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Sunday 8 May 2005

Review: Logitech diNovo Media Desktop 2.0 [Muz]

Having just celebrated my 21st (hold the applause) and received suitable recompense for not dying prior to it (despite the best efforts of t'Death), I felt the need to buy something excessively geeky.
I've had my eye on the Logitech diNovo for some time, having been a big fan of their previous Cordless Desktop MX. Bluetooth desktop with a low travel keyboard and media controls? Sounds like a winner.
Ordered from Dabs, arrived as promised, all intact. So far, so good. Open it up, and it contains:
  • Keyboard
  • Mediapad (aka Numpad detached from main keyboard with media controls on)
  • MX900 Bluetooth mouse
  • Bluetooth receiver/charging station for mouse
  • Quickstart guide, CDs, and all the other stuff no true member of the Crosshatch would touch with a barge pole

So, shut down, plugged in receiver, stuck batteries in assorted bits of kit, started up. Keyboard, mouse and numpad all detected/connected fine, but obviously no mediapad support yet.
Download the latest SetPoint software from Logitech's webby (which includes the latest version of WIDCOMM's BT stack, handy). Uninstall current install of WIDCOMM, install SetPoint, reboot.
Powers up, then asks me to press the connect buttons on each device in sequence. Interestingly, once it detected the pairing attempts from the keyboard and media pads, it gave me a random passkey to key in to ensure I was connecting the right device. Smart.
A few rebindings of button functions later, and I'm up and running. Remarkably painless, really. The keyboard is lovely to use, low travel, but full size with all keys in the right place - an improvement over the Zippy job I was using before. The mouse is as solid and functional as you'd expect a derivative of the venerable MX500 to be. Only niggle thus far is that the 'Forward' and 'Back' buttons on it aren't being recognised in Firefox. Minor, but getting annoying. Some Googling required on that front sharpish. (Although realistically, it's more likely to be the fault of Firefox)
The build quality is superb - keys are tactile and responsive, but are less effort to use than your normal keyboard. All the hardware looks swish and feels solid. You can't ask for much more, really. So, overall a winner. Only issue is the price - it is a bit steep for a keyboard and mouse, but if you have the cash to spare, I can't recommend this highly enough.
Update 08/05/05: Found a workaround to the 'Back' and 'Forward' buttons not working - turns out that Firefox isn't in the list of apps to apply 'Application Specific Settings' to. A quick edit of an XML config file later, and all is well. W00t!

1 comment:

  1. I've been a fan of these for awhile, having used one in my office and one for my lounge server Wench. Prior to this thing coming out I extolled the virtues of laptop keyboards and how much better their low profile, low travel keys are on typing. The Dinovo was a very brave move for Logitech and it's paid off for them well.
    That said, I didn't much like it for my gaming rig. The media controls are arty but not terribly useful (I mean the ones on the bottom right) compared to the simple buttons on the top of most keyboards. I'm also no fan of wireless stuff, call me old fashioned like that.
    As it turns out, I've been using an MS Internet Keyboard Pro on my main rig for absolutely years. This is about as high key travel as you get and recently I was motivated to replace it with a Logitech Media Keyboard for the princely sum of £14.46. It's great! It's royally screwing up my gaming right now because the layout is slightly different and that means I'm inadvertantly banging the Windows key a lot but jesus, typing on it is soft and fast. Dunno why I didn't do it sooner!