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The main TV in our lounge is connected to a PC running Windows Media Center and is the central hub for the entertainment in our house, providing live TV with PVR functionality, video, music and photo viewing all from the comfort of the sofa. Most day to day activities are fine using a Microsoft media remote, but for the times where typing is required (i.e. during configuration or searching for content) then something a little more flexible is required.
There are a couple of bluetooth keyboards on the market, but none as compact as the Logitech diNovo Mini. This clamshell-style keyboard measuring approximately 6 by 4 inches contains a QWERTY keyboard as well as didicated media control keys for use with Windows Media Center or any other media application that supports the Microsoft Media Remote standard.
Setup is very easy, simply insert the battery, select the required mode (PC or PS3), insert the USB bluetooth dongle into a spare USB port and press the "pair" buttons on the receiver and the keyboard.
The device is recognised as a HID (Human Interface Device) by Windows so should not need any additional drivers. Surprisingly, the device also works outside of Windows (i.e. during the boot sequence or within a non-Windows operating system).
In use, the keyboard provides great relief from the pains of entering text via a remote control - the keys are not massive but even for my massive fingers I find it easy to type at a decent speed on the keyboard - just don't expect to be knocking out novels on this thing.
The remote has a switch under the clamshell lid which allows you to switch between media mode (where the D-pad simply provides left/right/up/down functionality) to mouse mode (where the d-pad becomes a fully functional touch sensitive service). The colour of the backlit keys will change accordingly (green for the former and orange for the latter).
The range of the device is not the best, approximately 8 feet, but probably more than enough for most living rooms. Battery life is in the region of 30 days of daily use, and a battery indicator on the keyboard will let you know when juice is required.
If your PC already has a bluetooth chip then the USB dongle provided with the keyboard is not required, simply put your bluetooth receiver into pair mode and press the red button inside of the battery compartment of the keyboard to pair the device (I cannot vouch for compatibility if used this way, and I would almost certainly not expect it to work during boot as it does with the USB dongle).
Outside of PC use, the keyboard can be paired with a mobile device (I have successfully paired and used it with my iPhone 4 and iPad 2 for text entry) and also the Playstation 3 (if you use this with the PS3 - ensure the switch in the battery compartment is set accordingly).
I use my diNovo Mini daily and it often takes the place of the remote control due to it's convenient size - the only thing I've worried about since buying the keyboard is the slightly flimsy clamshell lid - but 12 months on it hasn't broken...yet.
Logitech provide a two year warranty with most of their devices and the diNovo Mini is no exception - I have read great things about Logitech's warranty services but I've not had to deal with them (again yet...).
If you are after a compact, functional bluetooth keyboard, you won't go far wrong with the diNovo Mini.
Enjoy total control of your PC entertainment from your sofa. Palm-sized, cordless mini-keyboard fits in your hand and gives you optimal control and access of the PC entertainment you love, including browsing the Internet, watching TV, listening to music and playing PC games. Dedicated Windows Media Center controls optimize launch and navigation of Microsoft's popular entertainment platform. Integrated, dual-purpose ClickPad enhances control and access with innovative technology that can be used as a touch pad and a directional pad. Rechargeable Li-ion batteries give you up to one month of battery life. Bluetooth wireless technology provides long-range wireless control from up to 10 m (30 ft). Backlighting makes text entry effortless, even in low light.
|Product Description:||Logitech diNovo Mini - keyboard|
|Device Type:||Keyboard - wireless|
|Wireless Receiver:||USB wireless receiver|
|Localisation:||English - United Kingdom|
|Hot Keys Qty:||63|
|Features:||Backlit, dual-purpose ClickPad|
|Colour:||Silver, midnight black|
|Dimensions (WxDxH):||15.2 cm x 9 cm x 2.8 cm|
|Microsoft Certification:||Compatible with Windows 7|
|Manufacturer Warranty:||3 years warranty|