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HolidayBuyer's Guide

A keyboard/universal remote hybrid

The Hub

High quality feel

Grippy finish

Relatively light

Lots of buttons

Activity buttons up top

Transport and volume controls

Trackpad, too

IR blaster

USB adapters

Power adapter, USB cable

Living room set-top boxes have become increasingly sophisticated, but they can still feel backward any time you need to input a long password or search term using an onscreen keyboard.

Logitech's new Harmony Smart Keyboard ($150 list) is aimed squarely at that problem. It's a full-size keyboard that lets you type on (most of) your living room devices, while also offering total living room control in the manner of a typical Harmony universal remote.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The universal remote capabilities of the system are similar to the Logitech Harmony Smart Control ($130), except the keyboard replaces the simplified remote. The Hub is the brain of the system, accepting commands from the keyboard or the Harmony mobile app, then issuing commands to the appropriate device using either IR, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Logitech is no stranger to making a quality keyboard, and the hardware feels well made.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The keyboard is covered in a nice, grippy finish that carries over even to the back.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The keyboard still feels relatively light, despite the fact that it requires two AA batteries.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
On the other hand, it's an intimidating device compared to a standard TV remote -- frequently used keys like volume up / down and transport control are relatively small and easy to miss at first glance amid the other 77 buttons.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
There are three activity buttons at the top of the keyboard.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
All the buttons you need to control a cable box are technically there, but they can be tough to spot on the keyboard.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
A trackpad is also included for devices that support cursor control.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The Hub is capable of blasting out IR signals throughout your room, but an IR blaster is included for devices inside a cabinet.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Other devices aren't so simple to control. For example, with the PlayStation 3, the Harmony Smart Keyboard can power up and navigate menus via Bluetooth, but for typing you'll need to connect one of the two included USB adapters.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Rounding out the included contents are a power adapter for the Hub and a Micro-USB cable.

For more information, read CNET's full story on the Logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
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