Microsoft’s Keyboard for Giants

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.

Keyboard 01

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.

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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6 Responses to Microsoft’s Keyboard for Giants

  1. Ludwig says:

    When I share my old laptop with a friend, maybe to typing in a response or an address, I usually get laughed at because the printed key identifications have been worn off on most of the keys. I am a rotten typist and need such help, so for my desktop use I switched to back-lit keyboards long ago. Not only can I find the keys in the dark, but the double-molding makes the legends permanent. I won’t buy amy other kind, no matter the other features.

  2. Matt Healy says:

    I like Logitech keyboards and trackballs myself. For my Android tablet, I use a Naztech N1000 Universal Bluetooth Keyboard, which is pretty good — somewhat small for extended typing, but a bigger keyboard would negate the portability advantage of the tablet! The Naztech keyboard has a nifty adjustable slot for the tablet device, and a sort of outrigger that folds out to prevent the weight of the tablet device tipping it backwards.

    Very handy for taking notes at meetings and the like.

  3. Matt Healy says:

    PS: Microsoft has apparently fixed the error in the dimensions; when I looked at the product page just now it says 14.4″/367mm x 5.20″/132mm.

    • Geoff Coupe says:

      Yes, someone clearly kicked the web/marketing team awake… Microsoft sometimes drop the ball, but they are far better than Lenovo – new stuff on their web site is often riddled with errors. Often they seem to just cut and paste from older collateral and introduce errors that way.

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