[Review] Microsoft All-in-One Media Keyboard: The keyboard for your living room

Microsoft All-in-One Media Keyboard
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Just last month, Microsoft Hardware revealed a duo of input devices to the Malaysian market – the All-in-One Media Keyboard and Wireless Mobile Mouse 1850. Courtesy of Microsoft Malaysia, I was sent the two peripherals for review.

Design and build

The keyboard is smaller than I expected although it comes with a full-sized keyset. Measuring 367mm x 132mm, my home Armaggeddon Stealth Raptor gaming keyboard dwarfs the AIO Media Keyboard completely.

Build quality is solid, as you would expect from Microsoft Hardware, although it’s plastic through and through.

In place of the a full numeric pad is a multi-touch trackpad. The keyboard has customisable media hotkeys that provides easy access to your music, photos, videos and more. Volume controls are located on the left of the keyboard.

Targeted at consumers’ living rooms (as well as their desks), the keyboard is understandably light and durable, and Microsoft claims is spill-resistant and will survive occasional drops. I didn’t test any ‘accidental spills’ but I’ll take Microsoft’s word for it.

On the back is the battery compartment that houses two AAA batteries (supplied) and also doubles as storage for the tiny USB nano receiver. The small compartment for the nano receiver is magnetised, which is a nice touch.

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The nano receiver plugs into your PC, Smart TV or media player. Be careful not to lose it though, it’s tiny.

Overall, a pleasing and practical design. My only real gripe is the lack of raised/adjustable feet at the bottom so I can’t raise the keyboard at an angle. Therefore, it just lies flat on the desk, which is slightly weird and uncomfortable.

To be fair, this keyboard is much more suited on your lap in front of your TV, as Microsoft intended it to. Still, it’s workable as a keyboard for your PC, notebook or tablet.

Specifications at a glance

  • Integrated multi-touch trackpad (tap, swipe, drag, zoom and click)
  • Customisable media hotkeys
  • Easy access volume controls
  • Durable, spill-resistant design
  • Wireless connectivity, up to 10m
  • Works with USB HID compliant Smart TVs and gaming consoles
  • Compatible with Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows 7
Microsoft All-in-One Media Keyboard
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Performance

In terms of feel, the chiclet-type keyboard feels slightly spongy and soft, but key travel is good. Perhaps I’m too used to the mechanical click-clacking of my gaming keyboard. Once I got used to the feel and key spacing though, all was well.

What I did find though that occasionally my pinky would accidently swipe the trackpad, and results in unintended inputs.

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The customisable media hotkeys are certainly convenient. I do wish they didn’t exclude the print screen key though.

The multi-touch trackpad works very well, with good response and accuracy. It’s sizable trackpad, equivalent to what you’d find on a 13-inch notebook.

Pros

  • Good build – light and durable
  • Pleasing design
  • Spill-resistant
  • Media hotkeys are handy
  • Good trackpad
  • Wireless convenience
  • Stowable nano receiver
  • Included AAA batteries
  • Good price

Cons

  • Non-adjustable keyboard angle
  • Keyboard feels slightly spongy
  • Some excluded keys (no numeric pad, print screen)

Pricing and availability

The Microsoft All-in-One Media Keyboard is available from all major retailers, at a price of MYR139.00 (SRP).

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Verdict

A good value keyboard more suited on your lap in the living room than on your desk. Solidly built, durable and light, the All-in-One Media Keyboard does many things well as a media keyboard.

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SUMMARY & RESULTS

A good value keyboard more suited on your lap in the living room than on your desk. Solidly built, durable and light, the All-in-One Media Keyboard does many things well as a media keyboard.

4.0

Versatile, good value

Review

  • Design and build

  • Performance

  • Pricing + value for money

  • Vernon

    Founder + Chief Editor

    Vernon is the founder and chief editor of Vernonchan.com. A graphic designer by profession, he has a deep love for technology, cars, gadgets, food, and travel. He tweets too much and is also known as a caffeine bacterium ("life's too short for bad coffee"). Bleeds Blue (go Chelsea FC!) and considers BMW, Porsche, Alfa Romeo cars to have in the garage--for true petrolheads, that is.

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