Is the undersized keyboard on your Android box or HTPC air mouse driving you nuts? Sick of the mini touchpad on your remote? Check out our Top 5 wireless Kodi keyboards, guaranteed to make navigating your Android or PC set-top box easier and more enjoyable.
Best Wireless Kodi Box Keyboards Featured in this Review
Whether you use a small remote or a proper wireless keyboard is a personal choice. Clearly, a keyboard is going to need much more space to be stored away and isn’t something you can just leave lying around on your couch. However, with the increased size comes a much smoother user experience, certainly for those users that regularly type or use the mouse on their Kodi box.
A small integrated keyboard might be sufficient for the odd search in your movie selection. But if you occasionally surf the web or search for videos on Youtube, a proper wireless keyboard for Kodi can be a very good investment.
So what should you be looking out for when considering to buy a Kodi keyboard? Below is the list of criteria that we used to compare the 5 most popular devices on the market right now:
- Build quality: Because it will be lying around on the couch or your coffee table, chances are you might drop your new Bluetooth keyboard on the floor or spill a drink on it. Let’s make sure it can take a beating.
- Compact: We are looking for the sweet spot here. Too small and typing accuracy and comfort take a big hit. At the same time, the keyboard should be small enough to be easy to handle and tuck away. Also, some keyboards come with ridiculously oversized dongles that stick out of your set-top box.
- Touchpad: Some wireless keyboards have integrated touchpads to control the mouse on your PC or Android box. This is definitely a plus, for some even a necessity. However, size and responsiveness are crucial for optimal precision.
- Typing experience and function keys: How well are the keys spaced out, how do the keys feel. Are there any shortcuts or additional dedicated function keys? After all, we are buying these, when compared to the smaller remote controls, bulky keyboards to make inputting text a more enjoyable experience.
- Battery life: Usually not a problem with wireless keyboards, but still something to look out for.
- Range and Latency: For most living rooms and setups, the range is not a limiting factor. However, input lag and the quality of a signal can become an issue, especially if solid objects are in the line of sight.
- Backlight: Not a master of the art of touch typing? Leave the lights on or look for a model with backlit keys.
It is easy to see that Logitech makes some of the best wireless keyboards for use in the living room. We have no less than three of their products in this list. And the K830 tops them all.
This device is built like a tank. It weighs nearly twice as much as the cheaper K400 model from Logitech and is without a doubt the sturdiest of the keyboards that we have reviewed. However, we are also slightly confused by Logitech’s decision to stick to an all-plastic finish. It does look nice, has a nice glossy finish. A little too glossy for our liking, though, as it is quite the fingerprint magnet. Still, we would have liked to see Logitech use some higher-end material like brushed aluminum to give it a more premium feel.
They say you get what you pay for. And with the K830, you get a lot. The keyboard is backlit. An ambient light sensor automatically adapts the brightness of the keys, ensuring it does not distract or blind you in total darkness. One thing we noticed was that the alternative functions on the keys have no backlight. However, we had no issues with this, as these are, for the most part, the F1-F12 keys at the top of the keyboard. The average user won’t be using these regularly.
Speaking of the function keys: The K830 has the whole top row dedicated to specific functions that will come in handy when used with your Kodi box. You get volume and playback controls as well as keys to navigate Android, such as back and home buttons.
The size of the keyboard is spot-on, allowing for comfortable typing while still being compact. It is slightly thicker than some of the other keyboards we tested. However, this seems to translate into very snappy keys with good travel. Typing feels very natural once you get used to the key layout. Also, we really liked the touchpad for its accuracy and generous size. It can’t compete with a good laptop trackpad but is more than enough for use with Kodi or any other apps on your Android box or HTPC.
Lastly, the K830 is powered by a rechargeable battery. Battery life is just about ok, we got about a week of heavy use out of it before we had to recharge it via USB. Given the solid latency and range, along with the backlit keys, it is no surprise that the device can’t survive longer on a single charge.
All in all, the K830 is the best living room keyboard this year. Logitech has been making wireless keyboards targeted at HTPC users for some time now. It seems they have put all their experience into the development of this model, and they definitely got it right. If there was one thing they missed, it’s their choice of keeping the K830 all plastic.
Microsoft has done a lot of things right with the N9Z All-In-One Media Keyboard. Although being lighter than our top pick, the K830, it still feels very sturdy and is about the same size. It is well sealed, ensuring spilled drinks don’t reach the delicate electronics on the inside. On top of that, the keyboard is specifically built to survive an accidental drop or being sat on. While not the prettiest of the keyboards we reviewed, it still looks great with its slightly spaced out keys and the gigantic trackpad on the right.
Speaking of the touchpad, we found it to be a little too sensitive. Nonetheless, it is still very accurate and we didn’t encounter any real issues using it. The multi-touch gestures are very intuitive and make scrolling and zooming on web pages a joy. A great feature is the left mouse click on the upper left of the unit. This allows for precise clicking without having to move your right hand on the trackpad.
Microsoft also put volume control keys on the left side of the N9Z. This is especially great as you don’t have to look at the keyboard to adjust the volume while watching a movie. Our only gripe is that we couldn’t get the volume buttons to work with our install of Kodi, however, had no issues with any other application. Other users don’t seem to have this issue.
Android TV Box Bestsellers
The keys are on the softer side but still feel very nice to type on. The keys are nicely spaced out allowing for a very familiar typing experience as you would get on your normal keyboard. The top row of the keyboard holds the function keys, which can also be used as F1-F12 keys when using the Fn key. They can also default to the Fx keys by holding the Fn key and Caps Lock. A nice feature if you are used to common PC shortcuts.
We had no issues with the range of the N9Z, however, this model does seem to struggle a little with latency when loosing line of sight with the dongle. We strongly advise you to plug the dongle into a front-facing USB port if available.
Microsoft opted to not include backlit keys, as with most other wireless multimedia keyboards that we reviewed. The upside of this is a very solid battery life of multiple months, even though it runs on only two AAA batteries.
The K400 Plus definitely is the Kodi Keyboard for the masses. It is extremely popular with users of Android set-top boxes and HTPCs. And this isn’t just because of its low price. While made out of plastic and not feeling as sturdy as some of the high-end devices, the build quality still seems perfectly fine. The K400 Plus is noticeably lighter and smaller than the other products.
The keyboard isn’t as spacious and ergonomic, and the trackpad is only about half the size of N9Z or TK820. However, the typing experience is still very reasonable. The keystroke feel is excellent and all the buttons are where you would expect them to be. Additionally, the K400+ has dedicated Android buttons on the top, allowing you to switch between windows or jump to the home screen. You also get the mouse click button on the left of the unit, a feature we really liked about the Microsoft N9Z.
The touchpad certainly seems small compared to other devices. But it is very responsive and precise. Of course, you also get the usual multi-touch gestures as with any other media keyboard. So far, we haven’t had any issues with gesture recognition, not something we can say about all models in this list.
The battery life of the K400 Plus is second to none. This thing runs on two AA batteries for months. Add to this excellent signal range and no noticeable latency, and you can see why the wireless Kodi keyboard is such a best seller.
Another popular Bluetooth keyboard is the TK820, also manufactured by Logitech. Compared to the K830, it is noticeably bigger and heavier. The build quality is very good, the whole device is very stiff and should last for a long time. Also, it is arguably one of the better-looking devices out there, due to the very symmetrical layout of both the trackpad and the qwerty keyboard.
Typing on the TK820 is a joy. The keys have decent travel and thanks to the generous size of the keyboard layout, the typing experience is very comfortable and accurate. Additionally, the keys are very quiet, yet still give a nice tactile feedback when pressed. If you are used to full-size desktop keyboards, you will feel right at home with this model.
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The killer feature of this wireless Kodi keyboard, that sets it apart from any other model we reviewed, is the touchpad. It is gigantic, spanning across the whole right part of the TK820 from top to bottom. There aren’t any dedicated mouse buttons underneath the trackpad. Instead, it has a click-action, allowing you to press down to either left or right mouse click. Users of Macbooks will be very familiar with this design. Also, it supports multiple gestures using up to four fingers.
While we like the size of the trackpad and its overall feel and accuracy, we do have problems at times getting the device to correctly register our gestures. The source of this issue is not quite clear to us. Often times the gestures worked flawlessly and then just didn’t register the next try. So you might want to move your fingers very deliberately when using these features.
The connectivity to the dongle is great, maintaining constant sync the whole time we used it. The range of the signal never let us down and we haven’t noticed any significant latency issues. Battery life is outstanding. There is an on-off switch on the device ensuring no power is going to waste when not in use. A set of batteries will last you multiple months. However, this is mostly due to the TK820 not having any backlighting. Also, the device runs on four AA batteries, USB recharging is not available.
J1byone might not be a manufacturer known to many of our readers. But they have made a name for themselves selling very affordable TV accessories. And the 1byone Bluetooth Keyboard is no exception. The design is fantastic, held mostly in matte black with a black strip at the top and a chrome back. Also, it is only 0.2″ thick except for the battery compartment, giving the keyboard a nice angle when resting on a table. Despite being this thin, there is hardly any keyboard flex when used on uneven surfaces, thanks to a solid build quality and the stainless back.
The touchpad is fairly small and supports only limited gestures. We certainly missed being able to scroll sideways with a simple swipe. Regardless, the touchpad held up well in our test, allowing for precise input that translated well to the on-screen mouse movements.
The proportions of the keyboard, despite its small size, seem very natural. The keys don’t have too much travel, yet still give enough crisp feedback to make for a good overall typing experience. We are not quite sure why 1byone opted to include the black strip at the top instead of reducing the overall size of the device or stretching out the keyboard a little. Also, due to the battery compartment placement above the qwerty keys, the keyboard tends to be very top-heavy and easily tips off one’s lap.
The main drawback of the 1byone is the battery life. We ran through multiple pairs of AAA batteries while using this device for a couple of months. We are not sure where all that power goes to since the keys are not backlit. However, we did get a very good range with this device and did not notice any input lag or latency, even when solid objects were between our receiver and the Bluetooth keyboard. Overall, due to its great design and excellent price, the 1byone Bluetooth Keyboard is an easy recommendation for anyone looking for a Kodi keyboard for the living room.
All of the devices we reviewed are solid performers, making typing and navigating your Android box or any other HTPC an enjoyable experience. However, we would not recommend these wireless keyboards as replacements for your full-size desktop keyboard. They are primarily designed for use in the living room or bedroom, or anywhere you don’t have space for a proper keyboard and mouse combo.
If you aren’t sure if a wireless Kodi keyboard is the right device for you, have a look at out our review of the best remote controls for Kodi for smaller alternatives with decent integrated keyboards.
Last update on 2023-03-24 at 09:15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.