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Input Devices
Logitech® diNovo™ Media Desktop™

Introduction

Here is how my quest for the perfect mouse/keyboard came about: I had an el cheapo wireless mouse/keyboard combo that I bought with the parts to build my computer. I couldn't complain… for $25 it worked just fine other than the mouse batteries didn't last longer than two days and there was no way to charge "in the mouse" (had to take batteries out to charge) and the range on the mouse/keyboard wasn't great (about 5-6 feet). I figured that was about par for the price tag, though.

Then the mouse finally started "going south" so, it was time to get a new set. I had decided by then that if I was going to replace it, I wanted something with a bit more wireless reach than 6 feet (on a clear day while holding my right hand at a 37.4 degree angle while God was smiling). So I started researching wireless technologies enough to find that the only way I was going to get a better range was with Bluetooth. I don't normally like getting "new" technologies as soon as soon they come out, but I figured, "What the hell? It's only a mouse/keyboard and it does have a 30 meter range or so."

I looked around for Bluetooth wireless keyboard/mouse combos and found only three realistic alternatives. The Logitech diNovo, a cheaper Logitech model and a Microsoft one. The cheaper Logictech had fat keyboard (which annoys me for some reason) and the Microsoft had horrible reviews (salesman at BestBuy said he hadn't sold one yet which didn't come back).

The choice was simple (though the price tag was not). The diNovo did look sweet; it's thin keyboard had all the makings of a supermodel keyboard (primed for the cover of Input Devices Illustrated). It had some new features which I hadn't seen in a keyboard/mouse combo yet, such as a detachable number pad. The mouse had a charging base so that you could use rechargeable batteries and never have to take them out of the mouse -- but just put mouse in the charging base. The number pad (called a media pad) had the ability to display title and artists of songs playing from computer in its LCD window.

diNovo™ System
Fig. 1 diNovo™ System

Believe you me, I was excited about this product! It seemed to be everything I wanted (and more)! Too bad the price tag at the time was $200, but the bigger problem was the wait. After I decided that was the mouse/keyboard combo for me, I found that it was not quite released yet and I had to wait for a few weeks. The few weeks turned in to a few months, so I coddled my current set along the way while waiting for the diNovo.

Finally, it was available and I ordered it. The excitement had really built up by that point (I guess waiting a few months will do that). I was so psyched the day it came in I can't tell you (you'd think I just won the lottery or something).

Installation & Features

Boxed Logitech® diNovo™ Media Desktop™
Fig. 2 Boxed Logitech® diNovo™ Media Desktop™

What can I say? It's a mouse/keyboard…it was a virtual no-brainer...all components were installed within about 10 minutes. There were drivers for the bluetooth devices which installed painlessly and were cake (no gotchas). There was also some additional bluetooth application software that I installed. The dinovo also came with MusicMatch bundled which I installed as well. Very soon, though, I uninstalled both MusicMatch (too use to WinAmp - long live the llama) and also the Bluetooth cell phone software (my cell isn't a bluetooth device, so it was as useful as a ham sandwich at a PETA convention).

Once the software is installed and you put batteries in the devices and plug them in. I was first impressed that it came with "real batteries" (Duracells), not some generic no-name alkaline batteries that last about a week like most devices you buy give.

Once you've plugged it in, the media pad and keyboard both come up with "passkey" window which ask you to type a passkey that it generates to detect the input from the device. As I understand it, this has two functions: 1) It gives the signals for the bluetooth receiver to detect the proper device and 2) It uses the passkey as a "channel" to help keep the wireless signal private from other possible nearby users. I don't think its super secure…more like the old cordless phones that had a dip switch in the back to change the "channel" you operate on.

Ok… that was a simple task, you have installed the mouse and keyboard. You didn't really expect it to be hard did you?

Logitech® diNovo™ Media Desktop™ Features