Wires are the bane of a home media system so going wireless with the keyboard is a must. Logitech’s diNovo Media Desktop Laser does wireless in style (see the figure).
The combo includes a stylish set of keyboard, keypad and mouse. The latter has rechargeable batteries and its own docking station. The others use AA batteries. The USB dongle can use either Windows XP or Logitech drivers. In addition, Logitech’s SetPoint software allows custom settings for the various button combinations on each unit. It is a must for a home media system especially for the keypad that allows use of much of the PC software.
The optical mouse is quick and responsive although there can be an initial delay when moving the mouse after it has been idle for awhile. This is programmable. Still, some gamers swear by it while others swear at it. Once moving, the mouse is very accurate. The contoured mouse has plenty of buttons but it is designed for the right hand. There is a thumb button and a center scroll wheel surrounded by a rocker button in addition to the usual pair of mouse buttons. A series of LEDs indicate activity and battery status. I never ran out of battery power if the mouse had been sitting in the docking cradle overnight.
he keypad and keyboard use the same design style and fit flush when placed next to each other. The keyboard has its own arrow keypad so it can be used by itself. The keypad has three mode buttons and its LCD tracks the mode. It can be used as a calculator in addition to a cursor and numeric pad.
The keyboard and keypad share a set of buttons on the sides along with a cursor pad and Media button. The latter is primarily used as an A/V control with graphical indicators such as play, stop and fast forward. By default they control the current audio/video application. The default settings for the three buttons on the right of the keypad and keyboard are volume up and down and mute.
The keyboard is very thin and light. It is easy to hide when not in use and works well in your lap. The keypad will likely be more useful depending upon how you use your home media system. It does take a little time to get used to the keypad’s keys and their relationship to actions for particular applications but visual feedback from the application is usually sufficient to figure things out.
Logitech’s diNovo Media Desktop Laser is priced at $199.