The population explosion of gadgets and their connectors on my desktop had finally pushed me to make the jump to a wireless desktop. I was looking for a few things: simple keyboard/mouse combo, minimal bells & whistles, nice look & feel, and something that just works. Since I don’t need an espresso machine or back-massager built into my wireless desktop, I was pleased to find the sexy Logitech diNovo Media Desktop: Sleek, stylish, simple, and of course, wireless… without all the fluff!
I did my research and read plenty of positive and negative reviews, but most of them seemed to revolve around problems with Logitech’s software and driver package for the diNovo’s media center controller capabilities. I wasn’t looking for any of that, so I decided to gamble and invest in the admittedly expensive ($158.89 from NewEgg.com) diNovo.
Below you will find my completely non-official, non-technical, stream-of-consciousness review of the diNovo.
I was up and running in no time. Simply plug in the USB-Bluetooth dongle, power up, and everything was instantly recognized and installed by Windows XP. A quick 4-hour charge of the mouse on the handy cradle and everything was good to go. Keep in mind, I simply did not care for any of the extra bells, whistles, buttons, and features that the diNovo offered, I was only interested in the keyboard and mouse operation. So if you want all that extra crap, you will have to install all the Logitech software and drivers which, apparently, cause people all sorts of problems. Just know that the keyboard and mouse themselves work great as plug-and-play devices in XP, and don’t require ANY third party software installation to operate right out of the box.
The mouse is a bit heavier than my old Microsoft optical, which concerned me at first, but now I don’t even notice it. The extra weight even actually helps a bit with super-fine mouse navigations, as it gives more physical feedback to your hands than a flimsy lighter mouse. The buttons click and the wheels scroll, which is all I needed, so this laser mouse gets an A grade from me.
I have had absolutely ZERO major problems. Granted, I never installed any of the Logitech drivers, as I only need a simple keyboard and mouse combo. If you want all the bells and whistles, I imagine you’d run into some potential problems, but if you want just a simple keyboard and mouse like myself, this is a great investment. In the month I’ve been heavily using the diNovo, I’ve only had one issue with Bluetooth where my keyboard lost connectivity. I had to pop out the batteries and re-insert them for my keyboard to become responsive. Sometimes when returning to my desktop after being idle, it takes a split second for they keyboard and mouse to kick on and become responsive, but it’s hardly even noticeable. Once the Bluetooth reconnects, everything is back to normal. It’s a worthy trade-off in my opinion: trade a little instant gratification for extended battery life.
I do have a few minor gripes, but they can probably be attributed more to my personal idiosyncrasies than anything else. I don’t like the fact that the keypad is separated from the keyboard. I’m assuming they did this so that you can use it as a remote-control for your media center, but I’m not using any of that junk. It is quite annoying that when I move my keyboard around the keypad doesn’t come with it. This also leads to another gripe. I like my keyboard slanted towards me, so I open up the little legs on the bottom to elevate the top a bit. Of course the separate keypad doesn’t have any legs, so it sits flat while my keyboard sits slanted. It’s fairly annoying that a product that supposedly spent so much effort in the style arena didn’t think this through, because now my otherwise elegant media desktop looks like a stupid non-matching set of pieces. This could have easily been solved by either giving the keypad its own legs, or making it possible to attach it to the main keyboard. Ahhhh well, nothing’s perfect I guess.
- Wireless!! Duh.
- Mouse is re-chargeable and has never let me down even after extended (10+ hour) usage. Simply pop the mouse on its charging cradle before you go to bed and you’ll always have a full charge at your disposal the next day.
- Mouse has an LED indicating battery charge. There are 3 bars and I’ve never seen it go below two bars, even after a full day’s use.
- Laser mouse is more accurate that old-style opticals.
- Mouse “heft” makes it feel like an actual tool rather than a cheapo piece of plastic. The extra weight helps with pointer-detail stuff.
- Look and feel is top notch. No bulbous buttons or monstrous extrusions where they need not be. Minimalist stylings look great!
- Laptop-style keys: Although it is a full-sized keyboard layout, the keys themselves are the thinner and softer laptop style. Quieter and easier to type on. More my style.
- Built in calculator in the keypad is a plus. I’ve found myself using it more than XP’s calculator.
- Keypad is separate from keyboard (personal preference). They should have at least made it attachable so that you have an option.
- Keypad doesn’t have its own feet to slant it towards you a bit. So if you slant your keyboard you end up with an un-even layout.
- Keypad screen is not backlit. It’s difficult to see unless you’re in bright light or you’re 2 inches from the screen. Of course a backlit screen would suck the battery to death, so I don’t mind too much.
- Slight half-second delay when waking from idle battery-saving mode. Not a big deal.
Now my only hope is that this baby lasts long enough for it to be worth what I paid. The last Logitech keyboard I bought crapped out after about 3-months. Lets hope that the diNovo can redeem the Logitech name in the eyes of this beholder.