Microsoft have been in the hardware business since 1982. The majority of their hardware designs are for mice and keyboards, and I’ve owned a few over the years. The last set that I bought was the Arc Keyboard and Arc Mouse for our HTPC. I liked the minimalist design and small dimensions of the Arc Keyboard, and the Arc Mouse is neat, but I need to put the mouse down onto a flat surface to use it.
Now, Microsoft has announced a new All-in-One Media keyboard. It combines a keyboard and an integrated multi-touch trackpad in one, with dedicated keys for Windows 8.1 and media controls. Sounds like an ideal device as an upgrade for our HTPC. I’m already often using the Arc Keyboard with my ThinkPad Tablet 2 when I want to type long documents.
I’m just a bit surprised that the A-i-O Media Keyboard is not backlit. I would have thought that this would be a natural design feature for a keyboard intended to be used with HPTCs in a darkened room.
I also notice that Microsoft have apparently built this keyboard for giants. According to the current product page, the keyboard is huge: 30.56 inches wide by 10.98 inches deep. This must be an error; the metric measurements are a much more reasonable 36.68 cms. by 13.18 cms.
Addendum 6 June 2014: The keyboard is now available here in the Netherlands. I purchase one a couple of weeks back for use with our HTPC. The all-in-one design is much more convenient than having to juggle a keyboard and mouse. Thumbs-up.