Why can't some USB computer keyboards be attached directly to the BomeBox?

I attached a Lenovo USB keyboard to the BomeBox USB port, and keystrokes weren't detected. It seems like a quality keyboard to me. Since the manual flags this situation as indicating a USB hub is needed, I got a rather generic crap-looking non-powered USB hub (it does have HP branding), and it fixed the problem. So now I'm curious: what does a USB hub provide that some keyboards don't? Is there a way to distinguish keyboards that need hubs from those that don't?

No clue. Checking with Florian on this. Maybe the hub hides some handshaking with the host USB driver to make it look like a simpler interface (just speculating).

Hi, I don't know either! The BomeBox runs Linux inside, and uses the Linux keyboard drivers. Normally, Linux computers will never expose the USB root node. Rather, the usual case is to have a USB hub on board in order to have more than one USB host connector. So I suspect that the driver does not look for a keyboard directly on the root node. Maybe there is a kernel switch to enable that, or maybe there is an updated driver available by now. We will certainly re-test this when updating the kernel and drivers.

There are actually computer keyboards which do work directly on the BomeBox. Maybe they have a built-in USB hub, but haven't researched further.

Sorry we don't have a definitive answer.

Thanks. Obviously, it hardly matters. I just got very curious when I couldn't imagine a single reason.