Microsoft Remote Keyboard for Windows XP review: Microsoft Remote Keyboard for Windows XP

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.0
  • Installation and interface: 7.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Service and support: 7.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Sophisticated design; backlit multimedia keys; key-lock switch.

The Bad Requires direct line of sight with your PC; QWERTY keys are loud; fingertip pointing device on the mouse is difficult to navigate; requires you to download an update before you can use the keyboard.

The Bottom Line The media buttons on the Microsoft Remote Keyboard for Windows XP Media Center Edition make it easy to control MCE from the comfort of your couch, but the mouse could be easier to control.

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Three-in-one keyboard balances style with performance

Match this keyboard with your Media Center PC, and you may never leave your couch again. The $104.95 Microsoft Remote Keyboard for Windows XP Media Center Edition is a multimedia trinity, combining the best features of a keyboard, a mouse, and a remote control in a gorgeous package that looks as stylish next to your flat-screen TV as it does sitting on your coffee table. Though we weren't overly impressed with the embedded mouse, this wireless keyboard is a fitting companion for any PC running Microsoft's Media Center Edition 2005 OS (MCE), and we like that it syncs with your other remotes to eliminate living-room clutter.

Thin and light enough to rest on your lap, the sculpted keyboard does not sacrifice style for functionality. It features rubberized soles that give it a nice sturdy feel when rested on a coffee table or--gasp!--a desk, and its raised sides fit well into the hand to make it relatively comfortable when holding it in the air. Microsoft boasts a 30-foot range between your PC and the keyboard. While that distance is attainable, the keyboard requires a direct line of sight to its receiver; the signal is lost with the slightest obstruction.

The Microsoft Remote Keyboard features 26 MCE-centric keys including MCE's iconic green Start button, media control keys, navigation keys, and channel and volume keys. All 26 media keys have a nice smooth texture and are very responsive. They're also backlit, allowing you to control your PC from a darkened living room--a feature we really appreciate. The QWERTY keys, however, are not illuminated, so you'll have to rely on the glow from your TV for midnight messaging or performing movie and artist searches. Furthermore, the keys produce a loud clicking noise when pressed, which could be annoying to you and those nearby.

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Where to Buy See all prices

Microsoft Remote Keyboard for Windows XP

Part Number: ZV1-00004 Released: Sep 1, 2005
MSRP: $99.95 Low Price: $81.99 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Sep 1, 2005
  • Compatibility PC