Your keyboard and mouse are important parts of your computer. They need to feel right under your hands, and function well. That’s a key reason why there are so many choices out there – wired and wireless, ergonomic keyboards, wheel mice, trackball mice, optical mice and so on. Logitech has always had a strong line in input devices, and the DiNovo Media Desktop moves things into a new realm.
The kit comprises four elements; a keyboard, separate number pad, optical mouse and a Bluetooth hub-come-mouse-house. Bluetooth is the connectivity medium, and when you’ve been through the installation routine you’ll have not only the three input devices wirelessly attached to your computer, but also a central service for attaching any other Bluetooth devices you might want to use, such as printer or mobile phone.
The mouse is pretty much a standard optical mouse, albeit one with a good optical sensor and plenty of buttons. It charges its batteries via the mouse-house/Bluetooth hub. It is engineered with right handers in mind, and while lefties should be able to grasp and use it, they will have difficulty with the two side-mounted buttons that are designed for right-handed thumb access.
But the keyboard and number pad are where it’s at for the DiNovo, in both style and usability terms. Both are sleek and thin in design, styled in shades of black and grey, and unlike anything else we’ve seen. The keyboard is responsive to use and there are a few extras over and above the QWERTY and number keys, such as a row of shortcut function keys for controlling e-mail software and media playback. Presumably these are designed to make it easier to use the keyboard for everyday computing when you are sitting outside the usual corded keyboard’s range.
The number pad is more interesting still. Logitech calls it the MediaPad, and it incorporates a display panel which shows the time and date (it checks these against your PC for accuracy), and acts as a calculator readout. You can also use the MediaPad as a remote control for the PC itself, doing things like controlling the playback of music and video clips.
With Bluetooth’s 10 metre range it is entirely possible to sit in a comfy chair and direct your PC’s entertainment provision with the MediaPad. There’s some software you can use with this feature. There are even some special features for mobile phone users, including the ability to use the kit in conjunction with desktop software to be alerted to, and reply to, incoming SMS messages.
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