More and more devices are being connected to our TVs — call them “Smart boxes” or “Media Players” or what-have you. But the annoying point is that they all require typing to enter names and numbers for being set up and...you get the idea if you’ve ever had to use a remote control as a keyboard. So why not use a real keyboard — providing it’s easy to use, doesn’t get in the way when it’s not needed and doesn’t have wires to trip over. Or require Bluetooth because none of the smart TVs I’ve seen have that. But they do have USB connections. Which is pie for Rappo’s Multimedia wireless keyboard. Or make that the frustration free keyboard instead. Okay, let’s just call it the E2700 for short.
Do a quick tour and everything’s on the front: 80 full sized keys and 13 hotkeys (i.e., volume and forward/back, etc.). And while it’s not as long as a full sized keyboard, or as thick either (being really, really thin and lightweight), there’s room on the side for a mouse-type touchpad for taking the place of a mouse. Backlighting would have been nice but then the batteries would fail quick and the idea is that it’s ready for use whenever.
Now the best part is that the E2700 is already geared up for the TV because it’s 2.4GHz based, using wireless tech (not WiFi) through a dongle (or nub if you prefer). This fits into the USB socket which gives it power as well as access to the TV when it’s time to enter a name into Netflix, for example. After you’ve tried entering “House of Cards” once using a remote to go letter by letter, believe me the E2700 will become your BFF fast. And since I sometimes use the interface of my Sony Blu-ray player instead of the TV, I tried putting the nub into the BD’s USB socket. No surprise, it worked fine there too.
The E2700 comes in black or white at the same price point [$49.99] and I’d go with black because it doesn’t show the inevitable dust, dirt, fingerprints and other march of time. Besides it matches more of the audio/video gear so it can be put on the cabinet by the TV or next to the sound bar without calling attention to itself. Rapoo says it has a 33 feet range and operates at a 360 degree range but I wasn’t going to start spinning like a top while running around the TV to see what happened. But I did sit back with the keyboard on the couch while watching just as I usually did and didn’t have any trouble with it replacing the remote as a general device when it wasn’t being used to enter info on the screen.
And since the nub can be taken with you, imagine all the angst that can be avoided when being forced to watch your brother-in-law try to enter “Orange is the new black” on his TV at the next family get-together (and keep having to delete and reenter and never get it right). The E2700 could be the only thing between you and running back to the car screaming that night. And then catching hell for doing what everybody else wishes they could have done too.