Two of the most ignored components of the PC are the keyboard and mouse. I can't remember how many keyboards I've gone through in the past 20 years. They've all been mostly interchangeable. However, after working and playing on the Logitech diNovo Media Desktop for a while, I suddenly have a favorite.
Logitech, famed for introducing Web cameras to the masses, is clearly making a statement with the diNovo Media Desktop. This is not your average keyboard and mouse. At the heart of the system is a Bluetooth-enabled hub. The hub connects to your PC through a USB cable and lets the keyboard, media pad, and mouse communicate wirelessly.
Using Bluetooth technology, the hub serves as an attractive unit that lets you connect as many as seven Bluetooth-enabled devices in your home. The hub immediately recognized my Nokia N-Gage cell phone and headset, which meant that I could see Caller ID on my PC screen! (See the "About Bluetooth" sidebar for details about Bluetooth.)
|Logitech diNovo Features|
|Keyboard:|| Ultra-flat, zero-degree tilt design |
Bluetooth wireless technology
Expert Web navigation
Enhanced function keys
True boot support
|MediaPad:|| A Bluetooth remote media commander |
A desktop companion
|Mouse:|| MX Optical Engine |
More efficient Web navigation
Quick Switch Program Selector
Rapid charge base station/Bluetooth wireless hub
|Bluetooth Wireless Hub:|| Communicate freely |
Share with ease
Free yourself from cables and clutter
The Logitech designers must have spent some time in Germany. The diNovo Media Center is, without doubt, the sleekest keyboard ever devised by humans. In one swift move, the Logitech design team has brushed aside the style gurus at Apple and designed a keyboard that would find a natural fit as the centerpiece of a $50,000 home media center. Unfortunately, my budget doesn't push quite that far, but the keyboard looks stunning in my home office—and it's become quite a subject of conversation. As far as functionality is concerned, the keyboard is incredibly slim, but after only a few minutes, I found my fingers gliding over the keys.
Proving that change is good, Logitech has removed the numeric keypad from the typical keyboard, added a ton of functionality to it, and renamed it the MediaPad. So, you now have two keyboard devices with which to control your PC. The MediaPad has its own LCD display, which lets you do more than simply add numbers in Microsoft Excel:
- Desktop Calculator—You can use the MediaPad as a typical calculator. The device also displays the current time and date.
- Communications Center—You can display email or Microsoft Instant Message (IM) notifications on the MediaPad LCD screen. This is a cool feature if you’re away from the PC or in another room.
- Media Center—With the supplied Logitech software, you can use the MediaPad to navigate through your media library. You can use the simple navigation buttons to display movies, music, and images on your PC.
The MX900 Mouse is a terrific mouse, and its ergonomics are perfect for hours of use without fatigue. Web browsing is simpler thanks to additional buttons to jump forward and backward through pages or windows. The five buttons are also quite handy for game play. For example, Electronic Arts' Battlefield 1942 is a whole lot easier with the aid of thumb buttons! Although the mouse is a bit heavy, it glides across my desk easily and tracks perfectly. The Bluetooth Hub means I can charge the batteries for a full day of work in less than 10 minutes.
Worth the Price?
The diNovo Media Desktop is a stunning piece of equipment for your home or office. The hefty $250 price tag is a bit steep for a device that most of us don’t think about and are used to paying $5 to $50 for. That being said, the diNovo Media Desktop looks amazing, performs flawlessly, and enhances PC usability.
|Connected Home Magazine Rating (10 possible)|
|Design||Ease of Use||Performance||Overall|
|Bluetooth wireless technology is a major advance toward a wire-free world. First developed in the 1990s, Bluetooth has quickly emerged as the industry standard for short-range wireless connectivity among computers and mobile devices. The Bluetooth standard integrates well-tested technology with the power efficiency and low cost of a compliant radio system. |
Bluetooth is supported by product and application development in a wide range of market segments, including software developers, silicon vendors, peripheral and camera manufacturers, mobile PC manufacturers and handheld device developers, consumer-electronics manufacturers, car manufacturers, and test and measurement equipment manufacturers.
Logitech has joined some of the world's leading telecommunications, computing, and network companies who are incorporating Bluetooth technology into their products and promoting its usage throughout the technology world. That list of companies includes 3Com, Agere, Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Motorola, Microsoft, Nokia, Toshiba, and hundreds more.
With Bluetooth, your mobile phone, PDA, and PC can share the same address book, schedule, and to-do list-and remain synchronized—without wires. Your keyboard and mouse can work as far as 10 meters away from your computer. You can use a hands-free headset with your mobile phone, without annoying wires hanging from your ear. You can send a document to a Bluetooth printer in the next room.
And that's just the beginning. Leading technology companies are implementing Bluetooth, so the number of Bluetooth-enabled devices will continue to grow, letting you to accomplish even more.