Best peripheral to control Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by evilpaddy, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. evilpaddy, Aug 12, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2012

    evilpaddy macrumors regular

    Aug 2, 2012

    Im about to purchase a mac mini to use as a HTPC
    mainly using it as a Plex Client but will likely do some light web browsing but nothing more than that.

    I intend to buy the middle one with dedicated GPU and upgrade the RAM to 8GB with a aftermarket SSD as the device will be left on all the time.

    I'm looking for an elegant way to control the mini. I have read reports that the Logitech Harmony remotes are fiddly to connect - Is there anything that you would recommend other than a keyb+trackpad combo?

    I'm also going to pick up a iMac when they are refreshed and so dont really want to spend another $100 on a keyb+trackpad unless I have to. Price isn't a concern but I'm not a fan of lots of redundant hardware dotted about the place. If I hang on for the iMac can I pair the Keyb+track pad easily with two devices?
    Alternatively would an iPad function as a remote?

    Any thoughts would be appreciated!
  2. btbrossard macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    You can use your iPad as a trackpad for your mac mini if you'd like. There are apps in the store that do this.

    You can control iTunes with your iPad using the Apple Remote App.

    I bought a Logitech K400 Trackpad/Keyboard combo to control my mini from across the room. I think it was $29 at Walmart.

    It works very well for light web browsing and other sorts of small tasks you would do on a HTPC machine.

    The only downside is that it isn't mac compatible (it doesn't have a mac driver), so you can't turn off "tap to click" for the touchpad. Other than that, it works great. Plug in the dongle and it works.

    I don't use a universal remote with my mini, so I can't be much help there. Sorry.
  3. evilpaddy thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 2, 2012
    i'm leaning towards an iPad - will hold out to see what September 21 brings...

    I assume that I can install ML on the mac mini with the iPad providing I have the apps installed - i wont need a keyboard for the installation process??
  4. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    you'll want to have a keyboard and a mouse for safety, you can get both for under $20, if it's a windows keyboad, for what you use it you'll be ok. or get a mac one for a few dollars more.

    you can also use screen sharing if you have another mac.

    i use remote buddy + harmony remote as outlined here

    I've also used a wii-mote with remote buddy, it's pretty solid.

    there's something to be said for having a dedicated remote with hard buttons, when the phone rings or you missed something and you have to back up, if you're not sitting there with whatever app open, it'll take 15-20 seconds to get the app back open. and possibly more time if the device is locked.
  5. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    An iPad and RemoteHD! ( Best wireless HTPC keyboard and trackpad combo in my opinion. VERY elegant and convenient.
  6. DaveNinja macrumors 6502


    Oct 18, 2005
    I use a Harmony 650 for all the plex/tv stuff. when i need keyboard/mouse i use one of those Leveno tiny keyboards with a track ball built in. you can get them for like 30 or 40 bucks when they're on sale. works fine for small stuff. if i need to do anything major, i screen share in from my iMac
  7. P0stalTek macrumors 6502


    Feb 25, 2011
    For use with my Mini with Plex I use a Logitech Harmony 650 and love it. For all else I use Magic Trackpad and BT keyboard with twelve south's Magic Wand.

    I could not be happier.
  8. Bunyak macrumors member

    Aug 15, 2011
    I use a diNovo Mini keyboard but I realized that I need a USB keyboard and mouse to access the recovery partition (command-R at start-up).
  9. RMo macrumors 65816


    Aug 7, 2007
    Iowa, USA
    I was looking at something like the OP is asking, and I just checked out RemoteHD. The iOS app looks like it has pretty bad reviews. How does your experience compare?
  10. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    Not surre what problems others are having. I've used it for a while now to control my mac mini without a snag.

    It works as both a VPN or remote keyboard/trackpad. The keyboard and trackpad, IMO, when used on an iPad are more convenient than using actual devices. And it gives me direct menu options for controlling apps, such as switching and closing without having point and click.

    And it has remote tunneling features for intenet access. All in all a really nice package. Highly recommend it.
  11. evilpaddy thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 2, 2012
    RemoteHD looks great on my phone - i think that with an iPad will be the way forward. I'll possibly add a Logitech Harmony remote too . Overkill but should be fun!

    Now I just need to wait for Apple to release it already!

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