DiNovo Mini, a must have accessory

Logitech, a name known for its keyboards, mice, web cams, and lately remotes have released the newest device in its DiNovo line of keyboards, the DiNovo mini. The DiNovo mini, is billed as a multimedia Bluetooth keyboard. It is intended to replace your full sized keyboards and mouse attached to devices such as any Windows Media Center, computers and Bluetooth enabled products. The device comes in a clamshell form factor. It is only available in black with silver edging. It comes with a cleaning cloth, Bluetooth USB adaptor, the keyboard itself, software, rechargeable battery and a plug in power source. They keyboard itself is the size of a Nintendo DS Lite, it is QWERTY with a top row of numbers, a secondary row with hot buttons (volume, play, pause, stop, rewind, fast-forward and skip). The layout of the device has an ‘ok’ button on the top left area that compares to a left mouse click, a circular touch pad on the right side which doubles as both a touchpad and d-pad, with the QWERTY keyboard in the middle of these two buttons. At the bottom right corner of the keyboard there is a hot-button for Windows Media Center. There are two actual switches on the device. The first is to switch between d-pad and track pad, the second is located inside the battery compartment that switches the device to PS3 mode. One of the ‘cool’ features of this device is the stow and go slot for the Bluetooth adaptor located in the battery compartment. The best feature of this is the backlit keyboard. When switching from d-pad to touchpad mode, it changes from a red to green hue.

Setup of the device was pretty straight forward. Both the USB adaptor and the device have hot sync buttons, which is pushed on each part to connect to Bluetooth. You have the option to use the USB adaptor or use the Bluetooth included in your device to connect. Initially after running the software you can setup hot buttons to launch your favorite browser or music player and rename your device for easy syncing. Once your device is recognized it will ask to input a Bluetooth PIN and you’re connected. Response time to key press is instantaneous, even with a range of 40 feet.

The devices used for this review were a Nintendo Wii and a Media Center PC. Connecting to the Wii and Xbox were both via the included USB Bluetooth adaptor, while the Media Center PC was via the integrated Bluetooth. Both items connected without issue. The Wii recognized the keyboard without any setup. Browsing Opera and sending messages were a breeze. The Media Center PC via built in Bluetooth, was a bit slow in response, but overall the device cruised along without problems. The last test was using the computer for web browsing and typing. Using the Function buttons, IE started up quickly and typing in URL’s was easy.

Why would you need this, well, currently most Media center users have a full size keyboard and mouse as part of their setup. This device allows you to have both in one small easily portable device. The battery life s stated is 30 days and the device goes into standby mode when the lid is closed. For a pricetag of $150, it should have more features, it does feel like it is missing a screen for direct feedback on the device, and having IR included would give this device a full media center remote. The portability of this device is the selling point, along with its ease of use. Many people will find the keyboard small, but due to the button design (curved near the top) it makes it easy to type with large or small hands.

This device is available at their website www.logitech.com

Written by Sydney