One of the biggest problems of deploying a HTPC system in your living room is often what to do with the mouse and keyboard. No one wants a full size keyboard and mouse sitting on the coffee table, yet that’s what most peripherals for HTPC machines look like. This is where Logitech comes in with its DiNovo Mini keyboard. The small, attractive keyboard elegantly solves a common HTPC problem. Read on to find out more.
The Logitech diNovo Mini is a small palm sized keyboard that works with both Windows XP and Vista HTPC machines and can operate your PS3 as well. The little gizmo features a 63 key thumb-style keypad that is backlit and has two modes. When in touch-pad mode the backlighting is orange and in media-center remote the touchpad is green.
The Logitech diNovo Mini includes a mini USB receiver and power adapter. Wireless range via Bluetooth is 33 feet and the device uses Bluetooth 2.0. the USB receiver is point-to-point and comes pre-paired with the Logitech diNovo Mini. The keyboard measures 5.98” x 3.5” x 1.08” closed.
Installation of the Logitech diNovo Mini is very easy and all you need to do is plug the USB receiver into your PC and you are ready to go. No software is required for the Logitech diNovo Mini to operate, but you can install the included SetPoint software to allow for customization of the keyboard keys.
The two modes the Logitech diNovo Mini is capable of serve two different functions. In touch-pad mode with the orange backlight the round, close to 1-inch diameter, touch pad controls the mouse and allows for smooth and accurate mouse control. Turn the keyboard to media-center mode and the D-pad becomes a set of arrow keys that allow you to move easily through line menus like you see in Vista’s media center or the PS3 menus.
Wireless connectivity was great and I could use the Logitech diNovo Mini without lag or problems from across my living room, about 20 feet from the HTPC system. Visually the Logitech diNovo Mini is a sexy device. It’s about the size of a PDA or smartphone, though a bit fatter. It looks good sitting around on your coffee table so you don’t have to scurry to find a hiding place for it when guests arrive.
The keyboard buttons offer a decent typing feel and are sized and laid out for thumb typing. I found the keys spaced very well for thumb tying, though users with smaller hands like my son or wife found the spacing a bit too much on the center keys and sometime ended up placing the keyboard on a surface and typing with two fingers.
Any HTPC user looking for something better to use with their computer who doesn’t expect to do heavy typing will want to get the Logitech diNovo Mini. It’s not cheap at about $149, but it is hands down the ideal choice for a home theater PC keyboard.
- Great style
- Good wireless range
- Easy setup
- Button spacing not ideal for users with smaller hands
The Logitech diNovo Mini is simply the keyboard/mouse combo to use with your PS3 or HTPC machine. This little device answers all of the problems users have been complaining of when looking for a good input device for an HTPC system or PS3.
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