The Good The Logitech diNovo Mini's elegant design won't besmirch your living room; it gives the HTPC owner full cursor control; keyboard is well-suited to situational typing; easy setup; it works with your PS3.
The Bad Pricey; touch pad occasionally inaccurate; no Xbox 360 or Apple support.
The Bottom Line If you're a home theater PC owner looking for the perfect input device, look no further. Logitech has melded the keyboard of a BlackBerry with a flexible cursor control pad into an attractive, coffee-table-ready package that will let you master your HTPC without cluttering up your living room with clunky hardware.
Logitech diNovo Mini Keyboard
Logitech's diNovo Mini does for home theater PC keyboards what Apple's iPod did to the MP3 player. Granted, there are many more digital music listeners than HTPC owners out there, but if you are a member of the latter category, you'll love the diNovo Mini because it solves one of the main dilemmas of HTPC ownership: how to take full control of your PC and its media functions without relying on multiple or clunky input devices. The price of the diNovo Mini is $150, which admittedly is steep for what's essentially a BlackBerry keyboard with a control pad and a Bluetooth connection. We'd pay it, though, when the diNovo Mini comes out at the end of February, because the tiny keyboard so effectively addresses what's been a nagging issue for an entire product category.
Like the iPod, the Logitech diNovo Mini boasts a pleasing visual aesthetic that seems inseparable from its functionality. The clamshell design feels right in your hand, and it would look as at home on your coffee table as any remote control. It weighs only 0.4 pound and is roughly three-quarters of an inch high and six inches long. Open it up and you're treated to a small-scale, 61-key keyboard, backlit in either orange or green, depending on the mode of the control pad.
The control pad itself lets you change from analog, touch-pad-style control, to directional up-down-left-right controls by sliding a small switch. The idea is that you'd want it in touch pad mode for navigating a Web page or the Windows desktop, but that the directional controls are better for working your way through a set of linear menus, such as those in Windows Media Center. The middle of the pad acts like your main mouse button, and you hold down one of the function buttons and a menu button on the keyboard for right-clicking. It's more intuitive than it sounds, and our only complaint is that the d-pad mode was sometimes not as responsive as we'd like. The analog mode is fine though, and consistent with the quality of Logitech's MX Air mouse, itself a major improvement over the touch pad on the old diNovo Edge keyboard.
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