Logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard will be available in the US and Germany starting this month for $149.99.