Pros: Stylish design; easy to set up and configure; media mode function
Cons: Can be awkward to operate at speed; clickpad is too small
Bottomline: There’s no doubt the Dinovo Mini has its uses, but it’s too awkward to operate in terms of text entry to thoroughly recommend
Buy it online at:
- PC Rush (SHOP.COM)
- Buy.com (USA and Canada)
- eCOST.com (SHOP.COM)
- PC Mall
- Comp-U-Plus.com (SHOP.COM)
- Buy.com (SHOP.COM)
- NextDayPC.com (SHOP.COM)
- MobilePlanet (SHOP.COM)
- TigerDirect.com (SHOP.COM)
- Dell Small Business
The Dinovo Mini from Logitech joins a growing number of compact keyboards designed to free you from the constraints of a remote control when using a home theatre PC.
It’s also compatible with the Sony Playstation 3. The keyboard connects to your chosen device via Bluetooth. Logitech includes a custom USB Bluetooth dongle in the box, which will help you connect instantly and avoid the irritating scanning and pairing procedure.
Once you’ve tweaked the responsiveness of the touchpad and customised the shortcut key settings via the supplied Setpoint software, you’re ready to go. The keyboard offers a full Qwerty layout and dedicated media keys, such as volume, play/pause, track skip and more.
When enabling the Media Mode (a simple flick switch above the keyboard), these keys are highlighted above the rest to offer easy access when you’re viewing media or using applications such as Windows Media Center. In regular mode, the keys are backlit with an orange glow, making it easier to see what you’re doing in dark conditions.
However, we had a few problems with usability that threaten to undermine the otherwise effective design. The touchpad is too small to operate comfortably and the circular clickpad can hardly be described as touch-sensitive, since it requires a firm press to activate single- or double-clicks. Likewise, the keys are small and too close together for speedy, error-free typing.
The Dinovo Mini has a good dose of style and is well-built, but in practice it’s not as nice to use as we’d hoped. Although it’s a slightly more convenient way to access media functions, it’s unlikely to speed things up in terms of general text entry.