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Updated October 2022
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Buying guide for best smart TV keyboards

When using a smart TV for the first time, you suddenly have quite a few more options for finding programming versus using a standard TV. The smart TV uses an internet connection to find streaming video, run apps, and perform a host of other functions. If your smart TV came with a remote control, it may simplify some of the data entry and issuing of commands. Some smart TV remotes have buttons that open specific apps, for example. However, you’ll quickly learn that using a remote control to enter long strings of text on the screen is tedious at best. For that, you need a smart TV keyboard.

A smart TV keyboard connects wirelessly to a smart TV. You’ll appreciate being able to enter data using the keyboard because it will save you time and reduce the number of keystroke errors versus using a remote control.

Compatibility is a significant part of using a smart TV with a keyboard: obviously, the TV and keyboard must be able to work together. There are many other considerations when shopping for a smart TV keyboard.

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Because a smart TV has quite a few features that resemble those in computers, a keyboard is a perfect device to communicate with the TV.

Key considerations

It’s important that the smart TV keyboard have the physical attributes you need in order to operate it properly. If the design and size of the keyboard are not comfortable, you’re not going to want to use it.


Full-size keyboard: This smart TV keyboard has the biggest keys (about 0.6 inches square) and the greatest key spacing of all smart TV keyboard designs. These are two attributes that help you type comfortably while making fewer keystroke errors. A full-size smart TV keyboard has a numeric pad on the far right. Some full-size keyboards made for controlling smart TVs also provide specific media keys that open certain apps or that substitute for your remote control.

TKL keyboard: Short for “tenkeyless,” the TKL keyboard doesn’t have the numeric pad on the far right. This allows the wireless TKL keyboard to be about 20% smaller than a full-size keyboard. However, some smart TV keyboard manufacturers place a trackpad in the spot where the numeric pad would be, so some TKL keyboards end up being the same size as full-size keyboards. Most TKL keyboards have almost full-size keys, which is helpful for typing accurately.

Compact keyboard: Small keyboards are popular with smart TV users. Storing the compact keyboard is easier than storing a full-size or TKL keyboard. However, compact keyboards have little space between keys and the keys may be smaller than average. You’ll need to decide whether the trade-off in key size and spacing is worth being able to easily store the keyboard.

Smart TV keyboard features

Beyond the keys, smart TV keyboards have a few other features that will help you enjoy using it.


You have three options when it comes to connecting your smart TV keyboard with your TV: Bluetooth, radio frequency, and infrared. Look at the layout of the room with the smart TV. Most people use the keyboard within several feet of the television, but some connection methods give you greater range than others.

Bluetooth: Most smart TV keyboards make a wireless connection with the television using Bluetooth, which is easy to set up and use. With the technology in a Bluetooth keyboard, you don’t have to worry about interference with other Bluetooth devices. If you want your smart TV keyboard to work over a greater distance, one of the best things about Bluetooth is the signal range. You can use a Bluetooth smart TV keyboard from 25 to 30 feet away, although the technology is more reliable at shorter distances.

RF: With a radio-frequency (RF) keyboard, you must plug a USB dongle into the television. The keyboard generates a connection with the dongle. An RF keyboard gives you roughly 8 feet of working distance.

Infrared: Infrared smart TV keyboards are extremely rare, but if you can’t use Bluetooth or RF, it’s an option.


Having a trackpad built into the smart TV keyboard is extremely handy. Rather than having to use a wireless mouse, you can direct the cursor on the smart TV screen with the trackpad. This layout is similar to what you have with a laptop keyboard in which the trackpad is built into the unit.

Expert Tip

Smart TV keyboard prices

Inexpensive: Smart TV keyboards are not expensive pieces of hardware. The least expensive keyboards carry a price tag of $15 to $25. Don’t expect these keyboards to have a lot of add-on features, but they’ll do the basic job you require.

Mid-range: Average smart TV keyboards cost $25 to $45. These have some nice features like media control buttons and a full-size layout to simplify data entry.

Expensive: Wireless keyboards that cost $45 to $75 are high-end models that have a lot of advanced features. However, these keyboards may have more features than you need unless you plan on using the keyboard a lot.

"A keyboard is rarely included with a smart TV purchase, so you’ll likely have to buy one separately."


  • Pair the keyboard with a wireless mouse. If you don’t like the trackpad built into the keyboard, you can use a Bluetooth mouse instead. You’ll have to find a flat spot near the TV to use the mouse, but it can pair nicely with the smart TV keyboard.
  • Try accent lights. Commonly found on gaming keyboards, accent backlights are an interesting option for smart TV keyboards. If you like watching TV in the dark, the lighted keyboard can help you strike the correct keys.
  • Select your favorite battery type. Some people appreciate the convenience of a rechargeable keyboard battery. Just plug it in and charge it as needed and you won’t have the cost of replacing alkaline batteries. However, some rechargeable battery keyboards aren’t functional while they’re charging. If you want to keep using the keyboard, a non-rechargeable keyboard might be the better choice. Popping in fresh batteries allows you to work immediately.
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Certain smart TV keyboards can pair with smartphones and tablets as well as TVs.


Q. Why is my keyboard struggling to hold its Bluetooth connection?
Bluetooth sometimes drops out when used over long distances. Try moving closer to the TV for the best results. Powerful WiFi signals also may cause interference with a Bluetooth connection. Finally, check the battery power of the keyboard. A low battery can cause Bluetooth to drop out intermittently.

Q. Is it easy to type on a smart TV keyboard?
It really depends on the size of the keyboard. If you have a keyboard of smaller than average size, you could end up making keystroke errors. The responsiveness and shape of the keys also play a role in ease of use.

Q. Can the smart TV keyboard simulate a remote control unit to operate my TV?
Certain models of keyboards have extra keys that can change channels or adjust the volume, which is handy. You may even be able to program some of the extra keys to perform your favorite remote control functions.

Q. Can I pair any wireless keyboard with my smart TV?
Not necessarily. Smart TVs are compatible with certain models of keyboards. With full compatibility between the two, you’ll be able to use all of the keyboard’s features. With partial compatibility, you may only be able to use certain features on the keyboard. And some pairings simply won’t work at all. Check with your smart TV manufacturer to determine which keyboards provide full compatibility.

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