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Logitech Intros Harmony Keyboard with Built-In Touchpad

Logitech launched on Tuesday the latest entry to its "Harmony" intelligent remote control lineup, the Harmony Smart Keyboard. This new product includes a keyboard with a built-in touchpad, and the Harmony Hub, which turns signals from the keyboard or a smartphone (via the Harmony App for iOS, Android) into commands entertainment devices will understand.

Ideal for both the living room and home office, the Harmony Hub can work with up to eight devices simultaneously via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and IR from a collection of "more than 225,000 home-entertainment devices and over 5,000 brands." The Harmony Keyboard can also connect directly to a PC, Mac, Apple TV, Roku 3, Xbox 360/One and PlayStation 3/4 using one of the two provided USB receivers.

"Our goal with the Logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard is to unite Logitech's expertise in both universal remotes and keyboards to provide a fast and simple way to search for and navigate through the vast content options available through the living room's entertainment devices," said Chad Thompson, senior director of worldwide marketing and product management for Logitech's digital home business group.

The keyboard/hub combo eliminates the need to have multiple remotes thanks to the keyboard's integrated DVR and set-top box controls, and playback and volume buttons. The keyboard should also make entering usernames, passwords and other text a breeze on Smart TVs that support mouse and keyboard input. Three programmable activity buttons also line the top left-hand corner.

The bundle includes the keyboard, the Harmony Hub, an IR blaster, a USB extender and the two USB receivers. The keyboard connects via Wi-Fi and IR, the latter of which allows the keyboard to serve as a traditional remote. However, when connecting to the PS3, users will need one of the USB receivers plugged in to enter text on the screen, and a Bluetooth connection to navigate through the console's XMB interface.

"One touch of an Activity button – such as "Watch a Movie" – turns on just the right entertainment devices and automatically switches each one to the right settings and inputs. Plus, the keyboard features an easy Internet-based setup," states the company's announcement.

The Logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard is expected to be available in the U.S. and Germany beginning this month for $149.99.

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