Top positive review
134 people found this helpful
Stunning input device for HTPC's
on March 19, 2008
Ever since I saw and used this device at CES I knew I had to have it.
Well, it just showed up today and while it's not for touchtyping or long emails I am writing this review with it from the couch.
Most of the mini keyboards on the market are still quite large and have terrible ergonomics with some awful excuse for an integrated pointing device. The DiNovo Mini is different. The keyboard is small enough to keep with your remotes without anyone knowing you have an HTPC setup. I'm so tired of having a full size DiNovo Edge with a Gyration Remote Mouse taking up a ton of room. It's great for typing a lot on but there's no where to put it, and it's awkward using a real mouse on the couch or always holding your hands in the air and flicking around to use the Gyration.
The DiNovo has excellent backlighting that only has one flaw. It makes it too hard to see the blue function keys like the ' and " but you can see all the shifted keys easily. It turns on only the trackpad backlighting when using the mouse, probably to save power but you can light up the keyboard by tapping the large function or shift keys.
The buttons are all pretty small and the media (Play,Next,etc) are a little awkward compared to using them on a Harmony remote but it's nice to have everything on one pad and not have to pick up a remote or a keyboard or a mouse to do everything.
You can alt tab, use windows keys, launch media center and 3 programmable buttons.. There's even a CTRL+ALT+DEL FN key. Now that's planning.
One other minor issue is there is no scroll wheel for internet use. it would be nice if holding FN while using the mouse did a scroll, but it just turns the mouse into a up and down, kind of like scroll but you have to hold FN the whole time or keep moving the function switch (for mouse or Dpad) back and forth all the time.
I won't lie, it's just like using a AT&T Tilt or other landscape slider smartphone keyboard. Cramped, pecking or using thumbs and writing this review has gotten to be a pain.
But for opening up your media center files, even full WMP11 or iTunes interface, browsing the web, sending short IM's and emails, and most of what you do on an HTPC it's great.
I will still keep the larger Edge connected for gaming, but the gyration is going in the closet.
I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to use an HTPC in the living room, or actually uses their PS3 as a browser. It is not for desktop PC's at all, you will probably be better served with a much cheaper remote or something like the DiNovo Edge with it's media pad.
The bluetooth range is decent but not like Gyration's 100ft so it's not really a professional presentation tool, but could be used at short (15-20) feet distances reliably. It really does make a nice powerpoint tool since you can draw on slides and have full mouse and keyboard control in presentations while standing up. Just be careful about the range.
Thanks and hope this helps :)