MCE Keyboards


Senior Member
Can anyone comment on what they are using for a wireless keyboard for MCE type stuff?

I was originally waiting for the Microsoft one to come out, but am curious what people are using so far. Like anything else wireless, it seems there are many complaints for Microsoft (primarily the mouse) and logitech (the bluetooth one is rated very poorly).

My concern on the Microsoft one is that it is IR based, and I'm not sure how well that will work for typing (albeit for a MCE machine it won't be used too often).

There is the gyration one as well...
I use the Gyration MCE keyboard + mouse, 100ft range, works fantastic. But I do like the new MS keyboard, which has the mouse integrated.
What do you think about Microsoft's choice to make it IR based? I surprisingly didn't see comments about the connection (although one person commented it would not be ideal for a bed (blankets, etc).

I'm wondering how that will work in a typing scenario (will it be accurate).

I was ready to order one, but that is my primary concern.
IR should be fast enough, and if the IR works as good as the MCE remote, then it should work really well. The MCE remote is one of the few remotes I have where the receiver can be blocked, and it will still work.
Has anybody tried the integrated mouse on the new MS MCE keyboard? Make sure you do before making the investment. It’s a real exercise in futility. You would think with notebooks using this type of pointer for years that MS could get it right… nope.
I've got the Gyration and the MCE keyboard.
Gyration has range problems (at least in my house).
MCE has a pitiful mouse. I am amazed this thing got past any kind of user feedback. So, I use the MCE keyboard, and the Gyration mouse...
The MCE is pretty fast reacting as long as the IR is reasonably pointed and short.
The Gyration is the 30 ft version. I had the original 25 ft one too, with no diff. I think it's RF interference.

I also had the "MediaCenter Edition" which wasn't recognized by MediaCenter 2005 - so you still needed the Bill Gates "MediaCenter" remote mouse so that MCE would finish it's setup.
The MCE edition is 100ft, but you are right about it not being an 'official' MCE remote. I only use mine to troubleshoot the PC in the rare case it is needed, everything else can be done with the MCE remote. I believe there is even a plugin which allows you to control your mouse pointer with the MCE remote.
electron said:
I believe there is even a plugin which allows you to control your mouse pointer with the MCE remote.
Hmm, it seems that this would get around the mouse issue. The reviews for the keyboard side have been positive (with a few minor caveats), but everyone complains about the mouse.

It sounds like the gyration mouse and Microsoft keyboard are a nice pair, but thats $225 ($150 for the gyration kb/mouse, and $75 roughly for the keyboard).

It seems they did no user testing on this thing as the feedback is universal: The mouse sucks on the Microsoft keyboard.

Using the tab key will remove most mouse needs (when surfing or using the computer portion) and being able to use the remote should cover the rest.
Gemini said:
Yep, love the Gyration KB and mouse. Zero problems and plenty of range.
Hmm, maybe that is a better way to go then (was what I was first looking at). I thought I saw some references that the keyboard was cheaper or something along that line (not made as well as it could).

It seems it may not be as cool as the MCE keyboard, but definitely the functional way. I think it's RF too which wipes out my issue with the IR approach Microsoft took.

I'll have to take another look at the gyration. I really liked the look of the MCE keyboard, but it looks like it is not quite ready for primetime.... perhaps by the time I add another MCE machine they will have it right...
Ok, one last question (I've decided on the gyration now).

I already have a Harmony 880 remote so I don't need a remote/mouse combo and the keyboard/mouse will be used typically when outside of the MCE shell.

I saw a deal on the 30' mouse/keyboard combo (Ultra GT) for about $70. Considering I will be 10' away, is this what people have today (or is it the 100' MCE remote that is being referred to?) (I see DavidL had the 30', Electron had the 100', Gemini, which one did you have?)

Since I already have a $250 remote with a color screen and all that, and I'm that close, is it still worth it to buy the full MCE package? (I already have an MCE remote as well).
I'm tired of this keyboard thing, just gonna order the latest and greatest (the 100' MCE one). Since the deal I found was a refurb that lessens it's value in my book. There is not that big of a difference if dealing with new items price wise that it's not worth it.

Greater range seems to imply I'll have less of the 'range issues' noted. And I don't want to put something in front of the wife that I will have to replace.

Thanks for the feedback. If microsoft is smart, they will offer a revision to their keyboard that has a usable mouse and uses RF or other non LOS technique.