If you're a user of media center computers for your home entertainment, you're well aware already that there's a pretty large deficiency in accessories for them. In particular, input devices can be quite a task - a keyboard and mouse are just not applicable when your desktop is three metres away, and the nearest flat surface is your coffee table.
Finally, it seems like Logitech has heard the cries - and this year at the show it's announced the DiNovo Mini keyboard. The small clamshell keyboard is specifically designed for the living room computer, and it appears that the company has thought it through pretty well.
The diNovo Mini features a smaller keyboard design than we're used to, but the keys themselves aren't much smaller. Function keys have been stripped off, and a couple media buttons have been put in place. The key action is very, very low - to the point where it feels like you've barely tapped on a laptop keyboard, which doesn't make for the easiest typing. However, you really wouldn't expect this to be for writing a term paper from your couch!
Also included is a circular trackpad that has integrated click function. Why this click function was pitched as so revolutionary is a touch beyond us, as most laptop track pads contain the ability already. However, one can't really fault Logitech's excellent design, nor its choice to put a clamshell cover over the board. After all, this is
in your living room, where spills and dust and knocks and bangs just plain happen.
You'll be able to find the diNovo Mini in stores in the US around the end of February at a retail price target of $149. However, no European release information has been given as of yet - and with Logitech, it could be right around the corner, or...well, not.
Overall, it's a refreshing change of pace from the current selection of wireless keyboards, which still look strongly like a keyboard. They just don't match the sleek design that HTPC cases and interfaces have made such large strides in over the past few years. Finally, it looks like the last "computer" holdout that makes the HTPC hard to have in a living room is getting its attention.
Do you have a thought on the diNovo Mini? Have you been looking for a keyboard that actually looks nice in your living room? Tell us your thoughts in our forums