"Nice size BUT some flaws cause more pain than goodtimes"3.0 starson by Growler74
Pros: Small and Stylish size reduces living room clutter.
Simple to use for simple applications.
Cons: Battery life nowhere near as advertised.
Mouse pad finicky/innaccurate.
Summary: I purchased this keyboard for use with my new media centre PC running Vista 32. Now whilst I do agree with most of what is mentioned in the diNovo Mini review above, it doesn't really tell us more than what can be gained from looking at the picture on the box and reading the Logitech marketing hype. Yes - it is small, looks cool and, well, yes has a mouse pad stuck to the side of it - but they have missed many of the inadequacies that show up only when you start using the thing.God knows why, but for some reason when I submitted this review to CNET it has replaced all of my dashes (-) and apostrophies (') with question marks (?)
First, Logitech claim that the battery life on the diNovo Mini lasts 'up to 30 days'. What a load of bollocks! Maybe if you leave it sitting on your coffee table and don't touch it, it might last that long! I have found that with what I would call 'average' use you will get 1-3 days out of it. I returned my first two units thinking they were faulty, when their batteries were only lasting two days. Even if I were being generous and said I was an above average user and doubled or quadrupled those times it would not come close to 30 days.
Now this might be fine except it leads me onto my second issue. The first indication that your battery is low is that it will 'key repeat' whatever the last key you pressed when it decided the battery was low, filling up your screen (or URL, or login, or whatever it was you were doing, with hundreds of that character - as if you had just held down that key on the keyboard for the last 20secs) or as I have just had the pleasure of experiencing (and by PLEASURE I mean DISPLEASURE) when I just hit the delete key to delete a single email from my MS Outlook, the DEL key stayed ON, and as if holding my DEL down, it one by one deleted all 300 of the msgs in my Inbox and dumped them into (and amongst) the 2000 or so msgs in my Deleted Items. It took hours to go through each mail and pick them back out.
Now, similar to the above issues I have found that the bluetooth connection (I can only assume that is the cause) can get a bit flaky at times, leading to a lagging keyboard. I'm not sure if this is also low battery related, but I am only sitting 2 metres away from the receiver, which is well within the advertised 10 metre range. And if you find a laggy keyboard to be annoying, you wait till you try the mouse touchpad. What I thought was awesome at the start will become an instrument of frustration. The touchpad can at best be described as finicky and inaccurate, as you find your mouse pointer skipping all over your screen. At times I will find no response from the touchpad, to then see the pointer jump off screen somewhere (I suspect this is the Bluetooth again). I have spent ages trying to refine my settings in attempt to find the right combination, yet I still find myself playing ?find the mouse pointer? as my pointer disappears of screen right with one light touch of the touchpad. The touchpad is designed to be used with your thumb, yet is nearly as small as my thumb (& I have avg thumbs!) so there is not that much room to move around on it. This means that there is no one good setting that is good for getting your mouse pointer around the screen conveniently, and also good for making small movements accurately. It?s just not big enough.
Another nice touch might have been ?trigger finger? style buttons on the top corners of the unit (similar to a PSP) to use as your left and right mouse buttons rather than using a two-keypress combination to get to your right mouse button, which is a major pain for what I would consider to be a very regularly used function.
I?m not going to go into the other obvious stuff covered in the review. Yes its small so you have to type with your thumbs, but you already accepted that when you bought it ? that?s the way it was designed. It?s the other flaws in the background technology that I wanted to highlight here. These aren?t because it was designed to be small (like issues with having a small keypad) ? but issues with the fact that Logitech just can?t get it to work right.
To summarise, the diNovo Mini is designed to be a tiny keyboard and mouse, and I guess, being tiny and having a keyboard and mouse means it is 90% of the way there. You would think that there is not that much you could get wrong? and you would be right. It works as you would expect ?most of the time?, but not always or reliably. I don?t want it to do anything extra, just the things it was meant to do properly. I would still recommend it to anyone wanting to rid themselves of a large keyboard in the living room working with a media center PC. It is a GREAT remote control for Windows Media Center ? IT REALLY IS ? but anything other than the most basic PC functions soon become an ordeal and you will find yourself reverting to your old keyboard even for the most basic email. BUT, whilst some of the design concepts of the diNovo Mini are cool, again it?s the glitchiness and final implementation of the technology that means that once again, Logitech have not failed to disappoint me.
Updated on May 3, 2009
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