Keyboards for Stick Computers

No matter how much research you put into finding the right Android Stick PC or TV it will all be for nothing if you don’t have the right controller.  There are many options in keyboards, keypads and game controllers and finding just the right one for you is an important factor in getting the most from your Stick PC.  In case you haven’t looked into any of the many varieties of keyboards and controllers, I’ve compiled a short list of your options so you can hopefully find the right product for your needs.

Personally, I use  two different kinds of Android Mini PCs.  The first one I’ve used purely as a computing device.  It’s connected to a full screen monitor and includes a browser and other software for content creation.  The other device is used primarily as a media player, both for streaming music, my own music collection and in the evenings as a TV and Movie streamer.  My needs are very different on the two devices and each one has a corresponding controller.

On the one I use as a computer, I’ve connected a Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 for full-featured keyboard and mouse connectivity.  On the other device, I use a Mini Bluetooth Keyboard W Touchpad for its small form-factor, full-feature control and gamepad functions as a bonus.

The requirements for a functional desktop keyboard are quite different from a TV controller and it’s best to try to find the right product for each application.  For example, when I was looking for a desktop keyboard, I wanted full-sized keys (and not those weird “chicklet style” buttons).  I also wanted a full-sized, full-range trackpad with proper left and right mouse buttons.  The other, important criteria for me was that it should be substantial enough in size and weight to not get pushed around the desktop while I was pounding away on it.

For the TV stick, I wanted something almost the exact opposite.  Small and lightweight was a primary feature, along with packing as many features into that tiny space as the layout would allow.  First and foremost I should be able to type in queries, rather than having to use the horrid excuse for online keyboards that most apps use.  The other must have was a trackpad for zipping around the large screen real estate.  Finally, as a bonus, it should have the minimal ability to play games.  I wanted some sort of joystick functionality.  I’m not a huge gamer, but I know how frustrating it is to try even the simplest games with an ordinary TV controller.

Now, I realize these aren’t the only features that you want in a keyboard, and I may not have hit even your top three features, but after much trial and error, research and testing, I’ve discovered that there are three types of keyboards that cover about 99% of what you need for the different types of Stick Computing applications.

First, as I’ve already described, there’s what I’d call the Full-Sized keyboard.  This is most often associated with using your stick as a general purpose PC for browsing and other typing-related tasks.  Secondly, there’s what I’d call the “Mini Keyboard” or Keypad.  This is a much smaller device that contains a version of a full-travel keyboard and often has a trackpad and game controller included.  While being a fully functional keyboard, it’s not intended for serious work and serves mainly as an entertainment controller.

The third category is what I’d call the Universal Remote or “AirMouse” type controller.  These are controllers that have minimal buttons and perhaps a keypad of certain variety, but their main usage is as a master interface to your Media Stick.  They can be held in a single hand and used primarily as a single thumb device.

Chances are, whatever you’re using your Android Mini PC for, general purpose computer or as Media player, one of these three keyboard controllers will do the job.  Below, I’ve listed examples of each of the three types of controllers.  I hope you’ll check these out and find something that suits your needs.

Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 Plus

Product Highlights

  • Wireless TV keyboard with touchpad
  • Plug-and-play setup via USB dongle
  • Comfortable, quiet keys and large (3.5-inch) touchpad
  • 10-meter (33-foot) wireless range
  • 18-month battery life, batteries included
  • Works with Windows 10 or later, Windows 8 or 7; Android 5.0 or later; Chrome OS

Some customer reviews

Great product ! I own several K400 plus and the older K400. Over 1 year of battery life at many hours a day use

This is an excellent keyboard and I knew exactly what I was getting before I bought it.

Great range, buttons feel great. Wireless technology is way better now than when I last used it.


 

Rii Mini Wireless Keyboard with Touchpad

Product Highlights

  • 2.4GHz Mini Wireless QWERTY keyboard
  • TouchPad
  • USB interface adapter
  • Supports multi-finger functions
  • Built-in high sensitive smart touchpad with 360-degree flip design.
  • Works with  PC, Mac,  Google Android TV Box
  • Backlit
  • Rechargeable

Some customer reviews

I really like this keyboard. It is smaller than I expected, and only about the size of my hand.

One of the greatest feeling keyboards I have ever put my hands on! Buttons are easy to press with a smooth feel to them. It’s awesome of how many colors you can choose from.

I WILL be buying one for each of my machines, even at work, because it is really hand to thumb type an email while leaned back with your feet on the desk.


 

Rii MX3 Multifunction 2.4G Air Mouse Mini Wireless Keyboard & Infrared Remote

Product Highlights

  • 2.4G wireless Keyboard and mouse,
  • 6-Axis Somatosensory and Infrared remote control
  • Compatible with Google Android Smart TV/Box Projector etc
  • Transmission distance up to 10 meters
  • Plug and play
  • 81 Keys

Some Customer Reviews

Works great.. Android media box Necessity!

Love this rii remote, Was just what I was looking for, very durable and much better than the original android box remote.

This remote works great for systems running Kodi.

*Prices are good at the time the article was written, but subject to change without notice.