An all-in-one keyboard with an integrated touchpad
It's been 20 years since Microsoft released its first keyboard. Called the "Microsoft Natural Keyboard," the Redmond outfit went after the ergonomic category with a curved design intended to reduce or prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and other stress injuries associated with typing at awkward angles. Two decade later, Microsoft is adding to its peripherals line with the All-in-One Media Keyboard (N9Z-00001).
This time around Microsoft is going after smart TV owners and the home entertainment crowd in general. The AIO Media Keyboard sports a full-size keyset with low profile keys and an integrated multi-touch trackpad on the side where you'd normally find a numpad.
The trackpad supports gestures, allowing you to tap, swipe, drag, zoom, and click for easy navigation. Sitting above the trackpad are customizable media keys for quick acces to your music, photos and videos. Volume controls are found way over on the other side.
It's a wireless keyboard that communicates with a mini USB dongle. Microsoft says it can hold a connection up to 30 feet. It also features a durable spill-resistant design.
Microsoft's AIO Media keyboard looks very similar to Logitech's recently introduced K830, though Logitech's sports a backlight and Microsoft's does not. That luxury carries a $60 premium, however -- the K830 goes for $100 while Microsoft's AIO Media Keyboard carries a much lighter $40 MSRP.